Noncontroversy Erupts in HD 47
Donna Keel campaign squashes nonexistent rumor before it doesn't start
The campaign of Rep. Valinda Bolton, D-Austin, is scratching its collective head after GOP challenger Donna Keel's family asked them to cancel a campaign ad that never existed about a rumor that no one seems to have heard. On Aug. 6, Keel's brother-in-law Patrick sent Bolton an e-mail asking her not to run an ad claiming that Keel had bounced a check, because she never had; but the Bolton campaign said there was no such ad and it had never heard the wholly unfounded rumor. "When Patrick sent the e-mail letter, that's when we found out about it," said Bolton's campaign manager, Elizabeth Hartman, who added she was "flummoxed" by the Keel campaign's decision to make the nonstory an issue by copying the accusatory e-mail to the Austin American-Statesman.
Keel, whose other brother-in-law Terry and mother-in-law, Patty, held the seat before Bolton, may have real financial concerns in this race. Bolton, who was voted 2007 Freshman of the Year by the bipartisan Legislative Study Group, outraised Keel by more than 2-to-1 in the first six months of 2008 and in her June 30 financial report had $86,323 cash on hand to Keel's $34,430.