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Addendum

You may wonder why I’m spending so much time and figurative ink on the smear job against Adrian Garcia, which is something that maybe five people reading this have a direct stake in. I’m pissed that someone who may or may not live in this district, indeed may or may not even live in Houston, is doing this sort of cowardly thing to try and affect this election. I don’t necessarily have a beef with the content of the mailers themselves – they’re misleading and trivially debunked as I’ve already shown, but they’re no worse than what you see every damn year. A good candidate, and I believe Adrian Garcia is a good candidate, can stand up to that sort of attack most of the time.

No, what chaps my ass is that the jerks behind this thing are thumbing their noses at us under a cloak of secrecy. We can’t evaluate the reasons behind the attack because we don’t know who it is. We don’t know if this is someone in District H who may or may not have a legitimate gripe against Adrian Garcia, or if it’s some outside agitator who is working clandestinely for another candidate, or if it’s just some wanker with too much money on his hands. All we can do is speculate and try to track them down.

It’s for this reason that I hold groups like the Texas Association of Business and Texans for True Mobility in such contempt. Both groups, through their mouthpiece Andy Taylor, claim that their members would suffer somehow if their contributions towards electing Republican legislators or defeating a Metro referendum were made public. I say that’s just tough. Those of us who are directly affected by their actions have a right to know what their stake is in the outcome that they’re trying to shape. How do we know that the TAB contributors are really all Texas businesses and not companies from elsewhere trying to curry favor from Tom DeLay? It’s not as if the very notion is absurd, after all. How do we know that TTM members are all in the area Metro services? It’s not as if someone like James Leininger doesn’t have an antirail track record, more money than God, and a fetish for secrecy.

In a way, the skulduggery behind the anti-Garcia mailer does Hector Longoria no favors, either. I’m ready to accept the notion that the Longoria campaign ordered or at least knew about this hit piece based on the fact that the return address on the mailer can be traced to a Republican PR firm and the fact that Longoria hasn’t responded to an email asking him about it, and I know I’m not the only one who feels that way. Obviously, this falls short of reasonable doubt, but as the person perceived to be the biggest beneficiary, the mailer puts Longoria under suspicion. If he really had nothing to do with it, he ought to be as upset as everyone else is.

So yeah, I think this is bigger than just a kefuffle in a local election. It’s probably just a matter of time before it happens in one of your local elections, too.

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3 Comments

  1. William Hughes says:

    Even though this matter involves an election in Houston, I have been following this with some interest. While this is certainly not the first time this sort of spin doctoring has occurred (in New York, this is simply “part of the process”. One variation I see a lot involves a candidate claiming to have someone’s endorsement, including a picture of him/herself with the endorsor, yet that person states the he/she never endorsed the candidate.), this takes on a rather underhanded tone. In fact, the argument that revealing the identities of the people involved is will hurt the people involved indicates to me that someone has something to hide about themselves.

  2. Jeff says:

    Living here in the city council district where this is happening, as Kuff does, I appreciate his expression of feelings that I share.

    Today’s election day. Hope it proves these ads were either ineffective or had the opposite of their intended effect.

  3. […] know either. Heck, I don’t even know how widespread this was – the last time there was this kind of mail related to a District H race, back in the 2003 election, other people who’d gotten the mail […]