Friday, February 28, 2014

Is the Forney Bridge a bridge to nowhere?

I was at the Tribune as work finally got underway for the Forney Bridge project, to much fanfare. 

Now that it is election season, it seems the Skeet Phillips camp (Kaufman County Precinct 2 commissioner candidate) has decided to make a late push to give a lot of credit for the development to Ray Clark (the incumbent).

Except that now, if claims are to be believed, the bridge is apparently a huge waste of money designed to benefit Clark.

I don't know Clark or Phillips, and I don't really care who wins. But this is the kind of ridiculous campaign spin that makes an accusatory candidate look ridiculous.  The scale of the bridge project, the financing involved and the long time frame in which this project took place make these claims invalid.  The fact that a supporter used a stolen copyrighted image to make a comment is just as dumb. 

By the looks of things, the TEA Party folks who were irate at Lance Gooden's falsehoods seem pretty content to use the same methods.

For the record, much of the financing for the bridge development was provided by private investment (Hunt) to be paid back out of future revenues generated by the project.  That Clark's property (hardly a farm by the looks of it) is in the area is convenient, but inconsequential to the project.  The claim that the project cost taxpayers $22 million is a lie, no matter how you parse it.

Campaign advice from Don, since no one is asking…
The temptation to make salacious claims is strong, like the dark side of The Force in Star Wars.  But resist it.

Any time you make a claim about someone else, you are also making a counter claim about yourself.  Is  Phillips now saying that the bridge development was a bad idea?  Would he have worked to prevent the project from happening? I'm not sure if being anti-development is a stance you want to have as a commissioner.

Unfortunately, even though the tactics are ridiculous, they often seem to work.  How many people will see this and assume it is accurate?  We shall see.  It will be a test of the  power of candidate Facebook messaging I suppose.

Oh, and have a great Friday!

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