The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

Gubernatorial Election

Bad ads, bad candidates

“Rick Perry. We didn’t elect him. We don’t have to keep him.”

Since this summer, those words have sent voting-age citizens all across Texas scrambling for the remote. Gubernatorial candidates running disparaging commercials against each other is not unheard of in this state (in fact, it’s become a tradition). However, Perry and Sanchez have been pursuing each other like demented 4-year-olds, wasting money, avoiding the issues and generally testing taxpayer patience.

In one ad, Perry accuses Sanchez of being a bad businessman who is unable to lead Texas or handle its $114 billion budget: “Tony Sanchez wants to run Texas like his businesses. But after Sanchez’s bank was used to launder drug money, his bank failed. Taxpayers paid the $161 million bailout. Now Sanchez says he has no regrets.”

In another ad, Sanchez blasts Perry for an electricity “price hike” and pokes fun at the way the former lieutenant governor got his job, which Perry inherited when George W. Bush became president. According to the ad, Perry “overcharged millions” in a “Perry price hike.”

And, most recently, Perry ran yet another ad, drawing attention to Sanchez’s abysmal voting record in past gubernatorial elections: “My opponent is standing before millions of Texans asking them to vote and yet he didn’t even take the time to vote four years ago.”

How long will it take until these candidates are publishing each other’s high school yearbook photos?

Through all of this bickering, both Perry and Sanchez have avoided addressing the issues that they claim as part of their platforms.

According to an Oct. 13 Austin Bureau report, Perry has spent $16 million on his campaign trail while Sanchez has spent more than $58 million – a number that threatens to break the record for the most money a candidate has spent on a U.S. gubernatorial race.

And it’s not as if these ads have gone uncontested. Perry’s accusation of Sanchez laundering “drug money” drew complaints of “lies” from Sanchez’s campaign party and plenty of press. The Combined Law Enforcement Associates of Texas literally had to issue a request to Perry and Sanchez to pull the negative campaign ads during Sept. 11.

Paraphrasing the tag line of Sanchez’s ad campaigns – “We don’t have to vote for them.” While Ed Board stands by its request for all students to vote in the Nov. 5 election, hopefully they will keep the Perry and Sanchez campaigns in mind when they go to the polls. Remember that there are other candidates – Libertarian nominee Jeff Daiell and Green Party nominee Rahul Mahajan, to name two – who may be just as deserving of your vote. Examine the issues carefully, and make your decision based on who best addresses them.

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