Wednesday, March 27, 2013

What’s $410,082 Among Friends?

As they have at the beginning of every Jefferson Parish Council meeting for the past several years, Citizens For Good Government (CFGG) will read off a list of those companies who have items before the council and contributed $1,000 or more in the past 4 years to a member of the council.

This meeting’s total: $410,082.
You read that right: at this council meeting alone, companies with business before the council contributed $410,082 in the past 4 years to members of the Jefferson Parish Council that will vote on giving these companies parish contracts, approving change orders and other financial matters.

The big contribution winners, as they are at most every council meeting, are Councilmen-At-Large Chris Roberts and Elton Lagasse. Roberts pulled in a staggering $106,276 from these businesses and their executives while Lagasse raked in $67,250.
Relative council newcomer Mark Spears (District 3) was a close third bringing in $67,091 in contributions, followed by Ben Zahn (District 4) with $58,579, Paul Johnston (District 2) at $45,886, and Ricky Templet with $45,250.

The big loser, besides Jefferson Parish residents, was Cynthia Sheng. The District 5 councilwoman only brought in $19,250 from companies with business before the council at this meeting. If you remember, Councilwoman Sheng brought in almost that much just from companies affiliated with Redman Gaming in one day when she was elected in 2009.