Thursday, July 19, 2007

Bollinger: LCRM Mission Unchanged by Vitter Credibility Crisis

Lest there be any doubt, Senator David Vitter's credibility crisis will not deter the organization he and his wife front from pursuing its appointed mission.

The Shreveport Times has the story:

The Republican effort to win a majority in at least the Louisiana House will continue with or without Vitter, said New Orleans shipbuilder Boysie Bollinger, who, along with Vitter and New Orleans developer Joe Canizaro, founded the Committee for a Republican Majority as a political action committee.

The committee's most recent financial disclosure report filed in June showed it had $736,000 in cash on hand after having spent $72,000 during the two-month period ending June 4.

Bollinger said the committee will continue its work.

"The mission is the same," said Bollinger, reached en route to Australia on a business trip. "We are tying to get a Republican majority in the House."

The actual name is The Louisiana Committee for a Republican Majority which is modeled after two organizations founded by disgraced former Republican House Majority Leader Tom DeLay — Americans for a Republican Majority and Texans for a Republican Majority. DeLay's 'American' committee contributed heavily to Vitter's congressional campaigns before the former bug killer found himself in trouble with the law in Texas, where he now faces charges of violating campaign finance laws in that state.

Wendy Vitter has a letter on LCRM's front web page saying that the organization was formed by "concerned citizens" but does not mention that one of those citizens and co-founders is Texas home builder (and DeLay fund contributor) Bob Perry who believes the mission of LCRM was worthy of a $100,000 contribution.

The Vitters' financial model for this operation probably grows from the Senator's engagement with convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Abramoff, who contributed to Vitter's senate campaign in appreciation for the then-congressman's help in defeating a casino license for the Jean Choctaw Tribe (thus benefiting Abramoff's other Indian tribe clients), operated an extensive influence peddling operation funded in large measure by the fees he charged Indian tribes to protect their gambling interests.

No doubt, part of the LCRM's call for change will include a cry for ethics reform. Claims to ethical standards coming from the likes of the Vitters, Bob Perry and Boysie Bollinger (read about how his company botched the U.S. Coast Guard fleet modernization here) are part and parcel of the dishonesty at the core of the various Abramoff/DeLay/Vitter working models.

Getting that word out to voters in coming months will be the challenge of this election cycle.

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