Tuesday, 29 May 2012 12:11

Louisiana campaigns shell games, Jindal for VP good bet, Polls, Digital TP

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nagin smallOn Sunday, the newly-announced revamped New Orleans Times Picayune revealed that a number of local politicians received what appears to be interesting campaign contributions tied to River Birch which is under federal investigation.

The TP, wrote in part “Gov. Bobby Jindal and former Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard each received $40,000 in campaign contributions from companies that the Louisiana Board of Ethics now alleges are "straw man entities" used to launder illegal donations from the embattled River Birch landfill 's parent company. Jindal's campaign reported receiving $5,000 contributions from six River Birch-linked firms on the same day in April 2007. The $30,000 haul would violate a $5,000 cap on donations from one company if all the money ultimately came from River Birch Inc., as the Board of Ethics asserts in a lawsuit against the alleged shell companies.”

Timmy Teepell, former chief of staff and campaign manager told the TP, “
"This is the first time I've seen the names of these companies," said Timmy Teepell, a Jindal political adviser who managed the governor's 2007 campaign. "We accept all contributions in good faith and in accordance with the law."
Teepell said Heebe has been a financial supporter of the governor. "Fred's a friend, and I know him to be a good man," Teepell said. "He's donated to past campaigns and has raised money for us, but I don't recognize these companies."

While I am not discounting the Jindal’s campaign lack of knowledge as to the source of the campaign money and their lack of knowledge associated with the funds, it does raise the question as to how easy it is for campaigns to receive money and to say after the fact that the money just flowed in without scrutiny or questions being asked.  These comments apply to the Jindal campaign or any campaign. 

In this case, the Jindal campaign received the money relatively early during the campaign season (April of 2007). According to the TP, the Jindal campaign received “$5,000 contributions from six River Birch-linked firms on the same day in April 2007”.

Just out of curiosity, I am wondering how exactly did the Jindal campaign and the Broussard campaign received the money in the first place?  

Did all of the $25,000 from the companies come into the campaign war chest at the same time? In the same envelope? Delivered to the same person?

Did someone from the campaign solicit the money or how did it make its way into the campaign?

Perhaps others associated with the campaign treasuries at the time can provide us some details. If anything, is it too much to ask future campaigns to document their knowledge about contributions over a certain amount coming in from entities of which they have little or no knowledge?  Just asking.

Here are the names and amounts of the other contribution recipients as provided by the TP:

Others receiving donations from the alleged shell companies include state Sen. J.P. Morrell, D-New Orleans, $15,000; state Treasurer John Kennedy, $10,000; state Rep. Jared Brossett, D-New Orleans, $10,000; Royal Alexander, who lost a 2007 bid for state attorney general, $10,000; former St. Bernard Parish President Craig Taffaro, $10,000; state Sen. Jody Amedee, R-Gonzales, $8,500; state Rep. Ernest Wooten, R-Belle Chasse, $7,500; state Attorney General Buddy Caldwell, $5,000; Norma Broussard, Aaron Broussard's daughter-in-law, who lost a 2008 race for a 24th District judge seat, $5,000.

Jindal loses one, State employees
Score one for state employees who have been battling changes in their retirement system proposed by Gov. Bobby Jindal.
The governor’s proposal to create a new retirement plan for future rank-and-file state workers, surprisingly, failed to pass in the House of Representatives. The House vote was 49-53 for the pension bill; however, it needed 53 votes to pass.
The proposal would have created a cheaper investment account similar to a 401(k) plan for state employees hired after July 1, 2013.
Supporters of the proposal claimed it would help shrink the growth of the cost of pension programs that are already far into the red by billions of dollars. But opponents contended the new system would not provide enough of a safety net for state workers and would likely discourage qualified individuals from applying for state jobs.
The proposed system, known as a “cash balance” plan would not offer enough assurances that employees would have a livable pension benefit when they retire, according to critics of the system.
Louisiana state employees aren’t part of the Social Security system. Only one other state, Nebraska, has such a plan for its state workers, but they are also included in the Social Security system.
Area representatives voting for the new system were: Reps. Richie Burford (R), Thomas Carmody (R), Jim Morris (R), Alan Seabaugh (R), and Jeff Thompson (R).
Voting against were: Reps. Henry Burns (R), Roy Burrell (D), Kenny Cox (D), Barbara Norton (D), and Gene Reynolds (D). Patrick Williams (D) was absent.

By Lou Gehrig Burnett of Fax-Net


Veepstakes Jindal


According to WWL radio, at least one Louisiana political analyst feels Jindal for Veep is a good bet.

“Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is expected to clinch the delegates needed for the Republican presidential nomination in today's Texas primary. As we draw closer to the Republican National Convention, one political expert says Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has a good chance of being asked to join the Romney ticket.

