AUSTIN, Texas — With less than two weeks until Election Day, political advertisements are airing across multiple mediums. But, for Mike Collier, candidate for lieutenant governor, one ad struck a nerve, causing him to send a cease-and-desist letter to local television outlets throughout the state.

What You Need To Know

  • Mike Collier, candidate for lieutenant governor, has taken exception to attack ads from opponent Dan Patrick

  • Collier has sent a cease-and-desist letter to Patrick, citing "false or misleading" claims in the ads

  • Patrick's team is standing by the claims in the ads

“Whether a media entity subject to FCC regulations or simply to measure up to the standards expected of any newspaper or other ethical media advertiser, we would provide this notice to allow you to be responsible to the community you serve and act with reasonable care to ensure that advertisements published are not 'false or misleading,'" the letter stated.

The political advertisement attacking Collier’s ability to lead as the next lieutenant governor is paid for by Texans for Dan Patrick. Patrick claims Collier “wants to turn Texas into Joe Biden’s America.” The video states that Collier supports open borders and eliminating U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, backs Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal, the increase of business, property and gas taxes and more.

“The latest attack from Dan Patrick is an egregious betrayal of the public’s trust that further demonstrates his desperation in the final days of a failed incumbency,” Erin Mincberg Spiegel, Collier’s senior campaign strategist, said in a statement. “We are disappointed in Dan Patrick’s willingness to lie to the general public, but we are certainly not surprised — it is to be expected from an extremist who has built his career through generating falsehoods, fear and partisanship.”

In its attempt to discredit Collier’s campaign, Patrick’s video doesn’t cite any sources for his various claims. And in his four-page cease-and-desist letter, Collier disputes each one by linking interviews with The Dallas Morning News, The Texas Tribune, The Houston Chronicle and other platforms that dispel the rumors in the political ad. Last year, Gov. Abbott signed a bill into law requiring students in public schools to compete in interscholastic athlete competitions based on their assigned sex at birth. In Patrick’s ad, he says Collier wants “boys to compete in girls’ sports.” But, in an interview with The Dallas Morning News, Collier was quoted as saying he believed that the government should stay out of issues surrounding transgender care. The letter references a total of 10 links.

“The text of the specific advertisement is included below, with the most demonstrably false factual statements bolded with actual statements of record by Mike Collier indicated below each false factual statement (the remainder of the assertions are not necessarily accurate but are excluded from this request as subject to the broad standards for exaggeration, inaccuracy,” the letter reads.

In a statement to local media, Patrick’s team insists they stand by the ad despite not including where they received the information contained in it.

“Mike Collier has proudly proclaimed that he and President Biden are in complete alignment on policy, that there is no daylight between them,” said Allen Blakemore, Patrick’s political strategist. “He has not disavowed Biden’s destructive policies that are wrecking the Texas economy and putting Texans’ lives at risk.”

Ultimately for Collier, he wants Texas broadcasters to force Patrick to cite his claims or remove the ad from the airwaves as to not “enable the publication of false” information.

“There is no citation to public or private statements alleged to be made by Mike Collier at any time that would in any way be consistent with the factual claims,” the letter reads. “This glaring omission points to the factually insupportable basis for the advertised claims, and at a minimum, we would ask that you request some manner of verification before continuing to accept the advertising revenues associated with the advertisement.”