Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Sylvia Garcia punching down

Sylvia Garcia recently sent out this mail piece to SD-6 residents and voters, and earlier today Houston city councilman James Rodriguez -- a supporter of Carol Alvarado's campaign -- responded to it.

I am disappointed that Sylvia Garcia has decided to take her campaign in a negative direction by questioning Carol Alvarado’s support for an underpass at Harrisburg Boulevard...

At last night’s Senate District 6 Candidates Forum, Ms. Garcia went on to say that “some of the local representatives did not have the guts to stand” with the community in supporting an underpass.

Let me set the record straight.  In a letter dated July 30, 2008 to then-Metro CEO Frank Wilson, Ms. Garcia said “I support the concept of a bridge or underpass at the Union Pacific grade crossing,” on Harrisburg Boulevard. 

Let me further set the record straight.  Several elected officials including myself, Mayor Annise Parker, and Council Members Melissa Noriega and Ed Gonzalez worked with the community to find  the funding to pay for the underpass.  Ms. Garcia never attended any of the meetings on seeking a solution.  In fact, at a community forum in February of 2009, Ms. Garcia was asked if she would contribute to the funding of the underpass from her Precinct 2 Commissioner’s Road and Bridge Fund.  She declined.

Thanks to the Mayor’s leadership and the leadership of my colleagues, we were able to secure funding for the underpass including $10 million in Capital Improvement Plan dollars from District I.

Carol Alvarado worked with the community and made sure Metro heard their concerns.  Ms. Garcia supported the concept of a bridge, was a no-show during this entire process and for her to make this a campaign issue is a disservice to the voters of Senate District 6.

Most of my blogging compadres are trying to avoid even looking at this sort of thing, much less write about it, and truthfully I don't blame them for taking that course.

I don't know why Garcia -- with a million bucks to spend and hundreds of volunteers who have already canvassed the senate district's neighborhoods several times -- feels the need to punch below her weight class like this. It's the second time she has done so (that I am aware of) and both times the Alvarado campaign punched her back, hard.

If Garcia ultimately wins the seat, Alvarado is going to be both her constituent and colleague in the Texas House. They'll have to work together on a variety of issues for the district. Ad hominem attacks between two Democrats in a special election like this are unseemly and unnecessary... unless there's something personal between the two women that hasn't been aired publicly. And frankly, I don't think anybody wants to hear them air their grievances.

I think this is one instance where attacks ads aren't going to help the attacker. I'd like to believe that, anyway. I'd also like to see a cleaner race from here on. There are plenty of issues that need attacking, so I hope the two front-runners for SD-6 focus on those, and not some petty personal dispute.

Update: Stace Medellin, better-connected than me, expands and clarifies.

No comments: