Rawlings Takes Shot at Natinsky For Not Speaking Up When Council Loosened Ethics

ronnatinskymikerawlings.jpg
Photo by Sam Merten
Ron Natinsky and Mike Rawlings at an early mayoral candidate forum
Two weeks ago, Schutze noted that the city council -- very quietly, very nonchalantly, very consent-agenda-y -- loosened up its own restrictions governing when and how developers with zoning cases at City Hall could slide council members some dough-re-mi.

When the original ordinance passed two long years ago, it prohibited "applicants in designated zoning cases and designated public subsidy matters and persons responding to requests for bids or proposals on city contracts from making campaign contributions to city council members during designated periods of time." But at its meeting on April 13, the council said: Nah. As the amended ordinance reads now, "employees and representatives of the property owner in a designated zoning case or designated public subsidy matter" can slip the council some money, no harm and most certainly no foul.

To which mayoral candidate Mike Rawlings just said: Not on my watch. Per a press release just sent out by Allyn Media, which is managing his campaign, Rawlings insists that if he's elected, he'll "immediately work to restore the ethics ordinance that was weakened earlier this month by the Dallas City Council." His whole release follows, but at the end he does mention that one of his fellow mayoral candidates happens to sit on the very council that let this sucker fly by without anyone so much as saying boo till Jim went and read the fine print:
"I am disappointed that Mr. Natinsky chose money over ethics. It is critical that our taxpayers and citizens have trust in government, and loosening our ethics code during an election does not instill that trust."
I've left messages for and sent e-mails to Natinsky and his peoples and will update when someone responds. Till then, jump. But before you go, just leave the payday loan on the dresser.

Update at 4:06 p.m.: Via Becky Mayad, spokesperson for Natinsky's campaign, we received a statement from the council member and mayoral candidate in response to Rawlings's release. It reads in full:
I fully support the ethics ordinance, which is why I voted in favor of it the first time it was approved by Council. I have always been a strong proponent of transparency and ethics in government; it's something our citizens deserve.

However, there was an Executive Session held on this issue, and upon the recommendation of the City Attorney, modifications were made and approved two weeks ago by Councilmembers as a result of that session. I believe these changes -- which apply to contributions only -- strengthen our ethics ordinance because the new requirements put in place apply to anyone running for City office, whether they are a sitting Councilmember or a candidate.

The ordinance guidelines regarding transparency and online reporting remain intact.
MIKE RAWLINGS PLEDGES TO RESTORE ETHICS
Shines light on ethics rules weakened during mayoral campaign

Today, Mike Rawlings pledged that as mayor he would immediately work to restore the ethics ordinance that was weakened earlier this month by the Dallas City Council.

"After all of the debate and news coverage last year over the new code of ethics, it was surprising to me to learn that the City Council voted to weaken it so quickly with no public discussion, and during the very first city election cycle after it was put in place," Mike Rawlings said. "If elected, I will work immediately to address these changes, restore the ethics ordinance, or even strengthen it," said Rawlings.

On April 13, the City Council approved a consent agenda that included shortening the time period in which persons with business in front of the City are restricted from making campaign contributions, and changed the rules to allow for contributions from consultants representing developers on zoning issues - even when the developer is prohibited from contributing. The new changes took place immediately, and opened up a whole new list of donor prospects for Council members who are trying to raise money during the campaign season.

"I am disappointed that Mr. Natinsky chose money over ethics. It is critical that our taxpayers and citizens have trust in government, and loosening our ethics code during an election does not instill that trust." Rawlings continued.

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9 comments
ChingChong
ChingChong

How many trips to China are Mr and Mrs Natinsky taking this year on the Dallas taxpayer's dime?

JimS
JimS

There's an easy test for this, gang. Ask both Rawlings (Rob Allyn Co.) and Natinsky (The Reeds) how they would feel about the only reform that would make a real difference at City Hall -- one by which consultants who work for mayoral candidates are barred from lobbying the city council for other clients after their guy gets elected. As it is now, an Allynco or a Reeds gets their guy in office. Then they immediately go out and tell anybody with any business at City Hall, you better hire me to rep you down there, because I'm the mayor's consigliere. The cleaner way for lobbyists to behave - and a lot of the good ones do it this way -- is just to say, we do issues, not campaigns. They won't rep candidates precisely because of the inherent conflict of interest. But both Rawlings and Natinsky have hired people with deep fingers in the lobbying pocket. So ask them both: how about banning political consultants from commercial lobbying at the council? Simple question.

Anakalypsi
Anakalypsi

You have got to be kidding....Rawlings calling Natinsky out.....both are in it for their developer friends and corporate giveaways....KUNKLE is the only honest person in this race.

Mary S
Mary S

Rawlings gets my vote.

stupidisasstupiddoes
stupidisasstupiddoes

Wait, how can a candidate for office have a zoning case that he or she will be voting on?

Who Ray
Who Ray

Wasn't the last mayor (Leppert) a champion of ethics reform? Yeah, I thought so. It didn't take City Council long after he resigned to soften the rules for themselves.

Mark Anthony Dallas
Mark Anthony Dallas

It's kindof funny to hear Mike complain about ethics when he's running for mayor.

- He tried to shove affordable housing in every neighborhood in Dallas whether they liked it or not (except his of course in Preston Hollow) without doing the right thing of notifying residents they needed to put the welcome wagon out for criminals and rapists

- He was the chairperson of a corporation whose sole reason for doing business was to steal money - payday lending - in a way only the Mafia would envy

- He used Kunkle's theme of underserved but overtaxed on his first campaign flyer and had the balls to admit he stole the idea because that's how business operates in the real world

- He lied about how he improved the park department with measurements, smiled the whole way as they closed pools down, but now says we should not do it again

- He thinks the mayor should also run the school board too, an idea right out of Boston where he went to college. What is he going to do when he realizes the school board does not give a damn what he thinks??

I figure it's six weeks into his term before he pulls a Leppert and resigns to Carraway when he realizes city employees, unlike foreign-language speaking pizza delivery guys, do not have to do what he tells them to do.

Hasanmary
Hasanmary

Kunkle should be thankful for you because I can honestly say if he doesn't win, it was not because you didn't do your best.

Mike Dunlap
Mike Dunlap

"Steal money?" Really?

Oh, the drama.

Sounds like the Kunkle fans are getting nervous.

Also, "foreign-language (sic) speaking pizza delivery guys?" Jeez. Bigoted much?

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