Blog Archives

What McAllister Should Say

“I’ll resign when every Louisiana politician that has admitted an extra-marital affair does the same.”

Smoke ‘em if ya’ got ‘em, suckers.

Mic drop. Automatic pimp status.

It don’t matter if the dali-fucking-lama asks this sucker to resign. Every time those hypocritical suckers at LAGOP open their mouth, ole Vance should get medieval on their ass.

Oh, me resign? How about David “diaper boy” Vitter, your fucking candidate for GOVERNOR be asked to resign first, motherfuckers.

Holla at ya boy.

 

Patriotism Measured By The Dollar

By now, you’ve no doubt heard that Sinator David Vitter has nominated the Koch brothers as “most patriotic Americans ever.” A regular pair of George Washingtons, the Koch’s are basically waging war against Democrats all over the country, literally pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into “social welfare” and other IRS-protected groups which in turn air false and misleading ads. You can watch Vitter sing their praises here:

We’ll be carving the Kochs into Mt. Rushmore any day now, we assure you. 

In a related, but somewhat separate note, David Vitter’s SuperPac (on which we’ve reported before) has gotten itself in a little hot water. In an attempt to roll out the red carpet for Vitter’s gubernatorial bid, VitterPAC has been challenging the Louisiana PAC contribution limit of $100,000 per entity as “unconstitutional” (CAUSE FREEDOM). Now, the PAC may have pushed too far:

Questions are surfacing about the operations of a super PAC formed by backers of U.S. Sen. David Vitter, R-La.

Two groups that advocate for campaign finance reform recently asked the Federal Elections Commission to look into the possible solicitation of illegal campaign contributions.

The groups are Campaign Legal Center and Democracy 21. The complaint deals with The Fund for Louisiana’s Future, which was formed by Charles Spies, a lawyer from Washington, D.C. The fund is helping Vitter run for governor next year or a re-election bid or both.

Violating campaign laws even BEFORE you begin the campaign in earnest? That’s impressive, even for the Sinator and his pals.

Mitch Landrieu Bests David Vitter In Latest LAGOV Poll

POLLS! With only 585 days until the Louisiana Gubernatorial primary, let’s go ahead and speculate!Screen Shot 2014-03-14 at 9.12.55 PM

Sure, we have at least two candidates that have actually declared their intention to run. But several others are circling, and so their names will be thrown into the hat for consideration by the pollsters and prognosticators. LaPolitics reports on such a speculative affair by Louisiana State Medical Society and PhRMA (big doc and big drugs). LET’S GO TO THE TOPLINES:

Our Mitch for Gov Logo

Yes, we made this. Yes, you may use it.

— Landrieu, 33 percent
— Vitter, 25 percent
— Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, 11 percent
— Treasurer John Kennedy, 9 percent
—State Rep. John Bel Edwards, so far the only major Democrat declared for the race, 8 percent.

And there you have it. Mitch Landrieu is out-polling David Vitter in this mock jungle primary. Yes, that’s worthy of a little bit of a “interesting,” even this many days out. With his sister on the ballot (and looking like she’ll be in a very tough race), Mitch Landrieu seems unaffected by those headwinds and benefits from a decisive victory in the New Orleans Mayor’s race. More from the poll:

f the election for US Senate were held today, and the choice was between (ROTATE) Bill Cassidy, the Republican candidate and Mary Landrieu, the Democratic candidate, who would you vote for?

Mary Landrieu 45- Bill Cassidy 44 [tightening from 53-39 in January]

In the race for Attorney General 2 Republicans may run, but no Democrats have announced yet. In this election would you vote for (ROTATE: Jeff Landry, a Republican candidate, Buddy Caldwell, a Republican candidate), (ALWAYS LAST:) or would you vote for the Democratic candidate?

Jeff Landry, the Republican 15
Buddy Caldwell, the Republican 23
Generic Democrat 33
That AG’s race is VERY interesting for a Democrat. That’s an automatic entry of a Democrat into a run-off, which would certainly stir things up. More to come on this one…

 

David Vitter: Candidate for Governor

Louisiana’s worst kept secret is no longer a secret. David Vitter is running for Governor in 2015.

