Sunday, September 23, 2007

LCRM: Modeled after a corrupt enterprise

In an article in Friday's Baton Rouge Advocate, John Diez of the Louisiana Committee for a Republican Majority (LCRM) tried to dismiss my charges about the sinister nature of the LCRM by declaring that Bob Perry does not attend LCRM board meetings. (See Diez's full comments to The Advocate's at the end of this post.)

Nice try, John. But, this is not about whether Bob Perry is spending any time hangin' with Joe, Boysie, Phyllis and the gang; it's the business model, stupid!

The problem, John, is that LCRM modeled itself after a criminal enterprise — Tom DeLay's Texans for a Republican Majority — at a time when leaders of that Texas group had already been indicted and convicted for violations of Texas election laws.

Texans for a Republican Majority PAC was itself indicted by a grand jury in Austin, Texas, on September 8, 2005, less than two weeks after Hurricane Katrina hit Southeast Louisiana and the levees collapsed in New Orleans.

Tom DeLay was indicted
for his role in those violations by that same grand jury in Austin on September 28, 2005, four days after Hurricane Rita made landfall — which may account for why that action may have escaped the notice of many Louisianians. Upon the announcement of the indictment, DeLay resigned his position as Republican Majority Leader in the U.S. House of Representatives.

James W. Ellis, who ran DeLay's national version of that PAC (Americans for a Republican Majority), was also indicted in the DeLay indictment, according to the Washington Post.

Bob Perry gave $165,000 to Texans for a Republican Majority in that fateful 2002 Texas election cycle. He has given LCRM $100,000. At least he lives in Texas.

Louisiana campaign finance reports filed by the LCRM show that the enterprise got rolling on January 20, 2006, when its treasurer William Vanderbrook of Metairie deposited $50 to open a bank account. So, DeLay's legal troubles were well known by that time, as were those of both the Americans for a Republican Majority and its Texas franchise. He'd stepped down as majority leader.

So, one question is this: if the LCRM has such benign intentions, why would it name itself after a criminal enterprise and why would it seek funding from a donor linked to that enterprise?

Another question is this: If the LCRM is so benign, why has it not endorsed any candidates, thus setting itself up to spend all of its money attacking Democratic candidates. This is, as I explained here , the Bob Perry modus operandi.

LCRM, its founders and funders have created an operation that they are proud to model after a corrupt enterprise. That was not an accident. That was not an oversight. It was a deliberate choice.

That's why the LCRM's actions are suspect, John.

• • • • •

Here is the full text of Diez's comments to The Advocate before they get locked in the paper's archives:
John Diez, executive director of the Committee for a Republican Majority, said he does not see where his group’s party aims and donors are significantly different from those of the state Democratic Party.

He said that both parties receive money from wealthy donors and support their respective causes.

“Our donors give for the same reasons a lot of Democratic donors give, they don’t like what’s going on in Louisiana government,” Diez said.

He said the committee is not ashamed of its donor list, and discounted any idea that Perry’s involvement goes beyond donating money.

“Bob Perry has never been to a single one of our board meetings. I think, through the grapevine, he heard about our group and made a contribution,” Diez said. “To think that Bob Perry is directing our tactics is foolish.”

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