Dallas City Council Candidate McGough Being Investigated by Highland Park ISD

Categories: Campaign News

Dallas Media Center via Youtube
Adam McGough
If not for Adam McGough's residency issues, the race to replace Jerry Allen in District 10 would be, far and away, the most boring bout on the 2015 Dallas City Council card. McGough and his opponent Paul Reyes are both longtime political operators. McGough was Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings chief of staff until earlier this year, and Reyes is the longtime general counsel for Associa, former state Senator John Carona's real estate company, and it shows. See if you can watch the first 20 minutes of this video of Reyes and McGough at a candidate's forum without falling asleep; the salient issue of the 2015 campaign, the Trinity toll road, isn't mentioned once.

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Can Trinity Toll Road Hatred Help Progressive Dallas Pols Build a Coalition of Sanity?

Scott Griggs, Adam Medrano and Philip Kingston -- if they're going to join forces, they'll need better T-shirts than that.
Don't call what's being built here a "slate." In Dallas politics, "slate" is a bad word, thanks to decades of domination by the old guard Citizens Council that still leave a bitter taste, and lingering memories of the battle to put power into independent single-member council districts. But with six council seats up for grabs this May - and more interest than usual in the races because this election could finally drive a stake in the Trinity toll road's heart - incumbent Philip Kingston sees a chance to bring something new to the council table: real, honest-to-God open debate about new ideas beyond toll roads.

It only sort of looks like slate-building.

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Here's Written Proof Mike Rawlings Can Keep All Those Big Political Contributions

City of Dallas and PhotoFunia.com
Money Mike's train to keep rolling.
Last week, Schutze told you about an interpretation of the city's election rules that allows any incumbent to receive unlimited donations, regardless of the city's $5,000 limit on campaign contributions from individuals. Money going to something called an officeholder account are not bound by the $5,000 rule, and can be spent on campaign expenses, Brylon Franklin, Dallas' election manager, told Jim. Marcos Ronquillo, who's running against the mayor this spring, challenged Franklin's interpretation of the rules and demanded that Rawlings return any excess contributions.

See also: Well-Heeled Donors Flood Mayor Rawlings with Money. Hey, You Know What Else Floods?

Friday evening, Dallas City Attorney Warren Ernst issued an official opinion on the subject to the council and the mayor. His memo confirms what Franklin said: As long as the person being contributed to has already been elected, donors can shovel all the money they can carry into that officeholders' slush fund officeholder account.

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Dallas City Council Candidate Sam Merten Explains the $10K He Got From the Mayor

Sam Merten for District 9 via Facebook
First there was the heavy smoke that enveloped the City Council campaign of Adam McGough, Mike Rawlings former chief of staff. Now, a $10,000 contribution given from the mayor's campaign fund to another former staffer running for council, Sam Merten, is raising questions.

See also: Dallas City Council Candidate Answers Residency Questions, Creates More

Given that Dallas' arcane election laws allow the mayor to do pretty much whatever he wants with campaign cash, the allegations against Merten -- which have popped up primarily in comment sections and social media -- center on whether he violated the city's ethics code by taking the money.

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Rawlings Has Been on Expensive Dates with Dale Hansen and Robert Wilonsky, but Not Us

Categories: Campaign News

Sam Merten
Mayor Mike Rawlings, with someone who isn't us.
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings recently released his semiannual campaign finance report, detailing the money he's received for his re-election campaign and what he's doing with it. There are no smoking guns in the report, no examples of obvious corruption that everyone can feel righteously outraged about. Most disappointingly, there is no $10 billion donation from an imaginary PAC called Put Toll Roads Everywhere. The most interesting part of the report is the expense list. It reveals that Rawlings goes on a lot of overpriced meetings at fancy Dallas places with important people, including journalists.

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Surprise, Surprise. Mike Rawlings Is Running for Re-election

Dallas Observer
He's in.
Put aside any thoughts you had about the 2015 Dallas mayoral election being competitive. Mike Rawlings is running again.