 

Vitter charges $4K per seat for access to donated Superdome luxury suite for 2012 LSU-Alabama BCS championship game

Lamar Parmentel:

Bitter Vitter shopping free Superdome luxury suites

Originally posted on Louisiana Voice:

While the Alabama Crimson Tide was beating LSU 21-0 in the BCS national championship game in the Mercedes Benz Superdome on Jan. 9, 2012, U.S. Sen. David Vitter was entertaining a number of guests in one of the Superdome’s 152 luxury suites—at a hefty cost, LouisianaVoice has learned.

Vitter, who apparently gained access to the suite through corporate largesse, took full advantage of the occasion to charge guests $4,000 per seat, according to one person who was there.

Ticket scalping laws vary from state to state and in Louisiana:

  • Tickets cannot be sold at more than their face value price except on the Internet;
  • Tickets for university sporting events cannot be sold online by Louisiana legislators or university students;
  • Tickets can be resold online at greater than their face value price if approved by both the event operator (NCAA) and the venue operator (the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District).

The…

View original 321 more words

Who Is The Fund For Louisiana’s Future: Part Deux

Last week, we took a swipe at trying to ascertain what it was that the “Fund for Louisiana’s Future” was truly about. We took a gander at a limited breadth of public records and found a few things out. For example, we explored the Louisiana-based address listed for the fund. And we further perused the owner of said home, speculating on what Mr. Callihan had to do with VitterPAC.

It turns out, Tom Aswell over at the Louisiana Voice did a little more digging and connected a few dots:

But The Daily Kingfish noted that while Spies is the mover and shaker behind the effort to remove the state’s contribution cap, the Louisiana address for FFL is 6048 Marshall Foch Street in the Lakeview area of New Orleans.

That’s the address at the bottom of FFL’s web page and it just happens to be the home of Bill Callihan, a director at Capital One Bank.

Okay, nothing wrong with this picture so far.

Vitter is prohibited by federal election rules from coordinating for the Super PAC and does not personally participate in fundraising activities.

Again, nothing wrong so far.

FFL has scheduled its Louisiana Bayou Weekend for Sept. 5-7, 2014 with Vitter as “special guest.” Invitees will have the opportunity to participate in Cajun cooking, an airboat swamp tour and an alligator hunt.

While Vitter can appear at the Super PAC event, he is prohibited from soliciting contributions.

And this is where the picture becomes somewhat muddled.

Courtney Guastella Callihan—Callihan’s wife—is listed on invitations as the contact person for the Bayou Weekend.

She also served as Vitter’s campaign financial director, a dual role that blurs the distinction between her function with the Super PAC and Vitter’s Senate campaign.

So, that explains that. Callihan isn’t the Vitter connection, so much as his wife is. And the Voice takes it a step or two further:

So the question now becomes is Courtney Callihan on the payroll of both Vitter’s Senate campaign committee and FFL?

If so, that could conceivably bring real legal problems with the FEC.

Worth watching. Vitter’s dalliances with campaign finance laws might be invisible to most voters now, but a wiley opponent might be motivated to attach himself to this very Washington, DC operation and punish Vitter for this potential serious campaign finance sin.

Who Is The Fund For Louisiana?

6048 Marshall Foch Street, New Orleans, LA 70124

David Vitter’s VitterPAC has made some news lately, specifically in its attempt to blow the cap off of donations here in Louisiana. But who exactly is behind this thing?

First, we know the former Romney SuperPAC (“Restore Our Future“) council Charles Spies is the chair. As usual, teet-sucking Politico calls him a “politico to watch“:

Spies recalls his first political memory as his father — then a Republican-appointed U.S. attorney — was fired when Jimmy Carter won the presidency in 1976…“The verdict may be out on how helpful super PACs were in the general election,” he said. But “it’s indisputable that in a primary election, it’s not a luxury, it’s a necessity.

So, Spies is the mover behind this, and other, rightwing SuperPACs. But who’s the local connection? Is there one?

