Rispone’s scorched-earth tactic in race for Governor has left only two electable candidates: John Bel Edwards and Congressman Ralph Abraham.

U. S. Congressman Ralph Abraham, whom we at Sound Off Louisiana now firmly believe is the only electable Republican in the race for Louisiana Governor.

Immediately after U. S. Senator John Kennedy announced that he would not run against incumbent Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, we scrambled to create a a website touting U. S. Congressman Ralph Abraham as a clear preferred choice over Gov. Edwards.

Almost immediately, we began to hear pleas that we were “too soon” to make such a declaration, that we’d be stunned at the third major candidate, Eddie Rispone, a Baton Rouge businessman.  Sound Off Louisiana founder Robert Burns had already heard Rispone give a great presentation before a large crowd in Lake Charles at a Hayride function, and he was admittedly impressed.

After hearing from so many people whom we respect, we finally relented and converted the preceding website to a “Choice is Clear” of “a Republican” over Edwards without specifically touting Abraham.  We kept waiting (and waiting, and waiting) for Rispone to begin running ads that would gradually introduce himself to Louisiana citizens and, over time, explain his humble upbringings, his scrap and determination to form a business and grow it into the highly successful company it is today.

Those humble ads never materialized and, instead, after an incredibly lengthy period, what we got as the debut ad blitz for Rispone was a horrendously-bad commercial which made him appear like a buffoon incapable of doing anything but trumpeting his resounding support of U. S. President Donald Trump.  Within the ad, he discussed national topics which had little-to-no relevance to Louisiana State government and, being blunt, seemed like an insult to most Louisiana citizens’ intelligence.

Nevertheless, we continued to stay officially neutral as we were assured future ads would be far better than the debut disaster.  The ads did improve; furthermore, we didn’t hesitate to promote Rispone’s public statements on issues we deem as high priorities such as occupational licensing reform.

We then watched in stunned disbelief as Rispone began the negative attack ads against U. S. Congressman Ralph Abraham and, in the process, literally defying the guidance provided by more people than we could possibly itemize for this feature.  We personally believe the initial attack ad came as a result of Rispone dropping in polls (from 19 to 16); furthermore, we attribute that drop to a pretty effective attack ad by the Edwards-supporting Gumbo PAC commonly known as “phony Rispone.”  That ad alone was good enough to whop three points off Rispone’s tally in our opinion.

Still, we held out hope that the negative attack ads against Abraham would quickly cease and there would be a resumption of Rispone’s positive business-oriented message and, further, that attack ads on Edwards, rather than Abraham, would become the norm for Rispone.  We were dead wrong!  The negative attack ads against Abraham have been nothing short of relentless, and we ask that our subscribers take just one minute of their time to view a collection of quick clips of, first, Edwards attacking Abraham entailing legacy oil and gas litigation, only to be followed by Rispone pouring gas on the fire!  This one-minute video segment is from today’s Baton Rouge Press Club forum on the race for Governor of Louisiana.  Here’s the one-minute segment of video clips:

Edwards first slams Abraham, followed by reinforcement on the same issue by Rispone, who then slams Abraham on other occasions.

We were patient beyond what we feel we should have been regarding Rispone’s relentless attacks.  When major Rispone supporters like State Rep. Alan Seabaugh do a 180 and go from full-on support for Rispone to full-on support for Abraham as a direct result of Rispone’s ads, that speaks volumes!  When conservative talk show host Moon Griffon, who had remained neutral throughout the race, then endorses Abraham and devotes 23 minutes to lambasting Rispone’s tactic, that ought to tell the Rispone camp something, but we can only assume that…….well, on second thought, we’re not even going to publish speculation on why Rispone felt this level of desperation became necessary.

What we will say is that we’ve now spoken to quite a few Abraham supporters who have indicated there is “no way” they can rally behind Rispone after these nuclear attacks.  As a result, we now believe that there are only two electable candidates on the ballot:  Gov. John Bel Edwards and U. S. Congressman Ralph Abraham.

Maybe Rispone may have been a great Governor, but he is, in our opinion, unelectable at this point.  If we’re asked if we would still support Rispone if he’s in the runoff with Edwards, our answer is “yes,” but we know there aren’t enough Republicans also willing to do so (they’ve told us they’ll leave that ballot item unchecked for that race), so we have restored the Choice is Clear Louisiana to be a side-by-side comparison of Gov. Edwards with challenger U. S. Congressman Ralph Abraham.

To be blunt, given this turn of events, we’re sorry we ever changed the website’s layout in the first place, and, if we had any clue this is the path the race would eventually take, we certainly would not have.

We just hope now that the Abraham camp (or a PAC) can use the material on the site, and we note the incredible irony that it was the media in Thursday’s debate which deployed entry # 11, Johnny Anderson!  Is that not unbelievable?  The MEDIA had to use it against Edwards, and we certainly agree with  Hayride publisher Scott McKay that Abraham (now that Rispone is simply unelectable in our eyes) needs to make sure Edwards’ disastrous performance entailing the question needs to become the “mother of all 30-second attack ads.”

We now appeal to our subscribers and fellow Republicans who don’t want another four years of John Bel Edwards to rally around the gentleman we now believe is our only hope to avoid that scenario:  U. S. Congressman Ralph Abraham.

CLICK HERE to see the forum in its entirety.

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