ST. TAMMANY PARISH, La. (KPEL News) - A judge has issued a temporary restraining order against a political ad accusing Jeff Landry of protecting a man convicted of child pornography.

The ad attempts to connect Landry to Gregory Campo Jr.,22, of Lafayette, but there is no record of any relationship between Landry and the Campo family, and they have never donated to any of Landry's campaigns. What's more, the family denies there being any sort of relationship.

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The temporary restraining order, issued in St. Tammany Parish, states that the political action committee (PAC) behind the ad campaign cannot release ads stating any of the following:

On Sept. 11, a judge of the 22nd Judicial District Court for the parish of St. Tammany issued a temporary restraining order for an ad run by Louisiana Leadership Fund, LLC and should refrain from distributing ads stating the following:

  1. A lawsuit filed against Jeff Landry’s office stated that a wealthy donor found with child pornography had a personal connection with Landry
  2. A wealthy donor found with child pornography had a personal connection with Jeff Landry
  3. A perpetrator who possessed child pornography had a personal connection with Jeff Landry
  4. A donor to Jeff Landry possessed child pornography
  5. Jeff Landry waited a year before charging a donor alleged to possess child pornography
  6. Jeff Landry waited a year before charging a perpetrator alleged to possess child pornography

The Landry campaign accused the PAC, which is called the Louisiana Leadership Fund, LLC, of being a "dark money group" that is "tied to Stephen Waguespack," the former head of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry.

Credit: TSM
Credit: TSM

“This advertisement was a blatant lie against Jeff Landry, and it was rightfully taken down," said Kate Kelly, Communications Director for the Landry Campaign. "The Waguespack campaign is using dark money to hide from voters. This was a desperate attempt by Waguespack to manipulate voters and it is shameful."

The Waguespack campaign has not made any comment regarding the ad or the PAC. Coordination between campaigns and PACs is strictly prohibited under election law.

Campo, the man at the center of the claims, was arrested after it was discovered he was in possession of child pornography. However, it took more than a year for that discovery to turn into an arrest, according to The Advocate.

Roughly a year passed between when the Louisiana Bureau of Investigation — an arm of the AG’s office — found evidence that Campo possessed child porn and when he was arrested. Court records show that the AG’s office documented finding evidence of child porn in March 2019, and a Baton Rouge judge signed an arrest warrant for Campo on Jan. 8, 2020 for 20 counts of possession of child pornography.

In a statement, the Attorney General’s Office defended the delay of the arrest.

“Early on in the case, it was brought to our attention that the defendant was in a long-term, out-of-state, residential treatment program,” said Marty White, who replaced Magee as director of the AG’s criminal division. “This along with COVID-19 slowed the process of effectuating an arrest of the defendant.”

But the Campo family denies knowing Landry.

“The Campo family, the parents, do not know Jeff Landry,” said attorney Bryan Fisher, who represents the Campo family. “They’ve never met him. They’ve never spoken to him on the phone. They do not know him from Adam.”

But the Louisiana Leadership Fund PAC appears to be obscuring who its donors are. The group lists an address in Arlington, Virginia, as its primary address, but it matches other dark-money groups that have donated big sums to a super PAC supporting Waguespack, one of Landry’s challengers.

The Louisiana Leadership Fund has until Friday at 10 a.m. to respond to the order.

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