COVINGTON- A candidate for a seat in the State House of Representatives is having his qualifications and character questioned after a heated exchange with a caller on the candidate's radio show Monday night.
The topic on Col. Rob Maness' (Ret.) radio show, Iron Liberty News, started out as the sexual misconduct allegations surrounding an Alabama Senate candidate. The guest on the line was a man that's known to stir up political controversy via radio.
"The Flaming Liberal, welcome aboard sir," said Maness over the airwaves of WGSO 990 AM, "Good to have you back."
"The Flaming Liberal" is a former New Orleans resident named David Bellinger who is a blogger and self-proclaimed professional political caller.
"We all know Ted Cruz is an insider, right? Isn't that right? Isn't that what you guys say," asked Maness of Bellinger. "So why wouldn't he be with McConnell?"
Bellinger responded, "If you're to the right of Ted Cruz, you're an extremist, but let me ask you something."
Then the cordial political conversation turned into crude personal attacks.
"How dare you call me an extremist. I'm the most investigated stable man that the country could have ever given the keys to nuclear weapons to. So you can b**w me," said Maness. "You can b**w me and get outta here if you're gonna talk like that and call me an extremist."
"Well go screw ya maw a-hole, go screw ya maw a-hole," Bellinger said. As Bellinger repeated the insult twice more, Maness continued over him, saying, "Because I refuse to get on board with the swamp. No, get outta here. Cut him off Mr. Producer."
While Maness, a candidate for District 77 State Representative, originally offered no comment over the exchange, he provided this statement following the airing of this story, saying, "I am passionate about my desire to serve and that passion rubs the establishment the wrong way. Only the political swamp on the right and left would have heart palpitations about this. The rest of us who live north and south of the lake aren't an uptight bunch."
Bellinger says voters should question Maness' worth of a public office.
"For a man running for the Legislature, to use that vulgarity on a family, public radio station in prime time, I think is vulgar and disgusting and tells me he has little or no character," said Bellinger.
But political strategist Bernie Cyrus says Maness, "pulled a Trump."
"He's a military guy, he's got a vibrato, not a regular type candidate," said Cyrus. "And people know him and respect him and support him understand that."
Bellinger admits his equally distasteful response calls for an apology from both men. But as for whether this blow up shows up at the polls in four days, only time will tell.
Maness' opponent, Mark Wright, issued a statement on this incident, saying, "Our political debate in Louisiana has begun to sacrifice substance for political points. State representatives must be respectful of opposing views during debate and consideration of legislation. While no one is perfect, I commit to do that as a representative of District 77. My opponent's response to a caller on his Monday night show is a clear example of what we don't need in Baton Rouge."
© 2017 WWL-TV