Using the internet, and a modicum of free time, we’ve unearthed a couple other items about the VitterPAC.FundforLAfuture

First, the Fund’s listed address is 6048 Marshall Foch Street in the Lakeview part of New Orleans. That’s strange for a number of reasons, most notably because the fund obviously resides in Washington, DC (see the DC lawyer, Spies, and the ’202′ area code on their phone number). Hmmm.

A man who is identified as “Bill Callihan” seated on the left.

Who lives at 6048 Marshall Foch Street? It seems to be this man, on the left in the blazer, Bill Callihan. From the internets, we find that he is a Director at Capital One bank. Perhaps a fiscal agent for the fund? Not so fast.

This statement of organization from the IRS shows that Spies is the Treasurer/Chairman and that the fund uses “Chain Bridge Bank” in McLean, VA. That’s the Dick Cheney part of Virginia, somewhat close to the CIA headquarters.

So, Callihan is, at the very least, “housing” the organization in Louisiana in order to give the appearance that it isn’t just a total DC-based operation parachuting into LA to elect David Vitter Governor.

As these things go, they’re supposed to be opaque. The entire concept of these “SuperPAC’s” is to obscure the origin of the money on which they feast. The Federal sides can already take unlimited donations. VItterPAC is working dilligently on making sure they can take unlimited contributions to use for a LAGOV race (i.e. a non-Federal, Louisiana-only campaign). Currently, while Federal law allows  multi-million dollar cheques to be written without constraint, Louisiana election law says that money PAC raised for state races is limited to cheques of $100,000 at a time. VitterPAC hopes to change this forever.

Back to this mysterious siting. The New Orleans address is, in and of itself, not illegal or even that unusual. However, since VitterPAC operates under the shroud of secrecy afforded to it by IRS code, it will always generate the requisite level of mystery. Why here? And why in New Orleans? Worth watching.

Simultaneously, it is pure charade that VitterPAC claims it won’t be “coordinating” with a potential David Vitter LAGOV run. Of course, this is the joke of our election law today. As Stephen Colbert smartly broke down, SuperPACs are a lie we tell ourselves in politics. The rules are a joke. They’re easy to bend and shred. Candidates can appear at fundraisers for their supporting SuperPAC’s, but they can’t say the words “give us money.” Instead, they can just appear as a guest and folks are supposed to believe that this maintains the Chinese wall.

Whatever the case, we hope the media looks more closely at VitterPAC. Unlimited money in politics is a fundamental corruption. Louisiana’s been able to avoid it up until now. But once the seal is broken, the genie cannot be placed back into the bottle.

Vitter SuperPAC Wants Unlimited Contributions

The Vitter-for-governor boomlet hasn’t yet fully bloomed and the Sinator’s allies have already injected the corrosive post-Citizens United money chase into the electoral calculus.

Actual front page of the VitterPAC site.

Completely independent from David Vitter, we promise!

According to the Times-Pic, the Fund For Louisiana’s Future (or, VitterPAC, as we’ll refer to it) is challenging the current Louisiana contribution limits:

Lawyers for the Fund for Louisiana’s Future, the Super PAC created to support Sen. David Vitter, R-La., say Louisiana’s Board of Ethics really doesn’t have a choice but to grant its request to end enforcement of Louisiana’s $100,000 limit on independent committee donations.

If the ethics board agrees, the result could be million-dollar contributions to campaign committees in Louisiana — much as is the case already for super PACs nationally.

The Supreme Court‘s 2010 ruling that equated spending on independent political expenditures with free speech, and a follow-up ruling by a Washington D.C. appeals court, makes it clear that such limits are unconstitutional, lawyers for the Fund for Louisiana’s Future say.

This challenge is in line with the longterm trend among rightwingers throughout the country to challenge any contribution limits as abridgments of free speech. This project, hatched by arch-conservative activists decades ago (like James Bopp), hopes to remove the reigns of contribution limits in order to allow giant business and activist donations to mostly conservative causes. The richest 1%, now unburdened by contribution limits, can now more easily control politics and affect policy to maintain or expand inequality to their advantage, or work on any number of rightwing fantasies (banning abortion, privatizing all services, dismantling the social safety net, etc.).  That’s the whole game.

