Rob Maness is outraged that people aligned with John Fleming are trying to get him out of the race. The thinking of Fleming’s people is that he and Maness are fighting over the same block of very conservative voters. Therefore Fleming backers are trying to persuade Maness to step aside.
From The Advocate:
Louisiana Senate candidate Rob Maness said Tuesday he was asked to drop out of the race and throw his support to GOP opponent John Fleming in return for significant funding in a future race.
Maness told The Advocate that he met Paul Dickson over coffee at Abita Roasting Company in Madisonville on Monday afternoon. There, Dickson, who identified himself as the person “running the John Fleming PAC” and a decision maker with the Louisiana Committee for a Republican Majority, offered support to Maness’ future political endeavors, he said.
“He told me that he would provide opportunities for my future, if I left the race for Senate and endorsed John Fleming. But, if I didn’t do it before (Tuesday night’s statewide televised) debate, I’d be finished as a politician,” Maness said. “Although I’m not naive, the unethical threats and power play by the thugs behind the John Fleming campaign against me was shocking even by Louisiana standards.”
Maness’ aide, John Mathias, said he was at the table and heard the offer too.
The Fleming campaign denies any involvement in the matter, citing the fact that they cannot coordinate with super PACs under Federal law. Dickson for his part denies offering Maness anything but acknowledges the meeting did take place.
Maness is threatening to file charges, but we’re not sure what those charges will be. It seems that Fleming’s people are playing hardball politics, but not doing anything illegal. Maness needs to shrug them off and move on.