UPDATE (11:44) I was away from my desk and missed Kleinman’s return call. The endorsement has been removed from his site. Here’s what he wrote to me:
I can’t speak specifically to the letter since they sent it to you not me. My 2013 campaign site had their logo removed last year, and the site has been scrubbed for any other references to the fact that they endorsed me in 2013 and 2015.
I may still be eligible for an endorsement if I agree to bail out their failed pension with $3 billion in taxpayer funds.
ORIGINAL POST: Last summer, I wrote about a dustup between Councilman Lee Kleinman and the Dallas Police Association. The two sides have not made up since. This morning comes a press release and a demand letter sent from the Dallas Police and Fire Fighters associations. The release you can read for yourself, below. Money quote from Mike Mata, head of the DPA: “The city of Dallas is a far more dangerous place under the leadership of Lee Kleinman.” And here’s the demand letter.
The upshot: once upon a time, Kleinman had the endorsement of the two associations. But they withdrew that endorsement, something the groups say they haven’t done in 59 years. They say they’ve asked Kleinman repeatedly to remove the endorsement from his website; as of 10:04 this morning, it was still there. Maybe it’s just a tech thing. Perhaps Kleinman has misplaced the password to his WordPress account. I left a voicemail seeking comment, and I’ll update this post if Kleinman calls back.
Attorney For Dallas Police & Fire Fighters Associations Sends Letter To Lee Kleinman Demanding Removal Of Past Endorsement From His Campaign Website
Dallas Councilman Is Accused Of Ignoring Texas’ Code Of Fair Campaign Practices
DALLAS, TX – February 16, 2017 – The Dallas Police Association (DPA) and the Dallas Fire Fighters Association (DFFA) are accusing Dallas City Councilman Lee Kleinman of ignoring the Code of Fair Campaign Practices in the Texas Election Code. The rules were put into place to promote honesty and transparency in political campaigns. At issue is Kleinman falsely claiming on his website to have the support of these public safety organizations.
After endorsing Kleinman in 2015, in August of 2016 both DPA and DFFA informed him multiple times via electronic and verbal correspondence that they would not be supporting his reelection campaign in 2017. This was the first time in its 59-year history that DPA has yanked their endorsement of a sitting Dallas Councilmember. As of Wednesday, February 15, the endorsements of both organizations were still promoted on his endorsement list. See attached for a screen shot of his campaign website.
The decision to pull their support was made after Dallas police officers and firefighters were kicked out of a scheduled meeting with Lee Kleinman when the North Dallas Councilmember told them he only meets with lobbyists. His actions came just a few weeks after 5 law enforcement officers were killed by a sniper in a downtown Dallas ambush.
A letter sent to Kleinman yesterday by the law firm of Lyon, Gorsky & Gilbert , L.L.P., demands the immediate removal of any and all claims of an endorsement by DPA and DFFA in his campaign materials including direct mail, press releases, billboards, websites, social media and all other forms of advertising or campaign communications. A copy of the letter is attached.
“Councilman Kleinman has shown nothing but arrogance and contempt for the men and woman of the Dallas Police Department,” said Mike Mata, President of the Dallas Police Association. “While violent crime is increasing, he has revealed a reckless disregard for the safety of the families living in his district by refusing to support policies that will protect our city. For these reasons we had no choice but to rescind our previous endorsement of his campaign. The city of Dallas is a far more dangerous place under the leadership of Lee Kleinman.”