A shadowy group launched a negative TV ad Wednesday aimed at keeping U.S. Sen. David Vitter from being elected as governor.

The 30-second spot, produced by the Louisiana Water Coalition, airs news articles and video clips reporting on Vitter’s 2007 admission that he committed a “very serious sin” in connection with the so-called Washington, D.C., madam. It also airs a news article and clip of another prostitute’s allegation in 2007 that he was her client, as well.

“Today a small but well-funded group of liberal trial lawyers started running a vicious, gutter campaign against me full of stale attacks,” Vitter said in a prepared statement. “They’re actively working for my opponents and launching a gutter attack campaign for them.”

The two attorneys listed on the group’s news release, Laurie Tate and Alesia Ardoin, did not return phone calls Wednesday.

Tate is listed as a public defender in Baton Rouge who received her license in October 2004, according to State Bar records. Ardoin is a lawyer for the Baton Rouge firm of Sexton & Hebert, a law firm that handles ethics complaints and campaign compliance issues. She became a lawyer in April 2001.

The group was formed on Sept. 2 with Tate listed as the chairperson and treasurer, according to filings with the Louisiana Board of Ethics.

The group, which seems to have nothing to do with water, is a so-called 527 organization that provides minimal information about its organizers and donors.

The ad began airing on Baton Rouge television station WBRZ-TV on Wednesday afternoon and will begin running Thursday morning on WAFB-TV, also in Baton Rouge.

As of Wednesday, the group had purchased $77,000 worth of ad time on WAFB, according to the station’s records.

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