Truth test for attack ad

October 24, 2008 5:39:16 PM PDT
There are political attack ads all over the airwaves and you might be surprised by is behind some of the ads. "Republican Harris County commissioner Jerry Eversole, now the focus of an FBI corruption probe," says an ad from First Tuesday.

Have you seen that one? It is a laundry list of political scandal this year. That bit about Eversole is true, but he's not running for re-election. Neither is Chuck Rosenthal, but he's in there, too.

"Republican DA Chuck Rosenthal: scandals involving sexist and racist emails," the ad continues.

Ok, also true. But in past reports, the truth meter has questioned the truthfulness of this section.

"Republican Sheriff Tommy Thomas: his office under investigation by the Justice Department. Your tax dollars spent on improvements to his million dollar ranch," says the ad.

The most interesting part of this ad is who's paying for it.

"Harris County government, 15 years of Republican rule?" states the ad.

That fine print gives credit to something called the First Tuesday PAC, not a candidate. But who are they?

First Tuesday is an independent group headed, according to documents, by local attorney David Matthiesen. Records show he's given thousands to Democratic candidates.

But it costs money to buy all the ads. The donors are mostly Houston trial lawyers, but the single biggest donor is Democratic candidate for judge, David Mincberg, who gave $25,000 to the group. Mincberg says it is part of his long tradition of supporting local Democrats. There's nothing illegal about it, just curious.

"Had enough? Vote Democratic," concludes the ad.

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