Reality Check: Leppert TV ad about job creation, opponent claims

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by BRAD WATSON

WFAA

Posted on April 12, 2012 at 8:13 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 2 at 5:10 PM

DALLAS - Former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert, now running in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, started airing a new campaign ad on TV this week.

In the commercial, he touts his record as a job-creating businessman.

But in two claims, he failed to hire the truth.

In the ad, Leppert says his experience as a CEO gives him the edge over his opponents.

"As the only businessman in this race, I've created thousands of good jobs," he says in the ad.

The first part of that claim is false.

Leppert's not the only business person running. Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst founded an energy company in the 1980's, and Craig James started a broadcast production firm, worked in real estate and has a hay farming business.

It's true while Leppert led Turner Construction and another company as CEO from 1996 to 2006, total jobs increased under him by more than 2,400.

Left unsaid are the jobs created at the city-owned convention center hotel Leppert supported as mayor, but that angered some conservatives.

In the commercial, Leppert explains his success, "Well, I didn't call people like my opponents: a career politician and a lawyer."

Implying Dewhurst is a career politician is false.

PolitiFact Texas by the Austin American-Statesman agrees on this one, by pointing out the 66-year-old Dewhurst didn't enter politics until he was 53. Dewhurst also served in the Air Force and as a CIA agent.

But's the claim is true that opponent Ted Cruz is a lawyer.

Leppert says in the ad, government should get out of the way so business can grow.

And the ad concludes, "I'm conservative Tom Leppert, I approve this message, because creating jobs is my job."

But not so fast.

Before he became a candidate, Leppert already had a job as an elected official. Dallas voters hired him in 2007 to serve as mayor four years. Yet he quit four months before his term ended to run for senate.

GOP primary voters make their hiring decisions May 29.

E-mail bwatson@wfaa.com

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