We can't turn a blind eye to this type of behavior
Dave Wilson is a despicable man.
No. Not that Dave Wilson - the other one.
You know Dave Wilson, don't you? He is the Houston man who misled voters to get himself elected.
I know what you are thinking. Misleading voters is how most politicians get elected. Some people pretend to be conservatives who really aren't. Some pretend to be friends of the middle class who really aren't.
But I've never seen a white man pretend to be black.
Dave Wilson was running for a seat on the Houston Community College Board of Trustees. He could easily be called a stereotypical white conservative from Texas.
He is a conservative anti-homosexual activist who just happened to need the votes of black people in a largely African American district in order to beat a long-time incumbent.
Noting that few black voters in Houston were likely to find Wilson a candidate they would support, he used the political philosophy of Niccolo Machiavelli.
"Never attempt to win by force what can be won by deception," is one of the most quotable lines in Machiavelli's The Prince.
Because the community college trustee seat he sought never required a lot of publicity or debate, Wilson was able to run a stealth campaign.
Wilson sent out a flyer in the mail with photos of black people he downloaded from the internet – you didn't think he had photos of black friends lying around the house did you – in which these people of color purportedly asked their "friends" to vote for Dave Wilson.
The fliers also featured an endorsement by Ron Wilson. That is the name of an African American state legislator from the same district and his endorsement would carry weight among voters who might consider unseating Bruce Austin who had held the position for 24 years.
But Ron Wilson never endorsed Dave Wilson. At least not that Ron Wilson. The candidate's dirty tricks ad even stated in the fine print the Ron Wilson was the candidate's cousin.
While it legally protected Dave Wilson from claiming the support of the state legislator, it misled voters further, by leading them to believe they were voting for the black state legislator's cousin.
The voters were actually voting for Ron Wilson's cousin - lily white Ron Wilson from Iowa.
I you could hear the radio ad Wilson used in which he claimed to be the "only candidate for HCC District Two that we can trust."
If you trust Dave Wilson, you will discover the definition of disappointment. Not only did he incorrectly insinuate that he was a black man, Wilson used two women in his ad who would have fit into stereotypical roles in any blacksploitation film.
Wilson is anything but apologetic.
As he chuckled about pulling off the win, he told reporters that he always knew it was a long shot and he didn't expect to win. He was also unrepentant when it came to his feelings about what he had done.
"Look," the political troublemaker told reporters. "Every time a politician talks, he is out there deceiving voters."
Obviously, this is only a seat on a community college board of trustees. But the fact that he would blatantly lie to voters to win, should result in an outcry from politicians on both sides of the aisle.
Texas conservatives should force him out. Democrats – especially African American Democrats – should rally against these tactics.
It is time for politicians to police their own if they want to mitigate the negative opinion most voters hold for men and women in that profession.
We can't turn a blind eye to this type of behavior.
Pretending to be black to win a race may be a unique situation but it is on of the most desperate and disturbing things I have ever seen.
Kent Bush is the publisher of the Butler County Times Gazette and can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org