This Ain't Detroit: Ron Natinsky Goes After Mike Rawlings For His Union Endorsements

Categories: Campaign News
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Via.
Speaking of...too early? No. Never.
It'll be a shame to see this mayoral campaign season come to an end a week from Saturday now that it's getting so...campaigny. Take, for instance, this email that just arrived in the in-box with the all-caps subject header: "RAWLINGS PLEDGES TO SUPPORT THE RIGHTS OF WORKERS TO JOIN UNIONS AND NEGOTIATE WORKING CONDITIONS." It actually came from Ron Natinsky's campaign, which says if you go over to Rawlings' site, you'll note he's been endorsed by both the Service Employees International Union and Workers United.

According to Natinsky's campaign, the candidates were asked by the unions to fill out the SEIU/Workers United Questionnaire before meeting with the groups on April 16. The questionnaire, which follows in full, features at the very top a "Candidate Statement," which reads, in part:
I affirmatively seek the endorsement of SEIU COPE. In seeking this endorsement, I pledge to support the rights of workers to join a Union and negotiate about working conditions.
Natinsky's spokesperson, Becky Mayad, tells Unfair Park this morning the council member never "even considered" signing the statement because of the pledge. But since Rawlings got the endorsement, well, surely he signed it. And even if he didn't, well, the endorsement alone is plenty troubling, as far as Natinsky's concerned. Here's his statement in full:
Apparently Mr. Rawlings wants to turn Dallas into a union town like Chicago or Detroit. When SEIU sent out this candidate questionnaire, it stated that "In seeking this endorsement, I pledge to support the rights of workers to join a Union and negotiate about working conditions."

This was a pledge I could not make, and I did not seek their endorsement.

If this pledge is pursued, unionization will keep companies from relocating to Dallas, stifle job creation, cause our taxes to increase to pay for these new benefits, not to mention the fraud and abuse that is inherent in other cities that are unionized. Mr. Rawling's [sic] liberal ideas about how to lead our city run counter to the beliefs of the average Dallas citizen and conflict with Texas' statute as a Right To Work state.
I'm trying to reach Rawlings now and will update accordingly. (Perhaps we'll catch him at his 10 a.m. press conference, where he'll receive the endorsement of Domingo Garcia and council member Steve Salazar.) Of course, Natinsky's been endorsed by a union as well: The Dallas Police Association, which signed off on the council member without even meeting with the other candidates.

Update at 9:35 a.m.: Rawlings just called to respond to Natinsky's statement and says he absolutely signed it for reasons that follow, then went on to call Natinsky's release nothing more than a "smokescreen." He also pointed out: "Tom Leppert also signed this pledge and got the endorsement of this union, and I don't think Tom Leppert wanted to turn Dallas into Chicago or Detroit." Much more on the other side.

When asked if he signed the doc below, Rawlings said he sure did. Why?

"Because these are sanitation workers, a lot of them, and just like our police force and firefighters, these are great people," he said. "I don't understand how this is any different than [Natinsky] being endorsed by the police unions. It's just a smokescreen. The money he's got he's using to send press releases to you guys.

"It's also important to keep in mind that Tom Leppert also signed this pledge. He got the endorsement of this union, and i don't think Tom Leppert wanted to turn Dallas in to Chicago or Detroit. And if he did Natinsky should say right now, publicly, that Tom Leppert wanted to turn Dallas into Chicago or Detroit, and if he does say that, then at least the guy's consistent. And if he rejects those police unions' endorsements, then at least he's consistent. He's not accurate, but at least he's consistent."

Rawlings pointed to Natinsky having been endorsed -- "proudly, proudly, proudly" -- by the Dallas Firefighters Association, the Dallas Police Association and the Dallas Retired Fire Fighters Association.

"It's clear he's just behind the eight ball," Rawlings said, "and trying to divert attention from the stories about he and Mr. [Dwaine] Caraway and their attempts to weaken the code of ethics people are upset about."
SEIU Dallas_Questionnaire_City_Council Final SP (2)

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22 comments
AvisR
AvisR

Leppert never signed that pledge. That's why they can't find record of it.

To quote Ronald Reagan "they endorsed me, we didn't endorse them." Tom is a proven business leader who has served on the board of the US Chamber of Commerce and as Chairman of the Dallas Chamber of Commerce. Anyone who thinks he's a union stooge or an advocate for the labor movement is truly off their rocker.

Politico
Politico

I believe whole heartedly that it is Natinsky and Carried-Away that are behind the changes to the ethics code. If so, what scum-bags!!! Mr. Natinsky, your political career is coming to an end!!!

Snookie Pie
Snookie Pie

Robert, the campaign for mayor will not end next Saturday.There will be there the nitty-gritty, real mud-slinging, fun run-off. Can't wait!

