Texas governor race: Abbott campaign asks for money to battle Davis’ ‘negative TV ads’

By David Yates | Sep 1, 2014

AUSTIN (Legal Newsline) – By the end of August, Attorney General Greg Abbott had more than $35 million in his war chest appropriated for his run at governor.

On Tuesday, his campaign tapped supporters for more contributions, seeking the extra funds to combat Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis’ most recent television ads.

“Sen. Wendy Davis is going negative. And thanks to her out-of-state liberal allies and Obama mega-donors, they’ve got the resources to continue their desperate smear campaign,” Kim Snyder, deputy Abbott campaign manager, said in an email.

“We need your help to respond immediately – will you contribute to help us fight back? Sen. Davis has already spent $4 million to air negative TV ads, and she’s poised to spend millions more to continue attacking Greg Abbott.”

As previously reported, Davis’ first TV ad, released earlier this month, centers on an early 1990s lawsuit brought by a woman who was “brutally” raped by a Kirby Vacuum salesman as her two children slept. The salesman was a sexual predator on probation but the Kirby distributor failed to perform a routine background check.

By a 6-3 vote in 1998, the Texas Supreme Court upheld a $160,000 award in favor of the plaintiff against Kirby, with then-justice Abbott dissenting and finding that Kirby owed no duty or was responsible for the distributor – the actual party in charge of hiring, court records show.

The second TV ad, released Saturday, accuses Abbott of letting wealthy donors take tens of millions of dollars from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas without proper oversight.

“Sen. Davis’ first deceptive ad has been described as ‘flagrantly misleading’ and ‘relying on character assassination and fear mongering,’” Snyder said. “Her campaign doubled down on these tactics last week, releasing a second misleading TV ad recycling old debunked claims.

“It’s clear that rather than promote a vision or plan for Texas, Sen. Davis and her allies intend to shamelessly attack Greg Abbott’s record all the way to Election Day. Ironically, as we know, it’s Sen. Wendy Davis who has consistently sold her position as state senator to pad her personal bank account. We’re relying on Texans like you to help us make sure voters know the truth.”

Reach David Yates at elections@legalnewsline.com

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