The mailing is criticial of Democratic House candidate Joel Redmond in the Pasadena-area District 144 race. His Republican opponent is Ken Legler.
The mailing was paid for by a conservative Austin political committee called Empower Texans, but it was produced and mailed out by Legler's political consultant Allen Blakemore of Houston.
Legler also said he didn't consider it racist. He also said he did not know Blakemore had anything to do with the mailing's design or production.
"I was told it was being put out by Empower Texans," Legler said.
Legler said the mailing started arriving in his district last week. He said no one he knew saw it as racist and he didn't either. Legler said he just saw the piece as an attempt to place Redmond on the political spectrum.
"I didn't see anything wrong with it," Legler said. "I didn't send it out. Empower Texans sent it out."
Legler political consultant Blakemore said Empower Texans only used photographs of Democrats who are on the ballot this year. He said state Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, who is white could have been used but that Whitmire is not running for re-election this year.
"It's an Empower Texans mailing. It wasn't put out by our campaign," Blakemore said.
Blakemore denied giving the mailer or the idea to Empower Texans director Michael Quinn Sullivan but admitted to talking to Sullivan about the race.
Sullivan said the mailing was not racist, and he accused Democrats of injecting race into the campaign. He said the piece is meant to link Redmond to "liberal" politicians and the platform positions of the Texas Democratic Party.
"To suggest that race is something that would sway a voter is insulting," Sullivan said.
But Sullivan also said the piece was mailed out without his permission and would have looked different if he had anything to do with it. Sullivan said the piece was developed and mailed out by Blakemore and a Houston direct mail company called Right Mail.
Along those lines, there was Rick Casey's column about the Furse/Huffman kerfuffle in SD17, about which I'll say two things: One is that I saw a TV ad last night for (and featuring) Furse in which he made the scurrilous-but-not-apology-worthy charge that Huffman was somehow "soft" on child molesters because she signed off on plea deals that the DA made. I like Republican-on-Republican violence as much as the next Democrat, but I still hate seeing crap like this because it so poisons the discourse and leads to bad legislation like "Jessica's Law". And two, the common thread in both of these instances is Allen Blakemore, who I'm told isn't making any new friends these days.Posted by Charles Kuffner on October 23, 2008 to Election 2008