Dallas Mayoral Candidate Admits Involvement With "666" Graffiti, Still Has Debate Plans

Categories: Campaign News

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Joe Tone
Thanks for the warning, Richard!
Richard Sheridan, the perennial gadfly candidate accused of painting "666" on a number of local buildings and landmarks, is out of jail. He was released at 7 a.m. Sunday, he says, but not before he was able to persuade 10 people inside to vote for him in May 9's mayoral election if they get out in time.

Twelve buildings, most associated with Dallas' LGBTQ community or the media -- including the Observer -- were tagged with "666" on June 28. Sheridan is the only suspected to have been identified and has been interviewed by the police three times, he says. The last of those interviews, according to Sheridan, happened in August or September last year, so he was surprised when he was arrested and charged with two of the taggings -- of Cathedral of Hope and the "Legacy of Love" monument in Oak Lawn -- on Friday.

"Everything's going good, you know what I'm saying? Then six, six police officers showed up. Six! I got my dirty sweat pants and shirt on, just getting ready to take a shower. I had to go to the bathroom both ways, and six of them are out there. Right away, cuffs. I told [the cops] 'Can't I get dressed or whatever?' 'No.' 'Can't I go to the bathroom, I gotta go both ways, there could be an accident?' 'You have to wait until you get down there.' So they picked me up at one [p.m. on Friday] and I just got out at seven [Sunday morning]."

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Cullen Davis' Brother Forms the World's Saddest Republican SuperPAC

Mike Licht/Flickr
Fort Worth oil heir Kenneth W. Davis Jr. is 89-years-old but continues to work every day as chairman of the Great Western Drilling Co. Impressive. Not too long ago, Davis decided to try something new: politics. The successful oilman cites unspecified "trouble" as his motivation to become political. "I never was involved in politics until I started wondering why we were having so much trouble," Davis told McClatchy News in November. "I saw what our federal debt was and that got me interested." Davis formed a SuperPAC, aptly titled Vote2ReduceDebt.

A really old, apolitical rich Texas oil guy suddenly wants to be involved in politics and starts a SuperPAC with a vague name? Sounds like just the recipe for shady, shadowy corporate politicking. Davis' Vote2ReduceDebt was clearly meant to be one of those big, evil and powerful SuperPACs that funnel secret money everywhere. But in the end, it turned out to be just a pathetic, wannabe-evil SuperPAC that you just sort of feel sorry for.

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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?

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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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