Mayoral Candidate Ben Hall, 'The Man Who Wasn't There,' Says Parker's Camp

Ben Hall got a jump start on the whole campaign season thing when he started running his rather mystifying television advertisements last week, and this week Mayor Annise Parker's camp has responded with a couple of ads of their own.

The first Parker video is pretty basic -- people talking about the incumbent mayor, who is running for her third and final term, and how Disney-perfect everything has been under her leadership. Lot's of happy people, smiling crowds and photos of strategically grouped clusters of happy people of different skin tones to convey the whole diversity thing. We think there's even a shot with a dog, because everybody loves dogs.

Then there's the other video, "The Man Who Wasn't There," where a reassuring voice gives a 31-second Parker camp interpretation of Hall. If anyone thought it would take some time before the negative ads started rolling out, they sure thought wrong.

It's noted on the Parker campaign website that Hall went negative first with his vague, slightly confusing accusations that there is something rotten in the state of Houston, to misquote Shakespeare, and it's a smell Parker has been ignoring. (Maybe he just didn't get the word that Pasadena always smells that way?). But where Hall was vague, Parker's video is specific.

The video claims that Hall hasn't voted in a city election in 11 years, didn't live in Houston from 2001 until he bought a home here in 2012, and was no help when the Great Recession hit Houston. It's pretty much just 31 seconds of a guy saying that Hall has no vision and he lived in Piney Point for a long time. Not that big a deal in the mudslinging world of politicking, but it's clear the part of the campaign where everyone is real nice to each other is over. And it's not even Labor Day yet.

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