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