I suppose one of the side benefits of a massive increase in early voting is that scurrilous last-minute attack mailers like this one from Jayne Davis, wife of Rep. John Davis in HD129, will have less impact than it would have in the older days. What amazes me about this mailer, besides the faux-handwriting font (which totally reminded me of this, in tone as well as in form) and the fact that it was apparently sent to one of Sherrie Matula's kids (must be nice to have enough bling from TLR to not have to worry about the size of your mail universe) is the fact that nowhere in this clearly political piece of mail is any form of disclaimer identifying it as such, as required by Texas law.
Davis is at this point the poster boy for ethics violations - since 2006 he's had three TEC complaints resolved against him that resulted in fines (for personal use of campaign funds, hiding expenses behind a credit card, and improperly reimbursing himself with campaign funds) and has two more pending (for using his campaign cash on gas supposedly for officeholder and campaign activities, but with no calendar items to back them up, and for sending mail that was identified with a non-existent PAC). If there were a three-strikes law for such violations, he'd already be doing a life sentence. You'd think a guy who's been in office for as long as Davis has, and whose consultant (the he-sure-does-get-around Allen Blakemore) has been running campaigns since the earth's crust cooled, would be capable of something as simple as ensuring that political advertising meets the legal requirements of it. Of course, guys like Blakemore do know the rules, but since they also know that there's essentially no punishment for this kind of malfeasance, they don't give a crap about them. Do whatever sleazy thing it takes to win first, accept the pitiful consequences while issuing meaningless apologies afterward. If there's a better example of exactly the sort of thing we need to get out of Austin (or in the cases of Ken Legler and Austen Furse, keep out of Austin) than just about everybody Blakemore represents, I don't want to know what it is.
On a tangential note, there's also this kind of last minute attacks, which are just as pernicious if not as malicious, at least from a professional perspective. I'm sure there's plenty more where these came from, since the whole point is to get them done when there's no time to respond. Anyone out there seeing something along these lines? Leave a comment with the info. Thanks!Posted by Charles Kuffner on November 02, 2008 to Election 2008