A radio advertisement linking Louisiana Republican gubernatorial candidate Eddie Rispone to white supremacists is financed by the state's Democratic Party and a group directly tied to Gov. John Bel Edwards' re-election campaign, according to news reports Wednesday.
The Black Organization for Leadership Development (BOLD) is behind the spot, which likens Rispone to former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke, The Washington Free Beacon reports.
BOLD has received $47,500 in contributions this year — and disclosure forms say that it received $20,000 from the Louisiana Democratic Party and $25,000 from Victory Non Federal 2019 (VNF), according to the Free Beacon.
The entity shares a post office box listed by the state party.
The ad targets minority voters in the closing weeks of Edwards' re-election race, though the only Democratic governor in the Deep South has distanced himself from the spot.
His campaign told the Free Beacon that it had "absolutely no knowledge" of the ad before it began airing.
Other groups around the state say, however, that VNF is tied to the Louisiana Democratic Party and has covered some of Edwards' campaign expenses.
"They mostly fundraise for Gov. John Bel Edwards," Marie Wade, treasurer for the St. Tammany Democratic Parish, told the Free Beacon. "The governor rented space from us at our headquarters and that [contribution] was the rent for the space he rented from us."
The St. Tammany Democratic Parish was among three confirmed recipients of money from VNF, according to campaign disclosures cited by the Free Beacon.
Wade said the group, which received $1,000 from VNF last month for rental expenses, is part of the Louisiana Democratic Party and raises money for Edwards' re-election bid.
Allyson Sanders, communications coordinator for the state Democratic Party, declined to comment.
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