Mike Rawlings Clobbers Ron Natinsky and David Kunkle in Mayoral Fund-Raising Effort

Mike_Rawlings_debate_Merten.jpg
Photos by Sam Merten
We're guessing this was Rawlings's reaction when he received bills from his consultants.
Former TracyLocke CEO Mike Rawlings easily outpaced the field of mayoral candidates by raising a whopping $1.03 million -- nearly three times the combined haul of Ron Natinksy and David Kunkle -- during the reporting period that ended April 4. Council member Natinsky reported $239,000 in donations, and ex-Dallas Police Chief Kunkle raised just $127,000. (Edward Okpa's campaign finance report was not filed online as of 8 a.m. this morning.)

[Update at 1:20 p.m.: Okpa raised $76,000 and has $24,000 left.]

Aided by a $250,000 personal loan, Natinsky has the most cash on hand with $342,000, while Rawlings has already spent more than $800,000, leaving him with $221,000 in the bank. Kunkle has a balance of $74,000, which includes a $5,000 personal loan and $5,000 loan from his wife and campaign volunteer, Sarah Dodd.

Rather than loaning his campaign dough, Rawlings, his wife and two grown children together donated $20,000 to his candidacy. He received a combined $10,000 from former Dallas Cowboys legend Roger Staubach and his wife, Cowboys COO Stephen Jones and his wife, beer distributors Barry and Lana Andrews and Albert Huddleston (who donated $100,000 to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth) and his wife Mary (granddaughter of deceased oil tycoon H.L. Hunt).

Rawlings also grabbed a total of $25,000 from Marshall Payne, his colleague at CIC Partners, and Payne's family, along with $20,000 from Randall Fojtasek (a former associate of Tom Hicks) and his family. Former PepsiCo chair and CEO Roger Enrico and his family combined to donate $15,000.

Others donating the maximum $5,000 include T. Boone Pickens, trial lawyer Lisa Blue Baron, Democratic fund-raiser Cappy McGarr, former Dallas Citizens Council chair Tom Dunning, political strategist-turned-filmmaker Rob Allyn and Al Hill Jr. (Margaret Hunt Hill's grandson). H. Ross Perot ($3,000), Tom Hicks ($2,500) and former Citizens Council chair Ron Steinhart ($1,000) are also among the dozens of influential and wealthy business leaders found on Rawlings's campaign finance report filed yesterday.

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Ron Natinsky
Natinsky received a sizable amount of contributions from area metal recyclers, including a total of $20,000 from the Okon family and $18,000 from the Goldberg family. Convention center hotel developer Jack Matthews ($4,000), Ebby Halliday ($2,500) and former council member Chris Luna ($1,500) are among the other notables donating to his campaign.

Kunkle's campaign received a boost from his appearance on Sportsradio 1310 The Ticket, during which he solicited donations of $13.10. He received a significant amount of contributions in that amount, along with several of $13.01 from those who missed the reference to the station's call sign. Kunkle's top contributors include $5,000 from former Highland Park Mayor John Hammack (who collapsed at Kunkle's retirement presser), $5,000 from Steve Wolens's campaign (Wolens is his campaign treasurer), $5,000 from Lisa Blue Baron, $2,000 from ex-Mayor Pro Tem Max Wells and $1,000 from former council member Mitchell Rasansky.

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David Kunkle
More than half of Rawlings's expenses were paid to consultant Mari Woodlief of Allyn Media, which received $472,000 -- $202,000 for television airtime. Rawlings also paid $145,000 to consultant Kathy Nealy, $20,000 to consultant Willis Johnson, $80,000 to Alpha Business Images (a company owned by Johnson's wife), $10,000 to Paula Blackmon (Tom Leppert's former deputy chief of staff), $10,754 to Democratic consultant Jeff Dalton and even $2,500 to Kurt Watkins (the cousin of Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins and son of City Secretary Deborah Watkins).

Natinsky paid former Leppert consultants Carol Reed ($60,000), Brenda Reyes ($12,000) and Becky Mayad ($10,000), while Kunkle paid $10,000 to Republican consultant C.P. Henry, $3,000 to former DART board member and consultant Joyce Foreman and $2,361 to Avi Adelman for website services.

