In today's discussion with Ourso, we talk about those risks and how Gumbo PAC ran its parallel campaign, without communications and coordination.
Below is a rough summary of the relevant discussion. Be sure to watch the video to see the actual comments.
OURSO: Since the campaign and the super PAC did not have any communication or coordination it was quite possible for the super PAC to put up an ad that the campaign would feel would be harmful to the candidate. The Gumbo PAC was trying to target to a certain voter. It spent just under $3 million in the runoff, alone. About 95% of the target was to people who voted for Scott Angelle and Jay Dardenne in the primary. These were Republican leaning voters but for whatever reason, they chose not to vote for David Vitter. Gumbo PAC polling showed we could get a little bit over half of the Jay Dardenne supporters and a little under half of Scott Angelle supporters. So we really wanted to freeze those people in a posture so they could again not vote for David Vitter. So, you had the spy gate that came in the day before the election, John Bell came in at 40% Vitter came in at only 23%, the next two or three days after was dominated by what just happened in the whole spy thing.
So it threw Vitter off his game and we launched that first ad. The campaign launched an ad where John Bell is speaking in the camera saying over the next few weeks David Vitter is going to tell just a bunch of lies. He was trying to lay that out. And then we put up the ad with the clip of Dardenne and Scott Angelle from the televised debates where they called him all kind of awful stuff. The whole role of that ad was to take those Angelle and Dardenne voters and to freeze them. It is like a smoke signal, you're trying to look at the signals, what Lane--we knew that our lane was going to be an anti-Vitter Lane.
When John Bell came up with the ad, patriots over prostitutes, or however they named the ad, that was very powerful television commercial. And we took that as a signal, hey, "they want somebody to fill the laying on the prostitution thing". And we came right after that and put the ad of Greg Meriwether in the televised debate in 2010 where he kept asking Vitter, "Senator,, did you break the law, did you break the law? Yes or no?" and with Vitter stating "I'm not answering the question".
So we followed their ad with the prostitute thing and crazy enough after the Paris ad about a week before the election, Vitter tried to nationalize the election and jumped on the Syrian refugee thing that was going around the country.
But through the research that we did, we found out that he missed a couple of hearings and he issued a press release once where he said that he didn't think that the conditions in Syria posed a threat to the United States or our allies. So we produced a campaign in the final week basically attacking Vitter on Syria. They were claiming Jon Bell and Obama were going to let these folks into the country. Never in my dreams would I thought that the last few days of the campaign would be talking about Syria.