City Hall

Mike Rawlings Clobbers Ron Natinsky and David Kunkle in Mayoral Fund-Raising Effort

Former TracyLocke CEO Mike Rawlings easily outpaced the field of mayoral candidates by raising a whopping $1.03 million -- nearly three times the combined haul of Ron Natinksy and David Kunkle -- during the reporting period that ended April 4. Council member Natinsky reported $239,000 in donations, and ex-Dallas Police Chief Kunkle raised just $127,000. (Edward Okpa's campaign finance report was not filed online as of 8 a.m. this morning.)

[Update at 1:20 p.m.: Okpa raised $76,000 and has $24,000 left.]

Aided by a $250,000 personal loan, Natinsky has the most cash on hand with $342,000, while Rawlings has already spent more than $800,000, leaving him with $221,000 in the bank. Kunkle has a balance of $74,000, which includes a $5,000 personal loan and $5,000 loan from his wife and campaign volunteer, Sarah Dodd.

Rather than loaning his campaign dough, Rawlings, his wife and two grown children together donated $20,000 to his candidacy. He received a combined $10,000 from former Dallas Cowboys legend Roger Staubach and his wife, Cowboys COO Stephen Jones and his wife, beer distributors Barry and Lana Andrews and Albert Huddleston (who donated $100,000 to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth) and his wife Mary (granddaughter of deceased oil tycoon H.L. Hunt).

Rawlings also grabbed a total of $25,000 from Marshall Payne, his colleague at CIC Partners, and Payne's family, along with $20,000 from Randall Fojtasek (a former associate of Tom Hicks) and his family. Former PepsiCo chair and CEO Roger Enrico and his family combined to donate $15,000.

Others donating the maximum $5,000 include T. Boone Pickens, trial lawyer Lisa Blue Baron, Democratic fund-raiser Cappy McGarr, former Dallas Citizens Council chair Tom Dunning, political strategist-turned-filmmaker Rob Allyn and Al Hill Jr. (Margaret Hunt Hill's grandson). H. Ross Perot ($3,000), Tom Hicks ($2,500) and former Citizens Council chair Ron Steinhart ($1,000) are also among the dozens of influential and wealthy business leaders found on Rawlings's campaign finance report filed yesterday.

Natinsky received a sizable amount of contributions from area metal recyclers, including a total of $20,000 from the Okon family and $18,000 from the Goldberg family. Convention center hotel developer Jack Matthews ($4,000), Ebby Halliday ($2,500) and former council member Chris Luna ($1,500) are among the other notables donating to his campaign.

Kunkle's campaign received a boost from his appearance on Sportsradio 1310 The Ticket, during which he solicited donations of $13.10. He received a significant amount of contributions in that amount, along with several of $13.01 from those who missed the reference to the station's call sign. Kunkle's top contributors include $5,000 from former Highland Park Mayor John Hammack (who collapsed at Kunkle's retirement presser), $5,000 from Steve Wolens's campaign (Wolens is his campaign treasurer), $5,000 from Lisa Blue Baron, $2,000 from ex-Mayor Pro Tem Max Wells and $1,000 from former council member Mitchell Rasansky.

More than half of Rawlings's expenses were paid to consultant Mari Woodlief of Allyn Media, which received $472,000 -- $202,000 for television airtime. Rawlings also paid $145,000 to consultant Kathy Nealy, $20,000 to consultant Willis Johnson, $80,000 to Alpha Business Images (a company owned by Johnson's wife), $10,000 to Paula Blackmon (Tom Leppert's former deputy chief of staff), $10,754 to Democratic consultant Jeff Dalton and even $2,500 to Kurt Watkins (the cousin of Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins and son of City Secretary Deborah Watkins).

Natinsky paid former Leppert consultants Carol Reed ($60,000), Brenda Reyes ($12,000) and Becky Mayad ($10,000), while Kunkle paid $10,000 to Republican consultant C.P. Henry, $3,000 to former DART board member and consultant Joyce Foreman and $2,361 to Avi Adelman for website services.

The next filing date is May 6 when eight-day reports are due.

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Sam Merten
Contact: Sam Merten