Potential Bombshell In Lt. Gov. Race — Is Fayard Laundering Family Cash Through La. Dem Party?

October 27, 2010

A week ago, we raised some questions about an item on Democrat Lieutenant Governor candidate Caroline Fayard’s campaign finance disclosure forms — specifically the matter of some $210,000 in "in-kind" donations the Louisiana Democrat Party made by way of a "media buy" for Fayard. We questioned whether the $210,000 would actually be "street money" — essentially buying votes in black neighborhoods a la old-style Democrat politics.

The state party declared that the money would indeed go toward ads for Fayard, and that those would be positive ads.

That was a week ago, and no new TV spots for the Fayard campaign or the state Democrat party have reached the air that we’ve seen. The same spots Fayard has been running for the last few weeks are still airing, though, and perhaps in larger volume.

In the meantime, though, Hayride sources indicate that the $210,000 is suspicious in and of itself.

Why? Namely because it looks like it came from Fayard’s father, big-money trial lawyer and Democrat campaign financier Calvin Fayard, Jr. It seems that the elder Fayard is using the Louisiana Democrat Party as a laundry to finance his daughter’s campaign.

Turns out reports filed by both Fayard and the Democrat Party’s Louisiana DEMOPAC release the mountain-fresh essence of laundry detergent. Specifically, on October 13, 2010, Louisiana DEMOPAC is reporting contributions from Calvin Fayard for $10,000; Cynthia Fayard for $10,000; GaleForce, LLC for $95,000 and Ski Forever, LLC for $95,000 for a total of $210,000.

What’s GaleForce, LLC? Well, turns out it’s registered in Wyoming at an office belonging to Calvin Fayard. Calvin Fayard also used to own a Louisiana LLC under the same name.

Ski Forever, LLC is not on the Louisiana Secretary of State website as a registered entity, but its address as reported on the DEMOPAC report matches the address of Moonrise Inc.

And Moonrise Inc. lists Calvin Fayard as agent and President. It is also interesting that Ski Forever’s address matches the address for Regional Properties LLC, which lists Calvin Fayard as agent and sole member.

Caroline Fayard’s campaign filed a 48 hour report on October 14, 2010 showing a contribution from the Louisiana DEMOPAC for $209,936; one day after Calvin and Cynthia Fayard and their entities contributed $210,000 to DEMOPAC.

That’s just a coincidence, surely. Because earmarking donations made to a state party for specific campaigns is illegal. Certainly an attorney who makes campaign donations in bulk every election cycle would know this.

It’s probably also a coincidence that the state Democrat Party made a "media buy" to run the exact same spots the Fayard campaign was already running. Usually when the party supports a candidate, they’ll cut an attack ad against the opponent. But since the Fayard campaign is staying positive, there’s really no reason to be suspicious.

The Dardenne campaign is suspicious, though.

"We are calling on Ms. Fayard to rise above the politics she has spent hundreds of thousands to denounce and return the money to Louisiana DEMOPAC," said Amy Jones, Dardenne’s Communications Director. "This act would send a strong message as to her character and would validate her declarations of wanting to run a transparent campaign."

Whether Fayard gives the money back or not, it’s worth asking the question of her campaign and the state Democrat Party whether they did their due diligence in insuring no laws were broken in transferring that $210,000 into her coffers — and more importantly to see if they have an explanation why voters shouldn’t believe that Calvin Fayard is trying to buy his daughter a statewide office.

From: Scott McKay, "Potential Bombshell In Lt. Gov. Race — Is Fayard Laundering Family Cash Through La. Dem Party?" The Hayride [Blog], October 27, 2010, http://thehayride.com/2010/10/potential-bombshell-in-lt-gov-race-is-fayard-laundering-family-cash-through-la-dem-party/, accessed 10/27/10.  Scott McKay is publisher of The Hayride and posts his columns as MacAoidh.  He can be reached at macaoidh@cox.net.  Reprinted in accordance with the "fair use" provision of Title 17 U.S.C. § 107 for a non-profit educational purpose.

Additional Reading
  • Melinda Deslatte, "Democrats accused of skirting campaign finance law," dailycomet.com, Lafourche Parish, Louisiana, October 28, 2010, http://www.dailycomet.com/article/20101028/ARTICLES/101029263, accessed 10/28/10.

  • Jeremy Alford, "Dardenne questions source of Fayard's campaign contributions," dailycomet.com, Lafourche Parish, Louisiana, October 30, 2010, http://www.dailycomet.com/article/20101030/ARTICLES/101029077/, accessed 10/30/10.

  • Ed Anderson, "Fayard receives more Demo aid; Rival's camp cries foul over donations," The Times-Picayune, New Orleans, October 30, 2010, National, p. 2.

  • Ed Anderson, "State Democratic group sends Fayard $200,000; Names of donors were not reported," The Times-Picayune, New Orleans, November 2, 2010, National, p. 2.