City Hall

Dwaine Caraway Probably Violated Ethics Rules, Definitely Thought About Running For Governor

Last week, Dwaine Caraway sent us a little pre-Thanksgiving note. It read, in full:

We are pleased to invite you to the District Four Community Celebration, on Monday, December 3 from 10am-2pm. The event will be held in the 6th Floor Flag Room at Dallas City Hall.

Hosted by Councilman Dwaine Caraway, the event will look at six years of progress "One Block at a Time."

There will be free food, music, and exciting news about the current renaissance happening in our community. We look forward to seeing you there!

Throw in free beer and we totally would have been there. As it was, we didn't see much reason to be. What we weren't factoring in was that this get-together was being hosted by Dwaine Caraway, who can't not be entertaining, in one way or another.

The Morning News' Rudy Bush had the foresight to be there and found that the event looked very little like a "community celebration" and very much like a political rally.

Speakers, including former Dallas ISD board member Ron Price, called for Caraway's return to office.

A video montage of Caraway's many appearances on the news, introduced by former council member Diane Ragsdale, played for the crowd.

And not one, not two, but three DISD schools sent kids to sing or play drums to entertain the crowd.

That could be a problem, because political events aren't allowed in the flag room. But Dwaine Caraway's only been on the council for six years, you might be thinking. He probably just didn't know the rules.

Au contraire.

"So that all you will know, they are waiting on me to make my political announcement, but they say I can't make it here in the flag room because then I would be breaking up the ethics stuff or whatever," he said. "So I'm not going to -- y'all know I'm going to be here in '15 and beyond, so that ought to take care of that."

You can puzzle over what that means. Is Caraway going take all those flags and build a fort and live in the flag room for the next three years, emerging only to buy provisions at the vending machine and crawl down to the horseshoe? Will there be a Mayor Caraway Part Deux after he's term limited in 2015? We can only hope.

But Bush really buries the lede here. So what if Caraway openly flaunted the city's ethics rules? Those are enforced by the Ethics Advisory Commission, which meets periodically to review complaints about council members, mostly filed by Sandra Crenshaw and Richard Sheridan, and has found wrongdoing in roughly two cases in its 12-year existence. Caraway will suffer no ill effects, politically or otherwise.

What's more interesting is what Caraway said a bit later. "I have considered other things. I even considered running for governor, I want y'all to know that," he said, according to Bush. "That wasn't good enough."

Caraway didn't delve into why he thought about running for governor, just that he considered it. Presumably he recognized that the sagging epidemic is not confined to Dallas and that his crusade might be more successful if he had a larger megaphone. Perry certainly hasn't given the issue the attention it deserves.

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Eric Nicholson
Contact: Eric Nicholson