As reported in a Houston Forward Times exclusive on November 12, 2012, local Houston attorney Ben Hall seems to have inched ever closer to having his name appear on the ballot in 2013 to challenge incumbent Mayor Annise Parker, who has indicated that she will be running for a third and final term.
Hall, who had made indications that he was considering a run to be Houston’s next mayor, served as the City Attorney for the City of Houston during the administration of Mayor Bob Lanier and has an extremely successful and nationally recognized law firm. He has indicated that when he does run, he plans to utilize his own money to campaign for the city’s top spot, as well as seek support from campaign donors.
Hall has been the topic of discussion in the community over the past several days after several blog articles were written, indicating that he had hired former Channel 13 investigative reporter Wayne Dolcefino to do “opposition research” for him.
Hall categorically denies it.
“The recent blogs, tweets and posts suggesting Mr. Dolcefino is handling media relations for my anticipated mayoral race are simply wrong,” said Hall. “Wayne is not handling any media concerns or issues relating to any plans we are making regarding political office.”
Hall says that he has known Dolcefino for many years and has asked him to work on a couple of his litigation cases involving his law firm, but nothing more.
“I am pleased to clarify this issue for you and your readers,” said Hall. “Over the last several years, I and my law firm have had the pleasure of working with a couple of excellent media consultants to address media and case issues. The Hall Law Firm is pleased to have Wayne helping us with some critical cases that we are working on at this time.”
Dolcefino, who has formed a new company called Dolcefino Communications, also denies the blog reports that Hall has hired him to target Parker through “opposition research” in next year’s mayoral race.
“I was hired by Hall’s law firm to work on some litigation pieces, not to do opposition research against Annise Parker” said Dolcefino. “I was a little taken aback by the content of the article in Culture Map and the tone of it. Trust me, anyone who knows me, knows that if I had reason to do any stories on Annise Parker while I was working at Channel 13 that I would have done them.”
Dolcefino believes that the problem with blog articles is that they don’t get vetted by anyone and that it is difficult to criticize someone else’s interpretation of information.
“I have known Ben Hall for years and think he would make a darn good mayor, but I was never hired to target Annise Parker,” said Dolcefino.
Hall is looking forward to fully addressing his political plans real soon.
“I have been overwhelmed by the positive responses your recent Houston Forward Times story on me has occasioned,” said Hall. “It is an exciting time--with the hopes and dreams of many vibrating throughout communities. Change is definitely in the air!”
Change is really in the air and the race for mayor in 2013 is guaranteed to be an interesting one to say the least. The Houston Forward Times will be following it every step of the way.