Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Back Up The Trucks – JP Council Hauls In $505k From Parish Contractors

Our friend Margie Seemann from Citizen For Good Government (CFGG) checks in with the JP Council Campaign Contribution Report for the October 16th meeting.

The JP Council raked in an astounding $505,516 from parish contractors with agenda items before the council at today's meeting.

As usual, Councilman-At-Large Chris Roberts was the largest “recipient” of contractor dollars garnering $147,000. District 3 Councilman Mark Spears, who wants to eliminate the position of Ethics Officer (imagine that!) was 2nd with $82,091. District 4 Councilman Ben Zahn was 3rd with $72,829 (in case you’re wondering, that equates to 2,913 $25 “WalMart Gift Cards  for constituents” or 7,282 $10 “lunches with constituents” at New Orleans Hamburger and Seafood Company).

District 1’s Ricky Templet was a close 4th with $72,450 in contributions received, followed by District 2’s Paul Johnston ($61,646) and Councilman-At-Large Elton Lagasse ($61,000).

District 5 Councilwoman Cynthia Sheng brought up the rear with $8,500 in campaign money.

On the contractor side, Architect Burgdahl & Graves spent $66,200 buying influence on the council, including $19.700 to Roberts alone, along with an additional $11,000 to Lagasse and $10,500 to Templet. Engineering firms Hartman Engineering ($59,500 - $14,300 to Roberts, $12,500 to Spears and $10,250 to Zahn), Digital Engineering ($45,900 - $11,900 to Roberts), Meyer Engineering ($43,750 - $13,250 to Roberts), Design Engineering ($39,700 - $10,200 to Roberts) and The Beta Group ($33,900 - $12,400 to Roberts) were also large “contributors”.

6 parish contractors contributed something to each of the 7 JP Councilmembers.

Another interesting item from Margie’s note is the contributions from perennial survey producer GCR & Associates. GCR, which seems to produce every survey for every governmental agency in Jefferson Parish including the on-going “Westbank Revival” study and the Jefferson Parish PublicSchool Systems waste of paper to pat themselves on the back for recent gains in the hopes that voters will excuse decades of less than mediocrity and approve the renewal of a tax millage on October 19th, gave 4 councilmembers (Roberts, Templet, Johnston and Zahn) $1,000 each.

Other familiar names on this meeting’s agenda include BFM, Burk-Kleinpeter, GEC, Greg Cantrell, Shaw Environmental, Sizeler Thompson Brown, and Veolia Transportation.

Hey, you gotta pay to play. And, in Jefferson Parish, contractors do pay.