I Ask the Candidates: What Do You Think of People Who Keep Chickens in Their Backyards?

Categories: Get Off My Lawn
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Last night Wilonsky and I co-moderated the GLBT Chamber's mayoral debate forum, a rather tony affair, as these things go, at the Cityplace Conference and Event Center. It so happened the day before I had attended the "A Peep at the Coops" tour in East Dallas, so I had chickens on my mind.

Confession: I always have chickens on my mind. My wife is a major chicken-keeper. If you think of this in terms of the zoo, I'm the guy you see over in the corner of the cage in rubber boots and coveralls with a hose in one hand and some kind of gnarly-looking scraping implement in the other. Oh, joy.

So two-thirds of the way through, I blurted out an un-scripted question: "What do you think of people in the city who keep chickens in their backyards?"

I was halfway hoping they would all say, "They should be arrested." But they did not, and what they did say was interesting -- sort of revealing, really.

David Kunkle was funny. Mike Rawlings was genial. Ron Natinsky was midway between perplexed and pissed. And Ed Okpa didn't say anything -- for some reason, he just up and fled the room at 7, insisting he had somewhere else to be.

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Our alternate "Get Off My Lawn" logo. Perhaps we need to reconsider.
Kunkle started by saying, "I live in East Dallas, so I have some experience with the urban chick phenomenon." He goes on to say, "I'm in favor of the chicks as opposed to the roosters." Wilonsky suggested that should have been Kunkle's campaign slogan.

Rawlings said, "Believe it or not my neighbors have roosters, and whenever I go out for a walk it's kind of pleasant to me, so it's not a big issue."

Natinsky, who thought the affair ended at 7 and not 7:30 and was trying to get us to wrap it up, said, "I'm staying around for a question like that?"

He went on: "We do have a noise ordinance and a public disturbance ordinance. I'm sure we have some rule that covers chickens."

Actually we do -- the Laura Miller Memorial Anti-Rooster Law. You can have chickens but not roosters inside the city limits. So, way to go, Rawlings: You just outted your neighbors. They can expect the City of Dallas Anti-Rooster SWAT Team any day now.

Chicken-keeping. It actually tells you quite a lot about a guy.

Listen below.
The Mayoral Candidates on Urban Chickens

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40 comments
Mister_Mean
Mister_Mean

They (the city) seldom enforces the noise ordinances. In fact when I have called the police (numerous times) to complain about construction noise when I am trying to sleep in the morning I get little results. After all as one city employee told me "Dallas is owned by developers". and by gosh we can't hold those developers to ANY standards because that would hamper the high tax values that come with their shoddy products.

stupidisasstupiddoes
stupidisasstupiddoes

You're an idiot. Are you really advocating for career politicians? TLep and LaMiller are totally different but here you cast them as the same because of their one terms? You know what I'm sick of? People sitting in the State House and the Senate for five and six decades. Yeah, we really need more of that at the local level.

Oak Cliff Res
Oak Cliff Res

I just love how Kunkle had the perfect answer for that question... way to tip him off Jim and coached very nice by the black widow herself, the lady who was responsible for the ordinance, the wife of Kunkles campaign treasurer and the exwriter of the Observer Laura Miller. A vote for Kunkle is a vote for Miller. And to the person that thought she was a good Mayor I guess love strong Mayor forms of government and hate the Cowboys. You can tell you truly suck at a job when u leave after 1 elected term (Miller and Leppert). And Kunkle is already talking about only running 1 term...

Jerome Weeks
Jerome Weeks

I lived near chickens in Austin. And roosters. In fact, they were next door. I, too, thought they were 'quaint' when I first moved in and heard them. Sorry, Jim, but now I'm with Mayor Miller. That stuff about roosters crowing at sunrise? Don't know how anyone could tell. They crowed all the damned time, except, maybe, between 11:45 pm and 11:48 pm. About as loud and as annoying as cats fighting but cats generally don't fight all day long and most of the night. It was caw, crow, yelp, squawk, squawl, shriek, yowl. Pretty unnerving. Didn't get used to it. Sounded like a starter motor going bad and a marching band tuning up.

Judd D. Bradbury
Judd D. Bradbury

Chicken keeping for the soul? I can confirm that there is a rooster in Preston Hollow. It lives on Deloache. I think Schutze chickens are coming home to roost on that pro-tax policy. Schutze chickens should be eaten. Quick somebody call Popeye's!

Phelps
Phelps

I never realized that the reason Laura Miller had such a hard on for getting rid of chickens in Dallas was just to piss off Mrs. Jim Schutze.

dertymindz
dertymindz

Natinsky and Okpa sound like chicken shits.

Bill Holston
Bill Holston

I hear roosters every morning in Casa View. I find it charming actually. Now, when my next door neighbor had two calves, I didn't much care for that. Flies and all. I'll never forget the amount of effort it took the city to get involved. They kept asking where I lived and that it was legal. I read the city code to them. Finally I drove to city hall and showed up at my counsel person's office. Soon the cows were gone.

MattL1
MattL1

You two should be hired to moderate all presidential and vice-presidential debates. We might finally get the candidates on some questions that they weren't expecting. Lord knows how Trump would answer the dreaded "chicken question."

