Friday, November 16, 2007

HD 25: LCRM and Maxwell trying to hide ties?

Lamar White at CENLAMAR noted the other day that the Pierre DuPont-founded Republican PAC, GOPAC, has suddenly shown an interest in the HD 25 race. More specifically, Lamar wrote that GOPAC had taken to the airwaves to attack the Democratic standard bearer in that race, Chris Roy, Jr.

Now, how and why would GOPAC train its focus on a House race in CENLA? Could it be that they were directed to the race by a group that had proven to be a public embarrassment to the Republican who is in the run-off against Roy?

In the days leading up to the October 20 primary, the Louisiana Committee for a Republican Majority (LCRM) paid for ads attacking Roy that prompted Republican Lance Maxwell to try to disavow the ads.

CENLAMAR ran text from a press release issued by Maxwell in response to the radio ads:
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.
Yes, Maxwell was shocked — SHOCKED, I tell you! — that this supposedly rogue PAC would launch such an underhanded and vicious attack.

As the LCRM's campaign finance report filed on November 6 shows, Maxwell's disavowal was, uh, disingenuous. First, there is the matter of the $4,900 that the LCRM contributed directly to Maxwell's campaign on October 3. Then, another schedule in that report reveals that the LCRM spent $7,234.72 on direct mail attacking Roy in support of Maxwell's campaign at the same time those darn radio ads were running. Oh, and the LCRM spent $7,715 to run those attack ads that Maxwell didn't know anything about.

Can there be any doubt that 'plausible deniability' is included in the campaign policy book Maxwell and others got from the LCRM at their workshop last summer?

All told, the LCRM spent $19,849.72 on Maxwell's campaign in the last two weeks before the primary through a combination of direct contributions and allegedly 'independent' expenditures on his behalf.

But, the radio ads must have been pretty bad, because the LCRM is back trying to help Maxwell, but is trying to cover its tracks. How so? By paying GOPAC to go after Chris Roy, Jr.

The LCRM made two $5,000 contributions to GOPAC over the past two months. The first was made on October 15; the second on November 5.

GOPAC could well be doing the LCRM's bidding with LCRM money via its attacks on Roy. That kind of local-to-DC-back-to-local money running has a precedent in the work of the organization on which the LCRM was modeled; in fact, it was that kind of circulation (albeit with illegal campaign funds) that brought Tom DeLay's Texans for a Republican Majority to ruin.

Maxwell needs the LCRM to do his dirty work. He also needs to appear to maintain his distance from the organization in the wake of the primary campaign ads he felt compelled to disavow. GOPAC has shown that it is happy to oblige.

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