Just before his annual "State of the City" speech Tuesday, Rawlings formally revealed to The Dallas Morning News the poorly kept secret that he'll be on the ballot in May.

He will face a much easier task in seeking a second four years than he did in 2011, when he overcame a crowded field and a runoff with former Dallas Police Chief David Kunkle to win his first term. Rawlings showed he was a formidable fundraiser in that race, collecting $1.5 million, more than three times as much cash as anyone else in the race.

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Rep. Rafael Anchia Just Released a Trinity Toll Road Survey. Why?

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Trinity River Toll Road.jpg
City of Dallas
We get to vote on it again! Sort of.
Just two days after winning his unopposed re-election bid, state Representative Rafael Anchia has released a survey to gauge Dallas residents' opinion of the proposed Trinity toll road.

The survey was quickly pushed out on social media by opponents of the toll road such as City Council member Scott Griggs, who says it's good that people's voices will again be heard on the issue.

"This is a vehicle for the NTTA [North Texas Tollway Authority] to hear from the citizens of Dallas and the people who will be impacted by the toll road. I think it's wonderful that Rafael Anchia, our representative, is facilitating this communication," he said. "I'm concerned that there's been a disconnect between the NTTA and the people, and they need to know that people do not support this road."

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GOP Candidate Tony Tinderholt Says He Didn't Catch Illegal Immigrants. He Just Learned about Them, Called Border Patrol

Categories: Campaign News

On Saturday, when the other, more ordinary candidates for the Texas House of Representatives were probably making campaign calls or hanging out with their lame families, Arlington Republican Tony Tinderholt appeared to be on a bolder mission.

Dressed in camouflage gear, Tinderholt posed for three photographs posted to Facebook Saturday night under the caption, "On patrol, catching illegal immigrants tonight!"

He was on a private ranch, he tells Unfair Park, with Texas Border Volunteers, a group that takes a D.I.Y approach to fighting illegal immigration. But he realized after he arrived there would be no actual "catching" involved.

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Dallas County Judge Candidate Has Two DWIs, Two Nicknames and a Rock-Hard Bod

Categories: Campaign News

A Facebook photo from Jackson's since-deleted profile.
If Fred Jackson wins his bid for Justice of the Peace in the upcoming Democratic Primary, lawbreakers should prepare to face a man packing a hard, award-winning body under his judicial robe.

Here are other things they should prepare for: a DWI conviction when he was a cop in which he crashed into five parked cars; allegations that he beat up a student and slept on the job when he worked school security; and his various nicknames, which include Incredible Hulk.

Jackson, 32, is running for Justice of the Peace in Precinct 4, Place 2, a Dallas County court that deals with eviction cases, tow hearings and various Class C offenses from its Irving location. Voting results so far show he has a decent chance of winning. He got 4,000 votes in the March primary, giving him 32 percent of the votes cast in his race. The incumbent and first-place winner, Judge Katy Hubener, beat him by just 432 votes. They face each other again in the runoff election May 27.

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Judge Etta Mullin Has Been Thrifty with County's Money, But Attorneys Say It Comes at a Price

Categories: Campaign News

When a few Dallas cops arrested a woman hanging out in the 4300 block of Colonial Avenue last year, it seemed obvious they weren't catching a criminal who had a ton of money.

Officers Charles Moreland and Clayton Edwards were working undercover on March 28 when they came across Amber Buford. Moreland and Buford got into a conversation. The conversation moved fast, at least according to an arrest report: "During the conversation the suspect knowingly: agreed to sexual conduct sexual intercourse with said officer for a fee paid: directly to the suspect by the officer."

The officers arrested Buford on a prostitution charge. But that wasn't the end of her troubles. Buford's case ended up in the courtroom of County Judge Etta J. Mullin, who has built a reputation on being the thriftiest judge in Dallas County. She is up for re-election in the Democratic primary on Tuesday.

Mullin is what critics call "a bill collector instead of a judge," in the words of Lisa Green, one of the two Democrats running against Mullin.

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