Louisiana: New Ads Hit Cazayoux, Paint Obama as Liberal

Posted April 22, 2008 at 6:46pm

As a flurry of ads were released Tuesday attacking state Rep. Don Cazayoux, the Democratic nominee in the 6th district special election, for his stance on health care and tax issues, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee stepped in to push back against what it says are curiously similar independent ad buys by the National Republican Congressional Committee and a slew of other conservative groups.

Last week, the DCCC filed an official complaint with the Federal Election Commission accusing the NRCC and the independent political group Freedom’s Watch of illegally coordinating their advertising campaigns in the special election. On Tuesday the DCCC again went after Freedom’s Watch and the NRCC, as well as Lane Grigsby, a wealthy construction company owner, who has a history of getting involved in Bayou State campaigns.

“A week after the NRCC and Freedom’s Watch were caught illegally coordinating their first ads in Louisiana 6, it’s very curious that they both began running strikingly similar ads on the same exact day that try to mislead voters about Don Cazayoux,” DCCC spokeswoman Kyra Jennings said Tuesday. “And today, national Republicans have a new partner in crime — an unethical Louisiana construction owner who’s supporting their unethical candidate, [former state Rep.] Woody Jenkins. Republicans are so threatened by Don Cazayoux’s campaign for change that they are trying to win at any cost.”

Besides the uproar it brought from the DCCC, the NRCC’s “Warning Label” television ad is also interesting because the committee goes out of its way to attack Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) as if he were already the nominee — and it is the first attempt by a Congressional campaign committee to paint Obama as a liberal.

“A vote for Don Cazayoux is a vote for Barack Obama and [Speaker] Nancy Pelosi” (D-Calif.), the ad states. “Obama and Pelosi voted to raise income taxes. … So did Don Cazayoux. … Cazayoux also supports Obama’s radical agenda on health care.”

Gorman Is First on TV in Race for McCrery Seat

Wealthy trucking company executive Chris Gorman (R) has hit the airwaves early in the open 4th district race to fill the seat of retiring Rep. Jim McCrery (R).

Gorman’s “Wanted to Know” television spot, the first of the campaign, went on the air Tuesday on broadcast and cable in the Shreveport-based district. In it, Gorman promotes his own business background and asks why leaders in Washington, D.C., aren’t doing more to tighten their own belts and cut the government’s “ridiculous” spending. He also asks why politicians aren’t doing more to protect the rights of the unborn.

At the end of the first quarter, Gorman led the open-seat field in cash on hand, according to his Federal Election Commission report. He had almost $331,000 in the bank, with more than $250,000 of that coming from loans he made to his own campaign.

Paul Carmouche, who served as Caddo Parish’s top prosecutor for almost 30 years, appears to be the top Democrat in the race. Carmouche raised more than $111,000 since joining the race and reported $109,000 in cash on hand at the end of the first quarter.

Bush Aiding Kennedy; Pollster Trashes Numbers

As part of his tour through the Bayou State, President Bush attended a fundraiser Tuesday evening to benefit the Senate campaign of state treasurer John Kennedy (R), who is challenging Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) in one of this cycle’s most hyped matchups. The fundraiser was held at a private home in Baton Rouge.

In other Louisiana Senate news, a spokesman for Rasmussen Reports said that “human error” was to blame for the incorrect Landrieu-Kennedy race polling numbers that were released last week on the company’s Web site. The automated polling company first released figures that showed Landrieu ahead by 16 points and then later took down that release and posted new numbers that showed the race to be within the margin of error. After acknowledging that neither of the polling numbers were valid, the company spokesman said no new polling numbers were available on the race.

— John McArdle