Friday, April 18, 2008

'Believe in Louisiana (Committee for a Republican Majority)'

The Times Picayune carried an Associated Press story earlier this week on the pro-Jindal gra$$root$ organization "Believe in Louisiana."

Turns out that this group is funded primarily by members of the Louisiana Committee for a Republican Majority (LCRM).

Let's let the AP tell the story:
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A nonprofit group formed to tout Gov. Bobby Jindal's political and policy plans raised nearly $750,000 since forming three months ago — nearly all of it from 10 big money contributors.

• • • • •

Though the group received contributions from 189 people, $625,000 of the donations came from fewer than a dozen people or companies, including four that gave $100,000 apiece: Lee Domingue, of Baton Rouge; Joseph Canizaro, of New Orleans; Bollinger Shipyards, of Lockport; and Edward Diefenthal, of Metairie. McCollister donated $4,100 himself.
Canizaro is the chairman of LCRM and a $100,000 contributor to that organization over the 2006-2007 campaign cycle. Bollinger contributed $100,000 during that cycle to LCRM via his Bollinger Shipyards company.

Edward Diefenthal contributed nearly the same amount, plus bundled contributions to Jindal's campaign from his LLCs. In appreciation, Jindal appointed Deifenthal to his Ethics Reform Transition Team — right, the one that didn't make any recommendation regarding campaign finance reform. Not surprisingly, the Ethics Governor failed to include campaign finance reform in the call for his special session on Ethics.

Southern Recycling was once owned by Diefenthal, so his involvement could be deeper than the AP reports.

LCRM funder Phyllis Taylor came up with $10,000 for 'Believe.'

When the money is followed, the real story here is not that these people believe in Louisiana; instead, three months into the Jindal administration, they are not yet experiencing buyers' remorse.

Meanwhile, they are spending the big bucks to convince the public that they should ignore those stories about how Jindal is using public dollars to demonstrate his appreciation to his strongest supporters.

"Ignore those stories — and those fat cats behind the curtain!"

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