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Sessions Vs. Frost
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David R Gold

Joined: 01 Jan 1970
Posts: 21089

PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2004 5:36 pm    Post subject: Sessions Vs. Frost Reply with quote

For those of you outside N.Texas a little background.

This is a race which pits two incumbent US House members. Redistricting here in Texas has them pitted against one another. It's as competitive a race as there is in the US. More money is being spent than on any Congressional race in the nation. Classic Lib-Cons matchup.

It's getting nasty. And fun. Dallas MN

Frost, Sessions camps play blame game over signs
06:58 AM CDT on Tuesday, August 17, 2004

By DAVE LEVINTHAL / The Dallas Morning News

When U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions dropped his son Alex off Monday morning at Lakewood Elementary School, he saw more than two dozen campaign signs for congressional opponent Martin Frost spread across the grounds.

Some were tied to playground equipment. One sign, the size of a miniature billboard, hung from the school where Mr. Sessions' son is a special-education student.

"It was obvious that I was being targeted, my son was being targeted, my family was being targeted," said the Dallas Republican who is running against Mr. Frost, a Dallas Democratic congressman, in one of the nation's most heavily contested political races.

"It disappoints me. It's disturbing," Mr. Sessions said, accusing the Frost campaign of wrongdoing.

The Frost campaign, in turn, accused Mr. Sessions' campaign of planting the signs as part of a stunt to manufacture public outrage against Mr. Frost.

Juan Garcia / DMN
DISD employees remove a Martin Frost for Congress sign from the playground at Lakewood Elementary School. "This is a classic dirty trick. This is someone connected with the Sessions campaign," Mr. Frost said. "This sure is not the way I campaign. We ought to be talking about issues."

Welcome to the sign war, a shadowy game of real-life capture the flag, in which congressional candidates' campaign material is stolen, stuck in private front yards without permission or, as was the case Monday morning, dubiously greeting hundreds of kids on their first day at school.

Mr. Frost and Mr. Sessions are running against each other to represent Texas' 32nd Congressional District, which includes sections of Addison, Dallas, Grand Prairie, Highland Park, Irving, Richardson and University Park. The election is Nov. 2.

Someone is responsible for the mischief. But both campaigns deny involvement, or the involvement of campaign volunteers loyal to them, and blame the other.

All Jerry Green knows is that someone really didn't like the Frost lawn sign he proudly displays in front of his home on Prestwick Lane in Richardson. He woke up Friday morning to find his yard bombarded with eggs.

"I'm on oxygen. I don't get around too well. And there's my wife, out there scrubbing it all off," Mr. Green said.

A Dallas police report filed Saturday describes a man, who was walking two dogs, trespassing on property along Snow White Drive and ripping apart a "Frost for Congress" sign.

Paula Payne of Irving also had a problem with a Frost sign – she never asked for one but discovered a 4-foot-by-4-foot one pounded into her front lawn when retrieving her newspaper on a Saturday morning this month.

"We were flabbergasted. They never asked. They never knocked on the door," said Ms. Payne, a Del Rancho Drive resident who describes herself as a Republican and her husband, Joe, as a Democrat.

Had the Frost campaign contacted her, she would have let them put the sign in her ground in deference to her husband's political persuasion. Instead, the Paynes now sport a Sessions sign in their lawn.

Both Chris Homan, the Sessions campaign manager, and Justin Kitsch, the Frost spokesman, say their respective campaigns direct their campaign staffers and volunteers to never steal or tamper with opposition signs. The campaigns always contact homeowners before a sign is placed on their property, both campaign representatives say.

But neither seems to believe the other.

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"Hundreds of our signs were stolen this weekend as I am sure you know," Frost campaign manager Jess Fassler wrote in an e-mail to Mr. Homan on Monday morning following the sign incident at Lakewood Elementary.

"Now of course, I know where some of them went. I hope you will have the decency to find out who amongst your supporters was responsible for this despicable trick and immediately remove them from your campaign."

Calling Mr. Fassler's letter "ridiculous" and "ludicrous," Mr. Homan replied that "Martin Frost has always run dirty campaigns. They operate in a dishonorable fashion. And this is one of the sickest acts in a campaign that I've ever seen."

"I've never campaigned that way," Mr. Frost said. "We have been getting the reports of whole precincts where our signs have been stolen."

Dallas Independent School District Deputy Superintendent Larry Groppel said he simply wishes the campaign would stay off school grounds.

"The district's policy is that we will have no signs," he said. "I would term the incident minor in the overall scheme of things, but intolerable. That was something that should not have occurred, and we corrected it as soon as we were made aware of it."

Meanwhile, the Frost campaign is asking Dallas police to investigate what it says are hundreds of campaign signs that went missing during the weekend, in addition to the Lakewood Elementary incident.

Mr. Homan says the Sessions campaign is asking residents to act "almost like a crime watch" and photograph or videotape any person seen tampering with a Sessions campaign sign.
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David Gold

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2004 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is this any good or what? Dallas MN

Frost aide: Sessions has played sign games before
Republican says he did nothing wrong; police filed report, not charges

06:59 AM CDT on Wednesday, August 18, 2004

By DAVE LEVINTHAL / The Dallas Morning News

About two years ago, a Dallas police officer parked beside a man uprooting political campaign signs along Northwest Highway and asked for his identification.

The man was U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Dallas, and the signs belonged to his congressional opponent of the time, Pauline Dixon.

The episode, documented in an Oct. 27, 2002, Dallas police incident report, ended with no charges filed. Mr. Sessions said he did nothing wrong that night when he discovered 10 of his opponents' signs "illegally placed" on a state highway.

But campaign officials for Mr. Sessions' opponent, U.S. Rep. Martin Frost, D-Dallas, say the police report suggests otherwise. The Frost campaign called Mr. Sessions "a thief" and accused him of orchestrating an incident Monday at Lakewood Elementary School, where more than two dozen Frost campaign signs were hung from playground equipment and the building.

Mr. Sessions denies the charge.

