By: Jeremy Alford
If Gov. Bobby Jindal thought the flap over the payment of his campaign finance violation was put to rest during last months special session on ethics reform, hes sadly mistaken. Rep. Jerome Dee Richard, I-Thibodaux, is pushing legislation to prohibit the use of campaign funds to pay fines, fees or penalties assessed in relation to a campaign finance or lobbying violation. While not aimed expressly at the GOP governor, Richards House Bill 277 will certainly dredge up a few comparisons or anecdotal references. Jindals campaign failed to report in a timely manner an $118,000 in-kind donation from the Louisiana Republican Party last year. Rolfe McCollister Jr., a Baton Rouge publisher and Jindals campaign treasurer, has vowed to personally pay the anticipated fine, which could reach as high as $2,500. Such third-party payments caused a ruckus during the special session, with lawmakers voting to ban the practice. Richards bill would extend the ban to a candidates campaign fund and thereby make individual candidates personally responsible for all ethics fines.