From the diaries, by Erick
An ironclad rule of campaigns is that desperate candidates launch negative ads.
Last week, we saw only the latest example of this in northeast Texas, where our primary runoff election will be held on May 27 (early voting begins May 19).
First, a bit of background. Congressman Ralph Hall (R-TX) first ran of political office in 1949.
You read that right.
He has been in Congress for 34 years (the first 24 as a Democrat) and is now seeking an 18th term.
On March 4, Hall was held to just 45 percent of the primary vote, meaning an overwhelming majority voted against the incumbent and forced him into a runoff against our campaign.
Our campaign is working hard, traveling the district, knocking on doors, phone banking, holding events nearly every night, and attending every candidate forum possible.
Now, contrast that with Congressman Hall.
On March 11, we challenged Congressman Hall to five debates across the district and offered him 30 separate nonvoting days in Congress from which to choose. He has refused every debate invitation, even specific invites from two Dallas TV stations, a Dallas radio show and one of our district’s largest newspapers. The Dallas Morning News and Greenville Herald Banner have both written editorials urging Hall to respect the voters by debating the issues.
On top of that, Congressman Hall has skipped every candidate forum in this campaign except one – by contrast, we’ve attended 14.
Now, it is one thing to refuse to campaign or debate.
It is entirely another to choose to skip candidate forums while cashing in on decades of political favors at out-of-district fundraisers in a last ditch attempt to smear an opponent’s name through false and negative ads.
Congressman Hall went negative exactly one week ago. He has not aired a positive TV ad in the runoff.
His first ad has three false attacks in it.
1) Hall accuses me of being a “corporate trial lawyer.” This is false. I am partner at the Ashcroft Law Firm, where I am proud to be a colleague of former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft. Our law firm represents businesses and individuals dealing with the unfair compliance and regulatory overreach of the Obama Administration.
2) Hall accuses me of working for a firm that lobbied for Obamacare. I have never lobbied. I don’t work for a lobbying firm. I have never registered as a lobbyist. Accordingly, Hall’s claim that my firm lobbied for Obamacare is not just false, but impossible.
3) Hall also tries to misrepresent my record as a Texas mayor by suggesting that I might raise taxes in Congress. But Hall knows that as the Mayor of Heath, Texas, I never raised taxes even a single penny and balanced the budget every year—for eight straight years. At age 91, Hall apparently forgot that he publicly acknowledged these facts less than 3 months earlier, when Hall praised my record and said, “You were a good mayor. You didn’t vote for a tax increase.”
Congressman Ralph Hall is a good man. He served our country in the military and has served admirably in Congress.
But his campaign is now engaging in malicious, false television ads, in an attempt to preserve political power for his 35th and 36th year in Washington.
I need every bit of help that I can get, with just 15 days to go. You may visit our website here and see our positive TV ad, which we launched last week and would like to put more resources behind in the closing days.
It’s time for new, conservative leadership for Texas’ 4th congressional district that is willing to put the next generation before the next election.
Ratcliffe is the former U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas and a Republican candidate for Congress in Texas’ 4th congressional district.