Pressed on a connection between the incidents, Frost campaign chairman Marc Stanley said: "I can't prove he did it. But I can prove ... that he was out there stealing signs himself" in 2002.

Mr. Sessions, whose son, Alex, is a student at Lakewood Elementary, accused the Frost campaign of the incident. Leaders of both campaigns deny instructing campaign staffers or volunteers to tamper with campaign signs.

Regarding Mr. Sessions' stop for removing signs, Dallas police Sgt. Gil Cerda explained that the officer filed a "miscellaneous incident report," not an offense report, which means police documented the incident but decided against investigating it.

Texas state law prohibits the placement of campaign signs along state highways such as Northwest Highway.

"Only by the good graces of a police officer was Pete Sessions not brought down [to the county jail] to have his mug shot taken," Mr. Stanley said.

Mr. Sessions said by phone Tuesday that he "simply picked up, removed and put the signs right there on the ground" on that October night. "It's perfectly fine to take them up and put them down," he said.

Frost spokesman Justin Kitsch said Mr. Frost was unavailable for comment Tuesday, despite a public appearance in Dallas. Mr. Frost could not be reached for comment.

"If it's on a state highway, and Martin Frost is driving home one night and sees some sign there, I don't have a problem with him putting it down," Mr. Sessions said.

Meanwhile, KDFW-TV (Channel 4) and WFAA-TV (Channel Cool are refusing to air a political advertisement accusing Mr. Frost of supporting policies that expand rights for illegal immigrants, station officials said.

The network affiliates join KXAS-TV (Channel 5) and KTVT-TV (Channel 11), which last week pulled the advertisement, sponsored by the Coalition for the Future American Worker, from their schedules.

"After reviewing the script and spot, WFAA believes the spot does not meet the community standards for air," WFAA-TV president and general manager Kathy Clements wrote in an e-mail.

A KTVT official earlier described the spot as racist and biased. Coalition spokesman Ira Mehlman said his organization would attempt to run the advertisements on local cable and nonaffiliated stations.

He attributed the stations pulling the advertisement to executives "surrendering to political pressure." Only KXAS pulled a round of similar advertisements sponsored in April by the coalition.

In April, Mr. Frost and Mr. Sessions signed a pact demanding that independent organizations refrain from targeting them in political advertisements.
David Gold
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2004 12:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I knew Pete Sessions personally before he entered politics. I wouldn't vote for him to empty a bedpan.

Frost is a pure leftist. I'd have to sit this one out.
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David R Gold

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2004 4:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was coming home the other day and had to take a detour. Drove through some N. Dallas neighborhoods included in the 32nd District. Everywhere there were Sessions and Frost signs.

This race may be the most competitive in the nation. Houston Chronicle

Surprise in a House Race Could Frost TX Republicans {Frost v. Sessions}
Houston Chronicle ^ | 09-19-04 | Hines, Cragg


Surprise in a House race would frost Republicans

Cragg Hines returns to old stomping grounds in North Dallas to check on why some local GOP types are fretting about a supposedly safe district

By CRAGG HINES Copyright 2004 Houston Chronicle

ADDISON -- In the newly gerrymandered U.S. House seat centered on securely upmarket North Dallas, the biggest concern of the Republican candidate might normally be what kind of canapés to serve following the swearing-in next January.

George W. Bush, a former district resident, easily carried the area in the 2000 presidential election, with almost 65 percent of the vote.

It's hard to find a local Democratic officeholder except in the squiggly tail of the district south of the Trinity River.

So why do so many Republicans in the 32nd District seem a little nervous? They believe (as do I, grudgingly) that it would be almost a miracle for a Democrat to carry a district drawn precisely to include some of the most reliably Republican enclaves in the nation, encompassing Highland Park, Preston Hollow and Richardson. But they are unmistakably anxious.

The reason is that the Democratic nominee is Rep. Martin Frost, who has been in the U.S. House representing parts of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex for 25 years. Frost, 62, is the senior Democrat on the Rules Committee (and in line to be chairman if his party regained a House majority). He is an assiduous fund-raiser and campaigner. He has done many favors for the generally Republican Dallas business establishment.

An equally nagging worry for the GOP is that their candidate is Rep. Pete Sessions, whom some North Dallas Republicans find it easy to dislike. Sessions, 49, began his House career in a district that stretched from East Dallas 200 miles into the hinterlands. Tired of the rural schlepping, Sessions, after the initial redistricting that followed the 2000 census, hopped across town (against the wishes of some North Dallas Republicans) to claim what looked like a more securely Republican (and certainly more compact) district.

When Boss Tom DeLay ordered up a new map from his girlie men in the Legislature, a top priority (other than just gaining Republican seats) was to nail Frost to the mast. The obedient Republicans in Austin tried (and eventually the plan may have its desired effect). But Frost, not taking the hint, launched a savage onslaught against Sessions, not a very nimble campaigner.

Frost, no fool, plays down his Democratic ties and pictures himself as a more ardent supporter than Sessions of President Bush's war on terrorism. Frost emphasizes a Sessions post 9/11 vote against increased air security.

In what was, at best, insensitive phrasing, in a debate last week Sessions said Sept. 11, 2001, was "a home game" and the attack Iraq a preferable "away game." Rushing into the opening, Frost turned on his opponent: "Pete, this is not a game."

In speaking of the war on terrorism, Frost points out that his wife, an Army major general, is on assignment in Iraq and that he, unlike Sessions, served in the military.

"He has made himself into a conservative," a long-time Dallas Republican activist said of Frost. Which is a neat trick, especially for a former member of the House Democratic leadership.

In the debate, when Sessions criticized Frost for voting for tax increases, Frost recalled the again-burgeoning federal deficit and his support for a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution. "I believe in fiscal sanity," Frost said.

Frost also believes in exposing Sessions' hard-right record, seeing it as more suited to his opponent's former constituents in rural counties than to city dwellers in some of Dallas most sophisticated, if conservative, neighborhoods.

"I want people to know he's pretty far out on the fringe and not just your run-of-the-mill Republican," Frost said after the debate.