The next filing date is May 6 when eight-day reports are due.

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49 comments
Cordphaeton
Cordphaeton

The Dallas Police Department won't even endorse Kunkle! That says it all when you cannot even get the organization that you once led to support your candidacy for Mayor.

Mike Rawlings has the experience in the business world and in various volunteer posts where he achieved great success in both.

Running a City is essentially no different than running a big corporation .... you have many, many varying constituencies to balance and sometimes opposing interests to reconcile to a common goal of being a success.

Mike Rawlings is the man to continue leading Dallas into the 21st century, helping to continue to lay the foundation for Dallas' ascension into the upper tier of U.S. cities.

Concerning Kunkle, we have already had a "penny-wise, pound-foolish" Mayor who single-handedly ran the Dallas Cowboys off into the arms of Arlington. With Kunkle at the helm, he would take giant steps backward to undo the success that we have had over the last four years with Tom Leppert.

Who's fooling us now
Who's fooling us now

Kunkle is also paying Avi Adelman as a paid campaign worker from day one. IN ADDITION TO paying him to design and run the website.

Kunkle campaign does not want us to know that he is paying Avi a salary to work for his campaign. He wants us to think he just used Avi for website design.

If Kunkle gets to be mayor will he make Avi Adelman his Chief of Staff?

Citizenforfairmedia
Citizenforfairmedia

Okpa raised $76,000 and has $24,000 left.

So are you saying that because Mike Rawlings "raised" the most money, he is the best candidate for mayor?

First of all, you must understand that the Mayor does not raise money for the city.

But, for the sake of argument, think about this. One of your children is very intelligent, humbly serves, and is responsible with what he has, but he has average finances; another child is filthy rich, but is common, arrogant, and irresponsible; which would you choose to handle the most important matters in life?

I would choose the first, because eventually, the money he needs will come. You either have intelligence, a humble spirit, and are responsible with what you have or you're not. You either have a heart for what you do or you don't. You don't become a servant leader over night. Edward Okpa has passion, heart, and determination to be the best mayor for the city of Dallas. He doesn't need the job. He WANTS it so he can serve in the best capacity to do the best for the citizens of Dallas - ALL of them, not just north or south.

Being African American, I'm sick and tired of candidates telling me what they've done for us as if they're doing us a favor but they only come out when it's time to get votes. And I'm sick of African Americans in leadership sucking up to these candidates to fight for position on the city council instead of taking care of their districts (Hmmmm.... Tennell Atkins).

Steve
Steve

Kunkle and Natinsky don't have much money, yet i've been seeing tons of Kunkle signs for weeks and now a lot of Natinsky signs are showing up. Rawlings, on the other hand, has mucho dinero and the only thing i've seen from him is one mailer a couple of weeks ago, a man who gets so little for his money will no doubt be a shoo in for Mayor of Dallas, he'll fit right in.

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

Clearly, the Dallas Citizens Council has already "hired" Rawlings for the job, just as they "hired" Leppert (which worked out really great... rolls eyes....).

As an aside, Natinsky's hiring of Carol Reed and Brenda Reyes should be considered automatically disqualifying on grounds of excessive cynicism.

PizzaFail
PizzaFail

Well, we see who the money players in Dallas wants but do the regular citizens of Dallas want Rawlings? I think Kunkle is the best option.

Cliff Dweller
Cliff Dweller

All that money and he's still not managing to make much of an impression. . .

warden62
warden62

Who Will You Marry? We Know! Get Your Free Psychic Reading!

busterkeaton
busterkeaton

This just in from Washington....Politicians are on the take....We'll have more at 10...And now Bob with the weather.

warden62
warden62

Village Voice wants to know: "Rennovating [sic] your home? We can find a contractor near you!"

Really disappointed that DO.com is adopting DMN's pop up advertising strategy.

SonjaMc
SonjaMc

Sam, if you have to give a title, why didn't you refer to Rawlings as Former Pizza Hut CEO or Homeless Czar or Park Board President. Wasn't Rawlings at TraceyLocke several years ago?

elbueno
elbueno

This is ridiculous. The only reason Rawlings is even a contender is $$$.

