Saturday, October 20, 2007

Money And Deception

The Louisiana Committee for a Republican Majority (LCRM) sprinted into today's election with a fresh infusion of cash.

In a special report filed with the State Board of Ethics Campaign Finance office on Friday, the LCRM reported receiving a $100,000 contribution from Koch Industries of Wichita, Kansas, and $2,500 from Michael T. Gray of Metairie.

Like most of the corporate contributors to LCRM, Koch is a privately held company that has its roots in the oil and gas industry. Like the others, it has deep and close ties to the Republican Party. Koch, in fact, has been a direct beneficiary of the Bush administration's willingness to ignore environmental laws and their violation, though the company proclaims itself a solid steward of the environment.

Michael T. Gray appears to be a member of the family that runs Gray & Company, which has already contributed $100,000 to LCRM. Maybe they made him pick up the tab for another working dinner at Drago's?

Meanwhile, the LCRM has been active in the field. In House District 31 in Lafayette and Vermilion parishes, the LCRM dropped no fewer than four direct mail pieces in support of incumbent Republican Don Trahan. One piece, featured a photo of Trahan along with pictures of retiring District 43 Representative Ernie Alexander and Senator Mike Michot, urging voters to keep "Lafayette's Winning Team." The flip side featured glowing quotes about Trahan from Alexander and Michot.

The only problem is that Michot is not backing Trahan. The Senator, who was re-elected without opposition, made that clear in statements to the press and through robo-calls throughout the district on Friday, which declared that he had not authorized the statement and had not endorsed Trahan.

The overall quality of the four pieces the LCRM dropped for Trahan was poor. They have the look of canned copy, with the appropriate name and photographs dropped in where needed (as detailed in Michot's complaint, "appropriate" would not be the correct word to use here).

The tone, certainly when compared to the LCRM's spring offensive in the House District 94 special election, was tame.

That was not the case for radio spots the LCRM has run in the Alexandria area against Democrat Chris Roy. According to the blog, CenLamar, the spots are so vicious that the intended beneficiary, Republican House candidate Lance Maxwell, has tried to distance himself from the LCRM and its ads.

Man, it sure would be nice to have an MP3 copy of those ads! The LCRM pieces for Trahan will be posted later today.

Anyone else who receives LCRM-sponsored materials (it will say so on mailed pieces) please forward them to this site via email link on the homepage and we'll continue building the archive of what we're calling "The Trail of Smears."

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