In their televised confrontation, Frost pointed out that Sessions was one of the handful of House Republicans to perpetually sponsor a bill to withdraw the United States from the United Nations.

Frost's campaign, given such daunting odds, is noted by some staunch area Republicans.

"I think Martin Frost has done a really good job of doing a complete campaign -- yard signs, public appearances, communications," said conservative political consultant Pat Cotton. "He's done it very cleverly."

As a successful Democratic officeholder in an increasingly Republican area, Frost has become a favorite GOP target.

But Frost also is known for working with interests across the region, regardless of party, to move their projects in Washington, including mass transit.

"I have a reputation for getting thing done," Frost said during the debate.

None, however, was as tough a project as this re-election campaign.

Hines is a Houston Chronicle columnist based in Washington, D.C.
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David R Gold

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2004 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dalla MN
Frost drops folk singer with criminal past from fund-raiser

10:04 PM CDT on Wednesday, September 29, 2004

By DAVE LEVINTHAL / The Dallas Morning News

U.S. Rep. Martin Frost is canceling a fund-raising appearance by Peter, Paul and Mary member Peter Yarrow because the entertainer pleaded guilty to molesting a 14-year-old girl more than 34 years ago.

The fund-raising event, slated for Oct. 11, will go on as scheduled without Mr. Yarrow's participation, campaign spokesman Justin Kitsch said.

But the Frost campaign said it had no immediate plans to refund money to donors who have purchased tickets – ranging from $250 to $1,000 – believing they would see the folk music legend perform.

Mr. Frost, D-Dallas, continually mentions his support for Amber Alert and anti-child abduction legislation in his campaign against U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Dallas, to represent Texas' 32nd Congressional District.

"While Mr. Yarrow received a presidential pardon in 1981, crimes against children are very serious offenses," Mr. Frost wrote in a statement. "I do not believe it is appropriate for Mr. Yarrow to campaign on my behalf."

Mr. Yarrow could not be reached for comment.

Asked about Mr. Frost's decision to book Mr. Yarrow, Mr. Kitsch declined to answer and referred to Mr. Frost's statement. By Wednesday afternoon, the Frost campaign had removed all references to the event from its Web site,

Last year, Mr. Yarrow donated $1,000 to Mr. Frost's campaign, according to Federal Election Commission records. Mr. Kitsch also declined to say whether Mr. Frost would return this donation.

The Sessions campaign called on Mr. Frost to return all money raised using Mr. Yarrow as an attraction.

"For at least several weeks, Martin Frost has been raising money off an event that was bringing a convicted child molester to town," Sessions campaign manager Chris Homan said. "Mr. Frost is obviously more concerned with his political career than doing the right thing."
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David R Gold

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2004 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't remember anything like this. A House race which may be garnering more interest than the Presidential race. Dallas MN.

Neighbors in 32nd: What's your sign?
12:50 PM CDT on Wednesday, October 6, 2004


Residents in one slice of North Dallas have a big stake in the November election.

In their yards.

Signs for U.S. Reps. Martin Frost and Pete Sessions have sprouted like weeds in the neighborhood roughly bounded by Coit, Alpha, Hillcrest and Spring Valley roads. The area is a piece of the 32nd Congressional District, which pits two incumbents against each other in one of the hottest races in the country.

Kimberly Durnan / Dallas Web Staff
Houses in a neighborhood in the 32nd Congressional District display signs for Martin Frost and Pete Sessions
Lee Gaumer, who lives on Peyton Drive, said she was pleased when Frost’s campaign workers asked to put a sign in her yard.

“I have been a staunch Democrat all my life and with the present administration I cannot survive,” she said. “Our economy is very bad.”

Down the road, Rex Laube said he had no intention of placing a Sessions sign in front of his home until he noticed Frost signs springing up nearby.

“I think Pete needed some representation in the neighborhood,” Laube said.

The Legislature redrew District 32 with the intent of ousting Frost, a 13-term Democrat who previously represented District 24, in favor of Sessions, a four-term Republican. The race has garnered national interest because the U.S. House majority may swing to the winning candidate’s party.

“The Republicans see it as securing a majority for the next decade,” said Paul Wageman, a Dallas lawyer and political consultant. “The Democrats want to stop that majority from getting cemented.”

Despite Frost’s nimble campaign skills, winning will be tough for the Democrat, said Craig Murphy, a political consultant for The Murphy Group in Arlington.

“The president is very popular in his home state,” he said. “If you are somebody who is voting against the president like Frost does 60 percent of the time, you are probably carrying a lot of baggage.”

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The race has shaped up as a nasty one.

Sessions has filed grievances alleging that Frost breached federal campaign rules based on certain typeface and a photograph used in campaign mailings. Sessions also was displeased to see his son’s elementary school yard covered with Frost signs on the first day of class.

Meanwhile, Frost has suggested his opponent is hiding “behind the white sheets of white supremacy” and accused him of theft after Dallas police stopped Sessions when they saw him knocking over Frost’s campaign signs and putting them in his truck.

Predicting votes in such a unique neighborhood is difficult, said Anne Foster, a real estate agent who is also a trustee for the Richardson school district, which serves this Dallas community.

The housing stock includes townhomes, apartments and single-family homes of vastly differing values. Some residences on Peyton Drive, for example, approach a half million dollars. Less than a mile away, on Blossomheath Lane, many of the houses are appraised in the mid-$70,000s.

The neighborhood is racially, economically and religiously diverse – part of a big-city landscape in a suburban school district, Foster said.

The same can be said for the congressional district, which includes parts of Grand Prairie, Irving, Richardson, Addison, Oak Cliff, the Park Cities and North Dallas. The district has a nearly 40 percent minority population, mostly Hispanic, and a substantial Jewish population, which should help Frost, said Wageman, the political consultant.

“It’s a marginal district for a Republican,” he said. “It’s a compact district that makes getting out the vote easier and that’s Frost’s expertise. It’s going to be a tough race but he’s the most indefatigable campaigner. This is what his whole adult life has been focused on and he will not go quietly.”

