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Political ad uses image of WTC

Republican Congressman Lamar Smith is airing an ad that uses an image of the World Trade Center as it burned following the September 11 terrorist attack.

San Antonio ad man Arthur Emerson, whose agency cut the commercial for Smith, defended the spot, which started airing earlier this week in San Antonio and Austin.

Emerson called the ad “tastefully done,” using a long shot of the twin towers that lasts for “only a couple of seconds.”

It tells voters that Smith has fought for beefed-up homeland security in the face of the country’s war against terrorism, Emerson said.

Smith is chairman of the Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee.

“It’s a hurtful tragedy that hit us,” said Emerson, of the Groves Rojas Emerson agency. “The commercial shows that we’re still standing (because) it shows the Empire State Building.”

Smith has come under criticism for the ad, but is unlikely to suffer any fallout from it as his district is solidly Republican. Without seeing the ad, I can’t say if he’s crossed any lines. I do think he’s living a little dangerously, since he could surely make the same points he wants to without using an image that will upset some unknown number of people. On the other hand, he’s also bought himself some free publicity. So who knows?

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3 Comments

  1. ByronUT says:

    Surprised to see this. I’d think that Lamar Smith would steer clear of anything contraversial in this conservative district (includes the Republican parts of San Antonio – much of the north side not in TX-23, the Republican parts of Austin – western half of Travis County and a lot of conservative rural counties in between).

    The Democratic nominee is a great candidate – John Courage who is a teacher from San Antonio and is out on the campaign trail all the time, but he’s running in a bad district and doesn’t have too much money. I think this race will be closer than most people expect, but Smith will still get over 60%. If he gets less than 60%, maybe the DCCC will pay attention to John Courage if he runs again, but I wouldn’t count on it. If Democrats are able to pick up seats in this region anytime soon, they’ll be either Ron Paul’s Victoria based seat or Henry Bonilla’s seat based in Laredo and San Antonio.

  2. I’ve often wondered how an eccentric like Ron Paul can keep getting elected, but this is Texas and strange things do happen. I’m hopeful about the chances to knock off Bonilla. That would be sweet.

  3. With a name like Lamar Smith–steeped heavily in Texas history–how can he lose? 🙂 I bought my 10-year old a book on Deaf Smith a few days ago and he devoured it with pleasure. You have to indoctrinate them young.