Salladdays
Salladdays

What amazes me is that the DGLA (Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance) endorsed this Natinsky creep. Justice, whether for workers or members of the LGBT community, has always been about organizing as an oppressed group and fighting for your rights. It seems inconsistent to me that any progressive person would want anything to do with Natinsky after this callous pot shot. Clearly Natinsky is on his last gasp.

LaceyB
LaceyB

Chicago is a great city. And, teachers could have used a strong union and a cheerleading leader, like a mayor, when the firing squad came out. They also have effective transportation, even during winter! I'm up to see Dallas become Chicago anyday!

Whoever gets this mayor job is gonna sell his soul to the pockets who funded him, not promises. That's what real politicians do. Forget the people and their desires. Wise up.

claytonauger
claytonauger

Amazing. Is this vitriol toward working folks supposed to invigorate the Tea Party faction that's out there just waiting to turn the tide for Natinsky? Fail.

scottindallas
scottindallas

I gotta say that Staubach add is effective. Rawlings seems to have this in the bag. Any recent poll numbers?

Heywooud U. Buzzoff
Heywooud U. Buzzoff

Natinsky -- making Dallas mayors look less bat%^#$ crazy since 2008!

Rosalinquintata
Rosalinquintata

It's kind of sad to think about Tom Leppert being gone as Mayor, and our options in the coming days. He got things done...I just hope whoever replaces him can rise above all this petty politicking and actually accomplish something.

BigDGirl
BigDGirl

Just when I thought I could not love MIke Rawlings any more, this hits. What a great (and hilarious) response. LOVE IT! Election Day can't get here fast enough.

Oak Cliff Res
Oak Cliff Res

Tell the fat lady to start tunning up... This race is about to be over for Natinsky.... And Kunkle your next in the runoff.

Guest
Guest

All state pledge says to me is that Rawlings supports federal law when it comes to union organizing. Even in a right to work state, workers have the right to unionize and collectively bargain. Pledging to not violate the law seems like a no-brainer pledge.

Though, seeing as it does come on the heels of Natinsky, et al. voting to loosen the ethics regulations that were voted into place in the aftermath of a particular city council member repeatedly violating the law, I can see how Natinsky might think that the law is something that other people have to follow, not the mayor or city council.

I especially don't know why Natinsky thinks the mayor should intervene when private sector employees are negotiating with or trying to organize workers at private companies. That sounds like the sort of thing that the city government should stay out of. Not sure why Natinsky wants the city to intervene and prevent citizens from asserting their rights under the law.

(Public sector collective bargaining is illegal in Texas, so while we have public sector organizations that look like unions, they aren't out negotiating contracts, going on strike, etc. No matter who's mayor, that state law isn't going to change).

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

Natinsky is a real scoundrel.

Getitright
Getitright

The Dallas Police Association is NOT a union... that is a very important fact that I think you should correct. DPD is not allowed to unionize under the law... only "meet and confer"

SmokeEmOut
SmokeEmOut

And once again the short answer is : Ron Natinsky. Republican.

John_McKee
John_McKee

Negotiate about working conditions? That's terrible, how dare them!

Who Ray
Who Ray

So, Natinsky is OK with union organization when the employing entity is the City of Dallas.......Police are paid with taxpayer monies. But, he is against unionization of workers in the private sector. 'Sounds like he is talking out of both sides of his mouth..........AGAIN!

TimCov
TimCov

How idiotic. I don't know of anyone who fully objects to people being able to join unions and to negotiate a contract. But, with state law, the employer has the right to also say no, and hire someone else who will do the job under their own terms.

Who Ray
Who Ray

I've got three words for ya'.........Turner Construction Company. Check it out! Turner is the largest "union" general contractor in the US, and Leppert was CEO when he was there.

Guest
Guest

I don't know. One thing you've seen in the past in Chicago that you'd sure never see in Dallas is a corrupt city councilman or other elected official.

And, in Chicago, they'd probably do something like sneak in a vote to loosen ethics rules so as to let elected officials take money from people who have business before the council that would never happen in a city like Dallas.

And you have all that socialist stuff in Chicago like using taxpayer money to build hotels (I don't know if they've done that, but it sounds like something they would do) that would never, ever happen in a capitalist paradise like Dallas.

And those folks up there in Chicago probably waste money on giant civic projects that the city doesn't want or need and can't really afford because "nobody remembers the little things they do". That sort of thing would NEVER happen in Dallas.

Who Ray
Who Ray

Surely you jest! Corrupt politicians? Yeah, we got em. Convention Center hotels built with taxpayer money. Yeah, we got em. Elaborate and expensive public works projects. Yeah, we got em. Hey, seems alot closer to Chicago than some might think.

LaceyB
LaceyB

100% true there, Suburban. For every Rod Blagojevich, there's a Tom Leppert. Then, what of a staller like Barack Obama, D-Illinois (who'll be re-elected, if only b/c of a well-timed SEAL-killing of one OBL)?

And, still no response to "my" Chi-Town's WORKING transportation system. So what, if the system has to be jiggered with (a little) to make it work. Is politics always honest? C'mon now!

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