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|Faircloth agrees to drop 'sanction' from campaign ads|
State Supreme Court candidate Jimmy Faircloth agreed to refrain from using the word "sanction" in some campaign advertisements directed toward his opponent in the Saturday, Oct. 17 election, 4th Judicial District Court Judge Marcus Clark.
West Monroe attorney Sam Henry IV filed a complaint against Faircloth's campaign with the Judicial Campaign Oversight Committee. Henry's complaint concerned Faircloth's campaign advertisements. At least one Faircloth campaign television commercial alluded that Clark had been sanctioned twice by the state Supreme Court. Henry's complaint was prompted by that advertisement.
The oversight committee notified Henry in an Oct. 13 letter that Faircloth had agreed to refrain from using the word "sanction" in his advertisements.
"He (Clark) still has been sanctioned by the Louisiana Supreme Court, and the judiciary committee holds to the notion that he misled the public in his advertising," said Roy Fletcher. Fletcher, of Baton Rouge, serves as Faircloth's media consultant.
"Call it a sanction or call it turnip greens, his (Clark) advertising still misleads the public," Fletcher said.
Late last month, the oversight committee took issue with Clark's campaign advertisements. The committee said Clark was in violation of the Louisiana Code of Judicial Conduct. The committee said some of Clark's advertisements misrepresented the Supreme Court's reasons for sanctioning Clark in 2004. Clark agreed to "take whatever steps necessary to make sure future explanations describing the reasons are clearly articulated."
Clark was sanctioned by the state Supreme Court in 2004 for not handling his caseload in a timely manner. When the oversight committee instructed Clark to quit using campaign advertisements in which the committee felt Clark was not taking responsibility for his 2004 sanction it acted on a complaint filed by Faircloth's campaign.
"I am encouraged by the actions of the committee," Clark said Thursday in a prepared statement. "I wish this decision had happened earlier in the campaign so that people would not have been subjected to those misleading, negative ads."
Clark said he was unaware of Henry's complaint against the Faircloth campaign until someone sent him a copy of the committee letter resolving the complaint.
"I know people are tired of the negative ads," Clark said. "This campaign should be about who has the best experience for this position on the Supreme Court."