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Meet the PAC that gave Dallas voters a strong push to approve a $1.25 billion bond package

The 2024 Dallas Bond Committee is made up of around 80 of the city's top companies, nonprofits, advocates and business leaders. The group spent the months leading up to the bond election urging Dallas voters to approve the entire $1.25 billion package. It raised close to $900,000 for the campaign, according to finance reports.
Nathan Collins
The 2024 Dallas Bond Committee is made up of around 80 of the city's top companies, nonprofits, advocates and business leaders. The group spent the months leading up to the bond election urging Dallas voters to approve the entire $1.25 billion package. It raised at least $800,000 for the campaign, according to the group's co-chair.

A political action committee spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in support of Dallas' $1.25 billion bond package, reaching out to potential voters with flyers and advertising — and organizing events where local leaders heaped on praise.

The group is called the 2024 Dallas Bond Campaign. It raised at least $800,000 leading up to the election and advocated for all ten bond propositions.

Some of Dallas’ biggest corporations, firms and nonprofit organizations are among its supporters and benefactors, including several companies that have worked on projects for the City of Dallas and collectively have been paid millions.

The PAC was specifically formed to support the $1.25 billion bond package, according to campaign finance reports obtained by KERA.

On the group’s website, there is no "Who we are" page. The PAC's leadership is not disclosed.

Many individuals and companies are listed on an "Endorsements" page, but there is no indication whether they have an active role in the PAC. One co-chair of the committee is listed on the endorsements page, but only his name. The name of the other co-chair is not on the endorsements list.

At the bottom of the web page, there is a disclosure: "POLITICAL AD PAID BY 2024 DALLAS BOND CAMPAIGN...." The address listed is the same as the address for a Dallas-based public relations firm that received a large portion of the campaign funds raised in the months leading up to the election.

KERA started looking into the PAC and its campaign after covering a press conference where five religious leaders with ties to southern Dallas were to endorse all ten bond propositions. Two showed up to speak.

The PAC is co-chaired by Jeanne Phillips and Tim Powers. Phillips served as the U.S. Permanent Representative to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) with Rank of Ambassador during President George W. Bush's administration and is a senior counsel with the Hunt Consolidated Inc. Powers is listed as a senior counsel with the Haynes and Boone law firm.

During an election night celebration hosted near the top of Reunion Tower, Phillips told KERA that such campaigns are common in the city.

“All of the things that enhance the quality of life for Dallasites go through a bond campaign,” Phillips said. “The campaign is formed by groups that are interested in the propositions coming forward to act as the committee.”

'People were generous'

Phillips and Powers led an executive committee of about 80 mostly Dallas-based groups to organize the bond messaging.

“People were generous in regard to supporting that, because they knew how important this investment was to this city’s future,” Powers told KERA. “And then we brought together an executive committee of various constituencies.”

Powers said the committee consisted of advocacy groups pushing for certain propositions — and geographic and demographic constituencies as well.

The 2024 Dallas Bond Campaign contributors included Power's law firm and the decades-old Dallas Citizens Council, which counts among its members many local CEOs and business leaders.

“There’s really a strong group of people in Dallas that for years have worked on the bond campaigns,” Phillips said.

Some of the companies that were supporters and benefactors of the committee have profited directly from their relationships with the City of Dallas

Businesses like AECOM, an infrastructure firm that has earned over $1.5 million in city contracts in the last two years according to city records, and development firm Matthews Southwest, contributed tens of thousands of dollars to the PAC. Both companies gave $25,000 to the PAC, according to finance reports.

Matthews Southwest is overseeing the development of the Dallas Water Commons park. More than $3 million from the bond package approved Saturday is earmarked for the park, according to the project list.

HNTB Corporation gave $10,000 to the bond campaign. The company has received $5 million in city contracts for construction work at Dallas Love Field since 2022, according to city records.

Phillips said she believes companies donate to efforts like this because they want to see the best for the city.

“I think that people give and they’re not expecting anything back,” Phillips said. “It’s more of a responsibility to keep the dirt flying, keep the streets getting better and better.”

'No vested interest'

Phillips said the effort to get the bond approved was separate from city hall — and noted city staff aren’t allowed to campaign for the package at all. She said groups like the bond committee are formed to get the word out about the elections — and its been that way for years.

"My first bond campaign was for the Dallas Symphony Hall," Phillips said. "I've worked on every big campaign for Dallas, as a volunteer and the reason I do it is because it is a way for me to give back."

A spokesperson for the committee said that Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson asked Powers and Phillips to run the campaign. Powers said he and Phillips were asked last year.

But the pair had figured Dallas elected officials would finalize the bond package at the end of last year. Instead, the Dallas City Council wrapped everything up in February.

“We almost have to be like a SWAT team once the decision is made and we really thought the decision was going to be made later in the year,” Powers told KERA. “It gave us just about 90 days to get everything done.”

According to campaign finance reports, the group raised almost $400,000 in the month leading up to the bond election. The vast majority of that money was paid to Allyn Media for consulting expenses. Other political expenditures were previously paid to a subsidiary of the firm called Allyn Political, according to earlier reports.

Both the committee and Allyn Political share the same address and suite number as Allyn Media’s Uptown office. The firm also represents other Dallas-based entities and corporations.

“I really think if you look at all of the donors, they really focused on ‘is this a good investment for our city to make?’,” Powers said. “Companies, like my own law firm that was a major contributor to the campaign as well, you focus on creating for the city, a quality of life.”

Powers said even companies that might be involved in projects slated for bond funds in this package have historically contributed to these types of campaigns.

“I would suggest to you that there is substantially more people that were contributing to the campaign that had no vested interest in how things come out, other than the best interest of the city,” Powers said.

'Let's be totally 100% transparent'

Only a fraction of Dallas County’s 1.4 million eligible voters turned out to weigh in on the bond election. So, did the PAC’s campaign drive Dallas residents to the polls?

“Probably not, to be honest,” Phillips said. “I would like to think that it did but…we did not get involved in any of the other races, we did not endorse and we did not have those individuals endorsing us, to my knowledge.”

Phillips said the PAC went about orchestrating the campaign to make sure Dallas residents knew what was on the table — and how it affects taxpayers.

“My comments at the beginning of the strategic sessions was lets tell [the voters] what we’re doing, let’s be totally 100% transparent, let’s take the message to every city council district,” Phillips said. “I think it was a small and mighty crowd, but I think they were pretty enthusiastic about this.”

Now that voters have approved all ten bond items, the hard work begins. There are over 800 projects slated for bond funds. Everything from expanding the city’s parks and adding new playgrounds, to bringing city facilities into ADA compliance, is on the table.

The final repayment of the $1.25 billion bond package could be more than advertised after the city pays principal and interest on the debt. That could lead to an increase in taxes for Dallas residents.

The massive debt issuance also comes as the city enters yet another budgeting season and as a plan to remedy billions in unfunded public safety pension liabilities, comes due to state regulators.

On election night, Dallas elected officials, PAC members and advocates said the bond issuance was a worthwhile investment into the city — despite the high price tag.

Got a tip? Email Nathan Collins at You can follow Nathan on Twitter @nathannotforyou.

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Nathan Collins is the Dallas Accountability Reporter for KERA. Collins joined the station after receiving his master’s degree in Investigative Journalism from Arizona State University. Prior to becoming a journalist, he was a professional musician.