That, thanks to a new ad Holden’s main opponent Mike Walker is now running…
Walker’s spot has infuriated the Holden camp…
In response, Holden’s campaign says the ad is misleading: that it takes a legitimate police action and tries to make it a political activity. The campaign notes that Farrakhan did not ride in a limousine or a police vehicle.
“The security measures taken, coordinated by State Police and the Baton Rouge Police, were no different from what has been provided for any other high-profile public figure who has visited Baton Rouge,” the statement reads. “Furthermore, Minister Farrakhan did not go to City Hall, nor was there a limousine at City Hall (as the ad depicts). The limousine in the TV spot was seen being filmed on October 16th, almost two weeks after Minister Farrakhan’s visit to Baton Rouge, by Roy Fletcher, political consultant for the Mike Walker campaign, who placed this spot.”
Counters Fletcher, who produced the spot: “If (Mayor Holden) has a problem with the ad, he has to take it up with the minister … because he’s saying it, not me. That’s why it’s such a good spot.”
Holden’s problem is that the ad isn’t wrong when it alleges that taxpayer dollars were used to squire Farrakhan between the New Orleans airport and Baton Rouge. The initial report to the contrary published in the Monroe Free Press (which has since been taken down) implied that Holden personally welcomed Farrakhan, so the mayor at least successfully defended himself on that point – but Walker’s camp has noted that while it might be irritating for Holden to have showed up at Southern University to give a “Hey, how ya doin'” speech, that wouldn’t actually have cost anyone any money. What was done did, though.
Apparently Greg Meriwether will have something from the State Police in tonight’s 6:00 newscast confirming that, yes, your tax dollars paid for Minister Farrakhan to get an escort while he was here. So there’s that.
You can determine for yourself which is worse, or whether this thing is worth worrying about.
But one thing which is clear now is that this is no longer the most boring mayoral race in recent Baton Rouge history. So there’s that.