Thursday, March 09, 2006
By MICHELLE MILLHOLLON
Capitol news bureau
Gov. Kathleen Blanco is trying to avert a legislative attack to her $20.3 billion budget proposal by using campaign funds to pay for a radio ad.
The 60-second commercial playing on radio stations statewide warns listeners of a temptation to spend new-found money on big government.
One political consultant found the ad to be “a little bit odd.” Another analyst said it is a move toward shoring up the governor’s storm-tarnished image as a leader.
Blanco aides said she was not available Wednesday and referred questions about the ad to her campaign media consultant.
Rep. Jim Tucker, chairman of the House GOP delegation, thinks the ad is aimed at lawmakers who want to re-establish the funds.
Tucker, R-Terrytown, said he is stunned that Blanco is running the ad after proposing a $20.3 billion state government operating budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.
“I’m dumbfounded,” he said. “How can someone propose what they proposed and get on the radio and say she’s the fiscal conservative.”
Baton Rouge-based political consultant Roy Fletcher, who advised former Gov. Mike Foster, said Blanco is trying to back legislators into a corner. He predicted the strategy will backfire.
“It does her no favor, which I find amusing since she’s paying for it,” he said.
Shreveport political consultant Elliott Stonecipher said Blanco is trying to beat the Republicans at their own game by playing the fiscal conservative.
“She’s going to get her ears boxed no matter what because she’s so wounded no one has any fear,” he said. “You don’t want to be at the mercy of the Louisiana Legislature.”
He (Blanco media consultant Ray Teddlie) refused to disclose how much the ad cost to make and play in the seven media markets of Louisiana.
SEE RELATED STORY: http://www.thedeadpelican.com/ILLEGAL.HTM