A recent campaign ad against Gov. Rick Perry is drawing the ire of the Texas Republican Party.
Throughout the state, several newspapers ran a full-page advertisement that shows a photo of Perry on a black page with the word "COWARD" in capital letters.
The ad is criticizing Perry's decision not to debate his Democratic opponent, former Houston Mayor Bill White.
The governor has said that he won't debate until White releases his financial records from when he served as Deputy U.S. Secretary of Energy.
"... Rick Perry is afraid to stand up, face Texans like you, and defend his miserable record," the ad states.
The ad was paid for by Back to Basics Political Action Committee, a group funded mainly by Houston trial lawyer Steve Mostyn, the incoming president of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association.
"This ad is one of the most irresponsible and, frankly, counterproductive ads that we've seen in Texas in a long time," Bryan Preston, communications director for the Republican Party of Texas, said.
Mostyn made millions by pursuing mold lawsuits and is currently filing thousands of hurricane-related suits. Preston said Mostyn's activities helped drive up insurance rates and drive many insurers away from the state.
Now, Preston said, Mostyn is pouring large amounts of his fortune into the campaigns of Democratic candidates.
In an interview on "The Craig Anderson Show" on Midland's KWEL Radio, Preston said there is a reason behind Mostyn's support of Democrats.
"Mostyn's agenda is to overturn Texas' successful tort reform so that he can keep filing lucrative lawsuits, and trial lawyer Bill White is only too happy to help out with that.
Said Preston, "If anyone is the 'coward' here, it's Bill White for hiding behind various front groups and attacking our great Governor from the weeds."
To listen to Preston's interview, visit http://www.texasgopvote.com/blog/who-really-behind-rick-perry-coward-ad-08256.