Pay to play: Bill would force Shelvin to settle ethics fine
Councilman Brandon Shelvin
[Update: SB 195 passed the full Senate unanimously and has been assigned to the House & Governmental Affairs Committee.]
Among the roughly three dozen bills the state Senate will consider when it convenes at 4 p.m. Tuesday is a proposal by state Sen. Lydia Jackson, D-Shreveport, that could have implications for Lafayette City-Parish Councilman Brandon Shelvin, assuming he seeks re-election this fall.
Jackson’s Senate Bill 195, if passed into law, would require that a person running for office in Louisiana cannot qualify to run until all outstanding fines levied by the Louisiana Ethics Board are paid in full. Among the many hundreds of people on the board’s website identified as owing collectively hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines is Shelvin, who, according to the board, was fined $2,000 in 2007 in connection with his successful bid for the District 3 council seat but has only ponied up $100 toward settling his debt; Shelvin still owes the board — and by extension Louisiana taxpayers — $1,900. The councilman was fined, according to the website, for failing to file a supplemental campaign finance report.
Shelvin’s financial woes have been well chronicled by this newspaper over the last couple of years. He has been the target of numerous lawsuits, typically for defaulting on bank loans. Read more about that here, here and here.
SB 195 has already cleared the Senate & Governmental Affairs Committee. If the full Senate approves it, the bill would then move to the House.
Also listed on the Ethics Board’s website as owing fines for filing campaign finance reports late are Marcus Allen and Chris Obafunwa; both were primary election candidates in the 2003 election for Lafayette city-parish president — an election Joey Durel won in a runoff. According the board, Allen owes $4,240; Obafunwa is on the hook for $1,800. Neither has made any payments to the board to resolve the debt.
The fines levied against Shelvin, Obafunwa and Allen pale in comparison to many other candidates, notably former Orleans Parish School Board member and perpetual office seeker Jimmy Fahrenholtz, who owes more than $31,000 in fines. JoAnn Gines, a Shreveport attorney and former unsuccessful candidate for district judge, owes more than $23,000 dating all the way back to 1994.
To post a comment, please log into your IND account. If you do not have an account, click the "register" button to create one. Facebook comments can be used as an alternative to creating an account at theIND.com.
DEC 4 This post on Philebrity, an arty Philadelphia blog, previews the lecture Bobby Jindal gave last night in the City of Brotherly Love. Sadly, not a lot of love headed Bobby's way in this post, which indicates a level of disdain for our Guv generally limited to residents of our lovely state.
DEC 4 The NOLA Defender blog goes old-school next year, this post tells us. The blog, which features news and extensive arts coverage, will publish free print versions quarterly, the story says. In a business that seems to be heading away from the printed version, it is nice to see that going the other way for a change.
DEC 4 There's another story on state employee abuse of public credit cards in the news, and blogger CB Forgotston has the solution: get rid of them. We don't need them; it's more work without them to accomplish what you need to accomplish, but what's wrong with that, CB wants to know. The legislature needs to pass a law forbidding the things, he says.
DEC 4 Here's one of two recent posts on the Lens about spending at two charter school operations in New Orleans. This one is about training for less than 200 KIPP employees in Vegas -- which cost nearly $120,000. That's $120,000, with six figures. The other operation was the Friends of King schools, which sent the staff, including eight of nine board members, to a retreat at the beach. That cost $70,000. So far, the Lens is the only media covering this. One wonders if that would be the case if this level of spending had happened in a public school operation.
DEC 4 In the effort to lay blame for our disappearing coast, a board charged with protecting our coast voted to sue the US Army Corps of Engineers Tuesday, this story on NOLA.com says. One suit will seek to force the corps to pay for damage caused by the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet project, and the other will seek to force the corps to pay for a levee system in Algiers on the West Bank. Interesting.
DEC 4 Thanks to blogger Robert Mann's Facebook page, we know about this story in the Washington Blade, which says that the Louisiana National Guard has decided to process same-sex partner benefits. The story was posted Tuesday, following an interview with a guard chief by the Blade. That same day, the Advertiser ran this story, which said Louisiana is still a hold-out on same sex benefits. So which story is correct?
DEC 4 One Alabama fan shot another dead, this WWL story tells us, because she didn't feel the other fan was upset enough about Alabama's loss to Auburn. The women were at a party, and the dead lady, mom to three children, was joking with other party-goers about the loss, which didn't sit well with the shooter, the story says. Police think alcohol might have been a factor. Ya think?
Read the Flipping Paper!
Click Here for the Entire Print Version of IND Monthly