Port Arthur candidates outraged about ad portraying them as slaves

Many candidates know that politics can be a rough sport, but a group of Port Arthur candidates says a new attack ad crosses the foul line.

The ad shows four of the candidates for Port Arthur city council depicted as slaves from the movie, "12 Years A Slave".

The candidates fired back Thursday afternoon at a news conference outside city hall.

The four candidates, including two incumbent city council members seeking re-election, are all black, and they've received campaign donations from a political action committee set up by former state senator Carl Parker.

The ad implies the candidates are bought and paid for, and would be puppets or slaves.

Councilman Kerry Thomas said, "Since I've been on the council, the three years I've been on, I've voted my conscience."

This is not the first time Mike Mason's been targeted by P.A. Politics, that's the Facebook group that's circulating the ad.  In January, another ad portrayed Mason as an "Uncle Tom".

What disappoints the candidates the most is that the administrators of P.A. Politics are black.

Mason said, "It's still hard to believe and hard to fathom the unwarranted racial attacks from within our own culture."

Port Arthur Mayor Deloris Prince says the actions of the administrators of P.A. Politics don't represent the city.  She said, "It's just a handful of men who have made it their mission to try to destroy the image of the city."

Mayor Prince is not on the ballot this year, however she too was offended by the ad, and she lashed out at those responsible.  She said, "Cowardly, those are not men, those are cowards."

But political newcomer Tiffany Hamilton decided not to be offended, instead saw it as a badge of honor.  She said, "With 12 Years A Slave, they overcame, if that's the type of motivation that I need to get through this, then I'll take it."

P.A. Politics issued the following statement:

"PA Politics is a voice for the people. We expose wrongdoings by local officials; sometimes we use humor to achieve that goal. This is the people's campaign against corruption and against the elite who want to make profit off of the citizens of Port Arthur by controlling tax revenue and real estate.
PA Politics is for all races.
The only way we can move this city forward is by an educated voting pool and if the Jefferson County Task Force removes these politicians who abuse the citizens' trust. We must be doing a good job if they are taking time to address a Facebook group, instead of running their campaigns."


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