April 13, 2017

Edwards Ignores Reality To Defend Trial Lawyer Cronies

During a radio appearance on 96.5 KPEL yesterday, Governor John Bel Edwards (D-LA) attempted to defend his administration’s hounding of the oil and gas industry through lawsuits. While Edwards is certainly expected to defend the lawsuit, he neglected to mention that the lawyers hired to purse the “controversial lawsuit” were longtime allies of Edwards:

“Maybe that’s why nobody noticed when, four days later, a group of Gov. John Bel Edwards’ top campaign donors were brought in as attorneys on a controversial lawsuit against oil and gas companies — a case that could mean a big payday for Edwards’ hired guns. The Edwards administration’s contract is with lawyer and former state Rep. Taylor Townsend of Natchitoches, who was a co-chairman of the governor’s transition team and now heads Edwards’ super PAC fundraising committee, Louisiana Families First.”

Edwards also curiously ignored the fact that his political allies stand to gain a “big payday” from Edwards’ initiation of this lawsuit.

Furthering the evidence that the lawsuit is a way for Edwards to help his friends is the fact that the lawyers hired to work on the litigation gave $130,000 to Edwards’ campaign and transition:

“With the governor’s approval, Townsend then brought in six other attorneys as subcontractors. Townsend, his law firm and affiliates and those of a team of six subcontracted attorneys combined to give the Edwards campaign and his transition team $130,000 last year.”

Edwards radio interview also left out that the lawsuit has drawn heavy criticism for the perception that through the process Edwards is turning the governor’s office into a “private law office”:

“‘There is a perception that the governor is turning his office into a private law firm,’ said Melissa Landry of the tort reform group Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch. The governor, she said, ‘is quietly handing no-bid legal contracts to his campaign supporters,’ a practice for which Landry harshly criticized former Attorney General Buddy Caldwell.”

Edwards sold out important Louisiana businesses to help his cronies turn a profit. This is just another reason why Louisiana is headed in the wrong direction under “The Accidental Governor’s” failed leadership.