AroundFortWayne

Crawford response to negative ads

Republican City Councilman Tom Didier and Republican Mayoral candidate John Crawford
Republican City Councilman Tom Didier and Republican Mayoral candidate John Crawford during a news conference on April 16, 2019 at the Republican Headquarters. Photo by AroundFortWayne.

News release from the Crawford for Mayor Committee:

John Crawford responds to opponent’s negative campaign ads

(April 16, 2019) – At a press conference at Allen County GOP headquarters this morning, City Councilman At-Large John Crawford, a Republican mayoral primary candidate, responded to recent negative and misleading campaign ads, in print, on TV and on social media, by his opponent.

“It was very painful to read Tim Smith’s mailer saying that ‘20 years of John Crawford has hurt Fort Wayne,'” said Crawford. “I have dedicated 20 years of my life and likely 10,000 hours of public service to make our community better. To summarize my whole career of public service as harmful to the city and citizens I’ve served is insulting, over the line, and unacceptable. In over 20 years of political campaigns, I have never attacked another Republican I was running against. It is extremely disappointing that my opponent is taking the low road of negative campaigning.”

Crawford pointed out that Smith’s pessimistic view of Fort Wayne does not match the mood of residents. Fort Wayne is doing well overall, Crawford said, and that is partially due to the actions of the Republican City Council majority.

“We eliminated collective bargaining for six city unions, which saves at least $3 million annually to the city budget. In 2007, I passed a $3 million property tax cut to the city budget, which cumulatively has reduced city property taxes by over $30 million.”

“These attacks are not just on me, but Smith throws Republican Council members of the last 24 years under the bus to further his own political ends,” Crawford said. “I don’t do anything on City Council by myself. All City Council actions are by majority vote.”

“My opponent follows the classic negative campaigning playbook of the challenger with no record or experience in government,” Crawford said. “No specifics, just empty rhetoric, and criticizing others who have made the tough choices to keep the city doing well.”

“After the mailer, we saw a juvenile commercial that looked like it was designed by a 12-year-old. Insulting your opponent and trying to destroy their reputation is the strategy of a negative politician desperate to win at any cost.”

“I had hoped that by advancing only positive ideas, we could keep the Republican Party united to retake the Mayor’s office in the fall,” Crawford said. “I will continue to focus on our campaign’s positive ideas about fighting the opioid crisis and crime, keeping city spending under control, economic development, and maintaining our neighborhood infrastructure. But we will respond to correct misleading attacks of our opponent. I ask our citizens to reject such dishonesty, such pandering and such negative politics.”

Crawford said that Americans For Prosperity, a libertarian/conservative political advocacy group founded by the Koch brothers, has been making calls to citizens creating the misleading impression that a new tax is being proposed for downtown development. The calls advise citizens to call Crawford and complain about the tax. “Let me be clear – there are no new taxes planned for downtown or anywhere. Zero. Zip Nada. This is all a political dirty trick, and citizens need to know the truth.”

Crawford summarizes: “Fort Wayne Republican voters SHOULD EXPECT MORE. They should expect honesty in their candidates and not to be misled by dirty trick political phone calls.”

 

Transcript of Crawford’s comments as provided by his campaign:

I called this news conference today with a heavy heart.

I have had over 50 opponents in 15 races and NEVER had one resort to such negative attacks. I have never insulted another Republican I was running against.

It is extremely disappointing that my opponent is taking the low road of negative campaigning. I have heard from many of my supporters that they are also offended.

It is very painful to read his mailer saying “20 years of John Crawford hurt Fort Wayne”.

I have dedicated 20 years of my life and likely 10,000 hours to public service to make our community better. To summarize my whole career of public service as harmful to the city and citizens I’ve served is insulting, over-the-top, and unacceptable.

The smoking ordinance and revitalization of downtown including Parkview Field are just a few ways our city is stronger today.

My opponent says the sky is falling – it is not. His gloomy, pessimistic view that all is bad in Fort Wayne does NOT match the mood of our citizens. Fort Wayne is doing well and a big reason is the actions of the Republican City Council majority.

These attacks are not just on me but he throws all Republican council members of the last 24 years under the bus to further his own political ends. I don’t do anything on City Council by myself. All actions on City Council are by majority vote.