Sessions’ campaign manager, Chris Homan, noted that North Dallas residents traditionally vote Republican and Sessions is the district’s incumbent. “We expect it will perform as it has historically, in the 65th percentile, for Republican office holders,” he said.

Frost’s campaign is counting on some of those Republican voters to cross party lines.

Justin Kitsch, a Frost campaign spokesman, said the educated district of voters would choose based on issues. “A lot of these Frost voters are splitting their ticket, voting for President Bush and Congressman Frost,” he said.

Some ticket splitters live in the same house.

“One’s mine and one’s my wife’s,” said Gary Ring, noting the dueling signs in front of his home at the corner of Alpha Road and Peyton Drive.

“We’re like (Mary) Matalin and (James) Carville,” Ring said. “We choose not to discuss politics at all. It’s safer that way. I even suggested taking them down but my wife said no. That’s OK, people are allowed to have a difference of opinion.”

Robert Bray’s corner lot gives him an opportunity to support Sessions with one sign facing Far Hills Lane and another fronting Teakwood Drive.

Standing on his front porch, overlooking more than a half dozen signs on his street, he declared the race a toss-up.

“I wouldn’t bet money either way on who is going to win,” he said. “I think all of North Dallas is that way. It’s pretty well-divided.”

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David R Gold

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The first poll I've seen. Dallas MN
Survey: Sessions leads race for 32nd

12:32 AM CDT on Tuesday, October 12, 2004

By DAVE LEVINTHAL / The Dallas Morning News

In the final stage of one of the most expensive House races in history, U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions is in control.

The four-term Republican congressman leads his Democratic rival, U.S. Rep. Martin Frost, 50 percent to 44 percent in their quest to represent Texas' 32nd Congressional District, according to a Dallas Morning News poll.

Both campaigns declared the results encouraging, though the poll's director gives Mr. Sessions the edge – for now. The survey indicates that Mr. Sessions enjoys a solid base of support in a district where voters traditionally back Republicans.

Among voters who say they could still be persuaded to choose another candidate, Mr. Frost and Mr. Sessions are virtually even, which doesn't bode well for Mr. Frost, pollster Ann Selzer said. Election Day is Nov. 2.
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But in this district designed by Republicans in the Texas Legislature to end Mr. Frost's 26-year congressional career, Mr. Frost is appealing more to women, minorities and independents than Mr. Sessions does, according to the survey of about 800 likely voters in the district.

Democrat's best hopes

Mr. Frost's strength among independent poll respondents – 56 percent favored him, compared with 37 percent for Mr. Sessions – and an unusually high Hispanic voter turnout are Mr. Frost's best hopes for victory, Dr. Selzer said.

"Frost will really have to make some serious inroads, and quickly," she said.

When Hispanic voter turnout exceeds expectations, Mr. Sessions will understand how many inroads he has made, Mr. Frost argued.

And because only 4 percent of the poll's respondents are Hispanics – they represent 36 percent of the district's total population, including nonvoters – Mr. Frost said he thinks a higher Hispanic turnout will close the poll's 6-percentage-point margin.

Eighty-two percent of respondents identified themselves as white, while 7 percent said they are black.

Although the poll's racial and ethnic breakdown doesn't match the overall district makeup, Dr. Selzer said, the poll accurately represents the political will of the district at one moment in time. In selecting respondents, the pollsters randomly selected 32nd District households with published telephone numbers.

"Republicans thought this would be a slam dunk. The other side can't be happy with this," Mr. Frost said Monday by phone. "This is going to go right down to the wire."

Said Mr. Sessions campaign manager Chris Homan: "Mr. Frost continues to believe in his own con game. Six points is a very wide margin in this race. Mr. Frost wants to discount that because he's in the last 21 days of his political career."

Mr. Sessions could not be reached for comment.

Neither candidate has released complete details of internal polls they've conducted. The News poll, conducted last week by Iowa-based public opinion firm Selzer & Co., is the first independent survey released for the 32nd Congressional District contest.

Both candidates say they will report having raised more than $4 million each this election cycle when official numbers are made public later this week.

Within margin of error

Mr. Frost does find himself just within the fringes of a statistical dead heat, according to the News poll. Its margin of error is 3.5 percentage points, meaning each candidate's total can vary that much in either direction.

About 41 percent of the polls' respondents said they are Republicans, compared with 29 percent independents and 27 percent Democrats. Mr. Sessions scored particularly well among those who rate terrorism a "critical" election-year concern, while voters who favor domestic issues tend to support Mr. Frost.

The poll also asked respondents whether Mr. Frost or Mr. Sessions is a stronger leader, and who is more intelligent, more experienced and more understanding of the problems average citizens face. On each item, Mr. Sessions tied Mr. Frost or led him by 1 or 2 percentage points.

Neither candidate has particularly distinguished himself, Dr. Selzer said.

But one poll respondent, Dallas resident Thomas Malorzo, said Mr. Sessions strikes him as a more honest candidate.

"They both probably have the district's best interests in mind," said Mr. Malorzo, who said he's strongly leaning toward voting for Mr. Sessions. "It's just that all the negative things I've heard about Frost add up. He seems dishonest."

Dallas resident Nola English, however, is voting for Mr. Frost "because I'm very upset with the Republican redistricting effort. I'm appalled; I could just chew nails."

Ms. English added that Mr. Frost's sponsorship of Amber Alert laws against child abductions and his record on homeland security issues are appealing.

The GOP has long maintained that the 32nd District leans Republican, and poll numbers support that theory. The district includes Addison, Cockrell Hill, Highland Park, University Park and sections of Farmers Branch, Grand Prairie, Irving, North Dallas, Oak Cliff and Richardson.

For example, 55 percent of respondents said they would vote for President Bush on Election Day, and 42 percent said they would vote for Sen. John Kerry, the Democratic nominee. In 2000, 57 percent of respondents said they voted for Mr. Bush, compared with 31 percent for Al Gore.

But Mr. Homan said Mr. Sessions isn't taking his apparent lead for granted.

"We seem to have a good tailwind behind us, but we have a lot of work to do, a lot of money to spend," Mr. Homan said.

