The 1st District Public Service Commission race between Eric Skrmetta and Forest Wright has gotten to the point where it’s being fought in the courts as well as in front of the voters.
Yesterday, Skrmetta won a legal victory over Wright, as a suit for defamation based on a radio attack ad Wright has been running bore fruit in the form of a temporary restraining order against Wright. The ads had to come off the air.
Wright’s ad is relatively standard fare for his campaign – namely, accuse Skrmetta of being a crook…
Wright never said what newspaper, and therefore Skrmetta hit him for defamation. Judge Paula Brown of the Orleans Parish Civil District Court agreed to the TRO.
It’s not all that common for political ads to be pulled off the air by a judge. And Paula Brown is no particular hard-core Republican bent on keeping Skrmetta in office.
UPDATE: From the just-issued press release by the Skrmetta camp, a quote…
“The campaign by Forest Wright is pure gutter politics. He hasn’t offered one plan or platform plank on how he would save ratepayers money. He has only run a deceptive campaign that independent fact-checkers would have to label false and misleading. I am pleased that Judge Brown found enough cause to bring his misinformation to a halt. I look forward to the formal hearing.”
On Dec. 2, the case will be heard by Judge Chris Bruno. The guess is Wright probably won’t put those ads back on the air in any event.
UPDATE #2: And further, this…