Thursday, 16 August 2012 02:51
Whom you know in Jindal's Louisiana counts, not what you know
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Optimized-Jindal-campaignFor one who insists—to the point of banality—that he has the job he wants, Gov. Piyush Jindal certainly spends a minimal amount of time doing it.

He also is the same Piyush Jindal who insisted that his appointments would be made on the basis of “what you know, not who you know.”


When you examine his appointments against campaign contributions, that second proclamation quickly takes on the same empty ring as the first. But those contributions do go a long way in explaining how he got that job that he loves so much.

Remember, Jindal also said the bulk of his contributions were in amounts of $100 or less. What he did not explain was that he was the talking about the number of contributions, not the amounts. The large contributions—$500 to $5,000—easily eclipsed the amounts given by small donors.

But extensive research by Capitol News Service shows that the high rollers, the big money backers, tended to garner highly desirable appointments to important boards and commissions—and in some cases, high-paying state jobs.

Appointees to six major boards or commissions produced more than $963,000 in campaign contributions to Jindal, according to campaign finance records.

So much for “what you know, not who you know.”

Those boards/commissions include:

The LSU Board of Supervisors, possibly one of the more political of all the boards;
The State Board of Regents for Higher Education;
• University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors;
• State Board of Commerce and Industry;
• Louisiana Economic Development Corp. Board;
• Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District (Superdome) Board.

Following are some examples of Jindal’s appointments and their contributions, dating from his 2003 campaign for governor to July 31, 2012:

LSU Board of Supervisors

• Chester Lee Mallet, Lake Charles—$30,000 in personal contributions and contributions from five separate corporations;
• Scott Ballard, Covington—$5,000 from his company, WOW Café & Winery Franchising;
• Jack Lawton Jr., Lake Charles—$26,000 from Lawton, his company and family members;
• Robert “Bobby” Yarborough, Baton Rouge—$15,000;
• Garrett “Hank” Danos, Larose—$18,500 from Danos, his company and family members;
• Ray Lasseigne, Bossier City—$17,232 from Lasseigne and his company, TMR Exploration;
• Ben Mount, Lake Charles—$1,000 from his wife, then-State Sen. Willie Mount;
• James E. Moore of Monroe—$21,500 from Moore and his company, the Marriott Courtyard of Monroe;
• R. Blake Chatelain of Alexandria—$28,000 from Chatelain and his wife.

Louisiana Board of Regents for Higher Education

• Raymond J. Brandt of Metairie—$5,000
• Roy O. Martin of Alexandria—$17,000 from Martin, family members and his business, Roy O. Martin Lumber Co.;
• William “Bill” Fenstermaker of Lafayette—$20,500 from Fenstermaker and C.H. Fenstermaker & Associates;
• Chris Gorman of Shreveport—$20,000 from Gorman and his company, Tango Transport;
• Joe Farr of Monroe—$5,000;
• Ed Antie of Lafayette—$10,500 from Antie and his company, Network USA (Antie withdrew his nomination when it became clear he would not be confirmed by the Legislature because of a contract one of his companies had with the Regents—a conflict of interests.)
• Robert Bruno of New Orleans—$5,000;
• Charlotte Bollinger of Lockport—$52,850 from Ms. Bollinger, various other family members and seven different companies run by the Bollinger family;
• W. Clinton Raspberry Jr., of Shreveport—$10,000 through his two companies, W. Clinton Raspberry, Jr., Investments, and Crestview Woods Timber and Minerals;
• Roland Toups of Baton Rouge—$9,500;
• Joseph C. Wiley of Gonzales–$7,125 from Wiley and his company, the Excel Group.

