The hopeless independent Trumpite wannabe Senate campaign of disgraced former Alcohol and Tobacco Control Commissioner Troy Hebert got even more entertainingly ridiculous Tuesday when, as the Baton Rouge Business Report noted, he decided to sue Southern Media and Opinion Research pollster Bernie Pinsonat.
Upset with being shut out of two major candidate forums, U.S. Senate hopeful Troy Hebert filed a lawsuit and restraining order petition today against Southern Media & Opinion Research and pollster Bernie Pinsonat over a poll Hebert says cost him a shot at participating in the forums.
In the petition, filed in the 19th Judicial District Court, Hebert accuses Pinsonat and Southern Media & Opinion Research of incorrectly identifying him as a Republican in a U.S. Senate poll distributed to local media. The poll was used as criteria for groups to exclude candidates from forums, to the detriment of his campaign, says Hebert, who’s running without a party affiliation.
The lawsuit says Hebert switched affiliations from Democrat to independent in 2010.
“Just think of the mess it would have caused if the poll had listed (John) Kennedy, (Charles) Boustany and (John) Fleming as Democrats and (Caroline) Fayard and (Foster) Campbell as Republicans. But because they belong to a major party and have big money, the rules are different for them,” Hebert says in a statement.
Hebert isn’t a Republican. He’s a Democrat who switched his affiliation to independent when he went to work for the Jindal administration as the ATC commissioner. He then proceeded to make himself a bleeding sore on the Jindal administration, making news with all kinds of questionable behavior from mistreating pets to soliciting oral sex as a consideration for liquor licenses. And after the FBI opened an investigation of him as to that last part, Hebert decided it was time to run for federal office.
And Pinsonat botched the letter next to his name before conducting a poll which had Hebert at 2 percent. That placed him behind David Duke. More significantly, it put him under the 5 percent threshold established for inclusion in candidate forum events put on by the Louisiana Retailers Association, the Louisiana Restaurant Association and NFIB Louisiana.
Hebert touts his own poll which has him at seven percent, and makes the argument that if Pinsonat had identified him as an independent this would somehow have put him above five percent and thus merited his inclusion in those debates. That assumes, of course, that the organizers of those debates wouldn’t have found other reasons to exclude him – like the preservation of their own sanity, for example.
No, this lawsuit has no chance of success. It will be tossed out of court on a motion to dismiss. But it’s already managed to get Hebert some publicity even in national publications – though the writeup at Roll Call wasn’t particularly what he would have hoped for…
Hebert, a former state state senator and former commissioner of the state Alcohol and Tobacco Control Office, was dogged by reports of an FBI investigation when he announced his campaign in January.
That investigation reportedly centered around his alleged sexual relationship with a restaurant owner who was having trouble getting a liquor license for her restaurant.
In a statement issued at the time, Hebert denied doing anything, “illegal and unethical,” saying that he had been targeted by individuals who had, “threatened my life and family for fighting for the good law-abiding taxpayers of our state.”