Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Shelf Life of an Endorsement

A public spat has broken out between the Richardson Coalition PAC and Richardson mayoral candidate Amir Omar. Its roots are in the Richardson Coalition PAC's 2009 and 2011 endorsements of Omar for city council, endorsements the Richardson Coalition PAC doesn't want Omar calling voters' attention to any more. In this election, the Richardson Coalition PAC is endorsing Laura Maczka.

Let's go to the archives, so readers can judge for themselves who has the better claim to truth and accuracy in this spat. After the jump.

Our first artifact is from the "Richardson Coalition 2011 Voter's Guide".
Amir Omar (Top Rated)

Mr. Omar, who has been a staunch fiscal conservative since before he served in the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets, has been a star in his first term on the city council. Councilman Omar's high energy and tenacity keeps the city's management staff on their toes. Working with the Mayor and fellow Councilmen, Mr. Omar's efforts helped lead to over $4 million in savings for the tax payers in just his first term. The Coalition highly recommends Councilman Omar for re-election.
Our next artifact is from a 2013 mailer from Amir Omar's campaign for mayor.
As a Councilman, Amir Omar worked with city staff to scrub the city budget and find more than $4 million in savings for taxpayers, leading the Richardson Coalition to praise him as a "staunch fiscal conservative."
Source: Omar for Richardson.
That warm relationship between the Richardson Coalition PAC and Omar no longer holds. Omar himself admitted so in the March 26, 2013, mayoral forum. Our next artifact is from my review of that forum.
I didn't expect Omar to highlight his differences with a prominent establishment leader, whom he did not name, quite so explicitly. He told of being warned that if he voted to put the question of direct election of the mayor before the voters in a referendum, he'd have a hard time winning re-election. He said he took the principled stand anyway whereas Maczka led the opposition to changing the city charter.
Source: The Wheel.
Maybe Omar tossed the first stone in the spat, but it didn't take long for the Richardson Coalition PAC to fire back at Omar publicly, using his mailer as proximate cause. Our last artifact is from a 2013 email from the Richardson Coalition PAC:
Dear Mr. Omar,

Last week many Richardson citizens received a mailer from you, where you once again used a quote from the Richardson Coalition. After your earlier use of the same quote early in your campaign, we politely requested that you no longer use stale endorsements from 2009.

You ignored our request.

In addition, your campaign workers are now calling voters using the same quote and also implying support of the Richardson Coalition.

We find it disingenuous and insincere to imply that you have the Richardson Coalition's support, in spite of the Coalition's strong letter of support for Mayor Pro-Tem Laura Maczka, published on 3/18/13.

As you know, the following have endorsed Laura Maczka for Mayor:

The Richardson Coalition
All five returning City Council members
Nearly every former Richardson mayor
Nearly every former City Council member

This behavior intentionally misleads readers and is unacceptable.

We now call on you to stop misleading Richardson voters.
Source: Richardson Coalition PAC.
So, who has the better claim to truth and accuracy in this spat?

Omar's mailer is all factually true, but fails to state that the Richardson Coalition PAC's warm words are from the last election, not this one. So, maybe give Amir Omar a minor demerit for not dating the quote.

The Richardson Coalition PAC endorsed Omar not just in 2009 but in the most recent election in 2011, too. Yet the Richardson Coalition PAC only mentions "stale endorsements from 2009." Give the Richardson Coalition PAC a minor demerit themselves for trying to sweep its endorsements into the more distant past.

The Richardson Coalition PAC says their endorsement of Omar is "stale" but fails to say why. Is Omar no longer a "staunch fiscal conservative?" Does he no longer have "high energy and tenacity?" The Richardson Coalition PAC simply doesn't say. They offer no evidence that Omar has changed in some way. Endorsements are not loaves of bread. They don't go stale on their own. Either the Richardson Coalition PAC wasn't telling the truth in 2011 or else Omar is no longer the same person he was then when the Richardson Coalition PAC called him "top rated." Which is it? The Richardson Coalition PAC needs to tell the voters why its glowing words from 2011 no longer apply. It's not enough to simply state the endorsement is "stale." Give the Richardson Coalition PAC one big demerit for not answering those questions.

This public spat serves nobody well, not the Richardson Coalition PAC, not the candidate, and least of all the voters of Richardson who deserve a substantive debate of the issues, not a sophomoric spat over who liked whom when.


Sassy Texan said...


Destiny said...

Totally agree. Came off very childish, and made the coalition look silly, and petty.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

This is not a question of endorsements going stale - it's a question of history going stale...as if.

It's a historical fact that the Richardson Coalition cited Amir as a "staunch fiscal conservative" just two years ago. The right Amir has to recount that history undeniable. History doesn't go stale - it's preserved permanently in time. Thanks to the research by Mr. Steger, our VIEW of history can be modified, or in this case, simply proven.

This Open Letter episode serves to remind us that Amir Omar is indeed believed to be a long-time STAUNCH FISCAL CONSERVATIVE - not just because he says so, but also because others, including the Richardson Coalition, have said so. I believe them.

It also reminds us that Amir has enjoyed the endorsement of the Richardson Coalition since prior to each of his TWO TERMS IN OFFICE, but not now. I'm glad they pointed that out.