I’ve written many times about my respect for, and admiration of, David Dewhurst’s service to our nation and state. He has honorably and ably served us in uniform, in hostile environments, and in elected office. Sadly, his stellar legacy was marred – and senatorial dreams dashed – by his 2012 campaign’s dishonest attacks on Ted Cruz. We see history repeating itself as he desperately struggles to overcome the 72 percent of GOP primary voters who cast ballots for someone else in March.
In an ad released last week, Dewhurst attacks GOP primary front-runner Dan Patrick over a bankruptcy from 30 years ago. The ad hypocritically asks why “millionaire Dan Patrick” didn’t pay his bills.
The Patrick family business went bankrupt nearly 30 years ago, and he has since picked up the pieces. Remember: Patrick took the form of bankruptcy that left him nothing but his personal effects. Attorney Tony McDonald has written a great article on this.
Mr. Dewhurst, on the other hand, has more than $1 million dollars in unpaid debts from his failed 2012 senatorial campaign. Maybe “millionaire” Dewhurst should pay back those current-day debts before talking about someone’s decades-old past?
The ad falsely says “Patrick changed his name to hide from debts.” Simply not true. Patrick’s name-change came 15 years after his bankruptcy doing what many in the media do: he adopted the successful radio-personality name he had used for many years as his legal name. (And he has been upfront about it; the story of how the name came to be is actually rather humorous.)
Mr. Dewhurst should be more concerned about voters asking questions about how he threw around his own name, and powerful political position, in seemingly bullying a police officer in 2013. When a family member was arrested for shop-lifting, Dewhurst verbally harassed a police officer with a ham-handed ‘do you know who I am?‘ routine that was at once disturbing and embarrassing.
Equally embarrassing is how often Mr. Dewhurst has been absent on the big conservative reform fights. While 94% of GOP primary voters want spending limits, Mr. Dewhurst wouldn’t even allow a debate on enacting legislation to reach the Senate floor, let alone a vote on the issue.
Dewhurst’s attack-ad asks “how could we ever trust [Patrick] to run the state honestly?” A better question is why Mr. Dewhurst has been defending the extravagant increases in state spending.
As the Wall Street Journal pointed out last year, Mr. Dewhurst and legislators increased state spending 26 percent between 2011 and 2013. Dewhurst cheered the expansion of government on, while Dan Patrick led the fight against it.
Sadly, David Dewhurst is exposing himself as the one who taxpayers might rightly suspect cannot be trusted.
Similarly, it was Mr. Dewhurst who launched personal attacks against a whistle-blower trying to uncover fraud, malfeasance and abuse in the state’s flagship university. As lieutenant governor, he could have led the way in reforming an out-of-control bureaucracy, instead he has covered for them.
It is sad to see an honorable man desperately resort to such dishonorable tactics. Mr. Dewhurst’s fine record of public service will end with two major statewide defeats in row, handed to him by conservative voters frustrated by such disturbing behavior.
David Dewhurst lost his chance to be a U.S. Senator by launching false, baseless attacks on Ted Cruz. His tenure as lieutenant governor is ending the same way. All our leaders should stick to the facts, in context, relevant to the issues of the day. All our leaders should remember their service is – first and foremost – to the citizens of our great state, not to their own power.
A sad ending, but thankfully voters are appropriately exercising their duty to relieve of service those exercising such behavior, and that is a hopeful thought.