Wealthy attorney Quico Canseco, thus far the only Republican to announce for the 23rd district, is running a radio ad calling on Rep. Ciro Rodriguez (D) to return donations he has received from MoveOn.org.
Canseco is attacking Rodriguez over the ad MoveOn.org ran in The New York Times earlier this month that suggested U.S. commander in Iraq Gen. David Petraeus is a traitor and could not be trusted to provide truthful testimony to Congress regarding the progress of President Bush’s Iraq War strategy.
“Congressman Rodriguez either needs to return this money or explain to South Texans how he can claim to support the military while receiving support from an organization that attacks the military,” Canseco said in a statement.
According to Canseco’s campaign, the 60-second spot is running on radio stations across the sprawling 23rd district, which runs from San Antonio to the edge of El Paso.
Rodriguez’s office said Canseco’s ad is littered with falsehoods and mischaracterizations, including the claim that the Congressman has accepted more money from MoveOn.org than any other House Member.
“While I strongly disagree with the characterization of General Petraeus in the New York Times ad paid for by MoveOn, I am focused on representing the people of the 23rd District of Texas. Candidates on both sides of the aisle should take care not to repeat MoveOn’s mistake by politicizing our troops and veterans for personal political gain,” Rodriguez said in a statement.
The 23rd district, redrawn in the summer of 2006 per a Supreme Court decision that ruled the district’s old boundaries violated the Voting Rights Act, would have chosen President Bush over then-Vice President Al Gore in the 2000 presidential election.
However, the new district lines are more friendly to Democratic candidates than the old 23rd district, with the new boundaries helping Rodriguez defeat then-Rep. Henry Bonilla (R) in a December 2006 runoff.
— David M. Drucker