October 08, 2003
A tale of two Bills, continued

Tim Fleck has his take on the Dueling Bill Whites story, though there's not much new ground covered. This is interesting, though:

Media coverage of the Bogus Bill scheme was almost as convoluted as the plan itself. Political consultant George Strong was the first to post stories on the subject on his Texas Political Resource Web page. He found out about it at a Planned Parenthood fund-raiser the Friday before the filing deadline. Strong was chatting with White's wife, Andrea, and asked how the campaign was going. She replied, "Bill's real worried because he heard today that somebody's going to get somebody else named Bill White to file for mayor."

Strong then made a beeline for White to inquire about the details. When he asked about Bogus Bill, the surprised candidate exclaimed, "Where'd you hear that from?"

Strong posted his first item on his Web site the next day, alerting Houston media. Even with the heads-up, the Houston Chronicle held its potential scoop by John Williams for a week, printing it only after both the Forward Times and KHOU/ Channel 11 had produced stories. It seems that epic libel case filed by Turner against KTRK/Channel 13 after his 1991 race has left a lasting impression on Chronicle editors.

Man, talk about wheels within wheels. Anyway, it looks like there's no more dirt to be uncovered (yeah, I know, you never know), in which case we may never hear a full explanation of this from White or Turner. Too bad, since I feel pretty strongly that this was a tempest in a teapot, but I can certainly understand that from a strategic point of view. We'll see if Orlando Sanchez tries to make hay out of it. He could strike gold if he does, or he could turn people off by going negative. Again, that's why they pay the consultants the big bucks.

Kevin has some further thoughts on this, including a link to this Chron story which says that the DA's office will take a peek at this.

Harris County District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal said Tuesday that he has started an investigation into an aborted scam to confuse voters by getting a second man named Bill White to run for mayor.

Rosenthal said he is uncertain any laws were violated.

"You have to know what the facts are before you know which laws come into play," Rosenthal said.

Can't argue with that.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on October 08, 2003 to Election 2003 | TrackBack