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Making Dallas Even Better

The Convention Center That Ate Dallas

A couple of weeks ago, after reading that the taxpayer-funded Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau apparently wanted to lend us the letter “D” from their “DALLAS” logo to replace the City of Dallas’ existing letter “D” logo, I got to thinking once again about the outsized influence the DCVB wields over municipal affairs.

Late last year, after Philip Jones, the DCVB’s president, tossed out a plan to have taxpayers pay for a $300 million addition to the convention center, I took a look into the finances and found that it lost $37 million per year before debt service and $54 million after interest expense — amounts that were virtually identical to its losses prior to the opening of the half-billion-dollar city-owned Omni Convention Center Hotel in 2010 (one of the primary justifications for building the hotel was that it would drive more business to the convention center and stop its losses). Some of the most interesting observations, however, came from reader comments to my post. Former city council member and the executive director of the Dallas Arts District, Veletta Lill, made the following observations:

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Update: I’ve Updated the Mike Rawlings Venn Diagram Again

Earlier today, when writing about a claim mayoral candidate Marcos Ronquillo made regarding Mayor Mike Rawlings’ campaign war chest, I had occasion to update the Venn diagram I made a few years ago, in order to keep straight all the different Mike Rawlingses. In the comments, a reader astutely noted I had left off one of the most notable Mikes: Regional Mike. I’ve made the appropriate changes.

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Marcos Ronquillo Questions Mayor Rawlings’ Campaign Contributions

Mayoral candidate Marcos Ronquillo is claiming that Mayor Mike Rawlings violated Chapter 15A-2 of city election law (which, as you all know, pertains to the campaign contribution limit). Because of this, he wants the mayor to return almost $100,000 in donations from a list of folks that reads like the Dallas Social Directory: Ray Hunt, Robert Rowling, Erle Nye, Ruth Altshuler, Bobby Lyle, John Scovell, Rusty Rose, Marguerite Hoffman, Brint Ryan, Boone Pickens, and Barry Andrews, to name a few.

Here is a full list: Rawlings Contributions

A release from the Ronquillo campaign says that Dallas elections manager Brylon Franklin “has suggested … that a loophole may exist that would allow Mayor Rawlings to accept unlimited campaign contributions since he is now an ‘officeholder’ and not a ‘candidate.'”

This brings up two things:

1) Marcos Ronquillo might be more willing to attack the mayor than he has previously suggested, and

2) We now have to update our Mike Rawlings Venn diagram

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