Attack Ad’s Crazy Shirtless Photo of Candidate Was Taken at a Charity Event

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
May 1 2014 10:31 AM

Attack Ad’s Crazy Shirtless Photo of Candidate Was Taken at a Charity Event

Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst is the unluckiest man in conservative politics—a situation he usually responds to with sweaty panic. In 2012, on the way to blowing a drawn-out Senate primary race against Ted Cruz, he accidentally raised Cruz's profile with expensive negative ads. (Cruz couldn't match the wealthy Dewhurst's fundraising clout until he rose in the polls.) In 2014 Dewhurst's new, poor image with conservatives led him into a runoff against even-more-conservative state Sen. Dan Patrick—who'd actually endorsed Dewhurst over Cruz! Dewhurst lost the first round of the primary so badly (he got 28.3 percent of the vote in a four-way race) that some conservative strategists tried to shame him into quitting.

But he didn't. He proceeded to julienne Patrick with negative ads, like this one from yesterday.

If you don't actually want to watch the ad, this is what I will call—with immediate regret—the money shot.

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Man, what's wrong with this Patrick guy that he would allow himself to be photographed partying shirtless with a tie dangling around his neck?

Oh.

The photo was taken at a Christmas fundraising party for our children with multiple disabilities and our deaf children at Be An Angel in December 2010. I was auctioning off the shirt off my back, literally, as part of the live auction. It sold for $1500 and it hangs proudly in the office of the couple who purchased it. They are long time supporters of mine and Be An Angel.
My opponent knows where the picture came from and what it was about because they used one of the 5 photos from my Facebook post on December 12, 2010.
For David Dewhurst to use a photo from a charity event for disabled children, and pervert the use of that photo to attack me in his continued negative campaign is about as low as you can go.

The runoff is on May 27—plenty of time for voters to find out that Patrick changed his last name years ago.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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