And Mr. Frost said he's well within range of his opponent.

"This is an independent-minded district," Mr. Frost said, "and I'm pleased that today we are as close as we are."
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David R Gold

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RAT desperation. Do you believe this? AP

Sessions' streaking chafes Democrats

By Lisa Falkenberg
The Associated Press

DALLAS - The gloves have come off in the match between U.S. Reps. Pete Sessions and Martin Frost. And every other article of clothing appears to be fair game as well.

On Monday, Democrats circulated old newspaper clippings of a 1974 college streaking stunt staged by hundreds of students at Southwest Texas State University, including an 18-year-old Pete Sessions.

Sessions, a conservative Republican who wrote a column condemning singer Janet Jackson for baring her breast during this year's Super Bowl halftime performance, apparently bared his bottom with about 300 male and female students on the streets of San Marcos during the two-night rampage.

Two streakers were arrested the first night, leading to a clash with police in which students damaged a police car in protest, The San Antonio News reported at the time.

Southwest Texas students were apparently trying to break a streaking record set by another university amid a nationwide college streaking craze.

Sessions' campaign isn't denying that he participated.

"Congressman Sessions' old school days are long gone," said Sessions' spokesman, Chris Homan. "He recognizes it as an immature action of an 18-year-old college freshman."

But Frost's campaign is holding Sessions to the fire.

"Pete Sessions exposed himself to children and strangers," Frost spokesman Justin Kitsch said. "He's exposed himself as a hypocrite as well."

Sessions' spokesman dismissed the comparison of Sessions' juvenile acts to those of Jackson, whose "wardrobe malfunction" took place in front of millions of Super Bowl watchers during a performance with singer Justin Timberlake.

The two Dallas incumbents -- Sessions, a four-term Republican and Frost, a 13-term Democrat -- are battling for the District 32 seat in what is expected to be the most expensive race in the country.

Southwest University is now called Texas State University.

Sessions later transferred to Southwestern University in Georgetown, where he graduated in 1978.
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David R Gold

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2004 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The cash is flowing. Bigtime. Dallas MN
Frost leads Sessions in cash raised, spent

But Republican has more money in hand heading into stretch

11:53 PM CDT on Friday, October 15, 2004

By DAVE LEVINTHAL / The Dallas Morning News

When it comes to raising and spending more money, Rep. Martin Frost rules his congressional opponent, Rep. Pete Sessions.

But with 17 days until Election Day, Mr. Sessions, R-Dallas, boasts a sizable cash-on-hand advantage over his Democratic adversary in the race for Texas' 32nd Congressional District. It's fast becoming one of the most expensive House contests in national history.

Between July 1 and Sept. 30, Mr. Frost spent $2.11 million, while Mr. Sessions spent $1.34 million, according to Federal Election Commission reports obtained Friday night. Both candidates continue to blanket the district with mailers and signs and fill television and radio airwaves with ads.

Mr. Frost reports his campaign raised $1.04 million between July 1 and Sept. 30, and $4.18 million for the two-year election cycle, according to FEC documents.

The 13-term congressman reports having $576,872.41 cash remaining through Sept. 30, the FEC filing indicates.

"We're in a great position," said Justin Kitsch, Mr. Frost's spokesman. "Martin Frost has all the money he needs to communicate with voters."

Mr. Sessions raised $1.036 million between July 1 and Sept. 30 and $3.85 million for the campaign, according to the filing. The four-term congressman's cash-on-hand total is $2.27 million.

"We're on target," he said. "The battle for money continues."

Steve Weiss of the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan organization that studies campaign finance, said the candidates' combined $8 million raised is "a sign of a very, very close, high-profile race."
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2004 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They raised a bunch of money and you can tell they are spending it.

Can you believe the ramp-up of radio/tv ads by these two? I'm watching NBC5 and nearly every commercial break has an ad for Frost or Sessions (or if you're really lucky.. BOTH) You'd think one was going to lose their job or something..

The anti-Sessions campaign claims Sessions wants a national sales tax.. on nearly everything you buy! Of course they don't mention that was to replace the national income tax.

Who knew Sessions was arrested for indecent exposure? Or for removing rival campaign signs from display?

[from the ad] Sessions has an arrest record, Frost has a 27 year congressional record. They go on to say Marty voted with Pres. Bush for homeland security. While Sessions voted against it. They then compare Marty to several prominent republicans. (I'm in love I tell you..)

[from the anti-Frost ad] They note that Marty is ranked about 427 (near the bottom) for Congressmen. I don't know where Sessions is ranked, maybe 426. And Marty voted for nearly every tax increase and against nearly every tax break. (maybe I'm not in love afterall)

I tell you I can't take it... I can't wait for Nov. 2nd so one of these clowns can go home.

That is until the court mandated redistricting takes place all over again and who knows what happens then..
- me
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Location: Sunnyvale, CA

PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2004 2:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The national sales tax thing is REAL popular with the democrats this year. I have heard it on the debates in South Carolina, Texas, New Hampshire, and I can gaurantee it is going on elsewhere.
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David R Gold

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2004 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This shows where the cash is coming from. Trial Lawyers For Frost an obvious love affair. Dallas MN.
Where the cash is coming from for Sessions, Frost race

Find out the donors making this one of the most costly House races

09:46 PM CDT on Saturday, October 23, 2004

By DAVE LEVINTHAL / The Dallas Morning News

When U.S. Reps. Pete Sessions and Martin Frost count the money they've raised during their historically expensive congressional campaign, they'll send thank-you notes to a wildly different set of financial backers.

For Mr. Sessions, R-Dallas, the top bankrollers include other Republican congressional leaders, commercial lawyers and health professionals, according to the Federal Election Commission and the Center for Responsive Politics. For Mr. Frost, D-Dallas, they include trial lawyers, retirees and real estate interests.

Mr. Sessions, when compared with all other congressional candidates, is a Top 5 favorite of dealers of Japanese automobiles, computer software salespeople and home builders.

