GIL HERNANDEZ’ DIRTY TACTICS BACKFIRE:
An INSIGHTFUL VIEW INTO MUDSLINGING
- Race for Nueces County Commissioner -
JAG, Despite Being On The Receiving End of Gil's Mudslinging, ReceivedThe Police Officers Association Endorsement
Nueces County, TX -- At the forum sponsored by the Police Officers association today in Corpus Christi, Gil Hernandez (who is running as a Republican for Nueces County Commissioner) turned to mudslinging against his Democrat opponent, Jose A. Gonzalez (JAG), former Justice of the Peace. Gil was trying to win an advantage by referring to as facts what were really “suspected” rumors and unfounded accusations against his opponent – why? Gil is behind in the polls.
Gil, who has a limited resume, instead of emphasizing his own positive attributes and preferred campaign platform used venomous tactics, he veered into sulfurous ad hominem attacks (that is, verbal attacks not related to the core issues at hand but that were more inclined to attempt to destroy Gonzalez’ personal standing in the community). He – Gil – tried to clothe reality with convenient accusations without proof. “He (Gil) showed a murky and vicious spot in his chest charged with the worst earmarks of evil. He intentionally and maliciously meant to destroy Gonzalez’ character, record and moral fiber,” one local lawyer felt.
Gil’s enslaved focus was in trying to assert that former Judge JAG abused his office and influence. Gil, not being an attorney but nonetheless trying to play one unsuccessfully, confused “ABUSE OF OFFICE” with “MISUSE OF OFFICE”. “Abuse of Office” takes place when a public official “intentionally” tries to “harm” the community he serves, while “Misuse of Office” means that trying to “help” the community but not meeting the “fine details” of the financial transactions (and the like) appropriately.
Gil, not being a Certified Public Accountant, not being privy to the “fine details” of the issue involved felt he could get away with bending the factoids of a cited incident. He, in a hazard way tried to expose “audit” faults (minor faults that he exaggerated) that date back to when Gonzalez was a Justice of the Peace.
What are these “audit” faults that both Gil and his brother-in-law Randy Mandonado (founder of the Franchise business known as Pete’s Chicken and Move) and other cohorts are trying to expose about former Judge JAG? One of the auditors involved in the process told El Defenzor: “It is almost funny how this audit that we did is being used. The ‘We The People' newspaper who is bankrolled over the years by Gil’s brother-in-law via advertisement is also taking this matter way out of context. Gil/Randy Maldonado/We The People rag are directly trying to mislead the public by claiming Judge JAG broke the law. We never said that, for the record. To quote We THE PEOPLE (whose quote I feel was incorrect) was “HE (JAG) was allowing defendants to donate to charities of his choice instead of paying fines or completing community service in violation of county and state statutes.’ WE THE PEOPLE falsely continues: ‘Defendants were given double credit on fines for their donations. Judge Gonzalez long term program assistant Joe Benavides is running to replace him as Justice of the Peace in Precinct 1, Place 1.’ For the record again, WE THE PEOPLE is clearly being bias and seems to be catering more to his client (Randy Maldonado) who runs advertisements of PETE CHICKEN N MORE in that rag. Misleading and fallacious, this is what it is… for the record.”
“I never have seen such wickedness in my life personified in a person as I saw in Gil (I believe it is being egged on by his brother-in-law Randy Maldonado also from behind the scenes). He (and his brother in law have stooped to a gutter-level and left more of a bad breath in the community than anything resembling a positive impression,” one spectator shared.
A local social activist said: “Gil was fixed exclusively on conjuring up negative portrays of the opponent – this is the main impression he left. Gil was trying to exploit people’s fears and loack of complete knowledge of some of the issues. He disingenuously tried to manipulate and lower the impression voters have of Gonzalez and even senior citizens and youth that donated in a positive manner to healthy social causes. Gil (and his brother-in-law) dang, feel that attack tactics have more potential and impact than if he contrasts himself with Gonzalez on his own merits. Gil has little experience; Gonzalez, a lot,” another spectator opined.
Many feel that Gil was inveigled by a cabal of politicos who like to resort to “dirty” tactics. Gil instead of using more normatively appropriate attack strategies such as a balance contrast (that would have contained more impartial information and would have revealed more essential impartial info both about he himself and his opponent) turned to a sadistic cultural craze. In a contrast strategy, the information Gil put out about him could have been all positive, while the information put out about his opponent could have been a tad critical. It would have been less damaging to the political process. Instead, he tried to drive a stake through the heart of his rival portraying him as if he was a vampire,” a source observed.
Gil – who has little name recognition -- seemed to have gone too far in his sly and crafty ambitious – inaccurately picturing Gonzalez who has a majestic track record as dishonest and corrupt, and a danger to the county commissioner’s court.
However, it appears the truth has been discovered and now it could severely damage Gil’s campaign instead. Other “dirty tricks” used, as cited, was when Gil and his cohorts tried to fed the WE THE PEOPE publication false information hoping they will use it (which they did apparently due to expediency) and embarrassed former Judge JAG.
“WE THE PEOPLE, in my estimation, was clearly used to launch attacks. WE THE PEOPLE made it seem it was a neutral source, but it was not – Gil’s brother-in-law is the life blood of that paper via running advertisements on a regular basis. This way negative campaigning can be conducted by proxy."
Gil’s negative campaigning instead of mobilizing voters is alienating them. .
The bottom-line and top line is that Gil’s campaign has decidedly gone negative because the Independent vote is leaning toward his rival. And it cannot be dismissed that negative ads have had a greater impact on Democrats than on Republicans in the last few years in many an election. According to local analysts, base Republicans in Nueces County will vote no matter what (and will vote only for a Republican), but Democrats can be influenced to either stay with their party and not vote at all or to switch sides and vote for a Republican. This, combined with the effect negativity has on folks on JAG. It also leads many an observer to conclude that Republicans benefit more from going negative than Democrats in the November 2 election.
Gil’s sequences of attacks appear to show a trend. It has done more damage to him as a candidate than to the opponent, particularly in that he used the technique of mudslinging, where the negative information presented is of little relevance or value to the overall political process in Nueces County. Additionally, Gil, even at this early stage, is beginning to show that he has failed to prove why he is a more worthy of the elected position than former Judge JAG.
But on Election Day – November 2 -- will Gil’s Negative tactics produce a backlash?