- The Washington Times - Monday, October 29, 2001

DALLAS Texas homeland security chief David Dewhurst wanted Texans to feel confident in these trying times and as a Republican candidate for lieutenant governor wanted Texans to know he was taking his new anti-terrorism job seriously.
So he purchased a full-color, four-page advertisement in Texas Monthly magazine a few days ago.
The ad layout has received far more comment than any similar effort in recent history but perhaps for all the wrong reasons.
In the ad, a military officer is depicted standing in front of an unfurled American flag, with the caption, "As chairman of the Governor's Task Force on Homeland Security, David Dewhurst encourages you to support President Bush and the brave men and woman of our Armed Forces as they fight to eliminate terrorism and work to restore confidence in our economy."
Within hours of the magazine's hitting the streets last week, the Dewhurst campaign became inundated with calls some angry, some joking informing the state land commissioner that the officer in the photograph was not an American general, but was clearly a German Luftwaffe officer complete with military decorations, insignias and a name tag bearing the German flag.
Early in the week, a stunned Mr. Dewhurst, 56, conceded he had examined the ad "a couple times" before OK'ing it but later he and his staff placed blame on the advertising agency that prepared the ad.
"When I had asked for a picture of an American soldier against the flag," he said Friday, "our graphics consultant made a mistake. The ad agency and the graphics consultant won't be doing further work for us."
Predictably, Democrats jumped all over the situation not only making fun of the faux pas, but complaining that Mr. Dewhurst was using his new assignment as home security head for political advantage.
"The ink wasn't dry yet on the appointment when he was sending out political brochure copy to the print shop," said Kelly Fero, who is directing a coordinated state Democratic campaign.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry named Mr. Dewhurst to coordinate the state's anti-terrorism efforts earlier this month.
"It's pretty scary that the man Rick Perry has put in charge of homeland security doesn't know the difference between an Air Force uniform and a German uniform," snapped Democrat state Chairwoman Molly Beth Malcolm at an Austin party meeting Saturday.
Friday, with strong backing from Mr. Perry, Mr. Dewhurst defended his political ad saying maybe he should not have stressed his new role, but solidly standing behind his expressed sentiments of supporting the president and the armed forces.
"If I had it do to over again," said the former Houston businessman and one-time Air Force officer and CIA agent, "I would have said the same words. I might not have said 'as chairman of the Governor's Task Force on Homeland Security.'"
Mr. Dewhurst said that at political gatherings people asked him about security issues and that he intended to continue to mention his state task force assignment. "Not in a way that politicizes what I'm doing for the state," he added. "I make a point of saying: 'All right, we've stopped talking about politics. We're going to talk about a state issue, and let me tell you what my thoughts are.'
"I didn't find anything out of the ordinary about saying 'Here's what I'm doing; here's what makes me qualified to lead you,'" said Mr. Dewhurst.

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