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Businessman In Dewhurst Ad Questions Cruz's Patriotism

Jordan Fishman

Republican Senate Candidate David Dewhurst has flown a Florida businessman to Texas to reinforce ads attacking opponent Ted Cruz.

On the campaign trail Ted Cruz often highlights the conservative causes he’s successfully argued before the U.S. Supreme Court while serving as the state’s lawyer.

Cruz: We defended the Ten Commandments monument on the capitol grounds. We defended the Pledge of Allegiance when the Federal Court of Appeals struck it down because it included the words, “one nation under God. The heart of my campaign has been a proven record.

Last week, in a statewide TV ad, David Dewhurst highlighted a case Cruz doesn’t talk about, his defense of a Chinese tire company.


Dewhurst Ad: Cruz is helping this Chinese company put this manufacturer out of business. Cruz’s Chinese client stole American blue prints.

The manufacturer is 74- year old Jordan Fishman of Sarasota, Florida. Fishman designed a special tire for mining operations. In a lawsuit he claimed an employee stole the blue print for the tire and cut a deal with Chinese company Shandong Linglong. Fishman says it’s nearly put him out of business.

Fishman: They stole the blueprints. At the same time they stole the business because they took all the information: who the customers were, our buying price, our selling price, our profit margins.

A federal jury found Linglong guilty and awarded Fishman $26 million. Fishman says the company decided to appeal the verdict and hired Ted Cruz. Fishman says Cruz has prolonged the case.

Fishman: If I was a lawyer in the same position I couldn’t take on something that was detrimental to an American citizen, detrimental in a greater sense to the United States, then wave the flag saying, “I’m a patriot.” I say he’s being a hypocrite about it.

Fishman says the Dewhurst campaign bought his roundtrip plane ticket to Texas and this week he’s traveling the state, telling his story.

Cruz’s campaign responded to our questions about the case with an email that read: “(Dewhurst is )distorting Ted's record of defending the Constitution, hoping voters will care more about mining tires than his own record of trying to raise taxes on Texans.

Matt Hirsch is with the Dewhurst campaign.

Hirsch: If Ted Cruz wants to run on his record as a lawyer we’re going to talk about it.

The hard-hitting ad and new online assaults against Cruz mark a departure for Dewhurst’s campaign. As the frontrunner Dewhurst has rarely attacked his opponents. With less than five week to Election Day his goal is to keep Cruz from making it into a runoff race.

Dewhurst may be hoping a small businessman’s emotional story will help.

Fishman: He chose money instead of principle as far as I’m concerned.

Former KERA staffer Shelley Kofler was news director, managing editor and senior reporter. She is an award-winning reporter and television producer who previously served as the Austin bureau chief and legislative reporter for North Texas ABC affiliate WFAA-TV.