In September, the super PAC Louisiana Water Coalition was the first group to air TV ads taking direct aim at Sen. David Vitter for his prostitution scandal, an issue largely credited with his stunning failure to win the state's governor's race.
The identity of those responsible for the ad’s message, however, was never revealed—until now.
California-based Republican operative Rob Stutzman oversaw the creation of the PAC’s television ads, and the three ads that they ran were informed by research and polling done by Washington D.C.-based Democratic pollsters Rob Green and Adam Rosenblatt.
When the Louisiana Water Coalition launched in early September, the only participants identified were a spokesperson, a legal adviser and the Baton Rouge-based law firm funding the group. The PAC was described as a “bipartisan independent group” designed to support Vitter alternatives, who were, as they put it, “better than Vitter." The law firm in question, Talbot, Carmouche & Marcello, provided all of the PAC’s $1.7 million in funding. One of the firm’s partners, Don Carmouche told The Advocate in early October, “We just want to defeat David Vitter.”
Green said the Carmouche firm reached out to him asking if he’d get involved in the primary in an effort to prevent Vitter from making the runoff, and gave him the freedom to employ whatever message he felt was best. Green in turn reached out to Stutzman after sample polling found that the best way to get Republicans to abandon Vitter was by targeting conservatives who would vote for another Republican, particularly Republican women. Stutzman is a Republican ad maker based in Sacramento who previously worked as a top aide to former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, and as an adviser to 2010 GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman.