Mayor Parker pulled an old trick out of her hat this week on her opponent, Ben Hall. She released her tax returns and called upon him to do the same.
This tactic has been used time again. Interestingly, it began as a Republican tactic on Democratic candidates. Over the years, the tables have turned and many Democratic candidates now use it to illustrate the “they’re not like you and me” point with wealthy Republican candidates.
In municipal elections, it has become common for the candidate less wealthy than the other to deploy the tactic. Mayor Parker clearly knows that Ben Hall is a wealthy attorney.
Yet his recent television buy taught us about his humble beginnings and shared his “bootstrap” story. So Parker calls upon him to tell us just how successful he’s been.
While not surprised to see the tactic deployed, it does seem a little early. Parker is actually the one swinging at Ben Hall fairly hard. In response to his biographical ads, she issued a hard-hitting attack ad. This is quickly followed by a call for release of his tax returns and the revelation that he has previously had a tax lien.
Folks, it is not even Labor Day yet and this race is in full swing.
Hall’s aggression towards Parker has mainly focused on calling for her to debate him six times. He’s not released specific attacks yet but mainly alluded to the fact that they will be coming soon.
For any person who has served in office as long as Parker has, there will be plenty of material to twist and turn for the Hall effort. It appeared initially that he would define the tone of the campaign but Parker has quickly turned this around.
It seems she took her surprisingly narrow margin of victory in 2011 seriously and plans to directly and aggressively respond to any opponent.
Stay tuned because this race may prove to be great political theater as we move forward.