Early Thursday morning, the Charbonnet campaign sent out a response to a recent Torres commercial hitting her for alleged corruption by citing a name from the Mayoral pass, Ray Nagin, who is spending time in federal prison for corruption.
This afternoon, Torres, who is the founder and face of his Super PAC, Voice PAC, responded with another reference to Nagin. Below is Torres's statement and below that is the earlier comment from the Charbonnet campaign.
Is Sidney Torres helping or hurting Desiree Charbonnet with his TV commercials, public slams? Tell us below
Also, another organization that has been slapping at Charbonnet's candidacy has just revealed its contributions which show that over one-third of the donations were made to that Super PAC NotforsaleNola.com PAC came from individuals who made contributions to Michael Bagneris, also a candidate for New Orleans Mayor.
VoicePac founder and New Orleans developer Sidney Torres warned voters today that, “Desiree Charbonnet’s guilty conscience has unveiled another concern that should be investigated before we cast our ballots.”
A media release from the Charbonnet campaign suggested that an ad recently released by VoicePac “attempts to make a connection between Desiree Charbonnet and former Mayor Ray Nagin.” Said Torres, “Never once did I refer to Ray Nagin and any connection he may have had to Charbonnet, nor did I ever hint at any relationship between the two. But, her suspicious retort makes me wonder what favors did she do for Nagin. If Charbonnet has even more skeletons in her closet, we should be alarmed.”
Torres continued, “I produced a television commercial to hold Desiree Charbonnet accountable to the facts. She stated in her own commercial that she has never had ‘a hint of scandal’ in her 20 years in office. I stated in my commercial, ‘Not true. Journalists write about Charbonnet’s airport contract. Charbonnet gave contracts to elected officials. And Chabonnet did favors for a politico convicted for bribery. Tell the truth Desiree, or someone like me will tell it for you,’ and I stand by those statements. Everything I noted in my message to voters has been well-documented by the daily newspapers and television journalists. I can only assume that the line regarding Chabonnet’s favors for a politico convicted for bribery made her uncomfortable. But I was referring to her willingness to fire others and give the job to convicted felon Bill Jefferson’s niece. She has to explain any Ray Nagin connection, not me. VoicePac was designed to get the answers we deserve before we vote.”
As for her challenge of Torres noting that he contributed to Ray Nagin’s campaign for mayor, Torres did not back away from the claim, stating, “I did contribute to the Nagin for Mayor effort. Like 60% of the city’s electorate, I thought he would be effective and not like other politicians. The irony of Charbonnet’s statement is that when Nagin was a candidate, he didn’t have any of the baggage that Charbonnet has today, and look at what happened with him. The warning signs around Charbonnet are glaring. I find it interesting that Charbonnet doesn’t directly deny any of the claims made against her. But by lashing out at those of us who challenge her, Charbonnet continues to prove why she’s not fit for the city’s top job.”
Torres said all of his campaign contributions are public record, as required by the Louisiana Ethics Administration, and available online for all to see. He added that he has not held a contract with the city since 2012. Said Torres, “My contract to clean the Quarter for a while is no secret. Polls show that nearly everyone in our city remembers how well my company cleaned our city’s treasure.” National media lauded the company for its success and NPR reported this about Torres, “Here's why he's a local hero: After Katrina, when other companies were pulling out of New Orleans, Torres jumped in. People in New Orleans say (the Quarter) has never been cleaner. Torres is obsessed with details, from the hip black-and-white uniforms his workers wear to the scented spray they use to hose down the stinky streets of the French Quarter.”