Sunday, October 19, 2008

Attacks ramp up in Texas Senate District 10 race

By ANTHONY SPANGLER - The Fort Worth Star Telegram - Oct. 18, 2008
FORT WORTH — If you thought the attacks have been harsh in the
presidential race, get ready for some tough TV ads and biting
accusations by candidates vying for Texas Senate District 10.

Democratic challenger Wendy Davis started running TV advertisements
Friday that paint incumbent state Sen. Kim Brimer, R-Fort Worth, as a
servant to special interests and a deadbeat who defaulted on a loan.

A narrator uses the phrases "Brimer prefers the shadows to the
spotlight" and "The more we know, the worse it gets."

Just hours after airing its first TV commercials attacking Brimer, the
Davis campaign found itself Friday fending off allegations from Brimer’s
campaign staff and consultants that she is a "ghost employee" at
Republic Title in Fort Worth and that she was paid bonuses for steering
business to the company through her position on the Fort Worth City Council.

Surrounded by campaign workers at her camp’s Fort Worth headquarters,
Davis denied Brimer’s allegations, calling them blatant "lies."

"Kim Brimer is filing trumped-up legal charges and hiding from the
voters because he does not want to talk about his record," she said at
the news conference. "I am challenging you [Brimer] today to stop lying
and filing phony legal actions."

The complaint, mailed to the Texas Insurance Department by Brimer’s
campaign manager, Jarod Cox, contends that Davis was paid bonuses by
Republic Title that violate state law and that she does no work for
Republic Title. A spokesman for the department said the agency has not
received any complaints regarding Davis or Republic Title.

A vice president of the company who answered the phone Friday at a Fort
Worth office of Republic Title said that Davis is an employee and has a
direct extension but that it is easier to reach her on her cellular
phone or at her campaign headquarters.

According to documents obtained by the Star-Telegram, Davis had the
city’s law department review her contract as chief executive of
Republic Title’s Fort Worth division, including her $180,000 annual salary.

Fort Worth City Attorney Davis Yett wrote in a Nov. 9, 2004, letter
that Davis’ "employment agreement provides for compensation in the form
of salary, without any incentives or commissions."

Davis said she is the only executive at Republic Title in Fort Worth who
does not receive bonuses.

"I never accepted any commission or incentives from Republic Title, as
Brimer would have you believe," she said. "I revised my contract to
remove any commission or incentive payments on the advice of the [Fort
Worth] city attorney."

Although Brimer’s TV campaign ads focus on his endorsement by Fort Worth
Mayor Mike Moncrief and the 18 other mayors in the Senate district,
Davis said Friday that Brimer’s campaign has been full of negative
attacks in the form of "trumped-up complaints."

Davis also criticized the Brimer campaign for trying to remove her from
the ballot through a lawsuit challenging her eligibility as a candidate.
The case was rejected this month by a Dallas appeals court.

Brimer’s campaign officials say they are running a positive campaign.

"Ms. Davis’ actions today are kind of like a hubcap thief that steals
the hubcaps and then gets caught, comes back and puts them back on and
says there was no crime," Cox said. "We’ll let the complaint speak for
itself. If she wants to claim things at Republic Title were on the up
and up, then she should release those pay stubs going back to 2004. ..."

Read more in the Fort Worth Star Telegram

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