Downer Camp: “Landry hired founder of “TEA Party of LA” prior to endorsement”

September 28, 2010

The following statement is a press release from Hunt Downer’s campaign.

SOUTH LOUISIANA – Jeff Landry hired Chris Comeaux, founder of the TEA Party of Louisiana, for “consulting” prior to getting the group’s endorsement. Jeff Landry repeatedly says that he is endorsed by the “TEA Party of Louisiana”. The “TEA Party of Louisiana” is one group located in Baton Rouge and does not represent other TEA Parties in Louisiana. In fact, Jeff Landry has no endorsements from TEA Parties located in the Third Congressional District. But most disturbing, Landry hired Comeaux, the founder and lead organizer (and owner) of the TEA Party of Louisiana, as a “consultant” 12 days before he received their endorsement and did not publically disclose this information. Instead, he paid Comeaux’s company and hid the identity of the individual who was actually being paid.

Landry is the 2nd major candidate running for office in Louisiana identified in the past 3 weeks as having made hidden payments to this same TEA Party of Louisiana official before receiving that organization’s endorsement. The other? Roger Villere, candidate for Lieutenant Governor and also the current Chairman of the State Republican Party.

THE FACTS ARE BELOW

Aug. 18, 2010 – Jeff Landry paid a “consulting fee” to “Eaux Films”. (See page 87 of Jeff Landry’s Pre-runoff Report filed on 9/20/10 (after the election):)

“Eaux Films” sole owner (and registered agent) is Chris Comeaux at an address in Denham Springs, Louisiana. (See Here).

“TEA Party of Louisiana” owner (and registered agent) also is Chris Comeaux at the same address in Denham Springs, Louisiana. (See official Louisiana Secretary of State record).

Aug. 30, 2010 – TEA Party of Louisiana (founded and owned by Chris Comeaux) endorsed Jeff Landry.

Since that time, Chris Comeaux has tape recorded a telephone message phoned into voters’ homes inside and outside of the Third Congressional District promoting the TEA Party of Louisiana’s endorsement of Jeff Landry. Also, Jeff Landry has placed the endorsement on numerous campaign materials and in commercials. Landry and Comeaux never revealed in any of these advertisements that Landry was paying Comeaux as a campaign consultant.

But Jeff Landry is not the only major candidate who made payments to Comeaux’s company just before receiving the TEA Party of Louisiana’s endorsement. It was recently reported that the financial report of Roger Villere, current State Republican Party Chairman and candidate for Lieutenant Governor, revealed similar payments to Eaux Films. (See Baton Rouge Advocate, Sept. 5, 2010).

Villere campaign finance reports reveal that he made payments to Comeaux’s Eaux Films beginning on July 6, 2010. (See official report field 9/2/10).

Villere was endorsed by the TEA Party of Louisiana on July 21, 2010 (approximately 15 days later).

Incidentally, the Daily Comet previously reported that Chris Comeaux is a former Democrat turned independent who said, “I promise you, the solution to this is not the Republicans.” (Daily Comet, June 23, 2009). So why is he playing in the Republican Primary?

Also, documents show that Chris Comeaux, lead organizer of the TEA Party of Louisiana’s fight against government, contacted other TEA Parties last year to try to get them to invest in a moneymaking film opportunity in which Comeaux said that he would rely on government-issued tax credits that would result in a 70% return to investors. See here. Why was Comeaux trying to profit off the TEA Party movement? That certainly isn’t what the movement is about.

Also, did you know that TEA Parties in the Third Congressional District tried to arrange a debate last week, but Landry would not respond, even though Hunt Downer and Democrat Ravi Sangisetty agreed to it? This is the third debate in a row that Landry has avoided. Why?

How does Jeff Landry feel about other TEA Parties that are not affiliated with Comeaux? Landry’s spokesman attacked Kristian Magar after he was endorsed by the TEA Party of South Louisiana, saying “In his desperate bid to look relevant, Kristian Magar sent out a press release claiming that he was endorsed by the tea party. Please note that his ‘tea party’ group does not exist – or did not exist until recently.” (The Hayride, Aug. 13, 2010). Jeff Landry is no friend of TEA Parties except Chris Comeaux’s.

