Ad wars

So I saw another one of those godawful NRCC anti-Lampson ads last night. It’s my fond hope that some day, demagoging about 9/11 will be seen as a form of violating Godwin’s Law.

By the way, it’s awfully nice of the Chron to report on a controversial ad without ever taking a minute to examine whether or not its contents are accurate or misleading, isn’t it? That would require them to pay attention to the local elections, something which they just don’t seem to want to do this year. They could’ve even examined the DCCC’s anti-Ted Poe ad if they’d taken the trouble to do some non-he said/she said reporting. You know, to be fair and balanced and all.

Meanwhile, the Dem strategy of tying Tom DeLay to his minions nationwide continues apace.

Across Connecticut’s southwestern coast, Democratic congressional candidate Diane Farrell tells voters her opponent, GOP incumbent Christopher Shays, has ties to Tom DeLay’s “right-wing agenda.”

In Nebraska, former Democratic Sen. Bob Kerrey criticizes GOP Rep. Lee Terry for his alliance with “ethically challenged” DeLay.

And in Texas, Democrats slapped DeLay, the U.S. House majority leader from Sugar Land, with a subpoena Thursday in an abuse-of-power redistricting lawsuit while unveiling a new television commercial that calls him arrogant.


In Washington state, the party took on Republican candidate Dave Reichert after DeLay came to the suburban Seattle district to raise money for his campaign. In Oregon, the GOP challenger to Democratic incumbent David Wu ran a television commercial distancing herself from DeLay. Candidate Goli Ameri pledged in an ad to tell DeLay when he’s wrong.

The theme of DeLay and questionable tactics is echoing in Democratic legislative campaigns across Texas, but a Democratic political group’s spokesman said there is no grand conspiracy.

“Coordinated, no. We’re Democrats,” said Kelly Fero of Take Back Texas. “But shared interests and shared enthusiasms, yes.”


On another front, Campaign Money Watch of Washington, D.C., announced it is starting a television advertising campaign today against DeLay in the Houston area. Director David Donnelly said the ads are scheduled to run during broadcast news programs and that he hopes to have $100,000 to air the ads until Nov. 2.

I’ve advocated for this strategy, so obviously I think it’s a good idea. It probably won’t be as effective as I hope, but I do think it will have some effect. Also, while DeLay may not be so visible now, if he survives this election I’ll bet he’s pretty well known by 2006. If some of this is groundwork, that’s okay by me.

Finally, a Republican PAC has been slapped with a TRO for this election.

State District Judge Paul Davis issued the temporary order Wednesday against Associated Republicans of Texas, ordering the political fund-raising group to stop soliciting, accepting and spending corporate money until a temporary injunction hearing Nov. 3.


Two candidates, Bob Glaze of Gilmer and David Leibowitz of San Antonio, alleged that the PAC was violating a Texas law prohibiting corporations and unions from funding political candidates.

“Every illegal corporate dollar we can chase out of the political system will make the democratic process that much stronger and help put ordinary Texans back in charge of their state government,” said Leibowitz, who is running against Republican Rep. Ken Mercer of San Antonio. Glaze is running against Rep. Brian Hughes, R-Mineola.

But ART lawyer Hector DeLeon said the $150,000 in corporate money raised by ART this year was spent on permissible overhead expenses and to pay for lawyers for the group’s involvement in 2001 legislative redistricting lawsuits.

Corporate donors include $50,000 from Altria Corporate Services, which owns Phillip Morris and Kraft foods; $10,500 from SBC; and $7,500 from AT&T.

The PAC has donated $144,500 this year to 15 Republican House candidates, including $12,000 to Ann Witt, who is running against District 137 incumbent Rep. Scott Hochberg, D-Houston.

Where have we heard that “overhead” contention before? Oh, yeah, in the TRMPAC case. Guess this will serve as a dry run for that defense. This will bear watching after the election.

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3 Responses to Ad wars

  1. Great ad — if you’re going to put left-wing labor demands above the security of the nation, don’t cry to mama when your opponent calls you on it.

  2. Tim says:

    It’s my fond hope that some day, demagoging about 9/11 will be seen as a form of violating Godwin’s Law. Amen to that. It’s replaced “soft on crime” as the political “safety play” du jour.

  3. Zangwell Arrow says:

    The Associated Republicans of Texas yesterday went straight to the Texas Supreme Court to have the temporary restraining order lifted. Talk about venue-shopping.

    A hearing is scheduled for Monday at high noon.

    For years, Republicans have attacked Democratic donors, especially trial lawyers, and tried to defund our candidates by making our contributors toxic.

    It’s good to see someone with the strategic vision and guts to start fighting back. All of these scandals — TAB. TRMPAC, ARMPAC, RNSEC, Americans For Job Security, and now Associated Republicans of Texas — underscore the message that GOP money is tainted.

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