Tuesday, 29 December 2015 14:35

Gumbo Pac's Trey Ourso said Vitter victory seemed inevitable

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abvIt is correct that Jon Bel Edwards campaign beat the David Vitter campaign last month. However, for one of the first times in Louisiana political history, secondary campaigns competed with other similar campaigns to get out the message, either for or against the party they opposed.
Welcome to the brand new world of Super Pacs Politics Louisiana.

One of those Super PACS that appeared to “win” was the Gumbo PAC which launched an Anybody but Vitter Campaign and that later ran a separate election operation from the Edwards campaign once the Democrat, Edwards, was the only opponent facing the Republican US Senator for the governor’s position.
In part I of a multi-part series, Bayoubuzz Publisher Stephen Sabludowsky interviewed the Director of the Gumbo Super Pac Trey Ourso, about how the Super PAC started. Here is a summary and we ask that you view the video for the exact conversation.
It appeared inevitable that David Vitter would win. A group of individuals felt that a SuperPAC might be needed to ensure that David Vitter would not be elected Governor of Louisiana.
Initially, the process was to figure out what needed to be done to form the Gumbo PAC.
When launched in April 2015, the initial focus was to launch video via social media. It would be similar a movie trailer that would target the state. They also created a billboard in New Orleans that would be Anybody But Vitter. The purpose was to raise awareness, acquire earned media and re-erect the prostitution scandal with the hopes of chipping away the apparent Vitter inevitability.
Vitter had a tremendous advantage going into 2015. He was a remarkable politician over the years, had more to do with helping the Louisiana Republican party than any other official, through his own Super PAC, he helped legislators get elected. He helped congressmen win their respective offices, he was the architect for Bill Cassidy’s victory in the Senate against Mary Landrieu. Going into 2015, Vitter looked like he had gotten what he wanted and everything was set up for him but his winning the Governor’s seat. He also had a considerable amount of money.
The field that was set up was not really strong at the time. Conventional wisdom said Jon Bel Edwards would not be able to win. He was from a small town, Amite. He did not have name recognition or money and based upon voting trends and patterns, a victory seemed relatively unlikely.
As long as Dardenne and Angelle were both running, they sucked the oxygen out. There might have been room for one side of Vitter but not both on the same side.

Vitter wanted to face Jon Bel Edwards in the runoff and Edwards wanted to face Vitter, so they got exactly what they wanted.


Part 2, tomorrow

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