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Dardenne's request that Vitter repay state for Super PAC fees will fall on deaf ears
Written by  // Friday, 31 July 2015 14:17 //

vitter-jindalCandidate Jay Dardenne has now jumped on the David Vitter-pay-back-the-state bandwagon as did the Louisiana Democratic Party. A few weeks ago, Dardenne requested that Bobby Jindal repay his state police protection expenses for his campaign back to the Louisiana treasury.

On Thursday, the Advocate published,

Donors can make unlimited contributions to a super PAC supporting Republican U.S. David Vitter for governor. But it came at a financial cost to Louisiana taxpayers.
The Fund for Louisiana’s Future challenged the constitutionality of a Louisiana law limiting contributions in federal court last year and won.
The victory led to Louisiana taxpayers paying $69,336 in attorney fees and other legal costs run up by the political action committee in its successful challenge.
The payment by the state of Louisiana’s risk management self-insurance program shows up on a campaign finance report filed by The Fund.
“When you challenge a provision of law based on constitutionality you are entitled to pray for relief (of costs) when you are successful,” state ethics administrator Kathleen Allen said Wednesday.

In a press release today, Dardenne said,

“ Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne released the following statement in regard to the legal fees the state of Louisiana reimbursed to the Fund for Louisiana’s Future, a Super PAC supporting Senator David Vitter:

“For Senator Vitter to force the state of Louisiana to pay $70,000 in legal fees to his campaign operation is shameful. I’m not sure who is worse - Governor Jindal sticking taxpayers with the bill while running for President or Senator Vitter sticking taxpayers with the bill so he can raise unlimited amounts of money from out-of-state special interests.

Given the amount of money they have raised, they should both give taxpayers a break and pay their bills themselves.”

Likewise, the Louisiana Democratic Party, in an email today said, in part:

“Despite having posted obscene fund-raising totals thanks to his support among the super-wealthy special interest crowd, Sen. David Vitter continues to lean on “campaign welfare” wherever possible, building his cynical, hands-off campaign for governor at the expense of Louisiana taxpayers and families. Thanks to the efforts of his high-priced legal team and their elite corporate backers, Vitter was able to force Louisiana taxpayers to cough up nearly $70,000 toward one of his shadowy “political action committees.” In a page ripped from Gov. Bobby Jindal’s partisan playbook, Vitter is petulantly defending the right of faceless corporate paymasters to buy and sell elections in Louisiana and across the country.”

Is the latest Dardenne request legitimate or politics? Even if David Vitter wanted to repay the state, which of course, he would not, is he obligated to do so?

"The Fund for Louisiana’s Future” which has raised roughly 4 million dollars. The PAC is supporting Vitter, and the Senator will continue to have its support whether he wins the gubernatorial election or, if not, should he run again for US Senate. Also, the Super PAC has former Vitter operatives working for the PAC rather than the campaign. Also, as of March 9, 2005, the DAVID VITTER FOR US SENATE
METAIRIE,LA has contributed to the Super PAC $890,000. A blind man would see somewhat of a coordinated relationship between Vittter, his federal campaign, the Super PAC and the state campaign.

However, the question is, how close of a relationship and coordination? The transactions surely raises questions. But, given that the law is uncertain and we are in unsettled new terrirtory, unless it were legally proven that there existed closer coordinating relationships, at most, the request by Dardenne, although seemingly a legitimate one, will fall on Vitter campaign (and probably his supporters) deaf ears

 

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