October 29, 2006
Abbott uses taxpayer money for campaign ads

Here's a story out of Dallas you might have missed: Attorney General Greg Abbott is using videos shot with equipment paid for by taxpayer money in his campaign ads.

Earlier in his term, Abbott spent $66,000 on video equipment and hired a special photographer at a salary of $70,000 a year, Dallas television station WFAA reported in a story aired Friday night.

"The TV crew works with us as we go out, and on occasion to expose wrongdoing," Abbott told the station when he was asked about the expenses three years ago. "We consider it to be a critically important function of our office. We use them for a variety of purposes."

Now they are aired as part of political commercials and can be viewed on his political Web site, the station reported.

"It is representative of how Abbott has used his position for four years, and that is to promote himself," Abbott's Democratic opponent, David Van Os, a San Antonio attorney, told the station.

But Abbott's campaign director told The Associated Press on Saturday night that the video used by the campaign was obtained through an open records request.

"Any individual or organization may obtain records or video from the office of attorney general by filing an open records request, which is exactly how Texans for Greg Abbott obtained the video," Hodge said. "Doing so is completely appropriate. We are proud of Attorney General Abbott's record of arresting sexual predators and will continue educating Texans about his strong record protecting Texas children."

Mighty convenient, that. I'm sure it never crossed Abbott's mind when he spent that money that the footage captured might come in handy down the line. Just serendipity, I suppose.

PDiddie has more, including a link to the WFAA report.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on October 29, 2006 to Election 2006 | TrackBack