Mr. Frost? Building, industrial trade and teachers unions, gay and lesbian rights organizations, law firms and nurses donate more to him than to almost all other congressional candidates.

Martin Frost

Top contributors, by economic sector:

1. Lawyers and lobbyists $623,915

2. Finance, insurance and real estate $404,500

3. Labor interests $336,750

4. Ideological and single-issue interests $291,594

5. Miscellaneous business $177,700

Top contributors:

1. Baron & Budd law firm $43,250

2. Waters & Kraus law firm $26,150

3. Stanley, Mandel & Iola law firm $22,000

4. Bickel & Brewer law firm $18,000

5. JP Morgan Chase & Co. $17,400

Pete Sessions

Top contributors, by economic sector

1. Finance, insurance and real estate $575,972

2. Ideological and single-issue interests $388,900

3. Miscellaneous business $272,356

4. Health care $206,500

5. Lawyers and lobbyists $194,490

Top contributors:

1. Real Time Resolutions loan company $25,000

2. SBC Communications $22,450

3. Valero Energy $20,000

4. MBNA Corp. $19,000

5. Barrett, Burke, Wilson, Castle, Daffin & Frappier law firm $18,400

Note: Contributor listings include political action committee and individual contributions.

SOURCES: Center for Responsive Politics; Federal Election Commission

Together, Mr. Sessions and Mr. Frost since 2003 have raised more than $8.4 million and counting in their race to represent Texas' 32nd Congressional District, making it one of the most expensive congressional contests in the nation.

The district includes all or parts of Addison, Cockrell Hill, Dallas, Farmers Branch, Grand Prairie, Highland Park, Irving, Richardson and University Park.

"This race has gone to astronomical heights," said Steve Weiss of the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan group based in Washington, D.C., that studies campaign finance.

"The money just shows how fixated people are on this race. Money indicates support," said Southern Methodist University political science professor Cal Jillson, who has moderated two debates this month between the two candidates.

Mr. Sessions, in his fourth term, has raised $4.1 million from last year through Oct. 13 while spending $2.75 million, according to FEC reports.

He attributes much of his support to the top Republican of all – President Bush. Because of the president's interest in a Sessions victory, Mr. Sessions said, Republicans throughout Texas and the nation have come to his financial aid.

"The president leans on me, and I lean on him," Mr. Sessions said. "We've had an outpouring of people who continue, to this day, to contact us."

Mr. Frost, in his 13th term, reported raising $4.35 million during the same period while spending $3.96 million.

Through Sept. 30, individuals have accounted for 68.7 percent of Mr. Frost's funds; they accounted for 55.6 percent of Mr. Sessions' funds – through Oct. 13.

Political action committees set up by corporations and party interests are the sources of 28.8 percent of Mr. Frost's total funds and 37.7 percent for Mr. Sessions. Mr. Sessions leads Mr. Frost more than 2-to-1 in PAC contributions from business interests; Mr. Frost leads Mr. Sessions 35-to-1 in PAC contributions from labor interests.

On average, a House candidate receives about one-third of his or her overall contributions from PACs, Mr. Weiss said.

This indicates that Mr. Frost's support is much broader than Mr. Sessions', says Justin Kitsch, Mr. Frost's spokesman.

"People from all segments of the population – in business, workers – believe Congressman Frost is doing a great job. He has a record of being supported by both groups," Mr. Kitsch said.

As of Oct. 13, Mr. Sessions led Mr. Frost in campaign cash on hand, $1.81 million to $590,006.

Mr. Kitsch says Mr. Frost has more than adequate money to run its homestretch political operations. A recent $1 million media buy drained the Frost money reserve, Mr. Kitsch said.

But any significant cash advantage in the final days of a campaign helps the candidate with that advantage, Mr. Weiss said.

"Being at a 3-to-1 disadvantage is not a good sign for Mr. Frost," he said. Mr. Frost may have to reduce TV ads leading up to Election Day on Nov. 2, Mr. Weiss said.

During the last two years, several well-known names have appeared on both candidates' contribution reports.

Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach and Addison Mayor Scott Wheeler are among Mr. Sessions' contributors, according to FEC reports.

Lawyer Jim Adler and former U.S. Attorney Paul Coggins have sent Mr. Frost donations, the reports indicate.

Such embattled companies as Halliburton for Mr. Sessions and Planned Parenthood for Mr. Frost have donated money to the candidates through their PACs.

When the candidates' finances are broken down by ZIP code, Mr. Sessions received $169,950 of his total funds from 75205 – the Park Cities area – and $121,075 from North Dallas' 75225.

Mr. Frost, the only Jewish member of the Texas congressional delegation, received $134,454 from the heavily Jewish North Dallas ZIP code of 75230 and $115,231 from North Dallas' 75225.

In terms of top expenditures, Mr. Sessions has given consulting firm Gulf Direct of Houston $176,507, while Mr. Frost spent $227,505 for consulting services from GMMB of Washington, D.C.
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David R Gold

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2004 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can you imagine the gall. Martin Frost attatching himself to Bush. Dallas MN

Frost, Sessions both invoke Bush

Each is running ads portraying himself as backing the president

11:29 PM CDT on Tuesday, October 26, 2004
By GROMER JEFFERS JR. / The Dallas Morning News

So who loves President Bush the most?

It's hard to tell if you're watching the TV ads that the candidates are airing in the 32nd Congressional District race.

Both Democrat Martin Frost and Republican Pete Sessions have produced spots that attack the other for being out of touch with the mainstream, while attaching themselves to the president.
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"In the real world, Sessions loves Bush far more," said Southern Methodist University political science professor Cal Jillson. "But in the artificial world, it's not clear."

Mr. Frost – running in a mostly Republican district – is trying to appeal to GOP voters in North Dallas.

Some of his campaign commercials show Mr. Sessions being in opposition to President Bush, while portraying himself as a tough, moderate Democrat.

He uses popular Republicans like Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas and John McCain of Arizona to make his point. And one ad even casts fellow Democrat Ted Kennedy in the same liberal boogeyman role as some Republicans do.