University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors

• E. Gerald Hebert of Kenner—$16,000;
• Jimmie “Beau” Martin, Jr., of Cut Off—$19,278 from Martin and his company, B&J Martin, Inc.;
• Carl Shelter of Lake Charles—$6,000;
• Jimmy Faircloth of Alexandria—$25,000 from Faircloth and his law firm (Faircloth was later appointed Jindal’s executive counsel);
• John LeTard of Zachary—$5,000;
• Andre Coudrain of Hammond—$30,000 from Coudrain and his law firm;
• Edward J. Crawford, III, of Shreveport—$11,000 from Edward Crawford, Edward J Crawford, III, of the same address, and Edward J Crawford, IV;
• Greg Hamer, Sr., of Morgan City—$16,750;
• Paul Dickson of Shreveport—$39,000 from Dickson and his pharmaceutical company.

Louisiana State Board of Commerce and Industry

• Richard Lipsey of Baton Rouge—$28,000 from Lipsey, his wife and his company, Lipsey Properties;
• R.K. Mehrotra of Baton Rouge—$6,000;
• Kevin Langley of Baton Rouge—$14,000;
• Millie Atkins of Monroe—$13,000 from CenturyTel, for whom she is employed as a corporate communication associate;
• Lance B. Belcher of Baton Rouge—$20,000 from Belcher and three of his companies;
• Bryan L. Bossier, Sr., of Woodworth—$33,500 from Bossier, his wife, Phillip Bossier of the same address and two of his companies;
• Gorgon Burges of Amite—$9,000;
• Mark Delesdernier, Jr., of New Orleans—$5,500 from Delesdernier and Fiver Marine Services, for whom he serves as chief executive officer;
• P. Andre Fruge of Lafayette—$1,000;
• Richard A. Gonsoulin of Houma—$31,000 from Gonsoulin, family members and his company, Lebeouf Brothers Towing;
• Ronnie Harris of Gretna—$1,000;
• Jerry N. Jones of Shreveport—$11,000 from Jones and his law firm;
• William V. “Bill” King of Lake Charles—$10,000;
• Marty A. Mayer, Jr., of Covington—$5,000 from his company, Stirling Properties;
• Stephen Moret of Baton Rouge, Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Economic Development—$2,000;
• Gale Potts Roque of Natchitoches—$5,000 from Mac-Re, LLC, for whom she is employed as government relations and property manager;
• Charles J. Soprano of Alexandria—$13,000;
• Greg Walker of Baton Rouge—$6,000.

Louisiana Economic Development Corp. Board of Directors

• Mike Saucier of Covington—$7,000 from Saucier and his company, Gulf States Real Estate;
• Rob Stuart, Jr., of Baton Rouge—$11,000;
• Harry Avant of Shreveport—$5,000;
• A.J. Roy, III, of Marksville—$8,750;
• Thomas A. Cotten of Baton Rouge—$500;

Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District (Superdome) Board of Commissioners

• Robert Bruno of New Orleans—$28,500 from Bruno, his wife and his law firm;
• Davie Chozen of Lake Charles—$18,238 from Chozen and his company, Chozen Business Services;
• Tim Coulon of Harvey—$7,500 from Coulon’s political campaign and Coulon Consultants;
• Ron Forman of New Orleans—$2,000;
• Julio Melara of Baton Rouge—$25,500 from Melara and Rolfe McCollister, Jr.; Melara is president and McCollister is publisher of the Baton Rouge Business Report;
• William C. “Bill” Windham of Bossier City—$25,000 from William and Carol Windham;
• William Henry Shane, Jr., of Kenner—$21,000 from Shane and his architectural firm;
• Mike Polito of Baton Rouge—$20,000 contributed through three of his companies;
• Dave Roberts of Baton Rouge—$10,000;
• John Amato of New Orleans—$15,000 from Amato and his wife;
• Peter Egan of Covington—$19,400 from Egan and five of his companies;
• Ed Markle of New Orleans—$17,000 from Edward and Gloria Markle and two of his companies.

There are many others but space does not permit running all at one time. We will have follow-up stories detailing other major contributors who received appointments from Jindal.

by Tom Aswell, publisher of Louisiana Voice


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