Arrested Development

by Nathan Stubbs

A "traditional family values" champion and Daily Advertiser contributor is arrested for domestic abuse battery.

Carl Tritschler is a familiar name for Daily Advertiser readers. The former chairman of the Lafayette Parish Republican committee is prolific with letters to the editor that slam liberals and espouse traditional family values, and for the last six weeks, Tritschler has been writing the "Rightblog" political column for the Advertiser's Web site. In his first column, titled "Why I Write and Why I'm Right," Tritschler wrote of the threats from terrorism, "global warming propaganda" and "unchecked immigration." He also noted that American values are under assault by liberals who "undermine the family by promoting homosexual marriage and legalized gambling. Because they wish to hasten the demise of the family and replace it with the state," Tritschler continued, "liberals support any measure that mocks and erodes traditional family values."

On the night of Friday, July 14 ' after suggesting in that morning's Rightblog column that Willow Street should be renamed Ronald Wilson Reagan Drive ' Tritschler, 42, was arrested following a dispute with his wife at their Lafayette home.

The initial police report states that following a "verbal argument," Tritschler "became physical by pushing the victim to the floor. Once victim was on floor, suspect dragged victim by legs and spit on her." Tritschler's booking was noted in The Advertiser a day later along with other arrests from the weekend.

Last Friday, The Advertiser did not post a new column from Tritschler as scheduled. The Web site and Advertiser print edition also offered no explanation as to why Tritschler's column was not appearing. When called for comment, Daily Advertiser Editor Denise Richter referred all questions to Advertiser Publisher Ted Power.

"I don't know if anybody here has talked to him or not," Power says. "I believe Mr. Tritschler has a personal issue that he's dealing with, and he couldn't submit an entry last week. There will be no additional entries until all that's resolved from either side, right or left."

Tritschler, a marketing director with Teche Federal Savings Bank in New Iberia, did not return a call and e-mail for comment on his arrest.

The Advertiser will be keeping Tritschler's old political commentaries up on its Web site. "There's nothing wrong with keeping stuff up [on the Web site] that we've already published," says Power. "We're not embarrassed by anything."

Power expects the political blogs will resume normally next week, though he did not know if a replacement had been found for Tritschler.

Republican executive committee member Don Bertrand says he has been asked by The Advertiser's online editor, Bill Decker, to continue "RightBlog." Bertrand says he hopes to write a much less abrasive column than Tritschler ' one he says should be more representative of local Republicans. Bertrand says Tritschler has not been actively involved with the parish Republican committee for several years. Tritschler notably broke rank with many in his party last year when he argued against Lafayette Utilities System's fiber-to-the-home project in a guest editorial in The Daily Advertiser. The LUS initiative ' a signature issue of Republican City-Parish President Joey Durel ' was heavily backed by the parish Republican committee.

"Suffice to say, [Tritschler] did not represent most people on the Republican Parish Executive Committee and probably did not represent many Republicans," Bertrand says. "I found him to be venomous in what I did read. His writings tend to carry a certain amount of anger."