"Thou shall not use my name in vain" also applies to political campaigns

Update 3.3.06 - A number of folks have called BD to tell him that the candidate referenced in this story has sent out another mailer with Mr. Cunningham's endorsement, along with the other bogus names. We are this close to putting his bogus name on here but for the publicity it would generate in his favor.

And on top of that, two other candidates for constable have been using state rep Dan Branch's name in their mailings. Only one has had Branch's endorsement since the beginning of the campaign. The other guy put Branch's name on his website months ago, then pulled it down when he got outed.

Now he has a new mailer with Branch's name - just days before the election. Again, we won't name names (until after the election) but we will drop a hint: The candidate who looks like death-warmed-over does not have the endorsement.

BD has more than his share of hands-on experience working on political campaigns in Dallas. He learned quickly that campaigns in Dallas are so much different than the ones in his native Philadelphia.

And the biggest difference is the use of endorsement cards. A candidate cannot publicize someone's endorsement unless he has that person's signature on an endorsement card, email, or letter. BD learned that unless you have that name in ink (or blood, whichever was more convenient), you simply do not use their name.

So why did a Republican candidate for Constable (a low position in the political food chain) in Precinct 3 (which includes East Dallas, Lake Highlands, Richardson and other suburban cities) use the name of someone running for District Attorney (higher up in the food chain) without written permission?

BD started to hear about this endorsement fiasco after a cheesy half-page postcard started arriving in local mailboxes. On one side was the candidate's photo and list of accomplishments; the other side was a list of his endorsements.

Buried deep in that list was the name Vic Cunningham, an East Dallas resident (and son of City Plan Commissioner Bulldog Cunningham) running in a a hot three-way race for the Republican nomination for District Attorney.

This did not go over well with the Cunningham team, who issued a press release saying he has not made any endorsements in contested races so he can concentrate on his own campaign.

As one political wag told BD, (That candidate) just got the political equivalent of a b---- slap, and it was not a pretty sight.

This same wag pointed out that there are at least four other names on the endorsement list that should not be included, including a state senator (not from the Dallas area) who did not endorse anyone in the race, two attorneys who have endorsed other candidates, and a Republican club chairperson who is prohibited from making personal endorsements.

BD already knew that the Republicans tend to eat their young during political campaigns, but this is just plain dumb.

BD, a Yankee Democrat, is so very not excited about the the folks running for DA on his side of the fence, but is glad to see the Republicans are starting to have more fun in their campaigns.

By Avi S. Adelman under Elections , Legal issues