A political action committee backed by Baton Rouge contractor Lane Grigsby and others refused Tuesday to stop television ads that are critical of a member of Louisiana’s top school board.
The target of the commercial is Dale Bayard, of Lake Charles, who is seeking re-election to the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education in Saturday’s primary election.
The challenger is Holly Boffy, of Youngsville, who called the ad negative and asked it be stopped.
The commercial is being financed by The Alliance for Better Classrooms, which says sweeping changes are needed to improve public schools.
The Alliance for Better Classrooms advisory committee includes Grigsby, former Gov. Buddy Roemer and Tim Barfield, former executive counsel for Gov. Bobby Jindal.
The ad, which began airing Thursday, uses cartoonlike characters with a likeness to Bayard to blame him for “broken” schools and for siding with “New Orleans liberals” on public school issues.
“Dale Bayard, he’s bad for our schools,” the ad concludes.
Asked about the commercial last week, Bayard said he stands by his votes.
In a prepared statement, Boffy said while she had nothing to do with the commercial, the fact there are only two contenders in the race “leaves the impression that they are done either by our campaign or with our consent.
“This is not the case,” she said.
“The commercial is not the example I want my child or students to follow,” said Boffy, a former teacher.
The commercials will continue to air through Saturday, said Jay Connaughton, a spokesman for Innovative Advertising, a political consulting firm, on Tuesday.
Connaughton said the ABC group respects Boffy’s plea for a more positive tone.
“But we also think the voters need to know his record,” he said of Bayard.
The television spots are airing in the Lafayette and Lake Charles markets.
BESE sets policies for an estimated 668,000 public school students statewide. The Bayard-Boffy race is one of seven board contests on Saturday’s ballot.