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And the Campaign Just Got Uglier...

OK, so you don't believe Don Hill when he says he didn't ask Tom Leppert for dough in exchange for his endorsement. But do you believe Leppert, when he says he has nothing to do with those hateful calls being placed by the the ultra-conservative Heritage Alliance Political Action Committee? According to Dallas Blog, Heritage -- about which I wrote in February 2005 -- cites stories about Ed Oakley's homosexuality and then suggest voters cast their lot with Leppert, since he's "a Christian, married and the father of three children."

Leppert's people today put on his Web site -- and issued to the local media -- the following press release, in which he wants to "assure the citizens of Dallas" his campaign isn't making those "hateful calls." Leppert also says he's talked to Heritage and demanded they stop making them; he doesn't say whether Heritage has agreed to cease. Unfair Park was unable to reach Heritage as well.

And you thought this campaign, placid and polite till two weeks ago, couldn't get any uglier. --Robert Wilonsky

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

LEPPERT ASKS FOR HATEFUL CALLS TO STOP

(DALLAS – June 9, 2007) -- Tom Leppert is asking the organization sending out hateful phone calls to Dallas citizens regarding the mayor’s race to “stop them immediately.”

The following message has been posted on the home page of Leppert’s website at www.tomleppert.com:

Receiving hateful calls?

Today, we have heard from citizens across Dallas who are receiving negative phone calls about my opponent. I want to assure the citizens of Dallas that it is not our campaign.

The calls are being made by a group called the Heritage Alliance PAC. I have contacted this group by phone and by email and asked them to stop the calls.

These tactics will only divide our city and discourage voters. Dallas voters have been tasked with the very important decision of who will lead our city into the future, and they deserve better than this.

“There is no need for this sort of negative attack. We have identified where the calls are coming from – I have called them and ask them to stop, and I hope the Oakley campaign will do the same. This election is too important for voters to be distracted or discouraged by negative attacks like this,” said Tom Leppert.

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