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Louisiana Democracy Project, Inc.
Money Money Money

Money in Louisiana Politics


Effect of contributions to judges political campaigns
Poll results

By Advocate staff report

Effect of contributions
to judges political campaigns

Question: In Louisiana we elect our state and city judges and the candidates are allowed to accept financial contributions to their campaigns. Do you believe judges' decisions are influenced by these contributions or do you believe that, for the most part, they rule impartially?
Contributions influence 56%
Rule impartially 33%
Don't know, refused to answer 11%

Searching for campaign money.
From the Advocate Newspaper Baton Rouge, Louisiana

[News] (2/7/99) Video poker operator predicts disaster when machines shut down
The largest video poker operator in the Baton Rouge area is predicting economic disaster when the poker machines shut down in East Baton Rouge Parish in July. Ed Tinsley, general manager of Seabuckle Gaming Inc., said half the 235 bars and restaurants in the parish that currently...
 

[Archive] (1/12/99) OPINION: Travis regulation of payday loans
In 1995, state Rep. John Travis, D-Jackson, did what we would expect the chairman of the House Commerce Committee to do -- he introduced a bill that sharply limited an abuse of state consumer finance laws. The bill as introduced barred lenders from charging origination fees more than once...
 

[Archive] (10/27/98) NEWS: Special interest money flows in 6th District race
Large sums of money from special interest groups are continuing to flow into the 6th Congressional District race as Election Day approaches next Tuesday. More than $700,000 in political action committee contributions have found their way into the campaign coffers of both candidates, with...
 

[Archive] (10/15/98) NEWS: 6th District race becomes battle of bankers, lawyers
Last in a series Youd think the 6th District congressional race was a contest between New York bankers and trial lawyers -- whom you hate the most. Republican U.S. Rep. Richard Baker...
 

[Archive] (10/4/98) NEWS: Sittig retains PSC post
Incumbent Public Service Commissioner Dale Sittig appeared headed to an easy re-election to his District 4 seat in Saturday balloting, according to early returns. But, District 3 PSC member Irma Muse Dixon appeared headed for a Nov. 3 runoff with former PSC member...
 

[Archive] (9/27/98) NEWS: Electricity deregulation hot issue in PSC races
The two candidates who emerge victorious in this years Public Service Commission will face one of the thornier pocketbook issues before state utility regulators. The PSC is midway through a nearly year-long examination of issues surrounding the proposed...
 

[Archive] (9/6/98) NEWS: Running for the Senate
U.S. John Breaux, D-Crowley, bounds to the stage at Rienzi Plantation near Thibodaux on a steamy August evening and thanks a crowd of 400 for attending a $25-a-plate jambalaya and catfish dinner. "Remember to go to the polls. Your vote is valuable," Breaux says,...
 

[Archive] (8/31/98) NEWS: PSC incumbents getting help from those they regulate
Public Service Commission members Dale Sittig and Irma Muse Dixon have raised considerable sums of campaign money from utilities, phone companies, law firms and others with special interest in issues that go before the commission. Campaign finance reports filed by Sittig show...
 

[Archive] (8/10/98) OPINION: No easy solution to campaign bills
Give the creativity award to the Public Campaign organization out of Washington, for a felicitous rhyme. Instead of the Golden Fleece, the award that former Sen. William Proxmire, D-Wis., gave for years to agencies or individuals who allegedly wasted taxpayer money, the Public Campaign group...
 

[Archive] (6/19/98) OPINION: Ieyoub's problem is not just image
The end of a long federal probe that focused on Attorney General Richard Ieyoub is good news for his constituents as well as himself. For too long Louisiana citizens were left wondering whether a high official in charge of upholding laws is a lawbreaker himself. So its a...
 

[Archive] (6/16/98) NEWS: AG cleared by federal prosecutors
Federal prosecutors have decided against charging Attorney General Richard Ieyoub with criminal wrongdoing, ending a nearly two-year probe of his business dealings and potential conflicts of interest as an elected official. The U.S. Justice Department probe included a review of...
 


 From the Advocate

[Archive] (8/10/98) OPINION: No easy solution to campaign bills

Give the creativity award to the Public Campaign organization out of Washington, for a felicitous rhyme. Instead of the Golden Fleece, the award that former Sen. William Proxmire, D-Wis., gave for years to agencies or individuals who allegedly wasted taxpayer money, the Public Campaign group...

 

 

[Archive] (6/19/98) OPINION: Ieyoub's problem is not just image

The end of a long federal probe that focused on Attorney General Richard Ieyoub is good news for his constituents as well as himself. For too long Louisiana citizens were left wondering whether a high official in charge of upholding laws is a lawbreaker himself. So its a...

 

 

[Archive] (6/16/98) NEWS: AG cleared by federal prosecutors

Federal prosecutors have decided against charging Attorney General Richard Ieyoub with criminal wrongdoing, ending a nearly two-year probe of his business dealings and potential conflicts of interest as an elected official. The U.S. Justice Department probe included a review of...

The search for campaign money can be interesting
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The money hunt

 

Louisiana

At least $9,105,072 -- Includes 1993-94 campaign contributions and 1996 lobbying expenditures

June 9, 1997

The Pelican State has a state lottery, three Indian casinos, pari-mutuel betting, legal bookmaking and charitable games, video poker, a slew of riverboat casinos, and one non-Indian land casino in New Orleans. With this explosion of gambling has come a flood of gambling money into politics -- and the widespread corruption that saw several legislators indicted for bribes and kickbacks, and former Gov. Edwin Edwards tossed out of office for his gambling ties. Individual parishes (read counties), when they get tired of corruption, have the option of outlawing any or all types of gambling.

Under public pressure, the Legislature last year enacted a law to chase gambling money out of the statehouse: Act 67 prohibits persons "substantially interested in the gaming industry" from making campaign contributions to, or expenditures on behalf of, candidates or any committee that supports or opposes a candidate. But they may still spend unlimited amounts on committees supporting ballot initiatives -- and unfortunately, our investigation suggests this is precisely where the lion's share of gambling's political money is spent.

Louisiana campaign finance and lobbying expenditure, but not compensation, reports are only available on paper, for 25 cents a page, so Mother Jones relied mainly on the reporting and analyses of Louisiana newspapers. For campaign contributions, the New Orleans Times-Picayune found that the gambling industry gave $1,066,747 to state legislators in 1993-94, three times what the petrochemical industry gave -- we have no record of what legislators reaped from gamblers in 1992 or 1995-96.

For ballot initiatives, the Baton Rouge Advocate reported a massive $6.7 million spent by gaming interests to influence 1996 parish elections on video poker, riverboat casinos, and the New Orleans casino. As for lobbying, the state Ethics Administration told us that gambling lobbyists themselves spent $13,325 wooing legislators in 1996, but that doesn't count the huge fees that gambling companies paid these lobbyists. For instance, the Times-Picayune reported that as of December 1994, Grand Palais Riverboat Corp. and Casino America Inc. had paid at least $1,125,000 to lobbyist William C. Broadhurst, a close friend and former law partner of former Gov. Edwards; and that several riverboat casinos had paid at least $200,000 to another lobbyist and friend of Edwards, Randy Haynie.

Louisiana Democracy Project, Inc.

Louisiana Democracy Project, Inc.
4070 Fairwoods Drive
Baton Rouge, La. 70805
(225) 357-7425