Veteran political consultant Roy Fletcher puts Jindal's odds at 1-in-2, because of Romney's focus on federal education reforms.

"(Jindal) can talk about education, unlike anybody else in the country, particularly education reform. He's uniquely qualified to do that now," Fletcher said. The consultant also said Jindal's ethnicity can tap into an underused source of funds for the presidential campaign.

"Bobby Jindal can raise a hundred million dollars from one segment of this society that has never really played, and that's Indian-Americans," he said.”

Polls, polls, polls

Obama or Romney for President? Jindal for VP? How will the new digital Times Picayune affect journalism? Bayoubuzz has the poll for you. Just go to any page of Bayoubuzz and cast your votes. Then, forward to your contacts, facebook friends and so on. Already, there are some interesting numbers.

Speaking of the TP, we have a really good discussion going on in our forum about their recent announcement.
“I think the action by the Times Picayune will hurt them in the short haul but in the long run, they will do nicely as they probably are doing now due to NOLA. If anything, they are telling one of the most backwards states that digital is the way to go. Problem is, most of the bubbas and louise's in Louisiana have no clue how to use a computer and can't spell Internet. They certainly cannot spell d-i-g-i-t-a-l.”

If you have any topics you would like to discuss on the forum or videos you would like to share, please email me. Meanwhile, you can login by Facebook and post your comments or simply register online and speak your mind.

Bill signing

Governor Jindal’s office, today, announced these bill signings which brings “the total number of bills signed for the 2012 Regular Legislative Session to 338 bills”.


HB 37 by Rep. Gisclair relates to the Lockport Mayor's Court.

HB 67 by Rep. Fannin relates to group insurance premiums for retired sheriffs and deputy sheriffs of the Winn Parish Sheriff's Office.

HB 78 by Rep. Pope relates to the administration of the Livingston Parish Retired Employees' Insurance Fund.

HB 121 by Rep. Lopinto relates to conditions of parole.

HB 132 by Rep. Ligi relates to service of process on attorneys.

HB 156 by Rep. Simon relates to educational services within the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

HB 197 by Rep. H. Burns relates to motor vehicle safety.

HB 215 by Rep. P. Smith relates to victim and offender communications.

HB 234 by Rep. Hodges provides for a prestige license plate to help save the honeybee.

HB 242 by Rep. Harris relates to the position of deputy chief of police in the City of Alexandria.

HB 252 by Rep. Ponti relates to the Broadmoor Crime Prevention and Improvement District in East Baton Rouge Parish.

HB 269 by Rep. Barrow relates to education of children in foster care.

HB 310 by Rep. Ponti relates to the issuance of permits to dismantle motor vehicles that are more than 15 years old.

HB 352 by Rep. Burford relates to group insurance premiums for retired sheriffs and deputy sheriffs in DeSoto Parish.

HB 357 by Rep. Brown relates to justice of the peace courts and constables in LaSalle Parish.

HB 374 by Rep. Armes relates to time limitations on the issuance of permits for official inspection stations.

HB 389 by Rep. Schroder relates to child support enforcement functions of the Department of Children and Family Services.

Health care law

Healthcare reform is still in the air and certainly will be once the U.S. Supreme Court decides the constitutionality of the controversial federal legislation. A group called Grassroots Baton Rouge Democrats, http://www.grassrootsbrdems.com/ are hosting this forum:

Mike Stagg, Grassroots Louisiana Democrats, "The Truth About Obamacare"
Aaron Lercher, Mathematics Librarian, "Healthcare Reform: Why is it so complicated?"
Grassroots Baton Rouge Democrats

Tuesday, May 29, 7pm Construction & General Laborers' Local #1177, 1233 Government Street, Baton Rouge, La.
For more information, contact [email protected]

Louisiana Legislature Wrap
the League of WoMen Voters of Baton Rouge's will present the 18th annual
"The Louisiana Reality Check".
Net proceeds support the Baton Rouge League of WoMen Voters projects and voter service programs in the Greater Baton Rouge Area.


Payment Options are:
What happened this legislative session? Find out just 18 hours after the close of the Louisiana Legislative session during the Reality Check Luncheon sponsored by the Baton Rouge League of Women Voters.
Glenn Koepp, Secretary of the LA Senate
John Maginnis, Columnist, Author and Political Pundit/LA Political Fax Weekly
Albert Samuels, Political Science, Southern University
Robert Travis Scott, President of the Public Affairs Research Council
Alfred "Butch" Spear, Clerk of the LA House of Representatives

Tickets are: $35.00 per person
Doors open at 11:15 a.m. Lunch served at 11:45 a.m. Program at 12 Noon.
Seating is limited and will be available on a 1st come, 1st served basis.
Please make your reservations by paying for your tickets this week.


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Stephen Sabludowsky



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