Mayoral candidate Desiree Charbonnet is going on the offensive against her two biggest antagonists this election cycle: a political action committee formed to try to sink her campaign and sanitation mogul-turned-reality TV star Sidney Torres.
Her most high-profile counterpunch takes aim at Not For Sale NOLA, a PAC formed by prominent members of the business community that has been sending out mailers and buying ads criticizing Charbonnet’s past political history and associates. Among the group's main members is charter school advocate Leslie Jacobs.
Charbonnet, a former Municipal Court judge, swung back in radio ads that attack Jacobs’ work to implement controversial public schools reforms after Hurricane Katrina and lay at her feet the Orleans Parish School Board’s termination of more than 7,000 employees shortly after the storm.
One of New Orleans mayoral candidate Desiree Charbonnet's electoral opponents has entered th…
An ad paid for by Charbonnet’s campaign also points to the thousands of dollars Charbonnet’s critics have spent supporting President Donald Trump, a reference to a $50,000 donation Torres made, through his firm, to Trump’s January inauguration.
A PAC dubbed Truth in Government has sent mailers to some households accusing Jacobs and her husband Scott Jacobs of being “fake reformers” and hyprocrites.
“She has a long history of ‘bundling’ thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from her friends and cronies to influence elections,” the mailers read. “If Leslie Jacobs is looking for the Queen of Patronage and Sweet Deals, all she needs to do is look in a mirror!”
The Not For Sale NOLA ads take aim at several aspects of Charbonnet’s record and her political associates, including an incident after she was elected recorder of mortgages when she fired a dozen staff members and replaced them with friends and relatives of political allies. They also question Charbonnet's large fundraising haul, suggesting she would give city contracts to contributors.
The Truth in Government PAC is not registered with the state Ethics Administration.
One of the few identifiable storylines in an underwhelming New Orleans mayoral race has cent…
At the same time, Charbonnet’s campaign has complained to CNBC, which airs Torres' real estate development and investment reality show “The Deed,” about ads Torres has been running through yet another PAC, The Voice of the People. Those ads criticize Charbonnet along lines similar to the Not For Sale ads and for skipping a debate the Torres-backed PAC held.
In a letter sent Friday to CNBC — with a copy sent to the Federal Communications Commission for good measure — the Charbonnet campaign called on CNBC to cancel "The Deed."
Torres responded by accusing Charbonnet of trying to “chill my right to free speech” and saying “Charbonnet has only herself to blame for the people she has chosen to associate herself with and the missteps she has made along the way.”