Why should we be forced to take him as mayor just because he wealthy friends?? Its time to end this crap.

There are far more of us than there are of them. Vote for Kunkle. Don't let the richest 1% run this city any longer!

Anonymous
Anonymous

Dallas politics, bought and sold. Nothing new here.

Mark Anthony
Mark Anthony

Let's be clear - the Dallas Police DEPARTMENT cannot endorse anyone since it's a city department.

The Dallas Police ASSOCIATION endorsed Natinsky days after Kunkle announced he was running but did NOT interview anyone but Natinsky. It was not an interview - once Natinsky promised with fingers crossed not to raid the DPA Pension fund for budget balancing purposes, they gave him $5,000 and that was it. Kunkle would have agreed to the same deal since he has a DPA pension too (he's admitted it on debates AND probably would recuse himself from any vote on pension issues).

Natinsky is hoping for volunteers from the DPA to help his campaign. Guess that never happened either.

EastDallas4Life
EastDallas4Life

Yup, government = big corporation. Same thing. No difference at all.

Except, ya know, one is there to provide services for the population and the other is there to take money from the population. In theory, at least.

Mike Dunlap
Mike Dunlap

It's interesting to me that Rawlings' donors are from a diverse political background that includes major GOP and Democratic donors.

Having wealthy supporters isn't inherently wrong, and it's nice to see that Rawlings' affluent donors come from differing political viewpoints.

mark anthony
mark anthony

Why would Adelman take that kind of job? The minute he becomes a city employee (even chief of staff) he can't talk about lower greenville anymore.

As good as he might be on campaigns, stifling his mouth about lower greenville is not going to happen.

EastDallas4Life
EastDallas4Life

Funny you mention that... I was driving down Live Oak, and find myself behind Adelman's beater of a truck. Of course the bed was filled with Kunkle signs to disperse.

But as obnoxious as Adelman is, at least it's a working class guy out there helping out and not a bunch of HP/Preston Hollow people just throwing money at the campaign.

Hasanmary
Hasanmary

Considering the fact that Rawling wasn't born with a silver spoon in his mouth,and juding from you comments on who you would choose, Rawlins should be your candidate.

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

It looks like he's reusing some of Leppert's artwork on his signs.... that should save him at least a few bucks.

Oak Cliff Res
Oak Cliff Res

Rawlings has sent out 4 mailers actually, you must not be a faithful voter or you would have got them all. He's also shot a tv commercial that I saw on fox4, probably was on 5, 8 and 11 too. Kunkle and Natinsky's signs sure have popped up a lot... In vancant fields, empty lots, abandonded homes and street corners. Not in the actualy voters yards... And everyone knows that signs don't vote anyway!!!

Kat
Kat

My problem is that Laura Miller has hired Kunkle.I'll take Rawlings way before I want a puppet for Laura Miller

Anonymous
Anonymous

Yea, but his money advantage will make a big difference in the inevitable runoff. Count on that.

Chip and Paula
Chip and Paula

Rawlings made an impression on me. And, I know two people who have switched away from Kunkle and his non-bio background. Where's Kunkle's long list of volunteer activities or long list of any involvements, causes.

Alfredo
Alfredo

I will not vote for him

G_David
G_David

Except that based on my experience, that "contractor near you" they find is just as likely to be in Houston as it is in Dallas.

Sam_Merten
Sam_Merten

Because I've already referred to him many, many times as Pizza Hut's ex-CEO, and his current CEO gig at Legends takes too much explaining. Just because he hasn't worked there since 1996 doesn't make it any less relevant. After all, he was at TracyLocke from 1979 to 1996 and Pizza Hut from 1997 to 2003.

blue moon
blue moon

To: elbuenoYou should attend some of the mayoral debates. I, too, was biased against Rawlings. Until I met him and heard him answer some hard questions.

What I saw was: Kunkle can only recite sound bites. And, Kunkle's wife (5th wife), coaches him with answers. She always sits right in front so she can give him hand signals. Watch her. You'll see.

