Tonight, KALB reported that a number of employees in the Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Department are being used to fight a political battle in the race for sheriff. Michele Godard, KALB’s news director, conducted a series of interviews with detectives and deputies (the deputies’ voices and identities were disguised because they were apparently fearful of the repercussions).
Recently, The Town Talk uploaded a couple of campaign finance reports from the two candidates for Rapides Parish Sheriff, Mike Slocum and Chuck Wagner. The paper encouraged readers to view the reports for themselves, implying that these reports represented an accurate reflection of the money raised by both candidates. But there is one glaring problem: Both reports were issued nearly a year ago, in December of 2006. Then, yesterday, the paper editorialized about the fundraising, arguing that Mike Slocum is “well ahead” of Chuck Wagner.
Had the paper actually taken the time to review the most recent reports (and then offer those reports to the public, instead of reports from last year), they would have known that this claim is simply patently false. In fact, according to the most recent comprehensive reports, Chuck Wagner has $171,554 more “funds on hand” than Mike Slocum. (And even if one were to deduct the money Wagner has personally staked on the election, he still has at least $83,000 more than Slocum).
Update: H/t to CentralLaPolitics, a Republican blogger, who is equally as outraged by the tactics of David Vitter’s LCRM and has uploaded the radio ad attacking Chris Roy, Jr.
Listen to the ad here. And read about Chris Roy’s defense of a mentally-ill Vietnam veteran who was ruled incapable of standing trial by a judge, after a string of evaluations by a court-appointed psychologist. This was Roy’s one and only murder case, and both Roy and the DA agreed to convict the man of manslaughter. This is what the LCRM is lying about in an attempt to smear Roy’s professional reputation and shift votes over Lance Maxwell.
Three days before the primary election, Lance Maxwell, the Republican candidate for House District 25, attempted to distance himself from a radio advertisement attacking one of his opponents, an ad that was sponsored by the Louisiana Committee for a Republican Majority. Maxwell issued the following statement to The Town Talk:
This press release is in response to an unexpected attack ad against one of my opponents. On Wednesday, October 17, I heard this radio ad for the first time. I had no prior knowledge nor did I approve such an ad. (By law, no political action committee can communicate strategically with me). This ad is not supported by nor endorsed by the Lance Maxwell Campaign. I have personally called this PAC and asked that they remove this ad immediately. Any further negative campaigning by this PAC is against my specific request. This election cycle is about the future of Louisiana. I will not allow outside PAC’s to muddy the water with negative ads that are contrary to the basic foundations on which I was raised and for which I stand. Negative ads, like the one that is currently playing, are rooted in “old school” smear tactics that have kept Louisiana stagnant. Please continue to work with me as I strive to move Louisiana forward.
Although we did not know it at the time, a recent campaign finance report from Lance Maxwell reveals that on October 10, 2007, less than a week before this advertisement was taken out, Maxwell received a $4,900 donation from the very political action committee that he accuses of being “rooted in ‘old school’ smear tactics,” the Louisiana Committee for a Republican Majority. (Click here to view the report).
Maxwell’s attempt to distance himself from the LCRM may be politically expedient, but it appears to be completely disingenuous. Not only has Maxwell accepted thousands of dollars from the LCRM, he spent the past few years of his life working for the man behind the LCRM, Senator David Vitter. In fact, a letter from Vitter’s wife Wendy appears on the main page of the LCRM’s website. A closer look at Maxwell’s reports also reveals that he has accepted donations from the principal forces behind the LCRM:
- On July 16, 2007, Joseph Canizaro of New Orleans gave Lance Maxwell $2,500.
- A day later, on July 17, 2007, Joseph Spinosa of Baton Rouge also gave Lance Maxwell $2,500.
- On September 17, 2007, Phylis Taylor, Louisiana’s only billionaire, donated $2,500.
- The same day, Maxwell received a $2,500 donation from Morris Dickson Company of Shreveport.
All of these donations have two things in common (besides their timing): They are all from outside of District 25, and they are all from individuals who have repeatedly supported both the LCRM and the Republican candidates in their “targeted districts.” The only big name that seems to be missing is Boysie Bollinger of New Orleans.
Maxwell may have a problem with the smear tactics of the LCRM, but he seems to have no problem taking their money.
According to a report by KALB, an important Civil War battlefield in Mansfield, Louisiana is now threatened by the nearby expansion of lignite drilling. In an earlier piece by Louisiana Public Broadcasting, Gary Joiner, an LSU professor and Shreveport historian, claims that the drilling has already completely destroyed the site of the final phase of the battle and the campground of the Union forces.