Anyway, VitterPAC isn’t waiting until it passes go before it fires a warning shot: it will be aggressively fighting to open the floodgates of arch-conservative cash to out-spend Vitter’s potential rivals in the 2015 LAGOV race. In a small state like Louisiana with cheap media rates, a Romney-esqe SuperPAC pummeling Vitter’s opponents would be essential to deflect from the inevitable rehashing of the “serious sins” that will no-doubt play much larger in the parochial Governor’s race than it did in the anti-Obama Senate race.

Laughably, and typically, the VitterPAC claims it HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH DAVID VITTER’S CAMPAIGN:

Still, [Lawyer] Ryan said that both federal and state regulators, as well as the courts, need to tighten definitions of independent expenditures, which, under the Supreme Court ruling, can be funded with unlimited donations from both corporations and individuals. He wonders how the Fund for Louisiana’s Future, which was formed entirely to back Vitter’s political campaigns, can be truly independent of the Republican senator.

In their filing with the ethics board, Spires, who chaired Mitt Romney’s Super Pac during the 2012 presidential campaign and Tyrrell insist their Super PAC is indeed independent.

“Written confidentiality and firewall policies are in place to ensure that Fund for Louisiana’s Future will in no way coordinate its political communications or activities with any candidates, their committee or their agents,” they wrote.

L.O.L.

So far, VitterPAC has vacuumed up a decent haul:

According to campaign finance data, Galliano Marine Services of Cut Off, and GMAA LLC, a New Orleans medical business operated by Keith and Mary Van Meter, each contributed $100,000 to Vitter’s PAC in April.

These filings always trail the contributions by months. The Louisiana Democratic Party has adeptly scooped up www.VitterForGovernor.com, which highlights one of VitterPAC’s latest fundraisers, a gator hunt in May. We’ll continue to follow the VitterPAC money here.

WE WAIT WITH BATED BREATH: Gov. Vitter?

Fainting spells were reported across the Gret Stet today as rumors of a final decision on the Canal Street John on his entry into the Governor race in 2015. According to the world’s greatest hotel doormat, USA TODAY (we KID!):

Sen. David Vitter says he’ll decide by January whether to run for governor of Louisiana in 2015.

The Republican senator, elected in 2004, told the Associated Press that he’ll send out an e-mail Wednesday to let supporters know of his interest in the 2015 race. Gov. Bobby Jindal, a Republican often mentioned as a potential presidential candidate, cannot run again because of term limits.

“This is the logical time to do it, if I’m ever going to do it,” Vitter told the AP.

Vitter is one of the more popular politicians in Louisiana, with a job-approval rating of over 58% in a recent Southern Media & Opinion Research poll. He has attracted headlines in the past few months for his fight against President Obama’s health care law, saying he wants to make sure that members of Congress and their staffs don’t get special treatment.

Vitter has rebounded from a 2007 scandal in which his phone number was found among a client list of the so-called D.C. Madam. He apologized for what he called a “very serious sin.”

The good news for the Sinator? The whore scandal that would have brought down any human candidate (for the Sinator is not a human, but a cold-blooded reptilian humanoid, of course) is now in the 4th ‘graph of his mini-bio! That’s progress!!

Still, what David Vitter lacks in a pulse, he more than makes up for in his dastardly, almost evil genius-like, ability to concoct crafty, laser-focused political coups against his enemies. In the Game of Thrones that is Louisiana politics, Vitter is the vicious, deadly, and ruthless Little Finger. Scorned by many, with a sordid past, but willing to do what it takes to destroy those in his way. 

Recall, as well, that David Vitter has a SuperPAC roving out there. He was a “SPECIAL GUEST” at the latest gator round-up in the spring, and if that’s any indication, he’s already begun to think about 2015 more seriously than he’s letting on. People don’t just go skirting campaign finance laws to raise money for a SuperPAC that purportedly isn’t “supporting David Vitter directly,” but so obviously is unless they have something big in mind.

