FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: November 10, 2009
The Politics As Usual Crowd: Georges, Murray Play Fast & Loose with Campaign Ethics Laws
James Perry Stands Up for Voters in Fight Against Political As Usual, Status Quo
NEW ORLEANS – Nonprofit executive and candidate for Mayor James Perry today found new reasons to continue his fight against political corruption when he discovered that both his rival campaigns have already committed ethics violations.
“Are you kidding me?” said Perry. “The next four years are going to look a whole lot like the last four years if one of these guys is elected.”
John Georges, who made headlines with a lavish black tie fundraiser costing thousands of dollars before announcing his candidacy, has failed to report any of the costs of his high dollar soiree as either an expenditure or an in-kind donation. This failure to follow simple campaign finance rules leads voters to wonder, who paid for the pomp and pageantry at the Hotel Monteleone? Who fronted the fried oysters and eggplant hollandaise? And why didn’t we get any?
Also not included in his first filing are thousands of dollars spent to date on focus groups, consultants and staff.
While “King Georges” failure to disclose who paid for his extravagant party and thousands of dollars in campaign expenditures shows a disrespect for transparency in government, Ed Murray’s ethics violation is even more egregious.
In a classic politics as usual fundraising scheme, Murray is taking money from expensive lobbyists who represent the very organizations – including insurance companies, trial lawyers, and river pilots - that Murray regulates as a member of the state senate. Those organizations may expect preferential treatment from Murray as a result of their lobbyists’ donations to his mayoral campaign.
At recent debate Murray was also the only candidate who has refused to release his tax returns.
Perry is concerned that these early ethics violations are indicative of a pattern. “It’s a game of hide and seek with these guys,” said Perry. “Georges is hiding who paid for his party and thousands in campaign expenditures and Murray is hiding how much he paid in taxes.”
“As head of two nonprofit organizations I have always put people first. I have a record of building coalitions, building organizations, and making a real difference in people’s lives, whether it’s helping homeowners, fighting discrimination or standing up to politicians and exposing corruption,” said Perry.
Perry has made stopping corruption a major focus of his campaign, suing current Mayor Nagin for illegal contracts and pledging to reform city contracting procedures to make them open, public and transparent. Perry is also setting an example by running an open and transparent grassroots campaign.
“The people of New Orleans have had enough of the status quo. We deserve leaders who hold themselves to higher standards,” said Perry. “We don’t need another mayor who’s in it for self-interest or special interests. It’s time to put progress ahead of politics and make a real change.”
James Perry has the executive experience as a non-profit CEO to navigate city hall and the courage to fix what needs to be fixed. He has a record of building coalitions, building organizations, and making a real difference in people’s lives, whether it’s helping homeowners, fighting discrimination or standing up to politicians and exposing corruption.