“It’s disappointing to me that two individuals, one who wants to be a congressman and the other who wants to be the Lieutenant Governor, would pay a man’s company to curry favor with him so that they could possibly get an endorsement from a group he is affiliated with. This sure seems like the kind of ‘pay to play politics’ that is wrong with Washington. I am running to earn the support of the people. The TEA Party movement is an awesome force in American politics today. It is a disgrace that these two establishment politicians and Mr. Comeaux are ruining the reputation of the TEA Party movement by corrupting it with backroom deals. I applaud the TEA Party movement and support the citizens of America standing up and demanding their government listens to them,” said Hunt Downer.

The Downer campaign launched the website www.JeffLandryLiedtoYOU.com to clearly lay out the exhaustive list of things that Jeff Landry has lied to the public about. Downer’s campaign has been updating the site every day with an instance of Landry being dishonest to voters previously during the campaign.

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6 Responses to Downer Camp: “Landry hired founder of “TEA Party of LA” prior to endorsement”

  1. September 29, 2010 at 1:41 am

    We can only hope and pray that all of this negative media will not hurt our movement. We have worked hard to educate, motivate and inspire citizens to stand up for this nation, their families and communities. We pray that people understand that the movement is still strong and in every group there will be a few people that will use it for their own agenda. Just know that this is NOT the behavior of the solid, hard working tea party patriots across the nation and here in LA.

  2. September 29, 2010 at 6:04 am

    That is exactly right Sandra… My wife and I were involved in the founding of the Baton Rouge Tea Party in March of last year. In fact, she was instrumental in it. After the Obama administrations first bailout/stimulus bill, and CNBC's Rick Santelli gave his little 'speech' from the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, she took the initiative to search out citizens in and around Baton Rouge who believed as we did. Through Grassfire.org and other similar organizations, she contacted about a dozen other people and we all first met at Independence Park in Baton Rouge on a Sunday afternoon. About five weeks later, we had the April 15th rally at the State Capitol. When filing for the permit to gather, Robin was asked about how many people she thought might show up. We guessed, hopefully, 300-500. It was closer to 3000… THAT is what a 'tea party' is all about. Real change from the people. And anyone that seeks to profit from that, either financially or politically, is NOT grassroots.

  3. Roar!
    September 29, 2010 at 8:46 am

    About Inside Louisiana News
    Founded January 2010, Inside Louisiana News brings you the latest News concerning all things Louisiana. Our desire is to bring you a truly unbiased, fair and accurate news site that you can depend on, while additionally showcasing the unique and rich culture of the state of Louisiana. From news and updates on Governor Bobby Jindal, to new road construction in Sheveport, we want to bring only the latest, most extensive and useful news to you! Inside Louisiana News strives to bring excellence to Louisiana reporting.
    THIS SITE – AND ITS DESCRIPTION – IS A JOKE !!!!!! "Our desire is to bring you a truly unbiased, fair and accurate news site that you can depend on"…….and yet you publsh as news an obvious smear written by Hunt Downer Campaign Manager Buddy Boe that appears to be a press release! You are clearly shilling for Hunt Downer by presenting this item as journalism. The truth is this "article" is nothing more than campaign chaff. Reporting??!! Give me a break.
    This site HAS NO INTEGRITY and is NOT A NEWS SITE. That you represent your site as an unbiased news aggregateor is SHAMELESS AND DISINGENUOUS. It is demonstrably evident you have an agenda of defending liberal interests and candidates.
    "Inside Louisiana News" would be better monikered "Propaganda, anyone?"

    • insidelo
      September 29, 2010 at 11:12 am

      Roar! Obviously you noted that we stated this was Downer Camp stating this. Thank you for pointing that out. We publish information from the Landry campaign as well. We look forward to getting information from any and all campaigns, as we have not taken sides in any race. If you want biased information, we'd suggest you stay reading many other sites. We are going to continue to post information that you may not agree with.

  4. Henry
    September 29, 2010 at 10:28 am

    Downer.another career plotitian who needs to steop down and let new blood get in there. Come on folks lets retire all of the long term "leaders". IT is time for new blood.

  5. September 30, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    It would be clearer to the public that the commentary was originating form an outside source like the Downer campaign if you indented the entire block of text from them, then returned to normal margins with your commentary.

    Assuming the Downer campaign wrote the text re: Comoeaux’s film venture, accusing him of trying to profit from the TEA party movement is an unfair tactic. He is a filmmaker who with a successful film could return investor’s money. Films are made to get ideas across and make money for everyone.

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