In contrast, Mr. Sessions – who is trying to turn out his base Republican vote in North Dallas – has aired ads that portray him as a loyal soldier to the president, while blasting Mr. Frost as a high-spending liberal.

"For Frost, the assumption is that there are moderate voters who aren't aligned with Sessions. He's telling them that he's a moderate- to conservative-leaning Democrat," Mr. Jillson said. "In his ads about Frost's spending, Sessions wants to remind his base what we're really actually talking about."

Mr. Frost and Mr. Sessions are running against each other as a result of newly redrawn congressional lines approved by the Republican-controlled Texas Legislature.

After being drawn out of his 24th District, Mr. Frost chose to run for re-election in the heavily Republican 32nd District now represented by Mr. Sessions.

The 13-term Democrat is making direct appeals to the district's Republican votes in his TV ads.

One commercial features visuals of those who backed the president's plans to beef up air safety and homeland security.

It has snapshots of several prominent Republicans, including Ms. Hutchison, House Speaker Dennis Hastert and Mr. McCain.

Mr. Frost is mentioned in the same breath as all the other Republicans in the ad.

"After Sept. 11, President Bush asked Congress to keep America's skies safe from terrorists," the announcer in the ad states. "Five hundred and 10 voted 'Yes' with President Bush. Pete Sessions was one of nine to vote 'No.' "

The ad later states: "Martin Frost. Backing President Bush on Keeping America Safe."

Mr. Frost says the ads are effective.

"There are some fundamental questions about his judgment and whether he would stick by what he said," he said of his opponent. "People expect politicians to shoot straight with them."

Mr. Frost has run another TV ad that shows Mr. Sessions talking about Mr. Kennedy's ordeal with airline security. On several occasions, the Massachusetts senator has been prohibited from boarding a plane because his name appeared on a security watch list.

The ad shows Mr. Sessions describing Mr. Kennedy's problem and saying the system may be "too tight."

"Sessions said 'No' to President Bush on air safety because Ted Kennedy was delayed?" the announcer says. "Protect America. Say 'No' to Pete Sessions."

A response

Mr. Sessions responded to Mr. Frost's air safety ad with one of his own.

In it he says he voted against the safety plan Mr. Bush wanted because it would have led to union guidelines for airport screeners.

"He wanted unionized restrictions on airport screeners," Mr. Sessions said in his ad. "I think they should be air safety professionals with the flexibility to do their jobs."

The commercial shows a picture of Mr. Frost with a red stamp across him that reads "unionized."

Another Sessions commercial that just aired charges that Mr. Frost is the biggest spender in Congress.

The commercial describes Mr. Frost's supporting paid holidays for bureaucrats and $20 million for a steel museum in Pennsylvania.

"So how will Frost pay for it?" the announcer asks. "Perhaps even some tax increases, if necessary," the voice of Mr. Frost adds.

The announcer then says, "Higher taxes and wasteful spending. That's the cost of Martin Frost."

"This is a district that has heavily performed for Republicans in the past," said Chris Homan, a spokesman for Mr. Sessions. "Congressman Frost has consistently voted for higher taxes which hurt the middle class, married couples and senior citizens."

"Pete Sessions is co-sponsor of the largest tax increase in the history of the country with the ridiculous national sales tax idea," said Justin Kitsch, a spokesman for Mr. Frost.

Mr. Sessions co-sponsors a bill that would abolish the Internal Revenue Service and create a national sales tax.

Tactical campaigners

Because Texas is not a swing state, Dallas-area residents have been spared the intense media barrage of the presidential campaign. But the Frost-Sessions matchup is quickly filling the gap.

Political observers say the air war reflects the maneuverings of two tactical campaigners.

"That district swings for Republicans, and you can see Frost trying to pick up some Republican votes," said Dallas political consultant Carol Reed. "And Sessions [is] trying to show that Martin Frost is too liberal for Texas. It's the standard way Republicans run in Texas."
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2004 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In regards to the "streaking" incident, it should be noted that if that were to happen today, the charge could be indecent exposure, and the offender would be defined by law as a sexual offender. He would have to register as such and his picture would be on the DPS web site.
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David R Gold

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2004 1:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LA Times tackles this race.

Slinging Mud and Whatever Else They Can Afford
Redistricting in Texas pits two incumbents in one of the costliest and nastiest House races.
By Janet Hook
Times Staff Writer
October 29, 2004

DALLAS — Images of the World Trade Center in flames fill the television screen. A somber voice warns that a local Republican House member is soft on airline security. Stark words appear: "Protect America. Say No to Pete Sessions."

That message is courtesy of Sessions' Democratic opponent, Rep. Martin Frost, long an influential member of his party on Capitol Hill. But Sessions, a Republican, has sent out a message of his own: Fliers in Dallas mailboxes accuse Frost of consorting with a former child molester and more.

These and other tough punches mark a congressional campaign that has the distinction of being the second-most expensive House race in history — and one of the nastiest in the country.

On its face, the contest — between Frost, a 26-year incumbent, and Sessions, who has been in Congress since 1996 — is simply over who will represent a big chunk of Dallas in the House. But more broadly, it is one of the key fights in a determined national effort by GOP leaders to retain and expand their House majority.

Dallas voters are facing a rare choice between two incumbents because Sessions and Frost were thrown into the same district by a bold Republican move to redraw congressional district lines in Texas that were supposed to stay in place until 2012.

The effort, spearheaded by House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas), is crucial because it is expected to give the GOP enough new seats in Texas to virtually guarantee they will keep control of the House.

The fight in Dallas also is a microcosm of national political trends, sharing many hallmarks of the race between President Bush and Sen. John F. Kerry.

It pits a Republican who favors more tax cuts, limits on lawsuits and a free-market approach to healthcare against a Democrat who disagrees on all those issues. And while the presidential campaign has been riddled with attack ads and scare tactics, the House race in Dallas shows that Bush and Kerry have not cornered the market on negativism.

If anything, the mud is flying thicker and faster in Dallas. Sessions has accused Frost of tax evasion. The Frost campaign accused Sessions of "indecent exposure" because he was a streaker while in college. They have accused each other of dirty tricks with lawn signs. An anti-immigration group aired an ad against Frost that critics said was racist.