Great fiscal conservative city councilmen, like Don Schmidt, Jason Arp, Michael Barranda, Tom Didier, Paul Ensley, Tom Freistroffer and Russ Jehl don’t just sit at the council table like potted plants during budget discussions. We look for every cut and every responsible way to keep city spending as low as possible.

My opponent’s whole position on taxes demonstrates his lack of understanding and inexperience.

In 2007, let me remind you, I passed the largest property tax cuts of $3 million which cumulatively has reduced city property taxes by $30 million.

We also eliminated collective bargaining for six city unions that saves at least $3 million annually to the city budget. For my opponent to trash the great work of my fellow Republican council members is an embarrassment and unacceptable.

We MUST provide basic city services like police, fire, streets and parks that citizens need and want. That is our obligation.

Governing is facing tough choices. In 2014, due to state-imposed property tax caps, we were facing a $12 million deficit in the city budget. We had to select between two difficult choices.

One option: lay off 25 police officers, lay off 25 fire fighters, not maintain city streets and infrastructure OR the second option, use the tool the legislature put into the law knowing local governments would face critical funding gaps in essential services after the property tax caps.

The state took away funds to pay for police, fire, infrastructure – services necessary to have any hope of a strong economy. We replaced them – THAT is the responsible, conservative thing to do. My opponent criticizes that choice made by the Republican majority City Council.

Would he have laid off police officers in 2014? What specific cuts would he have made from the budget? Now, he says, we need MORE police officers and higher pay for police officers BUT without that council action we would have even fewer police officers today.

My opponent said he would cut $70 million from our $240 million city budget (that’s 29%) to fix all the sidewalks. But you never hear specifically where that $70 million would come from – my opponent offers just empty platitudes and double talk.

Well, you can’t repave a street with a platitude. You can’t hire a police officer with a platitude. You can’t hire a firefighter with a platitude.

The revenue to do these things has to be provided. Expenses to fix roads increased 30 percent in the last several years. So, the city budget does increase. Is anyone’s household budget the same dollar amount it was 20 years ago?

Of course not!

My opponent has criticized all the Republicans on the City Council to make political points. He follows the classic negative campaigning playbook of the challenger with no record or experience in government. No specifics. Just empty rhetoric. Criticizing others who have made the tough choices to keep the city doing well.

He promises the citizens everything for nothing. The simplistic thinking of a child with magical thoughts who believes he can just pull money from his magic hat to pay for these needed investments in the city and the citizens, don’t have to pay for it. That, of course, is deliberately and intentionally misleading.

This is the talk of an everyday politician insulting the intelligence of citizens saying you can have something for nothing. He somehow believes never serving on City Council or any major city board and having a career as an insurance salesman gives him the basic knowledge to understand the hard decisions one has to make on City Council and become mayor of this great city.

It does not.

My campaign has been only about our positive ideas to take our city and make it even greater. I had the vain hope that both of us would follow the same path, but I now have to respond to these misleading attacks on all Republican Council members of the last 24 years and set the record straight.

After the mailer, we saw a juvenile Facebook ad that looked like it was designed by a 12 year old. Insulting your opponent and trying to destroy their reputation is the strategy of a negative politician desperate to win at any cost.

I had hoped by only advancing positive ideas we could keep our party united to retake the Mayor’s office in the fall. During our only debate, I discussed the importance of not splitting the Republican party in this mayoral election. My opponent agreed. And what has he done? Exactly what he said he wouldn’t do. He has crossed the line and this is unacceptable.

I will continue to advance our campaign’s positive ideas on fighting the opioid crisis and crime, keeping city spending under control, economic development, and maintaining our neighborhood infrastructure.

BUT, we will respond to correct false and misleading attacks of our opponent.

I ask our citizens to reject such dishonesty, such pandering, and such negative politics.

Speaking of misleading political dirty tricks, Americans For Prosperity has been making calls to citizens creating the misleading impression that a new tax is being proposed for downtown development. I know that because after they call the citizens they say they, should complain to me and then patch citizens through to my cell phone. Well, I answer the phone for those who call and spend time correcting that misleading impression.

But, many hear the misleading calls, believe it, and don’t call me. Let me be clear, there are no new taxes planned for downtown or anywhere. Zero. Zip. Nada. This is all a political dirty trick and the citizens need to know the truth.

Fort Wayne Republican voters SHOULD EXPECT MORE – they should expect honesty in their candidates and not to be misled by dirty trick political phone calls.

 

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