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Parker’s first ad

And Annise Parker wins the race to be the first candidate not named Peter Brown to air a TV ad in the Mayor’s race. Here it is:

And my reaction is…eh. That’s more about me than anything else, as public safety-themed ads just don’t move me. I admit that places me squarely in the minority, as it seems this is the issue that concerns most voters this year, but there you have it. I think it’s a pretty good spot as far as these things go – Parker does a good job speaking directly to the audience, highlighting her accomplishments in office, which as the candidate with the most electoral experience is her strength. There’s no razzle-dazzle, but that would have been out of place in an ad like this. I don’t care for the “I won’t raise taxes” bit, as I believe no candidate is in a position to make that promise (not that this has stopped any of them), and I’m not sure what “sports stadiums we don’t need” she plans to fight against, as the city’s part of the Dynamo Stadium deal – purchasing the land – is already done. The swipe at Gene Locke (Parker also won’t support “museums we don’t need”) is subtle enough that I daresay 98% of the people who view the ad will miss it. Frankly, I’d have left most of that stuff out, as I think it clutters up the spot. Greg, who highlights a bit from Parker’s accompanying press release about the ad that explains some of this, agrees with me on this. I’ve put the release beneath the fold.

Overall, I’d give the ad a B. It does what it intends to do, which is associate Parker with public safety, which by being first to air has the side effect of stepping on one of Locke’s main messages, and it leverages her biggest strength, which is her experience. Not the ad I would have written, but there’s probably a good reason they didn’t ask me for that. Stace, musings, Miya and Houston Politics have more. What do you think?

UPDATE: Turns out, according to Campos, that Locke has been running ads on the radio. Like him, I had no idea about this and had not received a release about them, so that’s all I know.

UPDATE: Nancy Sims weighs in.

Today the Annise Parker for Mayor campaign launched its first television advertisement. The ad, entitled “Annise Parker Delivers,” addresses the problem of crime in Houston and lays out Parker’s priorities as Mayor:

“In these tough times, public safety comes first,” says Parker in the ad.

Parker has laid out a detailed plan for public safety and fighting crime in Houston, which is available on her website at

“But the ad makes an important point,” Parker said. “Even the best plans can’t work if we don’t have the money to pay for them. We’ve got to be able to find the resources to support public safety in Houston – for our families and for job growth. Businesses are more likely to relocate to Houston if we’re considered a safe city.”

Annise Parker already has a record of finding money to fight crime in Houston. As City Controller she fought for and won the right to audit city departments. Through her audits, Parker found millions in waste and fraud, money that was in turn freed up for vital services like our police force. Parker has also investigated the city’s 911 Call Center and found ways to improve it.

“We need to get more police on the streets,” Parker said. “One reason I’m running for Mayor is to make sure that happens.”

Parker has been endorsed by police and sheriff’s groups. Dean Goodrick, President of the Houston Police Patrolmen’s Union, said: “Parker understands that Houstonians need to feel safe and she has innovative ideas to put more officers on the street and get the public involved in public safety.”

The race for mayor has unfolded in a time of declining city revenues and a weak economy, and as Controller, Parker has worked closely with Mayor Bill White’s administration and the City Council to monitor the budget and find savings for taxpayers. At a recent City Council meeting discussing the budget shortfall, Mayor White said, “The Controller has done a great job.”

Parker stressed the need for the city to live within its means during this tough economy: “I’ve heard many proposals for new museums, the Dynamo Stadium, and other new, big expensive projects – which I have said are good ideas. But in tough times like this, we must live within our means, and as Mayor, I’ll make sure we fund basic priorities like public safety first.”

Pointing to the recent news that, despite promises to the contrary, taxpayer funds may be required to pay off Reliant Stadium bonds, Parker said: “We need to be doubly sure that the new Dynamo Stadium does not put future tax dollars at risk. The city has already done its part by contributing the land.”

In addition to savings, Parker’s economic plans for Houston include a detailed “Hire Houston First” initiative that would make sure jobs funded by city projects go to local workers first, and a far-reaching energy plan that will create good-paying jobs and make Houston the world headquarters for new and alternative energy development.

The TV ad can be viewed at:


Announcer: Every candidate talks about public safety, but Annise Parker delivers.

Parker: I’m the only one who investigated our city’s emergency call center and found ways to improve it. I’m the only one who freed up millions for priorities like public safety by using tough city audits to root out millions in waste and fraud. In these tough times, public safety comes first. I won’t raise taxes or cut police to fund museums or more stadiums we can’t afford.

Announcer: Annise Parker for Mayor.

Parker: Because safety comes first.

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One Comment

  1. […] we have one slap at Gene Locke, and one at Peter Brown. At least this one is unlikely to annoy or confuse supporters of the arts. […]