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The Journal Gazette

Tuesday, April 16, 2019 10:06 am

Verbatim: John Crawford criticizes Tim Smith, alleging negative advertising

The Journal Gazette

Fort Wayne City Councilman John Crawford, a Republican candidate for mayor, issued this news release today:

(FORT WAYNE, IND.) – 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.”