When asked about the funds, Trahan issued a prepared statement to the Independent Weekly. He says that an inexperienced staffer unknowingly misidentified contributions from political action committees. Trahan did not identify the staffer or indicate how these mistakes managed to go unnoticed. "Those errors were all clerical in nature and consisted primarily of inconsistencies in designating PAC expenditures," Trahan says in his written statement. "We are in the process of correcting these errors."
In a telephone interview, Randy Hayden, Trahan's campaign manager, did not refute the PAC figures, which exceed the legal limit for such donations by at least 40 percent. He says the campaign contacted the state Ethics Board on its own recently and plans on returning any PAC contributions that were accepted over the legal limit.
Although the PAC threshold covers a four-year span ' basically a lawmakers' term in office ' the pattern of crossing the legal limit emerges in Trahan's reports during the weeks leading up to his Oct. 20 showdown with independent Nancy Landry.
During the month of September, Trahan was already nearing the mandated $60,000 PAC limit, meaning his campaign would soon have to stop taking donations from special interests ' at a time when polls showed Trahan and Landry in a dead heat. In all, $6,500 worth of PAC donations from health care groups and business associations were incorrectly listed in September. These inconsistencies brought Trahan's PAC total to $61,631, or $1,631 over the legal limit. Then in October, the same discrepancies occurred: PAC contributions were not correctly identified on Trahan's report ' only this time to the tune of $20,757. Committees formed by the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry alone gave Trahan $14,500 in October.
As for fines and penalties Trahan may be facing, Kathleen Allen, a lead attorney for the state Ethics Board, says such violations carry a fine of $5,000 or the amount not reported correctly, whichever is greater. The figure is doubled if the mistakes were knowingly made. There could also be a "per day fine" for every mistake made for every day it went unchanged. All of those decisions are made at the discretion of the board, which has earned a reputation in recent years for waiving or decreasing fines.
"I fully expect this matter will be cleared up within the next few days and the corrections will be included in an amended report to be delivered to the campaign finance office by Dec. 27," says Trahan.
FDA to regulate e-cigarettes, Jodie Foster gets married, Vermont to require labels on genetically-modified food, and more news for today, April 24, 2014.
Thursday's Blogs from the Bog!
A push to expand Louisiana's Medicaid program as allowed under the federal health care has been overwhelmingly rejected by the Senate health committee.
Louisiana welfare recipients would be prohibited in state law from spending the federal assistance at lingerie shops, tattoo parlors, nail salons and jewelry stores, under a bill that received the support Wednesday of a House committee.
Senators will consider whether to prohibit private businesses in Louisiana from paying unequal wages to employees of different genders for the same job.
Rep. Joel Robideaux has delayed bill hearings and said unless a compromise can be reached, he won't bring up the legislation this session.
Once again, Lafayette Parish School Board President Hunter Beasley is focused on an issue that has nothing to do with the educational well-being of our public school children.
After exhausting his appeals all the way to the state Supreme Court, the owner of the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete has no legal remedy left save one: do an end run around the high court via a bill that would grandfather his “right” to keep a 550-pound tiger enclosed in a pin at his roadside business.
Louisiana poet Darrell Bourque has won the 2014 Louisiana Writer Award, given annually to recognize outstanding contributions to Louisiana's literary and intellectual life.
Drivers would have to secure dogs riding in truck beds while on interstate highways, if the Senate agrees to a bill backed by the House.
An effort to prohibit employers from discriminating based on sexual orientation or gender identity was shelved Tuesday for the legislative session.
Louisiana won't lessen its penalties for marijuana possession, keeping laws on the books that allow people to be jailed up to 20 years for repeat offenses of having the drug in hand.
“This is one of the oldest divides that exists, and that divide is about the haves and the have-nots.”
It took a few weeks for the pitfalls to emerge in the governor’s $25 billion budget, but the time of judgment has finally arrived.
With pressure continuing to build for him to resign, Congressman Vance McAllister announced plans recently to remain secluded during the Easter break, but the Swartz Republican has said he’ll be back on the Hill casting votes and attending committee meetings when the congressional recess ends April 28.
A bid to limit the use of unmanned aircraft on private property in Louisiana stalled Monday in the Louisiana Senate.
A Shreveport lawmaker said Monday he's scrapping his proposal to name the Bible as Louisiana's official state book.
Attorney hopes fellow lawyers will join him in urging the D.A. to step aside and allow a competent, ethical challenger to take over the scandal-ridden office.
An official with the Louisiana Department of Education was arrested on a range of charges Friday after allegedly breaking into a home and brandishing a knife.
State Rep. Stuart Bishop says he’s concerned with the quality of Capitol Lake, but when it comes to Louisiana’s coastline, this Lafayette Republican doesn't seem to give a damn.
Democrats sweating this year's elections may be hoping that the Obama administration's latest delay to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline takes a politically fraught issue off the table for the midterms.
Louisiana lawmakers are entering the second half of their three-month regular legislative session, which must end by June 2. Where some of the major issues stand:
Local and state agents Thursday night raided The Keg, the popular college bar located in the area known as The Strip, leading to the (at least) temporary closure of the venue.
Time and time again, the Lafayette Parish School Board shows an overwhelming tendency toward idiocy, but Wednesday night’s contentious discussion over Northside High School’s teen mother program tops the list of dumb discussions.
“The accomplishment of this goal within the next ten years is not only critical for the region to effectively compete with other regions for residents and businesses, but also to provide an amenity for everyone in Acadiana to enjoy.”