Liberal Houston Mayor Blasts Dishonesty in Democratic Primary

Liberal Houston Mayor Blasts Dishonesty in Democratic Primary

Today Houston Mayor Annise Parker, a democrat, tweeted her disdain for what she refers to as dishonest behavior in the Democrat primaries. National news sources have been quick to report on the rivalry among conservative candidates in the Texas primaries this year, but Republicans aren’t the only ones suffering from inner-party political disputes.

This morning, Mayor Parker made the following statements on her Twitter account:

Around the same time her office sent out a press release praising Judge Steven Kirkland, a candidate for the judge of the 113th District Court. In the press release she also criticized Kirkland’s opponents for using misleading campaign tactics. 

The press release stated:

If you are lucky, you’ve missed the avalanche of negative, prerecorded phone calls and mailers that are part of a smear campaign against Judge Steven Kirkland.

If not, don’t be fooled. They are wrong, misleading and shameful.

Steve Kirkland is an exceptionally qualified judge, with 12 years of experience on the bench and 30 years’ experience as a community servant fighting discrimination, expanding affordable housing and revitalizing neighborhoods.

The pre-recorded phone calls and emails that are being used to attack Judge Kirkland suggest that he is currently in jail for drunk driving.  Radio advertisements on urban stations in Houston are airing fake “breaking news” reports that addressed how Judge Kirkland had been arrested for a DWI.  Another was narrated by a woman claiming to be the victim of a drunk driver.  Back in 2012 similar attack ads on Judge Steven Kirkland were also aired on Houston radio stations and his opponent at the time was Elaine Palmer. 

Judge Steven Kirkland’s opponent is Lori C. Gray, a lawyer from Houston and the producer of “Sister’s & Friends” a weekly public affairs radio program syndicated nationally on National Public Radio stations [NPR]. Gray’s campaign manager and only campaign donor is George Flemming, a Houston lawyer who also funded Elaine Palmer’s campaign in 2012. 

Judge Kirkland addresses his history with substance abuse on his website…

I am a recovering alcoholic. Twenty nine years ago I faced addiction, turned my life around, and have not had any alcohol since. This should be considered a strength, but it also means there is a past. Prior to recovery, I was arrested several times for public intoxication and driving while intoxicated.

George Fleming and Judge Kirkland are not strangers. A couple years back the judge made a decision that cost Fleming’s law firm approximately $13 million. Fleming’s firm was sued by some of his previous clients regarding a settlement against the pharmaceutical giant, Wyeth, for a diet drug called Fen-Phen.

Judge Steven Kirkland has been praised by Houston liberals for being the first openly gay municipal judge in the Harris County LGBT community. Mayor Parker is one of the first openly gay mayors of a major U.S. city, with Houston being the most populous U.S. city to elect an openly gay mayor. She married her wife in January of this year in California, because same-sex marriage is not recognized in Texas.   

Besides the attack ads and pre-recorded calls, Lori C. Gray is also using this amusing radio jingle to promote her campaign.

Ken Webster Jr. is the Executive Producer of The Walton and Johnson show and a Contributing Producer to The Michael Berry Show. Follow Ken on Twitter @Producer Ken


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