Try though one might, it is getting difficult to ignore the political advertisements playing on local AM radio these days. Just this week, I’ve counted at least twelve incidents of the same ad, one for former Dallas mayor Tom Leppert, who is running for Texas Senate.
If you didn’t live in Dallas when Leppert ran city hall, you probably don’t know much about him. Let me give you one insight into his idea of good government. In 2009, there was a taxpayer-funded rally held on the South Steps of the Texas Capitol, in support of the local option transportation tax plan that was being pushed by Rep. Vicki Truitt and Sen. John Carona. According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Mayor Leppert was among the elected officials scheduled to attend. I have pictures from that rally, and it sure looks like Mayor Leppert in this photo, standing just behind the speaker at the podium on the right.
Leppert’s radio ads are touting his experience in job creation because he was/is a businessman, and that’s commendable. However, it can’t be ignored that he was an elected official as well, something his radio ads seem to want you to forget. While he was mayor of Dallas, tax hikes and spending initiatives, and a budget deficit, were part of his administration’s legacy (in spite of campaign promises to the contrary). He demonstrated his commitment to tax-and-spend when he backed TLOTA and stood up with a crowd in favor of that measure in front of the Texas Capitol. Leppert financially supported former Dallas mayor Ron Kirk for U.S. Senate against Senator John Cornyn (check out OpenSecrets for proof)- and Kirk supported Leppert for Dallas mayor (once referred to as the “worst kept secret” in the lead-up to that election).
You can’t fault Leppert’s record on job creation, with his background in construction and his “BoldMove” initiative in Dallas to attract out-of-state CEOs to the north Texas city. However, it is a stretch to consider his record as a successful elected fiscal conservative bonafide. There’s still some time until the March primary, and Leppert has made himself available for questions by appearing at public forums (the same ones shunned by Lt. Gov. Dewhurst, as it happens). I think he should be questioned on these issues, no matter how attractive his radio ads – how about you?