campaign finance

S. Lincoln

As we’ve been examining the issues and the candidates’ stances in the governor’s race, we’ve made more than a few comparisons to the Huey Long era of Louisiana’s history. Many of the issues in the current governor’s race may be the same as in Huey Long’s day, but there’s one huge difference this year: the money involved.

“He’s got zillions of dollars. He’ll continue to have zillions of dollars. He leans on people from his position as a senator. He’s been able to raise a lot of money in his Super PAC, and a lot of money individually.”

Jay Dardenne is talking about David Vitter. With one month to go to the election, Dardenne’s campaign finance report showed $1.6-million in the bank. Vitter had $7-miilion on hand; $4-million in his campaign fund and $3-million in his Super PAC.

S. Lincoln

“We got new terms. Now we’ve got like ‘Super-PACs’, right?” NAACP attorney Alfreda Bester told Leaders With Vision during their informational luncheon on campaign finance last week.

But what are Super-PACs? Technically, under Louisiana law, they don’t exist.

“State law just calls everything a ‘political committee’,” Louisiana Board of Ethics administrator Kathleen Allen explained. “If you’ve got two or more persons supporting or opposing candidates, they’re just called a political committee.”

The U.S. Supreme Court has once again erased from the books a major provision of the nation's campaign finance law. By a 5-to-4 vote, the justices removed the cap on the total amount of money that donors can contribute to candidates and parties in each election. Prior to Wednesday's ruling, the aggregate limit was $123,000. Now there is no limit.

Part one of the two-part "Secret Persuasion" investigation, reported with the Center for Responsive Politics.

Bruce Pregler walks down the slope from his cabin, eases into the Au Sable River and casts his line; fishing takes his thoughts away from his downstate law practice.