An already ugly Republican primary season became even uglier last week when State Rep. Doug Miller (R-New Braunfels) began a massive media campaign personally attacking his opponent, Fredericksburg small businessman Kyle Biedermann.
At issue are fifteen year old court records from Biedermann’s divorce released by the Miller campaign. Strategically twisted and fraught with selective inclusion of salacious excerpts, Miller’s campaign mailers attempt to paint Biedermann as a threat to his children.
But Miller’s assertions are false and dishonest, and even his supporters are coming off the sidelines and crying foul.
The Herald-Zeitung, the major newspaper in New Braunfels which has endorsed Miller for reelection, accused Miller of “selectively cherry picking nuggets to paint [Biedermann] as unworthy of a seat in the Texas House of Representatives” and issued a full-fledged condemnation of Miller’s dirty tactics.
“It’s a repugnant piece of work,” read the article. “One entirely devoid of context that hinges on people reading between the lines to draw the conclusion that Biedermann is a danger to his own children, and by extension, unfit to hold public office.”
In response, Biedermann’s daughters have condemned the false attacks on their father. Even Biedermann’s ex-wife has come out to defend the candidate and denounce Miller’s dirty tactics.
“Doug Miller should be ashamed. Miller and his campaign have been calling, emailing and mailing thousands of voters and telling them horrible lies about my ex-husband. I said things to hurt Kyle but never knew they would get out to the public. The court gave my ex-husband joint custody of our children because he is a great father. For the sake of our daughters, Kyle put aside our past and maintained a positive relationship with me. It sickens me that Doug Miller would go this far to get re-elected,” said Kyle Biedermann’s Ex-Wife, Avian Biedermann.
Pamela Kneese Bergman, Avian Biedermann’s attorney during the divorce, also came to Kyle Biedermann’s defense, accusing Doug Miller of “shamefully … attempting to score cheap political points by twisting and manipulating verbiage.”
“Recently Doug Miller and his political operatives released a personal attack on Kyle Biedermann in their desperate efforts to destroy this good man, his family, and his hard earned business reputation in the Hill Country. Being an attorney in the Biedermann divorce case, I am acutely aware of the accusations made by both sides during the pendency of the case. I also know the outcome of the case wherein Kyle and Avian agreed to joint custody of their daughters. Doug Miller’s accusations of Kyle Biedermann are false, disgusting and pathetic. He is trampling on the spirit of the law and the intelligence of the voters,” said Bergman.
Biedermann has called on Miller to publicly apologize.
“It is time to tell Doug Miller that our community deserves better! Tell Doug Miller to end the sleaze, fire his private investigators and focus on the issues that matter to all of us,” said Biedermann. “Our families and our community deserve respect and integrity from the people who represent them. Now that the facts are clear, and Miller’s dirty tricks tactics have been exposed by statements from my ex-wife’s divorce attorney, my ex-wife and all four of my daughters, I call upon Doug Miller to publicly apologize and to immediately end his unfounded character attack.”
The attacks levied by Miller are no surprise. Such slime is the weapon of choice for establishment political consultants tied to the Straus speakership. Seasoned specialists in slander, Straus’s operatives have become famous for concocting the most vile and wretched attacks to throw at his opponents.
Throughout this cycle, Straus’s lieutenants have gleefully dragged their opponents’ families through the mud in hopes of keeping the coalition of Democrats and liberal Republicans in power in the Texas House. In Austin, State Rep. Paul Workman (R-Austin)’s campaign attacked his opponent’s marriage with claims that had already been refuted. In the Metroplex, Straus operatives attacked taxpayer champions Matt Rinaldi (R–Irving), Jonathan Stickland (R–Bedford), and Tony Tinderholt (R–Arlington), accusing the men of supporting rapists. All three won their reelections by wide margins.
Why are Straus’s operatives forced to rely on venom and vitriol? It is because the records of the coalition of Democrats and liberal Republicans who run the Texas House are so repugnant to voters.
Voters in New Braunfels, Boerne, and Fredericksburg have an opportunity to reject duplicitous and malicious campaign tactics by backing Kyle Biedermann and retiring Doug Miller.