If you’re a candidate in a run-off, please do yourself a favor and make sure the insults you throw at your opponent are not also offending potential voters. It’s one thing to draw attention to an issue of importance, yet inexcusable when attached to negative generalizations and slurs toward an entire industry.
In an email blast from the Wes Riddle for Congress campaign, sent July 12, Wes draws attention to his opponent’s supposed participation in the “bail-out” issued by President Obama.
“For Roger to claim he opposed the $82 billion auto bailout when his dealership received bailout funds and his wife, who serves as president of the dealership, personally lobbied for the funds is ridiculous. The voters have a right to know the truth. If Roger won’t tell voters the truth about his record, I will.”
I have been in the car business for seventeen years, and have seen the ups and downs. The period when Obama took office and essentially took control of Chrysler and General Motors, should go down in history as the most egregious government takeover of a private company.
I knew Dealers who lost their dealerships, liquidating their assets and filing bankruptcy in order to survive. But, to be clear, the bail-out money didn’t go to the dealers…it went to the manufacturers. Those dealers who fought for their right to remain in business, are the ones who survived the Obama purge. Obviously Roger Williams was not lobbying for money, he was fighting for everything three generations of his family had built including the well being of their many employees.
Do I blame someone for fighting for what is rightfully theirs? Absolutely not. Would I fight for what’s mine…you bet I would. So, when Wes Riddle blasts Williams for taking the “bail-out” money, he’s misleading the public. Whether it’s intentional or not, is not up to me to determine. However, his tactics are yielding negative results in my opinion. Not just that the statements are not accurate, but in the same statement, Riddle mocks the auto industry by suggesting all car salesmen are liars.
Does he not know how “car salesmen” affect the economy? Every time a car is sold, taxes are generated, a salesperson earns a commission, and the dealership makes a small profit. But that’s not all. What went into the manufacturing of that sold vehicle? Engines, tires, paint, metal, plastic, transportation, and countless peripheral businesses survive on the sales of vehicles. In Congressional District 25, there are hundreds of auto dealerships…ranging from small, independent used car dealerships to large, franchise operations.
As someone who makes his living in the car business, and like the many Texas residents who also make their living through the auto industry, I am offended with the statement “Like any car salesman, Roger Williams will say anything.”
It’s bad enough we have to overcome the negative stereotype that exists because of crooked businessmen (and they exist in every business),but now we have to defend ourselves against our own Republican Candidates? To go around, spreading this story of “bail-outs” is one thing, but to degrade and insult us is outrageous and disrespectful. To lump us into a group and say we are liars, or conniving is beyond unacceptable.
I’m not sure if it was Wes’ idea to use that verbiage, but if it were me, I’d do the right thing and remove it from my campaign website, facebook page, and any other place it could be doing damage to our business.