Don't forget she was Channel 11 newsreporter covering City Hall, and now runs a big public relations company.

Be really great to see Kunkle come up with the answers all by himself.

Jay
Jay

Politics, bought and paid for.

Its not just a Dallas phenomena. All politicians are primarily driven by access to money, and their own self interest in acquiring more political power.

Oak Cliff Res
Oak Cliff Res

Dallas skyline is nothing new for a citywide campaign. Convention Center, Toll Road, even Ron Kirk used it, nothing new...

EastDallas4Life
EastDallas4Life

Got all 4 of those mailers, and have seen many of those commercials. Good thing my recycling bin was hungry and my remote has a mute button.

And vacant fields are much better than empty, cracked parking lots.

Regular Citizen
Regular Citizen

I wish that the "regular citizens" would attend at least one event to hear all of the candidates speak. Rawlings gets a bad rap for simply raising a ton of money when his message is sound. Listening to Kunkle reminds me of watching "The King's Speech", of course minus the king part.

Mark Anthony Dallas
Mark Anthony Dallas

That sounds like Rawlings putting down Kunkle (in event speeches) for being a good chief and public servant for 40 years, but never having a real job or creating a real job for anyone else.

So running a department that has onethird of the city's 13,000 employees and nearly a third of its billion dollar budget, while lowering the crime rate, is not as important as selling pizza or owning concessions at the stadium.

I guess that all depends on how you spell the word 'personal values and guiding principles'?

Hasanmary
Hasanmary

So. I will not vote for Kunkle or Natinsky. Who cares? You vote for who you want. That is the American way.

Mike Dunlap
Mike Dunlap

Your treatment of Rawlings and all the candidates has been very fair, Sam. Keep up the good work.

Patsy Burch
Patsy Burch

Sam, work a little harder at appearing non-bias.

I was at the Vickery Place NA mayoral debate last night.

Rawlings did very well. Before the event, most of the people I spoke with had yet to make up their mind. After the event, everyone I spoke with told me they were leaning towards Rawlings.

I thought I was for Kunkle, in the beginning, but now I'm pretty sure I'm voting for Rawlings. Kunkle lied about the crime stats when he was Chief to make himself appear good. His connection to Avi Adelman is particularly troubling. But the fact that he's been married 5 times is too much for me.

Oak Cliff Res
Oak Cliff Res

When you tell the truth you shame the devil! @ Oak Cliff Townie is staying on a job from 1979 to 1996 long enough for you? Homeless Czar and Park Board President is not a job it's volunteering... And he was still homeless Czar for 5 years... Maybe Rawlings isn't making an impression on you but look at your neighbors. Look at the yard signs... And not the ones in vacant lots and street corners, the signs in the voters yards...

SonjaMc
SonjaMc

I still think a job from 1997 to 2003 is more relevant than one from 1979 to 1996. What about his gigs as the homeless czar or Park Board president? At least inform your readers that he has taken on significant civic leadership positions since being the TraceyLocke CEO more than 10 years ago. Just think these are lazy references.

Snookie Pie
Snookie Pie

Not everyone wants to "keep" a job. Sometimes opportunity knocks

Snookie Pie
Snookie Pie

I concur.Go hear the two candidates, then form an opinion.Kunkle can't pull it off when you are watching him.

Hasanmary
Hasanmary

DONT BE CONFUSED, AS A CHIEF, HE DID WHAT HE WAS TOLD. IF HE HADN'T HE WOULDN'T HAVE BEEN CHIEF LONG. HE DIDN'T DECIDE HIS BUDGET OR THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE NEEDED. ALL THAT WAS DECICED FOR HIM.

Snookie Pie
Snookie Pie

I was at that debate.

Couldn't believe my ears when Kunkle, referring to the many problems Vickery Place Neighborhood has with all the valet and parking issues from Henderson Avenue, said their are always going to be problems when neighborhoods encroach on entertainment districts.

Sam_Merten
Sam_Merten

He was Park Board prez for a few months, and you think that's more relevant than running one of the nation's top advertising agencies? I disagree. Also, I've mentioned his work with the Park Board and as homeless czar plenty of times.

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