One of the most difficult aspects of any political campaign these days is that it’s virtually impossible to actually talk with a candidate at length. Everything tends to be broken down into “sound bites”, so you have 15 seconds of Candidate A talking about something, and then 15 seconds of Candidate B responding. No matter that you really can’t express yourself in 15 seconds about much of anything.

That’s why we thought it would be interesting to invite both Dallas mayoral runoff candidates, David Kunkle and Mike Rawlings, to our studio for a discussion about city issues. Thanks to the web, we can present the entire discussion free of charge and in the comfort of your home, office or even car or favorite restaurant, if you’re using a smart phone or pad.

True, you will have to invest about 40 minutes to watch all five segments (the discussion is in five segments because YouTube limits the length of individual videos, and we use YouTube because it’s free and because it’s a video format people are comfortable with online). And just to tip our hands here, there’s no fisticuffs, shoving or otherwise “Jersey Shore” displays of mildly entertaining idiocy.

Instead, we have two reasonable, intelligent guys talking about what’s important to them as it relates to city politics, city budgeting and even their favorite restaurants. One of them will be elected, and whoever winds up with the job will have a lot to say about our lives here the next four years.

If you are truly undecided about who to support in this election, this is a great chance to hear the candidates speak for themselves, unedited, and then make your decision. All five parts of the discussion are linked here; please let us know what you think if you take the time to watch any or all of them. Special thanks go to editor Emily Toman for producing the videos, webmaster Luke Shertzer for operating the camera and Jeff Siegel for development many of the questions.

Part 1 – Calatrava bridge, World-Class City & the AAC

Part 2 – Neighborhood development

Part 3 – Budget specifics, police and Farmers Market

Part 4 – Public libraries, art and economic development

Part 5 – Favorite restaurants, robo-calls and “what if you lose?”

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