Senate District 16 candidate, Dan Claitor, has a history of attacking his opponents with vigor. While returns were coming in, no doubt Claitor was giving his political consultants orders for more personal attacks against Lee Domingue for the upcoming runoff in which only 749 votes separated the two candidates.
Just three months before he announced he was running for Senate, Claitor thought he wanted to be District Attorney. He set out to personally attack one of the most respected individuals in the justice system, his opponent Hillar Moore. Claitor’s commercials and attacks were like the kiss of death.
Hillar has spent his lifetime in the Red Stick coaching and making a positive impact on our children. Claitor ran ads mocking Hillar by saying “if you want a baseball coach, vote for Hillar” and that we did. This was a real mistake on Claitor’s part. Never attack someone for the good works they do in a community, especially when it makes a difference in children’s lives.
On election night as Hillar Moore was accepting victory as our new District Attorney, he pulled out a baseball cap and bat, taking the attacks in good humor, and said he ‘guessed the people wanted a baseball coach after all’. The truth is that Hillar was not only a baseball coach, but an extremely seasoned attorney with a beloved following.
In the senate primary, Claitor used his political operatives to attack Lee Domingue. One of his main attacks centered around Domingue’s life change due to his faith. Domingue was extremely open and spoke freely of his past and how his faith in God changed his way of living. Nothing to mock. Never, never, never attack a person’s faith – it’s bad politics and in poor taste.
Attacking Hillar Moore for his endorsements, Claitor attempted to portray that unlike Moore he “earned his support” for DA, insinuating Hillar ‘bought’ his endorsements. Perhaps Claitor was upset that the former DA, Doug Moreau, who is extremely well respected in the Red Stick, endorsed Moore? Claitor did not do his research. Moore received contributions from both sides of the aisle and won the hearts and endorsements of people because of who he was, not because he had to pay for them.
Claitor also attacked Lee Domingue in the senate primary for endorsements from Rolfe McCollister, publisher of BR Business Report and Governor Bobby Jindal. Furthermore Claitor’s political operatives tried to paint a picture that Domingue winning Businessperson of the Year was ‘bought’ through contributions he made. This backfired.
In fact, The Advocate printed a clarification and retraction of the facts as a result of this untrue attack by Claitor. The committee choosing honorees is independent of the Business Report and Junior Achievement, the organization that benefits from the annual event.
In the DA’s race, Claitor said “I’m running low on other people’s money, but I’m not running low on my money”. Moore did not have to put his own money in the race because he was receiving enough support from the people he would serve. It seems the same scenario fits for Domingue.
Claitor also attacked Domingue for a few rookie mistakes in the primary including when Domingue’s people said he was endorsed by the Greater Baton Rouge Area Chamber. It was a faux pas in that it was the Chamber’s PAC, CHAMPAC that endorsed him. Probably a typographical error someone overlooked?
Oddly enough, Claitor made his own faux pas when running for district attorney by sending out a picture of him with presidential candidate John McCain giving the impression he was endorsed by McCain. He was not. Here is the unauthorized picture:
At first I thought Dan Claitor might be a viable candidate. His family name is well known and respected in the Red Stick. But somehow I do not feel he represents their family well when he reduces himself to attacks that have no validity. I addressed this in a previous blog about Domingue continuing to dominate the Senate District 16 race.
Claitor did not do this once, but in two political races back-to-back. Two days after Hillar Moore was sworn in as DA, Claitor announced he was running for senate.
Candidates who lose races and then jump quickly into the next race trouble me greatly. It was the kiss of death for another Dan – Dan Kyle. It sends the wrong message and makes you appear to be confused, therefore confusing the voters.
Claitor says he is a good attorney and was a good prosecutor in the Big Easy. He touted the number of cases he prosecuted claiming he personally handled more than the entire Red Stick DA’s office. If that’s the case, I agree with Passer Le Bâton when he said Claitor should ask District Attorney Hillar Moore for a job. We need good prosecutors and that sounds more like Claitor’s forte’.
Wishful thinking would be to see Claitor talk about his own character instead of attacking his opponents. Then again, the old saying “Your actions speak louder than your words”might fit here. Perhaps Claitor IS showing us his character as ‘the character assassin’.
Until next time,
Red Stick Republican