Stelly tax ad causing controversy

Published: Jun. 18, 2008 at 10:33 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 23, 2008 at 2:10 PM CDT
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Senator Buddy Shaw of Shreveport
Senator Buddy Shaw of Shreveport
Governor Bobby Jindal
Governor Bobby Jindal

By Caroline Moses

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A radio ad running right now has some legislators and voters livid. It claims victory for Governor Bobby Jindal for pushing six tax breaks through the legislature, including a repeal of the Stelly Plan. However, some say that's an outright lie. One radio talk show host pulled the ad from his airwaves and returned the money back to advertisers. That's how strongly he opposes airing an ad that he calls just plain false, and he's not alone.

"That would be the greatest tax reduction in the history of the state of Louisiana and I'm really exceedingly pleased and proud." Senator Buddy Shaw of Shreveport authored the bill to give about $300 million worth of income taxes back to you. He says at first, nobody thought his bill would pass, including Governor Jindal and his administration. "They were opposed to it. Somehow or another, thought would be too great a cut in the budget, whatever for whatever reason didn't want to do that," Shaw says.

However, there is a radio spot running across the state right now that is sponsored by "Believe in Louisiana," a non-profit corporation run by Rolfe McCollister, who is Governor Jindal's former transition team leader.

Ad:  Jindal's just passed the biggest income tax cut in the history of Louisiana...I'd like to get some of that!

Moon Griffon, a radio talk show host in Monroe, stopped running the ad on his show and returned the $3700 that would have paid for five days of air time. Now, they are taking credit for the biggest income tax cut in the history of Louisiana and I felt like it was a lie. To be real blunt, very misleading and it was an outright lie because he had fought hard against it," Griffon says.

Ad:  Jindal's getting rid of that awful Stelly tax, it's a $300 million income tax cut.

Senator Shaw says it was not until after Jindal realized his bill had wings that Jindal changed his tune in support of the tax break. "This thing was going to do something and it might be really serious and a difficult thing for him to decide to veto," Shaw says.

Rolfe McCollister, who heads the corporation running the ad, says, "Moon Griffon was the only person to refuse the spot. I believe he let his personal feelings affect his judgment. The spot was accurate, but it is his show and his decision." McCollister has no plans to pull the spots in any other cities. As for Governor Jindal and his administration, they had no comment Wednesday on those ads.