Executives of the Louisiana Travel Promotion Association are criticizing a governor’s campaign ad that attacks Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne over an overseas trip.
The ad, paid for a pro-U.S. Sen. David Vitter super PAC, alleges Dardenne wasted taxpayer money as he traveled with his wife and campaign contributors to celebrate his birthday.
“The ‘Birthday Bash’ ad against Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne creates a false picture of a fruitful economic development trip to Germany and the UK,” LTPA co-executive directors Jill Kidder and Darienne Mobley wrote.
The ad, the executives said, “questions the integrity of Louisiana’s tourism industry.”
Members of the Louisiana Travel Promotion Association attended the “important sales mission,” which was scheduled many months in advance without consideration for the lieutenant governor’s birthday, they said.
Kidder said it is crucial to have a high-ranking Louisiana official, such as the lieutenant governor, lead such missions.
“Our research has shown that no state tax dollars were spent to pay for travel expenses for Cathy Dardenne or other business leaders outside the tourism industry,” the LTPA statement said.
Dardenne has said he paid for his wife’s expenses and business leaders on the trip did not go at taxpayer expense.
The “Birthday Bash” ad is one of several governor candidate Vitter and the Fund for Louisiana’s Future super PAC are running attacking Dardenne.
Dardenne has disputed the allegations being made, calling them all “lies.”
Dardenne’s campaign has released a series of six videos “to refute the negative ads that have been invading the homes of Louisiana families.”
The videos may be found at www.JayDardenne.com/FactCheck.