We postulated all the way back in February that the only candidate we see that can beat the Sinator is Mayor Mitchell Landrieu. We went as far to endorse him and we re-up that endorsement. Mitch Landrieu for Governor, 2015. Period.

Recent polling has been inconclusive. We’re still too far away from the campaign. But Mayor Mitch is definitely a force to be dealt with for the Sinator.

In a PPP poll taken just this past August, Mitch lined up well:

The Landrieu family name might be the best thing Democrats in Louisiana have going for them. Looking ahead to the 2015 race for Governor, Mitch Landrieu has an early lead over both of the high profile Republicans we tested against him in hypothetical match ups. He’s up 45/42 on Senator David Vitter and 45/35 on Lieutenant Governor Jay Dardenne.

Our Mitch for Gov Logo

Yes, we made this. Yes, you may use it.

Landrieu has very strong statewide favorability numbers- 44% of voters in the state have a favorable opinion of him to just 24% with a negative one. His popularity with Democrats is predictable but even among Republicans he comes close to breaking even with a 30/31 favorability spread. He leads the two GOP hopefuls because like his sister he pulls 20-23% of the Republican vote in the head to heads.

Landrieu has about $1.6m on hand for a walkover Mayoral relection coming this February. We haven’t heard of any real competition, but someone from New Orleans will update on that for sure. If he spends lightly, he’ll be well-positioned to have a top 5 warchest for the 2015 race even before he announces his intentions.

Still, everyone waiting to exhale only has to wait one (!!!!!) more month to hear what the Sinator is going to do. Winter is coming.

Accept Illegal Money? For Jindal, Only Poor Should Pay

Sometimes the universe presents a perfectly-timed coordination, betraying the inherent synchronicity in the world. Today is one of those days.

Lee Zurik and Nola.com are unfolding a fascinating look at Louisiana’s corrupt river of campaign cash this week. One of the stories is particularly piquant: “Louisiana law silent on whether candidates must return illegal contributions

It turns out that the old story about Bobby Jindal’s 2007 campaign wasn’t quite dead. During his run for Governor in ’07, Jindal collected $55,000 from figures connected with “Central Progressive Bank,” a newly created, and soon to fail, bank in St. Tammany Parish. Unfortunately, that $55,000 didn’t come from numerous sources as was claimed. In fact, the Bank’s executives funneled that money from a single source. That is illegal. However, when it comes to returning the cash, the Jindal campaign has been sitting on its hands:

Blossman was indicted for the campaign finance violations and other unrelated charges in May 2012, and Jindal’s campaign was revealed as the recipient of the money a month later. That’s when the campaign said it learned the donations were illegal. Jindal political adviser Timmy Teepell, who ran the governor’s 2007 campaign, said this week the money was accepted “in good faith.”

What’s good for the goose, however, is not good for the gander. In another story revealed just yesterday, the Jindal administration bowed to pressure from Sinator David Vitter to prosecute food stamp recipients that received extra money on their cards because of a computer malfunction.

“The recent over-the-top food stamp theft and fraud gave Louisiana and the program a real black eye,” said Vitter. “I’m certainly glad the state is acting on my urgent suggestion. I look forward to discussing the details with Secretary (Susan) Sonnier in my upcoming meeting with her and Attorney General (Buddy) Caldwell.”

Officials denied that Vitter’s recent remarks had anything to do with the state’s decision to pursue people who used their benefits fraudulently.

Other than the fact that the Jindal admin is getting punked by the Sinator. By tacking to his right on prosecuting the poor over possible food stamp scams, Vitter is putting Jindal on blast with the wingnuts. He can’t afford these hits as he continues to flail about in order to appeal to the grassroots tea baggers that will be choosing the 2016 GOP nominee.

Let’s review then, shall we? Bobby Jindal takes illegal campaign cash in 2007, and he sloughs it off, paying it back 6 years later. The poor get extra food stamp cash through a system malfunction? Prosecute!!

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