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.
In 2013, the IRS — already the least popular governmental agency in the country — became the target of intense investigations after it was revealed that they had specifically and improperly scrutinized applications for tax-exempt status from organizations associated with the nascent Tea Party movement.
Improving the running game was "a point of emphasis" during the offseason and the results have manifested themselves in the form of substantially greater production.
Louisiana's health department said Wednesday that its evaluation of the state's Medicaid privatization was on target, despite criticism from the legislative auditor that it lacked key data and contained inconsistencies.
Artificial sweeteners eyed; Scottish independence vote begins; Ford has cancer and more national and international news for Thursday, September 18, 2014.
Thursday's Blogs from the Bog!
The feds converge on your office, seizing records on several employees as part of a pay-for-plea investigation. WWYD? If you’re Mike Harson, you give yourself a $12k raise.
It’s football season and after back-to-back winless weekends for the Saints and the Cajuns many citizens are finding it difficult to be civil much less happy. Well, chew on this.
Considering his repeated stays in the local penal system, David Narcisse Jr. should have known that having a semiautomatic shotgun, even one given to him by a friend, wasn’t the brightest of ideas.
A state district judge on Tuesday threw out a last-minute retirement hike lawmakers gave to the state police superintendent, ending a political firestorm over a pension boost passed without public scrutiny on the last day of the legislative session.
The House has passed a bill to increase oversight of veterans' hospitals under construction, following a report that some medical centers take three years longer to complete than estimated and cost an extra $366 million per project.
An obvious follow-up question for any Republican politician who accuses Democrats of being science deniers is one about science, to which Jindal bobbed and weaved like a welterweight champ.
The Lafayette City-Parish Council is expected to decide tonight (Tuesday) whether to go along with a proposal City-Parish President Joey Durel made in February’s State of the Parish Address and consolidate taxes for mosquito control and the parish health units into a broader tax program that would also cover animal control.
U.S. District Judge Richard Haik has dismissed Greg Davis’ lawsuit against the LPSB, yet in his ruling, the federal judge doesn’t bite his tongue in pointing out the "threat" being posed by certain board members.
Of all the political offices being contested throughout Lafayette Parish, the race for Broussard’s top police post has literally become one of the most heated.
A state district judge is deciding whether to issue an injunction against the enforcement of a last-minute retirement hike that lawmakers gave to the state police superintendent.
A new website is up for Louisiana's state government employees and retirees to choose their health insurance plans for next year, a choice they must make by October.
That fact that New Orleans led both games in the final 10 seconds of regulation, and lost each by a field goal or less, is of little solace.
The superintendent will make another go at getting a budget passed for the already commenced fiscal year as the LPSB is slated to meet tonight on the eve of the state’s budget adoption deadline.
A person familiar with the situation says New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram has a broken hand.
It seeks an investigation into a $100,000 fund transfer from Vitter's federal campaign account to an independent PAC supporting Vitter's 2015 candidacy for governor.
Landrieu has acknowledged that she improperly billed her Senate office for nearly $43,000 in charter costs that should have been paid from her campaign account.
House District 45 Rep. Joel Robideaux is term-limited and running for city-parish president next year, leaving his seat up for grabs come 2015 and at least three likely contenders so far, including ...
When the Browns explained their plans to Brian Hoyer about bringing rookie Johnny Manziel into the game, Cleveland's starting quarterback bit his lip and devised one of his own.
National debate over solitary confinement puts spotlight on Angola inmate’s 35 years in ‘the hole’
If you didn’t know Alison, Sheriff Mike Neustrom’s 42-year-old daughter who died Wednesday after battling cancer for a year, you missed out on something really special.