The John Bel Edwards campaign is running a 30-second televised ad, telling voters, “Phony Rispone isn't looking out for you, and his business record proves it.”
The ad claims Republican Eddie Rispone “made a fortune cheating workers out of overtime pay and healthcare, while benefiting from over $500 million in corporate tax breaks."
The first part of this claim is mostly true.
The campaign cites Aguirre et al v. ISC Constructors, LLC, a lawsuit filed in federal court by a group of workers against several companies contracting on a project in Texas. Rispone's company, ISC Constructors, LLC, was one of multiple defendants.
The workers who filed the suit said they weren't getting paid for mandatory meetings and work-related activities that weren't part of the scheduled work day. ISC denied the allegations in court filings.
The lawsuit was settled in 2017. While the details of the settlement were not made public, it is important to point out that a settlement does not always indicate guilt.
The second part of the claim, referring to more than a half-billion dollars in corporate tax breaks, is misleading.
States regularly give tax breaks to corporations, with the goal of creating jobs and economic opportunities.
Again, ISC was one of many contractors on several projects run by other companies.
According to Louisiana Economic Development, companies on those projects benefited from a combined total of more than $500 million through Louisiana’s Industrial Tax Exemption Program between 2008 and 2016.
The ad also claims that the corporate tax breaks cost local governments $13.7 billion.
This is true.
The ad claims, "Rispone hired foreign labor instead of Louisiana workers."
This is true, but not as significant as the ad makes it sound.
The H1B visa allows American companies to hire temporary workers from other countries. According to the H1B database, ISC legally hired three foreign workers in 2016 at a salary of $56,000 per year.
Truth Test Grade: B
While this ad chooses its words carefully, it does not contain false information.