METARIE–State Senator Conrad Appel and John LaBruzzo, Appel’s opponent in the upcoming District 9 election, have entered a joint stipulation agreement over the campaign mailings LaBruzzo intended to send voters that slammed Appel’s record.
Appel sued Labruzzo on Oct. 12 to get the mailers withdrawn prior to mailing. Although an agreement was reached between the opponents Oct. 15, tensions remain high as the election approaches. Both candidates still offer different versions of the story.
The mailers accused Appel of “ramming” Common Core education standards on the people of Louisiana, and buying stock in certain companies he knew would be getting state contracts after Common Core’s implementation.
Appel openly admits he is an avid supporter of Common Core. However, the stocks he bought in Microsoft and Discovery are not related to Common Core, according to the state Department of Education.
“His allegations were completely false and he has now admitted to that," Appel said. "I am forced to make an attempt to correct the record by using his sworn stipulations to overcome the phony mailer and robo-calls that he put out.”
However, LaBruzzo denies accusing Appel of unethical business practices, calling these reports “very, very, inaccurate.”
“The joint stipulation clarified that nothing in the referenced mail piece or flyer was intended to imply improper or unethical business practice on the part of Mr. Appel,” said LaBruzzo. “Nothing in the mail piece, citations, or documentation was intended to imply such.”
After being put on the defensive, Appel went on the offensive, attacking his opponent’s record.
“Mr. LaBruzzo has a history of issues including voting on the legislative pay raise, losing his position on the Appropriations Committee for not attending and being criticized by the archbishop of New Orleans for his anti-life proposals," Appel said. "Since the first day of the campaign, he has ignored all issues and concentrated strictly upon attacking my reputation. In this way, he is hoping to fool the voters into ignoring his record.”
With the election approaching on Oct. 24, LaBruzzo says he is trying to put the “distraction of litigation” aside, going “back to knocking on the doors of voters in the district to listen to their concerns and get his message out.”
However, Appel is not so quick to move on from the attack.
“I believe that our democracy is literally at stake when, in an age of instant information, political candidates use such unethical practices to promote themselves," he said. "As a nation we must find a way to circumvent the very harmful potential of false but instant information that is promoted as truth. I am, unfortunately, the victim of such a low practice.”