McALLEN, Texas – Alamo Mayor Diana Martinez says the attack ads being run on Monica De La Cruz’s behalf against her Congressional District 15 opponent, Michelle Vallejo, are not working.
“They are actually counter-productive. People can see they are false. People are being turned off by them,” Martinez said.
Martinez, pictured above, says she likes to “take the pulse” of elderly people in her community by visiting them in bingo halls such as Bingo Gardens in Pharr. She said the bingo players she has spoken to do not like the attack ads being run on De La Cruz’s behalf.
“The negative TV ads I am hearing about from the elderly people, they are complaining about them. They are saying, why are they running these ads if they are not true. They are looking at the whole picture and they are going towards Michelle. They are tired of negativity,” Martinez said.
The script for one of the ads reads: “No borders, no enforcement, just anarchy, dangerous ideas. Michelle Vallejo gave them a platform, hosting a border resistance event at her family business. Anarchist artwork, calls to smash ICE, she even promoted a benefit concert for the No Borders movement. Join us for the fun, she wrote. The border is the only thing keeping us from cartel chaos. Keep Michelle Vallejo far from Congress.”
The ad was produced by a Washington, D.C., based Republican super PAC called Congressional Leadership Fund.
Martinez said visiting the bingo halls is a great way to test the mood of the elderly.
“I like to hear what they think and about what is going on. I was struck by the reaction to the ads. They said: ‘They are all false. Those are lies that they are saying just to get Michelle’s opponent elected.’ There is no doubt, they are upset about the ads. And they all vote. I asked them, are you registered to vote. They said, ‘Yes I am. That is why I am voting for Michelle’.”
Martinez said the bingo players are making sure their children are registered to vote also.
Mari Regalado is an executive board member for Annie’s List, a group that has endorsed Vallejo. Regalado said negative ads can work if they reinforce a generally held view about a candidate. The problem with De La Cruz’s attack ads is they depict Vallejo in a manner that is not a generally held view, she said.
“People do not like the way the ads make Michelle look. They make her look like she is angry when this young woman is only 31 years old. She is very happy. She has got a beautiful smile, a fabulous smile that embraces our community,” Regalado said.
“Plus, the message in the ads is fake. You can tell they are fake. Monica is lying. She needs to stick to the reality of what is going on in our community. What our needs are. She has resorted to making false accusations about this young woman, Michelle.”
Regalado said one of her biggest objections to De La Cruz is her refusal to appear at candidate forums being hosted by local chambers of commerce. So far, De La Cruz is making organizers wait for a decision on her participation in three CD 15 candidate forums. One is being organized by Futuro RGV, one by the McAllen Chamber of Commerce, and one by the Pharr Chamber of Commerce.
“Monica De La Cruz does not want to do any debates with our chambers of commerce and our civic groups. Why? Why does she not want to debate Michelle? Why is she scared of Michelle? What does she have to hide?”
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