Static: Wednesday, May 1, 2003
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Capu-Hirts and Mon-ta-criefs

Politics, like prostitution, is such an ancient profession that few positions remain for a writer to expose. That was the quandary faced last fall by Tim Long, box office manager at Circle Theatre and budding playwright, who wanted his first professional play to cover something new about politics.

“In all my research on political themes, every time I tried to come up with something original, it had been done,” he said. On the stage? No, in real life. Nonetheless, by January, he had a draft of a romantic comedy about a baseball team honcho who gets into politics. Hmmm... Anyway, the man runs against his brother-in-law and loses, then convinces his wife to run, and before the play is over they’re all running against each other. As Fort Worth Weekly’s calendar listing says, it’s “about a family squabble that spills over into a mayoral election.”

Long swears on a stack of playbills that his work was written and the dates picked months before a family squabble spilled over into Fort Worth’s mayoral election, à la the Mike Moncrief vs. Tex Moncrief feud, with Cathy Hirt sometimes seeming just an onlooker, and one without much funk, at that.

The play opens Friday — the night before the election. Title: Mudslinger. May the best plot win.

Meanwhile,

Back at the Oil Well ...

If Hirt wins on Saturday, voters should look for fiscal frugality rather than funkiness from their new mayor, based on how she’s not been spending that $201,000 that Tex’s crew poured into her campaign. The oil baron probably wanted every dime to be spent on bushwhacking his renegade relative Mike. But by April 25, with just eight days to go before the election, campaign reports showed Hirt had squandered only $67,018 of the $269,401 she’d collected. That left her with some serious bingeing to do — like about $25,000 a day — if she were to use it all by election night.

Even the Eppstein Group, that no-holds-barred political consulting outfit that by last week had already drained $114,000 out of Mike Moncrief’s $146,823 pot, probably couldn’t do it.

Maybe Tim Long could use some of it to stage his next play, about a young goofball who runs for mayor on a campaign to add funk to a city known for its infatuation with all things bovine. But who would believe that ridiculous storyline?

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