Thursday, October 9, 2008

Stations Question Latest Republican Smear Campaign Ad

Stations Question Latest Republican

Smear Campaign Ad

Herrero Campaign Fact-Checks Latest Republican Attempt to Mislead Voters

CORPUS CHRISTI—The Nueces County Republican Party's latest negative ad follows closely on the heels of an ad on a separate issue that was rejected by stations across Nueces County for failing the truth test. The Abel Herrero campaign has issued a memo to area stations urging them to protect the integrity of public airwaves.

"My opponent and the Nueces County Republican Party continue to run a purely negative campaign relying solely on fabrications and distortions in the race for state representative for District 34," said Rep. Herrero. "While we are experiencing an economic crisis and a health care crisis that is affecting people all over the county, instead of offering solutions, my opponent and her supporters are only able to fabricate negative, misleading, and false commercials that mislead voters."

The ad claims that Herrero reversed the voters and pushed the Nueces County Fairgrounds project. Both claims are blatantly false. Shadowy operatives supporting Herrero's opponent do not respect the voters enough to refrain from blatantly lying in their faces. Some in the community are questioning the purely negative campaign being run by Connie Scott. How far out of bounds will they go to avoid talking about the issues facing hard working families in Nueces County?

The latest ad [see script below] attempts to tie Herrero to decisions made at the county level regarding the funding of the Nueces County Fairgrounds. The ad misleads the audience by creating the impression that Herrero was involved in pushing proposals for funding the fairgrounds project, which is false.

The ad fails the truth test on five grounds:

1. The comments that Terry Shamsie made in the full context of the tape are to prod Republican Commissioner Chuck Cazales for suggesting the name "Heritage Center" as a way to sell the $95 million for that project cited in the ad. Cazales cackles and upon further prodding admits that it is true.

2. It claims that when voters said "no" in a 1999 bond election, it was only as to the fairgrounds. In reality, that election bundled together three projects. It is a stretch of the truth to claim the election was a referendum only on the fairgrounds.

3. The ad implies that Herrero took official action to support the funding mechanisms pursued by Nueces County officials to fund the fairgrounds. In reality, Herrero merely issued a congratulatory resolution recognizing the groundbreaking of the project. It is misleading to imply that congratulations for a groundbreaking imply an endorsement of the funding mechanisms.

4. The ad implied that Herrero somehow, in his capacity as State Representative, had a role in the decisions of the Nueces County Commissioners Court made the subject of the commercial. That is false. As a State Rep., Herrero has no seat on the Commissioners Court, exercises no jurisdiction over the Commissioners Court, and has no vote on the Commissioners Court.

5. Herrero's image is used throughout the ad to imply false conclusions. First, it is used in the first lines of the ad to imply that Herrero supported the funding decisions made by Nueces County. Secondly, it is used to imply that he laughed in response to a joke made by Terry Shamsie. These are false. Herrero merely presented a congratulatory resolution. The video is then spliced to show Herrero smiling out of context and not in response to Shamsie's comments.

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