Web ads calling Dallas City Council District 14 incumbent Philip Kingston “demeaning,” “insulting” and “disrespectful,” accompanied by quotes from the councilman, recently began popping up on sites like the Dallas Morning News. These are the kinds of “sticky” web ads that follow viewers to other sites, and they link to a website with the url disturbingtruthaboutphilip.com — all paid for by For Our Community.
“For Our Community” is a political committee (better known as a PAC) that was established before either Kim Welch or Matt Wood tossed their hats into the ring to run against Kingston, who represents portions of East Dallas, in the May 6 election.
For Our Community is not just a PAC but a Super PAC in the same category as Coalition for a New Dallas, which is behind the push to demolish I-345 and transform the surrounding area into a viable neighborhood. Neither has any limits on fundraising or spending, and both have a history of involving themselves in Dallas City Council races.
For Our Community is run by Mayor Mike Rawlings’ chief political consultant and, at least during the 2015 election cycle, was “a response to the efforts of Trinity toll road opponents.” The Mayor supports the tollroad; Kingston opposes it. Welch doesn’t take a tollroad stance on his campaign website; Wood has come out against a “high-speed freeway” within the levees but supports a “meandering road” if the city needs it.
The state doesn’t require candidates or PACs to file campaign finance reports until 30 days prior to the election, so we don’t know how For Our Community is spending its money, or how much of the $185,000 it has spent. We do know, however, that the money came from 11 Dallas contributors with deep pockets, all of whom gave at least $5,000. Several gave as much as $25,000.
Kingston, for his part, had $61,000 as of Jan. 15, $32,000 of it collected in the final six months of 2016. The amount suggests that he was preparing for competition. (In comparison, Kingston had nearly $18,000 going into the May 2015 election, in which he didn’t draw an opponent.)
We have a call into Wood, whose campaign motto is “positive change,” about his take on the attack ads.
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