As the city council continues to discuss ethics reform in the aftermath of 23 guilty verdicts in the Dallas City Hall corruption trial, we thought it would be worthwhile to take a gander at the money that consultants and lobbyists are already required to report. Because Carol Reed's name came up in the trial (to the tune of $100,000 while securing votes of the white folks on the council for developer Bill Fisher), we decided to comb recent campaign finance reports for her combined take in Tom Leppert's mayoral campaign, along with the Trinity River toll road and convention center hotel referendums. We also looked at the committee formed to help repay Leppert's personal loans of $950,000 from his campaign called Friends of Tom Leppert. (Thus far, Leppert has been reimbursed $78,000.)
We logged the expenditures into an Excel spreadsheet, and just for fun, we included payments to Allyn Media, Kathy Nealy, Brenda Reyes and Willis Johnson. Allyn Media and president Mari Woodlief led the way with a whopping $3.6 million, with $2.4 million spent on advertising, $570,000 on direct mail and $145,000 on consulting. Reed brought in nearly $540,000 ($457,000 on consulting); Reyes, who replaced John Loza on the DFW Airport board because of his stance on the Trinity, has earned $237,000 through her company, Arriba Solutions; Nealy raked in slightly more than $200,000 for her work on the hotel campaign; and Johnson, a radio personality and Leppert's gateway into South Dallas, brings in the rear at $145,000 through his company, JBJ Marketing.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.