Attack Ads: Eltife Responds To Sadler Claim About Ads - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

02/10/04 - East Texas

Attack Ads: Eltife Responds To Sadler Claim About Ads

A large number of ads in this election come from Texans for Lawsuit Reform.   They're directed against Democrat Paul Sadler, who feels Republican Kevin Eltife is behind it.

Sadler: "I've run a lot of campaigns, and it's pretty obvious to me what's going on."

Sadler has countered with an ad featuring a military retiree:  

"Kevin Eltife knows these ads are flat wrong and he ought to be ashamed," the ad says.

The connection Sadler draws is an association of people within Republican circles.

Sadler: "His three campaign guys are from Rick Perry's staff. And Rick Perry's chief of staff is the former lobbyist for TLR."

Sadler refers to Mike Toomey.  He is the Governor's Chief of Staff and a former TLR lobbyist, but Eltife says Toomey has no connection to his campaign. As for the three other men Sadler referred to, Eltife's campaign says they have worked in the past for the governor only, and that no current Eltife worker has a line to TLR.

Eltife: "We have no connection to them. We have no control over them. We don't have anything to do with TLR."

Sadler offered no direct proof to Channel 7, but stands by his statement.

"Do you think TLR's going to spend a million dollars without Kevin Eltife's campaign people not knowing what they're doing?," Sadler said.

We searched through Eltife's list of contributors filed with the state, we found no money from TLR or its officers.  Back to the ads blasting Sadler, he says it's a personal attack that needs to stop. He also says Kevin Eltife has the power to do it.

"All he has to do is say 'I don't like this, I want it to stop' and it will stop," Sadler says.

Eltife says nothing would please him more.

Reporter: "So you're saying right now to TLR, 'Stop the ads'."  Eltife:  "Definitely. I've said from the beginning of this campaign that we'd prefer all third parties stay out of this race."

In a phone call with TLR's Mike Hogeland, he said no one from the Eltife campaign has ever contacted them directly.

Hogeland: "We would of course listen [if the campaign called]. We've had an ear very keen to the people in the district."

Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been poured into the campaign, Eltife's at another fundraiser Tuesday night, and it's all rolling to decision day next Tuesday.

Morgan Palmer, reporting. 

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