In less than seven days, we will know if Arlington voters have approved a new ballpark for the Texas Rangers. The outlook is good, but Mayor Jeff Williams has made a rookie mistake with some trash talk.
In a meeting with a group from Action Arlington, Williams was secretly recorded spouting off about “Citizens against virtually anything,” more commonly known as Citizens for a Better Arlington, the primary opponents of the stadium proposal.
Williams is clearly frustrated with the group’s campaign tactics. But he also maligned some of its members, saying, “You wouldn’t leave your kids with them to babysit them.”
This is a departure for Williams. His approach to the campaign previously has been one of determined leadership, not personal attacks.
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Brian Mayes, campaign manager and consultant for Vote Yes! Keep the Rangers, which is headed by Williams, tried to fix the error but instead repeated it.
Mayes said Williams was only venting about the Citizens for a Better Arlington group and the leaked recording “just proves they don’t have the character needed to run the positive campaign that Arlington voters deserve.”
Williams and Mayes shouldn’t stoop this low. They should focus on their own game, not on what the other team is doing.
Vote Yes! is on track to win Arlington a new ballpark, but this is the bottom of the ninth inning — the worst time to get distracted from good strategy.