So Much For The Kinder, Gentler Downer Campaign

For the last week or so since our rather uncomplimentary review of its tactics the Hunt Downer campaign for Louisiana’s 3rd District congressional seat has been relatively quiet in terms of slinging mud at frontrunner Jeff Landry.

That’s over, from the looks of it.

A release from the Downer campaign today heralds the debut of, a website detailing all the horrible things Landry has said. Along with the site’s address came this statement from our favorite 25-year old campaign manager Buddy Boe:

“Landry has been lying to the public regarding his positions on key issues and things in his past, and has repeatedly lied about Hunt’s record. Landry promised to run a positive campaign yet he spent months and hundreds of thousands of dollars trashing Hunt’s lifetime of service and deceiving the voters. It’s time the public knows the truth about Jeff Landry.”

You’d think the public would know the truth about Landry by now given the Downer campaign’s efforts to tell it, but apparently they’re not satisfied yet. The site purports to highlight a different Landry lie every day until the Oct. 2 runoff, with the first apparently being disputed statements about military service.

But we couldn’t help but giggle a bit about the site, since when we took a look at it we were shocked at the amazing similarity between its design and that of our friend Chris Gary’s site at Chris is, of course, a big Landry supporter and a member of the Iberia Republican Parish Executive Committee Boe spent time castigating a couple of weeks ago. Ironic, then, that the Downer campaign knocked off his site to attack Landry.

Will there be a response by the Landry campaign? According to John Maginnis, writing at the Baton Rouge Business Report, probably not…

— Despite predictions that he would quit the Republican runoff in the 3rd District after trailing badly in the primary, Hunt Downer is carrying on with his campaign. Downer says he was looking forward to meeting frontrunner Jeff Landry in a debate in Houma Thursday night. Also slated to participate was Democratic nominee Ravi Sangisetty. But Landry’s campaign stated the New Iberia Republican would not attend the debate sponsored by cable station HTV. “There is no need to continue to debate Mr. Downer,” says consultant Brent Littlefield, noting that Landry debated Downer multiple times in the primary season.

Littlefield also told the Houma Courier that the debate’s format was somewhat ridiculous, owing to the fact that had Landry showed up there would be three candidates on hand with only two to be on the ballot in November. But at the debate in Houma last night, Downer and Sangisetty disagreed on not much. The affair more or less emitted a Charlies Melancon-Chet Traylor vibe

Downer and Sangisetty agreed on many points. Both described themselves as pro-gun and pro-life, said the federal government needs to stop wasteful spending and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ bureaucracy gets in the way of coastal-restoration work. They agree that health care should be centered on a doctor-patient relationship and not influenced by bureaucrats. Downer said he would repeal President Obama’s health-care overhaul, but Sangisetty stopped short of such a promise.

Both said imported seafood should be held to the same standards as domestic product.

They also agree that fellow candidate Landry plays dirty politics.

Sangisetty said the absent candidate is “blatantly dishonest” about Downer’s position on abortion.

Landry has distorted Down’s position using campaign ads, “untruths and lies,” Downer said.

Asked afterward if his comments were unfair, considering Landry wasn’t there to defend himself, Downer said no.

“He knew I was going to confront him on those issues,” Downer said.

The chummy attitude toward Sangisetty Downer showed in the debate probably didn’t help him a great deal with the Republican primary voters who are a lot more interested in candidates who will eviscerate Democrats politically rather than make common cause with them. But that’s neither here nor there.

Landry’s campaign didn’t have much of a response to the sniping when we contacted them today – left unsaid is the fact that with it being all but impossible for Downer to win on Oct. 2, it’s pointless to spill any further blood on the beleagured Republican rival. But they did have a response on today’s military service issue, where Downer says Landry is lying for calling himself a veteran of Desert Storm since his National Guard unit was deployed at Fort Hood rather than Iraq during that conflict…

“It’s unfortunate the Mr. Downer would sink to such divisive attacks, which are tactics that career politicians have used for decades to remain in power,” Philip Joffrion, Landry’s campaign manager, said today. “Our campaign will focus on the issues that matter to the voters – jobs, the economy and out-of-control Washington spending.”

The implication is that Downer’s campaign apparently won’t stop attacking Landry for the two weeks and change leading up to the election. And Landry is going to try very hard to avoid even acknowledging Downer’s existence.



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