Super PACs Spending In LA Senate Race


Posted on March 24, 2014 at 6:57 PM

Updated Monday, Mar 24 at 7:00 PM

Paul Murphy / Eyewitness News
Email: | Twitter: @pmurphywwl

NEW ORLEANS, La. -- Louisiana's U.S. Senate race is heating up with advertising paid for by so called Super Political Action Committees or PACs.

Americans for Prosperity (AFP), a national Tea Party Super PAC, bankrolled by the billionaire Koch brothers, is currently blasting incumbent Mary Landrieu ontelevision.

"Tell Senator Landrieu we deserve better than Obamacare," is the central theme of the ad.

WWL-TV Political Analyst Clancy Dubos says the steady barrage of anti-Landireu ads are taking a toll on her re-election campaign.

"She started out about a year ago with a 13 point lead over Congressman Cassidy, now they're virtually tied," said DuBos.

Landrieu takes issue with the U.S. Supreme court ruling, permitting unlimited corporate and union spending on elections.

"The issue is the Supreme Court, by a vote of 5-4, has decided that the people with the most money get to speak the loudest and they can spend unlimited money and be undisclosed, secret money to say anything they want," said Landrieu.

She says the Super PAC attack isn't fair. "I've had now 3 million dollars spent against me by the Koch brothers who are libertarians," said Landrieu. "They just don't believe in government in any shape or form, virtually and I think they're wrong and I think that philosophy is dangerous."

Landrieu's leading Republican challenger Congressman Bill Cassidy says he's waiting until summer to roll out his own television advertising; but, he echoed one major point in the AFP spot.

"She was a key vote on Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act, if you will, continues to support a agenda that most people in Louisiana do not like," said Cassidy.

Meanwhile, an independent Democratic group, called the Senate Majority PAC, released an ad attacking Cassidy. "In Louisiana we expect leaders to solve problems, not become part of the problem," the ad said.

DuBos says Landrieu will likely pick up additional Republican votes in Louisiana based on her new committee assignment.

She was recently selected to chair the powerful Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee which brings a lot of clout to the state.

"Basically, this race comes down to, do you hate Obamacare more than you like the fact that Landrieu is a powerful Senator in charge of a very important committee for Louisiana who can deliver economically for Louisiana," said Dubos.

The primary elections are still more than 7 months away, and analysts expect an ebb and flow for both candidates in the U.S. Senate race between now and Labor Day, which is historically when most Louisiana voters begin to focus on the fall elections.