Republican mayoral candidate Edwin Peacock has taken his criticism of Democrat Jennifer Roberts to the air with a new TV ad that accuses her of raising taxes and supporting “the $500 million streetcar disaster.”
Peacock made some of the same charges in a new mailer this week.
The ads echo charges Peacock has made during debates and are similar to attacks Mayor Dan Clodfelter made against her in mailers before this month’s Democratic runoff.
In the ads, Peacock criticizes Roberts’ 2005 vote as a Mecklenburg County commissioner for a 10.6 percent property tax hike. And he cites county budget cuts of $150 million for schools and other services.
She did vote for a budget that included the tax hike. And in 2009 and 2010, the county did cut $150 million in spending because of the recession.
Peacock’s ads also claim that Roberts voted to raise commissioners’ pay in 2005. Records show that although she voted for a county budget that raised their pay 3.6 percent, she was one of three commissioners who opposed the raise in a preliminary vote.
“Edwin Peacock is desperately trying to distract voters with false and misleading attacks because he knows that Jennifer’s positive message … is resonating with Charlotte families,” said Jacob Becklund, Roberts’ campaign manager.
The suggestion that she voted to raise her own pay was similar to a charge Peacock’s opponent raised against him during the GOP primary. Scott Stone accused Peacock of backing the streetcar because he voted for a budget that included city funding.
In 2009, Peacock was on the losing end of a vote to remove $8 million in streetcar funding from the budget, but ended up voting for the entire spending plan. When Stone accused him of supporting the streetcar, Peacock said his initial vote showed he didn’t.
Asked if he is being inconsistent, Peacock said, “I’ll let you draw that conclusion.”
Roberts, in an email and on Facebook, repeated a statement Peacock made Tuesday during a debate when asked about the city’s proposed anti-discrimination ordinance.
“This is a very minor issue we can’t get distracted by,” Peacock said. That promoted a quick response from Roberts.
“Non-discrimination is not a minor issue,” she said.
Peacock said Thursday he was referring to a portion of the ordinance that dealt with bathrooms. It would have allowed transgender people to use the bathroom of the gender with which they identify.