Jim Schutze calls it "chutzpah", although I imagine another word could be found to describe Mayor Tom Leppert’s sudden interest in ethics at city hall. Regardless, Schutze’s recent column in the Dallas Observer talks about the fine line between lobbying and intimidating at city hall in the wake of the Don Hill corruption trial still going on downtown. The column is an interesting read, regardless of which side of Leppert’s political fence you’re on, because it raises a legitimate issue: What’s the difference between a political consultant and a lobbyist?

The question is relevant because of Leppert’s ongoing plans at city hall, as well as his presumed plans after city hall, which apparently could begin as soon as U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson steps down sometime in the next few months. I saw Leppert grinning and weaving on TV last night when a WFAA-TV reporter tried to pin him down on whether he was even interested in running for the Senate seat — not whether he was actually going to run, but whether he was even interested. He spent so much time enjoying his own non-response that it was painful to watch.

Anyway, read Schutze’s column, and think about the issue he raises and its impact downtown and in our neighborhoods.