This afternoon, I attended a press conference for the release of mayoral candidate Ben Hall’s new campaign television ad. The email inviting Texpatriate to the press conference entertained the idea that the media reporters who attended the press conference would see the ad much earlier than the general public. The campaign walked back the ad’s release date later in the week and decided to publish live soon after our viewing. Hall’s Press Secretary, Julia Smekalina, led the event with a few opening words about the video and closed by answering questions about Hall’s campaign. Questions were raised over some of the controversial statements of the campaign, including the finances of Mayor Parker. Specifically, Hall’s assertion of the Mayor’s “hidden millionaire status acquired while in public office,” which Smekalina failed to support very convincingly. In a handout, the campaign also accused Mayor Parker of mishandling city finances and of multiple Texas Ethics Commission violations, both without any specific citations. The campaign claims to have further evidence on their new website , AdiosAnnise.com. While it has a catchy name, only time will tell whether it provides enough legitimate evidence to sway voters in favor of Hall.
Moving onto the main attraction itself, the ad focuses solely on a close up of Hall, who in few words describes his upbringing form a poor family, to gaining scholarships and going to college. He compares himself to Mayor Parker, but differentiates himself from her by claiming that, once in office, she “became a millionaire, while getting cited for multiple ethical violations.” This negative campaign ad fails to clearly state the position
Hall is running for, except for a small excerpt at the bottom screen in the last few seconds. While only a minor aspect, it was noted by those in attendance. In summary, the ad aimed to explain how Hall encompasses the “American Dream” while Mayor Parker does not. However, can one really qualify the American Dream? Ben Hall surely thinks he can.
The ad can be found here: