Leppert ad fails to button up all the facts

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by BRAD WATSON

WFAA

Posted on April 24, 2012 at 10:12 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 25 at 2:15 PM

Former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert is picking up his ad campaign in the Republican primary race for U.S. Senate.

Leppert is airing a new TV commercial claiming his opponents aren't suitable. But along with some true claims, there are others that don't fit with Leppert's entire record.

In the ad, Leppert attacks his opponents by name for the first time. Standing next to a rack of men's suits, he compares them to empty suits.

He calls Ted Cruz a "government lawyer."

Craig James is called a "sportscaster."

And Leppert refers to Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst as "A career politician backed by lobbyists."

We previously found the claim false that Dewhurst is a "career politician," considering he's 66 years old and got into politics at age 53.

It is true, however, that Dewhurst has accepted campaign donations from lobbyists; Federal Election Commission records show Leppert has not, but he's not unfamiliar with them.

Political consultant Willis Johnson worked on Leppert's 2007 campaign for mayor, and later as a lobbyist while he led the Dallas City Council.

To his credit, Leppert successfully pushed an ethics law at City Hall requiring lobbyists to register and disclose who they contact. Next in Leppert's ad, he touts his own record. "I've created good jobs, balanced budgets, and cut wasteful spending in business and government," he says.

Not so fast on that jobs claim.

Although employment went up at Turner Construction Company during the seven years that Leppert was CEO, thousands of jobs were lost at Washington Mutual while Leppert sat on the board of directors as it collapsed causing the biggest bank failure in U.S. history.

And it's misleading for him to imply that he, alone, balanced the budget and cut spending at Dallas City Hall. Fourteen other Council members voted on those budgets, too, which the law requires to be balanced.

Leppert hopes voters find him suitable as the nominee in the Republican primary on May 29.

E-mail bwatson@wfaa.com

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