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!!