The race offers voters a real choice between two very different, credible candidates. But for many voters, the bitter, personal quality of the candidates' attacks is overshadowing the debate over issues.

When students at the University of Texas in Dallas met with Sessions recently, they peppered him with questions about why the campaign was so negative.

"How do we focus on the issues?" they asked, as Sessions recounted later. He said they wanted to know, "What's fair? What's not fair? Is it true we just don't like each other?"

Many voters casting early ballots recently were battle weary. Said Sue Lott, an employee of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center: "Politicians are notorious for sliming the other side, but this has gone over the top."

The campaign is grueling for both men, but especially so for Frost, 62.

The reconfigured district has a pronounced Republican tilt, presenting Frost with his hardest reelection challenge. And the contest crystallizes two of the most powerful trends that have transformed political campaigning since he was first elected to the House in 1978: the continuous rise in campaign spending and the escalation of attack politics.

"Campaigns were very different when I ran in 1978," Frost said recently when he addressed a class at Southern Methodist University.

That year, he said, his campaign spent $250,000 — half to beat a Democratic incumbent, Dale Milford, in their party's primary, and half in the general election. Now, Frost and Sessions are on track to spend $4 million each — more than any other House race this year.

The only more expensive House race was in 2000, when $11.5 million was spent as Democrat Adam B. Schiff beat GOP Rep. Jim Rogan to represent a Burbank-based district.

In 1978, Frost's central campaign theme in his primary victory was that Milford was too conservative. In Frost's few forays into negative campaigning, he criticized Milford for flying first class and taking foreign trips.

"That was considered very daring stuff back then," said one longtime Frost associate who asked not to be named. "Compared to things going on now, that is ho-hum."

But the 1988 presidential campaign was a formative experience for Frost and other politicians of his generation. Helping then-Vice President George H.W. Bush overcome an early disadvantage in the polls was his campaign's aggressive attack on Democratic nominee Michael S. Dukakis that portrayed him as weak on defense and soft on crime. Dukakis was slow to respond, and lost.

From that episode, many politicians drew two conclusions that remain guiding principles today: Negative campaigning works, and no attack should go unanswered.

That is why, Frost said, when he got an inkling that his opponent was going to go negative, he opened his own barrage of attacks. The move risked distracting from Frost's positive pitch that he has been effective in serving Dallas' interests. But a purely positive campaign was not an option, Frost concluded.

"I had to make a choice," Frost said. "Was I going to be Michael Dukakis and not respond? You can't let an opponent say wild and crazy things. I won't be a punching bag."

Sessions, 49, blamed Frost's campaign for setting a nasty tone for the campaign, and said the Democrat did so because he was behind in the polls.

"The guy is losing and bleeding," Sessions said. "He's lost his balance. It's gotten more and more shrill."

Whoever started it, the campaign probably was destined to be nasty because it was born of a divisive fight over the redrawing of Texas' congressional districts. That process usually happens once every 10 years, after the census. But in 2003, after the GOP won control of the state Legislature, DeLay prodded state Republicans to push into law new district lines.

The new map gave Republicans a chance to gain several House seats and put five previously safe incumbent Democrats at risk.

The new lines split Frost's old district, comprised of parts of Dallas, Fort Worth and points between. The Democrat decided to run against Sessions in a district that included portions of his old territory and most of Dallas' Jewish community. Frost is the only Jewish member of the Texas delegation.

He faces an uphill political fight. More than half the district comes from Sessions' old one. And the new lines encompass affluent suburbs of North Dallas, which are heavily Republican.

Still, polls show Frost giving Sessions a serious run for his money. And Frost got a surprising boost last week when he was endorsed by the Dallas Morning News, which traditionally favors Republicans.

The attacks that have marked the campaign began early.

In April, an ad sponsored by a little-known independent group charged that Frost supported amnesty for illegal immigrants, which the Democrat denied. Sessions said his campaign had nothing to do with the ad, but Frost said the Republican did not do enough to repudiate the message.

In August, Frost yard signs mysteriously appeared on the grounds of a school attended by Sessions' child. Sessions accused Frost of trying to embarrass the child; Frost said the signs were stolen by Republicans trying to make him look bad.

Then there was the matter of Sessions' youthful streaking episode as a student at Southwest Texas State University.

Justin Kitsch, Frost's spokesman, said it was legitimate to call attention to the prank because it illustrated Sessions' hypocrisy, given that he had been a vocal critic of singer Janet Jackson's exposing her breast during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show.

Sessions called it "a new low" for Frost to broach the streaking incident, but it has caught voters' attention. When Sessions addressed a Lion's Club meeting in Dallas, members teased him by having someone streak through the meeting.

The child molestation issue was raised by the Sessions campaign after it learned that a Frost fundraiser was to feature singer Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary fame. In 1970, Yarrow was convicted of indecent behavior with a 14-year-old.

Frost canceled Yarrow's appearance. But he objected that a mailing by Sessions implied Frost was a child molester. Sessions denied the charge, while arguing it was "very germane" to note that Frost had asked a person with Yarrow's record for political help.

Frost used the images of the burning World Trade Center after it was struck by hijacked airliners on Sept. 11, 2001, in an ad that criticized Sessions' vote against a Bush-backed bill to establish strict new air safety rules. Sessions was one of nine members of Congress who voted against the bill — mostly, he said, because of concerns that the bill would force baggage handlers to unionize.

Some critics said the ad exploited the terrorist attacks for political gain. But Frost was unapologetic. "This was a dramatic ad to illustrate there was a real difference between the two of us," he said.

A Sessions ad showed a plane flying overhead and a shoulder-fired missile, presumably hoisted by a terrorist, pointed at it. The announcer warns of "unspeakable horror, shattered lives."

Sessions and Frost agree on one thing: Both complain the media have contributed to the campaign's negative tone by focusing more on personal attacks than issues.

But Frost acknowledged: "I'd rather have a discussion of issues, but that's not the real world."
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