TimCov
TimCov

Well, I go bike riding around several neighborhoods early in the morning on weekends. I sometimes hear a rooster crow, but it does not bother me. I think it all depends on the number of birds and how they are cared for. At least the Dallas ordinance is not as strict as Garland's. In Garland you are only allowed 2 females of any barnyard variety, unless your property is zoned agricultural.

Pat Boyack
Pat Boyack

Ah yes, the "Laura Miller Memorial Anti-Rooster Law". Her biggest accomplishment in city government.

ping pong
ping pong

dallas = developers

usa = conglomerates

class dismissed!! gosh, i'm tired. think it's nappy time.......................

Oak Cliff Res
Oak Cliff Res

Where did I advocate for career politicians? Miller was on the Council from 1999-2003 (6 years). If she was all about serving her district then she would have stayed for a final term, but she didn't. She aspired a higher office (Mayor). SHE wanted to be that career politician, but she sucked at it which is why she didn't run again. If it ain't broke don't fix it... Tell me what President has not been great in his first term and not ran for re-election??? Either you completely suck at it and you know you can't get re-elected or you claim that "you've done what you came to do" (Tom Leppert) which was make Turner Construction and his good ole boys rich and then run for a higher office (thus trying to be a career politician). Too bad they are not good enough for the job. Nothing wrong with career politicians if they are doing there job right... And way to go overboard with 5 and six decades, I'm simply talking about two four year terms that they both backed out on... So you are the actual idiot here.

JimS
JimS

Yeah, but it took SO MANY rehearsals. The director almost walked off the job. He kept saying, "Mr. Kunkle, the linbe is 'urban chicks,' not 'urban chickens.' Urban chickens is not funny." And Kunkle kept saying, "I find 'urban chickens' to be more amusing than 'urban chicks,' possibly even as much as 20 percent more amusing." Oh my God. Then they couldn't get my make-up right. If I had any idea how much work it was to be on the inside, I would never have agreed. And of course, we had to keep Wilonsky in the dark. That's jot so hard, though. Every time he asks a question, you just say, "Blog. Blog. Blog." He runs off and starts blogging. I'm exhausted.

ping pong
ping pong

christ, this is turning into an episode of seinfeld....

leave the truthteller alone
leave the truthteller alone

Still touchy on the racism front, it seems.Do not worry- no one but me notes, or cares. And I just think your silly.

ping pong
ping pong

yeah, i guess miller was just dallas' version of ms. garrison, huh?

Snookie Pie
Snookie Pie

Laura Miller did NOT get rid of Chickens.

She got rid of roosters.

There's a big difference.

And, the only reason she got rid of them was to eliminate the illegal cock fighting occuring in parts of the City.

Stop twisting everything to blame Laura Miller. She was actually a very good Mayor.

JimS
JimS

You can actually get City Hall to give you whatever you want if you just show up covered with fresh cow shit.

Guest
Guest

I think he keeps one on his head to keep it warm

ping pong
ping pong

yep, that's definitely what should happen, matt. kudos.

ping pong
ping pong

nah, that would've been keeping the cowboys outta dallas...

Oak Cliff Res
Oak Cliff Res

Jim I've always tried to call you out on posts here and I've always thought you just for some reason never read what I had to say to ever respond, but I'm glad you finally did... First I'm glad that you had on make-up at the GLBT Forum. Yes the entire event was staged for Kunkle to come out on top, and yes I said it. First, why does the North Texas GLBT Chamber have a forum a month after the Stonewall Democrats already made their endorsment? And although I didn't go to the forum the only three questions worthy of making the observer was how did they vote on the constitution amendment 5 years ago, banning political consultants from lobbying at City Hall (which is easy for Kunkle because he has a conflict of interest anyway with his wife) and freaking chicken/rooster ordinances??? Because chickens and what political consultants do are the most important thing to the chamber??? Either it was a set up for Kunkle which the event just so happened to be moderated by a guy that praises Kunkle for everything he does and everytime he talks about Rawlings puts up a picture of him from 1970 with a mustache (like that's really funny) or the event was a waste of time. And although I'm not a Natinsky supporter he was right for saying "I'm staying around for a question like that". A quote unquote "unscripted question" from Schutze, that yes indeed Kunkle was already scripted with the perfect answer...

Phelps
Phelps

Laura Miller succeeded in getting rid of roosters. She tried to get rid of chickens.

Pat Boyack
Pat Boyack

"And, the only reason she got rid of them was to eliminate the illegal cock fighting occuring in parts of the City."

LMAO What bullshit. No, she did it because her fellow Oak Cliffers bitched about them.

ping pong
ping pong

medicine has come a long way. but then again, so have virginia slims...

ping pong
ping pong

liquified macrobiotic bovine wash..

Coleman
Coleman

...does it have to be cow shit, or...?

dertymindz
dertymindz

Organic or regular cowpies? I'm asking because i've got a few unruly neighbors i'd like dealt with.

DoubleOJoe
DoubleOJoe

He tried that, but the fox kept killing them.

engmofo
engmofo

I think someone has forgotten to take their meds

Is there an unlike button on here so I don't have to read anymore of this bollocks?

G_David
G_David

And that's obviously the last time Jim will ever respond to your long-winded, nonsensical rants.

ping pong
ping pong

nope, it can definitely be your own. and then expect to be whisked away on an all expenses paid vacation to a padded (or unpadded, economy and all) cell of your very own for god knows how long! comprende??

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