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Chehardy: Bitter Vitter’s shameful campaign should come clean

obama edwardsThe race for governor is now headed into the anticipated runoff but with a new twist.  Six month ago the runoff was expected to be John Bel Edwards, a democrat, against republican David Vitter.  That prediction was correct.  But the outcome of the primary election was far from predicted by the experts.  It was expected that once David Vitter had John Bel Edwards in the runoff he would run away with the election.  Well, that is not going to happen.

 

Mr. Vitter’s primary vote was abysmal.  At just 23% David Vitter ran far worse than anyone expected.  Polling the final week of the primary election showed him dropping like a lead balloon.  His and his political action committee’s constant negative attacks against Scott Angelle (R) and Jay Dardenne (R) turned voters off.  By the end of the primary, voters had no idea what David Vitter stood for.  All voters knew was that he would get rid of state owned automobiles, I suppose the state police would drive around in their personal vehicles, and somehow that would solve the state’s fiscal problems.  I am not sure how that math works, but it would be a miracle to solve the state’s fiscal mess by simply selling off automobiles.  Maybe it is some form of new math that 10,000 state vehicles could generate nearly $2 billion to solve Louisiana’s financial mess.  At the end of the day, voters knew about John Bel Edwards but little about David Vitter.

Just before the primary David Vitter’s investigative team was caught recording a video of Sheriff Newell Normand and others at a Metairie coffee shop.  This is the lowest of the low.  Secretly recording others in private conversation is despicable. A legal recording or not, recording private conversations by private citizens is disgusting.  One has to ask oneself would David Vitter as governor or his minions continue this practice against legislators or others who differ with him or his policies?

Mr. Vitter’s campaign tactics were a huge mistake.  His constant attacks backfired, drove down his likeability among voters and therefore his vote, and drove voters to one of the other three major candidates.

Take a look at Jefferson Parish for the problems that Mr. Vitter has.  In his home parish of Jefferson, David Vitter received only 38% of the vote.  John Bel Edwards got 34%.  David Vitter should have run well over 50% in his home base.  He did not and his final statewide vote election night reflected his basic problem during this campaign that most voters have grown to not like David Vitter, and that is why they did not vote for him.

And by the way when is David Vitter going to tell the voters of Louisiana just what his “serious sin” was?  The press has not pushed him on this.  It is time for him to come clean if he is serious about being our state’s next governor.

With the runoff in full swing the Vitter campaign and his PAC are gearing up for more attacks, the way it is done in Washington DC.  Now voters are told that a vote for Mr. Edwards is a vote for Barack Obama.   How absurd.  John Bel Edwards is prolife and pro 2nd amendment.  He is a West Point graduate.  Barack Obama has no standing in Louisiana’s gubernatorial election.  Does David Vitter’s support of Rudy Giuliani in the 2008 presidential election mean that Mr. Vitter supports the liberal social policy agenda espoused by Mayor Giuliani in that campaign.  I guess based on his accusations regarding Mr. Edwards, David Vitter supports those same liberal ideals espoused by Mr. Giuliani.

It is time to get real.  This campaign should be about issues, not scare tactics or veiled racist attack spots.  The losers in such a campaign are the people of Louisiana.  The tone of the Vitter campaign and its subordinates, such as the Super PAC, are doing a disservice to the people of Louisiana.  Having brought Washington style politics to Louisiana has done a real disservice to our state.  It is reason enough to vote against Mr. Vitter and if nothing else than to send a message that vile, vicious, and misleading negative campaigns have no place in Louisiana politics.  It is fair to criticize and point out candidate’s shortcomings with facts, not half-truths or statements taken out of context.  

Louisiana is on fiscal life support.  Voters need to know just how the candidates propose to save our state and plan for the future.  Voters don’t deserve the campaign Mr. Vitter is running.  The people of Louisiana deserve much better and shame on David Vitter for delivering so much less.

Lawrence Chehardy

For thirty-four years Lawrence Chehardy served as Assessor of Jefferson Parish. He has been the leading authority on Louisiana’s property tax laws. In addition to his political commentary and public speaking engagements, Lawrence Chehardy is a founding member of the Chehardy, Sherman, Ellis, Murray, Recile, Griffith, Stakelum & Hayes Law Firm and serves as its managing partner.

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