However, Boustany is still listed as a signer of the pledge. He has spoken to Norquist, understands the pledge is still binding and won’t vote to raise taxes, according to a spokesman.
Both campaigns say they are aghast at how dirty the race is becoming, but in all likelihood, the mud is just beginning to fly.
“This race is a typical Jeff Landry production — from mud-slinging to stolen signs to behind-the-scenes arm-twisting and sham endorsements,” said John Porter, Boustany’s campaign manager.
“This is typical of Mr. Boustany; hiding behind others and focusing on inside baseball campaign tactics instead of the critical issues affecting the nation,” fired back Brent Littlefield, Landry’s political consultant.
Some of the heaviest artillery has been fired by Boustany, who charged in television advertisements and mailings in September that Landry’s businesses had failed to pay their taxes on time.
In Louisiana, sheriffs collect taxes, and two of the local sheriffs came to Landry’s aid, saying that the taxes were paid for in a “timely manner.” Boustany’s campaign produced records showing that Landry’s businesses had in fact paid property taxes weeks late, but the backing of the sheriffs may have insulated Landry from the attack.
“It didn’t sound like it worked,” Maginnis said.
Boustany is out with a new mailer that savages Landry for voting to adjourn Congress without dealing with the pending “fiscal cliff,” a series of expiring laws that will result in spending cuts and higher tax rates next year if left unaddressed. However, Republicans control the House, and Boehner said recently that dealing with the fiscal cliff before the post-election lame-duck session might not be advisable.
One question for Landry is whether his fiery temperament will continue to work for him politically.
In September 2011, for example, Landry arrived at a local Interior Department office unannounced, demanding to meet with top officials about drilling permitting issues. Landry later accused the employees at the office of acting “like the CIA and Gestapo” to the New Orleans Times-Picayune.