Politics & Government

Push Polling Targets Philip Kingston in District 14

Using the popular Angela Hunt against her friend seems a curious strategy.

I’ve gotten word of a push poll being conducted in District 14, where Matt Wood is trying to unseat Philip Kingston. Comparing the memories of two people who’ve gotten the call, here’s how the line of “polling” questions appears to run:

1. If the election were held today, would you vote for Philip Kingston or Matt Wood?

2. After identifying Angela Hunt, it asks, Do you have a favorable opinion of Hunt?

3. Then comes the pushing. The poll says that Hunt hand-picked her successor on the Council, Kingston, and then became a lobbyist. It asks whether you think it’s ethical that she represents developers and uses her friendship with Kingston to get favors for her clients.

4. Do you still have a favorable opinion of Hunt?

5. Knowing this, do you still support Kingston?

Given that we know the super PAC called For Our Community, run by Allyn Media’s Mari Woodlief, was/is behind the attack campaign against Kingston, it’s natural to assume the same group is paying for the push poll. What I can’t figure out is why they would use Hunt as the lever to try to topple Kingston. I don’t pretend to be a District 14 insider, but my understanding is that Hunt is still pretty popular in those parts. I’ve left messages for Woodlief and will update this post if I hear from her. In the meantime, any and all speculation is welcome.

Comments

  • EricCeleste

    So many questions, but I’ll leave just one here: If your lawyer didn’t use her friendships to help you, wouldn’t you fire that lawyer? Isn’t that, like, half the reason you’re paying lawyers the crazy fees they ask?

    • Yes, yes, yes. But she HAND-PICKED her successor. Knowing that, do you still love America?

  • Mavdog

    How long will it take for a statement is given by Mr. Wood in which he tells everyone that he has no connection with this act, doesn’t support it and (in his best Captain Renault voice) says he is shocked – SHOCKED – that it is being done?

    • Melissa Kingston

      Technically, the statement will likely come from Mark Melton, since they don’t usually let Wood speak.

      • Mavdog

        BAM!

  • For those so inclined, you can look up Hunt’s lobbying activity at City Hall here:

    https://lobbyreg.dallascityhall.com/Search.aspx

  • dallasmay

    My bet for why they use Hunt is that they are just scratching for anything they can against Kingston. It’s tough trying to be a negative super-PAC when you’re campaigning against someone that doesn’t have a good real scandal to latch onto. Typical politicians are so much easier.

    • EricCeleste

      Not to get too deep into this, but I get what they’re trying to do. One way to run against Kingston is to take his penchant for fighting everyone and everything and highlight it, try to make it seem like that trait makes him someone who would rather pick fights than find solutions. The enormous problem with doing that is that a) he has also done a lot of stuff, stuff his district likes a lot (cite and release is one example of many), and b) East Dallas freaking loves someone who tells [insert generic bureaucratic bogeyman here] to go pound sand. So painting him as someone who is mean to the mayor is incredibly stupid, because that is on brand, folks. The only thing that might be more dumb than that in an effort to win District 14 would be to try slamming Angela Hunt.

      • EricCeleste

        And by “they,” I mean the super PAC.

      • dallasmay

        I agree with all of that with a slight modification:
        Most ED voters (as with voters in general) don’t like combative politicians. BUT, Kingston’s base does like his combative nature. Where this kind of negative campaign is going to hurt Wood is that negative campaigns drive down voter turn-out. Kingston’s base, while in the minority, is going to show up to vote and will vote for Kingston. Wood, by nature of being the challenger, has an uphill climb to get people to the polls to vote for him since he (as the challenger) doesn’t have a reliable built base.

        The negative campaign (not of Wood’s doing) is going to hurt his efforts to get the average person to the polls that he needs.

        • EricCeleste

          That’s a very smart analysis.

          • dallasmay

            Thanks. Further, this is why “Vote For Me because I’m not So-in-So” campaigns almost never work. Wood and FOC needs to explain why I should vote FOR him, not why I should vote against Kingston. The latter just makes me not want to vote at all.

          • topham

            I agree that Wood needs to explain why I should vote FOR him. I’m a Dist. 14 resident, and I thoroughly dislike Kingston’s manner. But I also very much like his pushback against the oligarchy (for want of a better word). Unless Wood shows reasons to vote for him, I’m inclined to hold my nose and go with Kingston. (BTW, I think D14 is highly mobilized and that turnout will be relatively strong no matter what.) One anti-Kingston issue that might gain traction in ED is a claim that he’s beholden to Uptown development interests, and the tie to Hunt’s lobbying activities might be an oblique way to get at that. If so, Wood or his supporters need to be more direct and specific.

          • Brenda Marks

            Your claim that he’s “beholden to Uptown development interests” is bollucks. His D14 constituents on the west side of 75 don’t think like his constituents on the east side. As someone who is involved on the neighborhood side of development issues in D14 (and has been involved in those issues since 2003), I’ve worked with Philip and his predecessor Angela on all of the big developments that have driven growth and density in Uptown Dallas and all corners of PD 193. Philip, just like Angela, has been very responsive to neighborhood input, wishes and desires. He has been completely transparent and never made a decision at the horseshoe that favored development interest at the expense of neighborhood interests.

          • topham

            Not my claim. I don’t know enough facts to make a claim. But it is a claim that’s being bandied about. If Wood can support it, it might affect the race.

          • Brenda Marks

            Its a false claim. To try to support it he’d need to name an actual development. At which point PK, myself and many others would say bullocks and cut off his you know whats. So I’m betting he won’t venture there.

        • Mavdog

          “combative politicians” are the soup du jour these days. “voters in general” do like them.
          The efforts by the PAC to picture Kingston in this manner is counterproductive in today’s environment IMHO.

  • Los_Politico

    Are they calling cell phones or just land lines? The old ladies with land lines might actually be receptive to this type of push polling (and they vote).

    • Brenda Marks

      Not this one.

  • Brenda Marks

    I got the call Monday night. And gave the caller an earful. Matt Wood’s chances of winning this race are about as good as my chances of winning the lottery. This is all about Mari and her clients (hello Mayor Rawlings) doing everything they can to drive up Kingston’s and Hunt’s negatives for future races.

  • Pol Pot

    The real problem is that no one is capable of pulling a true race card in D14. Much of East Dallas has been “gentrified”, “revitalized” or just plain ol’ “white washed.” Hunt started the process of eliminating zoning that allowed businesses such as Hinga’s to exist for decades. Kingston continues it. We used to throw people out of their businesses all the time back in Democratic Kampuchea in the mid 70’s, but history kind of frowned upon our (the Khmer Rouge) methods.

    I don’t really think there is any actual racism by Kingston or Hunt.

    But yeah, Kingston’s politics probably line up with Hunt’s. She did well in that area, why wouldn’t he? Does some pseudo-intellectual PAC really think that associating with the popular Hunt is going to hurt Kingston?

    –Brother Number One

    • Mavdog

      What? there were “businesses such as Hinga’s….in Democratic Kampuchea in the mid 70’s”???

      • Pol Pot

        Oh yeah, we had a bunch of Volvo’s we stole from the Vichey backed colonial government that we kicked out. But we decided that we couldn’t have mechanics near the prime real estate of Phnom Penh so we sent them to S21, probably not as nice as just changing zoning laws.

  • Diane Birdwell

    Ahhh, the Oligarchy still at it….