Tarver says opponent ‘sanctioned’ negative campaign ads; Arceneaux says claim ‘simply isn’t accurate’

On Friday, Dec. 2, Shreveport mayoral candidates Tom Arceneaux and Senator Greg Tarver released statements regarding campaign ads.
Published: Dec. 2, 2022 at 10:11 PM CST

SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - On Friday, Dec. 2, Shreveport mayoral candidate Tom Arceneaux released a statement asking for the removal of negative ads against his opponent, Senator Greg Tarver.

Arceneaux says the political action committee out of Baton Rouge, Watchdog PAC LLC, is allegedly responsible for the ads.

“My campaign has run a race focused on the issues impacting Shreveport - dwindling population growth, bringing high-paying jobs to Shreveport, reducing crime, infrastructure investment, and improving education. I believe negative advertising that personally attacks any candidate in this race, does a disservice by drawing attention away from the issues concerning the voters of Shreveport. I know this may not be typical of a politician a week away from Election Day, but I am calling for the immediate removal of any ads personally attacking my opponent by bringing his family history into the public conversation. Those ads are divisive, and nothing anyone’s family should have aired in the public square.”

According to Arceneaux’s release, the ad began airing on radio and was paused due to improper paperwork submitted to some local stations by the political action committee.

“I stand by my commitment to the people of Shreveport, and that includes my opponent, his family, and his supporters. I have been, and will remain, focused on moving Shreveport forward, together. As the next Mayor of Shreveport, we’re going to be a city of inclusiveness and work together, not divided. I’m not running negative ads because that’s not who I am. But I’m looking forward to delivering results and moving our great city forward in the right direction as the next Mayor.”

The release also questions if the PAC’s motives are “based in long-standing political differences originating from legilative votes in Baton Rouge regarding potential gaming interests in Shreveport.”

On Friday evening, Senator Tarver issued a response to Arceneaux’s statement:

“At the beginning of this campaign Tom Arceneaux promised to run a clean campaign.

He broke his promise.

With one week left in the campaign, and with a substantial amount of money from Tom Arceneaux’s supporters, they have doubled their attacks, this time on radio and the internet. These new efforts not only attack me but now attack my family.

I was made aware that ads attacking me were coming a few days ago. I contacted Tom and asked him to stop them. He can deny this all he wants; however, it does not change the fact that his campaign, his supporters’, and contributors’ involvement is more than clear. Tom’s effort to play the innocent bystander is merely a misdirection attempt from the truth. Tom knew about, and sanctioned, these nefarious efforts to attack my wife, my family, and myself.

This is not the first time the “Watchdog PAC” has appeared in this Mayoral election. This questionable LLC was also hired more than two months ago to attack me on behalf of Adrian Perkins. These attacks have now surfaced on behalf of Tom Arceneaux. This is not a coincidence.

More importantly, voters should know that the organization responsible for the purchase of the ads on behalf of Mr. Arceneaux is not a PAC at all. In fact, this veiled organization actually operates as an LLC in an effort to avoid the laws and regulations surrounding PAC activity and Campaign Finance reporting requirements. This disregard for the law is so blatant, the LLC doesn’t even bother filing legally required paperwork to operate as a PAC. For Arceneaux to allow himself to be associated with their work is reprehensible.

Tom Arceneaux bears full responsibility for these ads and the voters should hold him accountable for his dishonest attempt to fool the public.”

KSLA News 12 reached out to Arceneaux by phone regarding Tarver’s statement. He said he didn’t know about the PAC until he was contacted by Tarver’s staff.

Arceneaux claims he spoke with Tarver about the ads and said he would do what he could to have them stopped. He says he has tried to contact the group but hasn’t had any communication with them. Arceneaux says he unfortunately has no control over what the PAC does and says Tarver’s letter “simply isn’t accurate.”