UPDATE: False Truth in Politics Ad Pulled from Airwaves

After John Bel for Louisiana challenged Truth in Politics’ blatantly false ad, at least one major TV station pulled it from the airwaves, and now Truth in Politics is pre-emptively pulling it from other stations and sending a new advertisement.

The false ad was only running in the New Orleans media market, and major New Orleans station WDSU decided the ad was not fit for broadcast. While challenging the ad with other stations, counsel for the John Bel for Louisiana campaign began receiving word that Truth in Politics had recognized the falsehoods in the ad and was sending a replacement.

“Lane Grigsby and Eddie Rispone are so desperate to attack Gov. Edwards’ military record and West Point service that they’ve resorted to complete fabrications. We are happy that WDSU has recognized the charges against Gov. Edwards’ and his West Point classmate Lt. Col. Murray Starkel were 100% false. We know there’s no attack too low for Phony Eddie Rispone and his supporters, but these repeated attacks against the Governor’s military record are unacceptable, and they will not go unanswered,” said Richard Carbo, John Bel for Louisiana campaign manager.

See the original release below: 

Breaking: John Bel for Louisiana Challenges Truth in Politics Attack Ad that Targets Gov. Edwards Time at West Point with Blatant Falsehoods

John Bel for Louisiana is challenging a new ad from Lane Grigsby’s Truth in Politics that takes aim at Gov. Edwards’ friendship with Lt. Col Murray Starkel, Ret.—his West Point roommate. The campaign expects that after reviewing the challenge, stations will refuse to run the ad due to blatant falsehoods.

Read the challenge letter here.

The ad shows images of Gov. Edwards and Lt. Col. Starkel in their cadet uniforms and notes that they were roommates. It accuses Gov. Edwards of cronyism, saying Lt. Col. Starkel “land[ed]” a coastal protection contract “worth up to $65 million” that was “a front for John Bel’s friends to get rich.”

The problem? Lt. Col. Starkel was never awarded the contract. The contract was never awarded to anyone.

And while that’s the biggest lie, it’s just one of a few falsehoods in the ad.

The ad also implies Lt. Col. Starkel’s business isn’t real, saying it has no employees. It has at least three.

And even though he didn’t receive the contract, Lt. Col. Starkel’s bid was legitimate. He served in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as an officer for 21 years. For part of those 21 years, he was the Deputy Commander of the New Orleans District after Katrina, managing the $15 billion program to design and build hurricane protection systems in Southeast Louisiana.

Truth in Politics is the dark money political attack group that operates on behalf Lane Grigsby, the Baton Rouge megadonor, dirty political trickster, and self-proclaimed “Kingmaker.”

This isn’t the first time Grigsby’s group has run a false attack against the governor. Earlier this year they had an ad pulled from the airwaves because it contained a blatant falsehood.

Eddie Rispone has called Grigsby his political “mentor.” Last month Grigsby showed Louisiana exactly the kind of political lessons he’s been teaching Eddie for decades: Grigsby got caught trying to bribe a state representative out of a State Senate race to make way for Grigsby’s chosen candidate.

Grigsby and the Republican State Senator he attempted to use as an intermediary both admitted the bribe attempt was possibly illegal.

“Eddie Rispone has already attacked Gov. Edwards’ military service and time at West Point, and now his political ‘mentor’ Lane Grigsby is joining in with more phony smears. After getting caught trying to bribe someone out of an election, Grigsby is now lying to try taint Gov. Edwards’ time at West Point. He knows Eddie Rispone can’t win on the issues. Louisiana doesn’t want to let Phony Rispone take us back to cutting education and denying healthcare to working people,” said Eric Holl, spokesman for John Bel for Louisiana.