Friday, May 13, 2016

They lied about the lying

Last month, a lobbying group made headlines with an aggressively dishonest as asserting that Governor Edwards had "lied" about his position on the school voucher program. The pro-voucher group calls itself the "Louisiana Federation For Children" which, as James Gill pointed out the other day, is maybe a little bit pompous.
In the middle of a budget crisis — the state is short $600 million short for the upcoming fiscal year — there is no more obvious place to start cutting than the voucher program, which cost $42 million last year. Edwards wants to reduce that to $36 million.

His proposal has produced loud squawks from an outfit with the sole purpose of promoting vouchers, which calls itself the Louisiana Federation for Children. Voucher doubters do not regard themselves as a federation against children, however.
The Federation For Children is headed up by former State Senator and Mitch Landrieu aide Ann Duplessis. Probably most people remember Duplessis for her legislative pay raise bill back in 2008 which, whatever your feelings about the pay raise itself, you might have still have thought her victory dance over its passage in the legislature was... maybe a little bit pompous.

Anyway today, we have this.
An official with ties to a Baton Rouge school that had a role in a pro-voucher ad that called Gov. John Bel Edwards a liar are disavowing the ad and said it made questionable claims.

The comments were included in a letter from Walter K. Williams, chairman of the Parish Council for St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, to Ann Duplessis, president of the Louisiana Federation for Children, which launched the TV campaign.

Duplessis’ group accused Edwards of lying to voters when he said state aid for vouchers would not be slashed.

Edwards denied the charge and said voucher dollars may drop from $42 million to $36 million because the state faces a $600 million shortfall.

Two students wearing St. Francis Xavier Catholic School shirts were in the initial, 30-second spot.
Williams said in his letter that the producers of the ad “were not forthcoming about the objectives and goals of the ad.

“Plainly, they did not realize they were participating in a political ad and feel that information was withheld from them purposefully,” according to the letter.

“We believe you have endangered the fate of the scholarship program by portraying its supporters as being more concerned with the political nature of the program than in ensuring its continuance,” the letter says.
Sounds like Williams thought the ad was maybe a little bit pompous. Duplessis, more or less stands by it anyway.
“We recognize our commercial ruffled feathers,” Duplessis said. “We must point out the letter was not signed by any of the parents.”
Well see the commercial "ruffled some feathers." Very James O'Keefian.

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