The following ran in the April 29, 2012, edition of the Houston Chronicle. Political Scientist Cal Jillson provided expertise for this story.
May 8, 2012
By Peggy Fikac
AUSTIN - If you met Jordan Fishman, chances are you'd like him. He's well-spoken, seems sincere and chokes up when he talks about America.
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst's campaign is counting on him to be poison against rival Ted Cruz in the U.S. Senate race.
Fishman, 74, is the man featured in Dewhurst ads slamming Cruz's legal representation of a Chinese company. Fishman won a $26 million judgment in a lawsuit against the company and a distributor after contending his tire designs were copied.
The company hired Cruz's firm on appeal. Cruz is listed as the counsel of record on a brief, but lately he seems to have stepped up efforts to publicly distance himself from the case.
Fishman, who came through Texas last week at the Dewhurst campaign's behest, presents the court battle as a fight for his life's work and for America.
"If somebody paints a picture, writes a book - that's you. That's you. Maybe you write an article - that's you, on the line," he said. "When I do one of those blueprints, that's me."
"That's what they stole. That, you can't have," he said. "If you take that from me - if you take something like that from America - to me, it's personal."...
Southern Methodist University political scientist Cal Jillson said as a legal matter, even controversial characters are entitled to representation, be it the Chinese company or - an example that might make Cruz cringe - George Zimmerman, the Florida man charged in Trayvon Martin's death.
Jillson also shared an anecdote that might be a small warning sign for Cruz. When Jillson last week gave a talk to a group of financial advisers and their clients, he said the Fishman case came up "and a guy said, 'I had formerly been very well disposed toward Ted Cruz - taking a look at him - but now I find this out, and I'm off him.' "
Cruz is "in fine shape as a professional and legal matter" as long as he's simply representing the company, Jillson said. But he added, "As a political matter, it is whatever Dewhurst can make of it."...