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Tuesday, 09 September 2014 16:30

Cassidy ethics complaint; Landrieu survives; No Jindal, Duck Dynasty magic

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Landrieu survives challenge
    Some politicos and political journalists are beginning to believe that the GOP feels they only way they can defeat incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen.  Mary Landrieu is to have her removed from the November 4 ballot.  That strategy did not work.

    A Baton Rouge state judge dismissed the lawsuit challenging Landrieu’s residency last week after hearing only approximately 45 minutes of discussion on the case.
    If the judge found Landrieu could not run, there likely would have been many more lawsuits around the country involving incumbent members of Congress who fall into the same category regarding their residency.
    As the Fax-Net said last week, this challenge was much ado about nothing.  We agree with Fabien Levy, a Landrieu spokesman, who said, “For the sake of Louisiana voters, it’s time we end this sideshow and focus on the issues important in this race.”
    The GOP likely knew the challenge would not be successful, but were hopeful that the publicity would take some votes away from Landrieu.  But it appears that the whole scenario was a failure and backfired on GOP candidates U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy and tea party favorite Rob Maness.

Ethics complaint against Cassidy
    There’s an old saying: “When you point your finger at someone, there are three pointing back at you.”  And so the saying has become a reality for Republican U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy, who is running for the U.S. Senate.
    He pointed a finger at incumbent U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu concerning her travel expenses and her residency.
    Now, the American Democracy Legal Fund has filed an ethics complaint against Cassidy with the Louisiana Board of Ethics and the Office of Congressional Ethics.
    The complaint requests an investigation and possible referral for prosecution into whether Cassidy violated federal and/or state law by filing inconsistent state and federal personal financial disclosure forms in 2008.
    The Democracy Legal Fund says its mission is to hold candidates for office accountable for possible ethics and/or legal violations.
    It said in its complaint: “As Rep. Cassidy reported receiving differing amounts of income from two different Louisiana state entities on two different forms, an investigation is required to reveal why the congressman inaccurately reported his income on at  least one form.
    “If, as it appears, Rep. Cassidy deliberately filed false information on one of his 2008 reports, he should be sanctioned for this conduct by either the House of Representatives or the Louisiana Board of Ethics.”
    Knowing and willfully filing a false financial disclosure report is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $10,000 and up to six months imprisonment.  “Knowing and willfully” is defined as “conduct which could have been avoided through the exercise of due diligence,” according to the Democracy Legal Fund.

Interesting race in the 5th
    In the 5th Congressional District race, there seems to be little magic left in having support from Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal or the Duck Dynasty clan.
    That’s according to a poll released last week by the Glascock Group.  Here are the results:
    Mangham Dr. Ralph Abraham (R) – 22%.
    U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister (R) – 20%.
    Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo (D) – 15%.
    Monroe businessman Harris Brown (R) – 11%.
    Former U.S. Rep. Clyde Holloway (R) – 9%.
    Pharmaceutical rep Zach Dasher (R) – 7%.
    Former Grant DA Ed Tarpley (R) – 6%.
    Realtor Eliot Barron (Green Party) – 4%.
    Monroe Attorney Jeff Guerriero (R) – 4%.
    Charles Saucier (Libertarian) – 2%.
    The results were disappointing for Dasher, who is the nephew of Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson.  The  poll revealed that 39% didn’t care about that affiliation, 32% said it would make them less likely to vote for him, while 29% said more likely.
    It was a double whammy for Dasher because his campaign staff is closely tied to Jindal as well.  When asked about that fact, 53% said it would make them less likely to vote for him, 24% said more likely, and 23% said it did not matter.
    In a hypothetical runoff between Abraham and McAllister, the Mangham doctor led 51-49%.  At the same time, those polled gave McAllister a 57% positive rating on his job so far as congressman.
Late development: Guerriero announced that he is withdrawing from the race.

 Are you kidding me?
    Some LSU alums and supporters are up in arms over Gov. Bobby Jindal’s appointment of former Republican  U.S. Rep. Jim McCrery to the LSU Board of Supervisors. McCrery was appointed to represent the Fourth Congressional District in northwest Louisiana on the board.
    The LSU board is made up of 15 members appointed by the governor, which are subject to state Senate confirmation, and one student member, who serves a one-year term.
    Duties of the board include overseeing university contracts, making policy decisions, monitoring program instruction, and governing operations of  the LSU system.
    Some opponents of the appointment noted that McCrery is a Louisiana Tech graduate, although he did receive his law degree from LSU in 1975.
    But, they add, McCrery has not lived in Louisiana since he retired from Congress in 2008 after serving as the representative of the 4th Congressional District for nearly 21 years.
    Currently, McCrery is a partner with Capitol Counsel, LLC, a Washington-based lobbying group.
    The critics also view the governor’s appointment to the board as payback.  It was McCrery who actually gave Jindal his start in politics.  Jindal served as an intern in McCrery’s Washington office and McCrery later helped him get a position in state government.
    “Surely, Jindal has at least one supporter who graduated from LSU, has supported the university, and lives in the 4th Congressional District who should have gotten this appointment,” one politico said.

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Lou Gehrig Burnett

Lou Gehrig Burnett is the publisher of Fax-Net, a North-Louisiana newsletter. | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.