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Yet Again, Louisiana Ethics Board Finds Jeff Landry Violated Ethics Law by Not Disclosing Free Flight on His Donor’s Private Jet

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Yet Again, Louisiana Ethics Board Finds Jeff Landry Violated Ethics Law by Not Disclosing Free Flight on His Donor’s Private Jet

Last Friday, the Louisiana Ethics Board found that Jeff Landry again violated state ethics law, charging him for failing to report a free ride on a private jet belonging to one of his campaign donors. Jeff Landry is no stranger to flying private with his donors, and his most recent ethics violation is just another example of the corrupt ways that Landry is using his campaign to benefit himself, while skirting the rules that everyone else is expected to follow.

Landry and his allies have tried to explain away the unreported flights — one of which was to attend CPAC, another to Hawaii for a conference of attorneys general, and a third to South Dakota and South Carolina, which coincided with Landry receiving a $2,500 campaign check from a Palmetto State businessman — as being unrelated to either campaign or official business.

Previously, the ethics board found that Landry violated the law by using campaign funds to pay for his personal car loan, and he has even funneledmore than $400,000 in campaign funds to a company that he owns, allowing himself to obscure who he keeps on his payroll.

“Attorney General Jeff Landry is supposed to be Louisiana’s top cop, but instead of fighting crime he keeps getting caught using his political career to line his pockets and skirt the law,” said DGA National Press Secretary Devon Cruz. “Landry using his donors’ private planes to take secret cross-country campaign trips is a betrayal of Louisianans’ trust and also exactly what you’d expect from a politician whose time in office has been more defined by run-ins with the law than the enforcement of it.”

Read more about Landry’s most recent ethics violations: 

  • For years, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry has routinely received a perk from some of his biggest campaign donors ahead of a much-anticipated run for governor: private plane rides.
  • Two of his top supporters acknowledge giving him multiple flights that have not been reported, either on campaign finance reports or other official disclosures. They said the trips were personal and did not need to be reported.
  • But several flights from one donor raise questions about whether Landry,the front-runner in the gubernatorial race, properly disclosed gifts under campaign finance or ethics laws. Private plane flights have been controversial for Louisiana politicians in the past, and the rules that govern them hinge on the ultimate purpose of a flight, which can be a gray area.
  • At least one flight did violate the law, the state Ethics Board thinks. On Friday, Landry said on Facebook that the Ethics Board charged him over one of the free flights from a top donor.
  • The flights show ties that do not turn up on public records between Landry and some of his top backers.
  • Greg Mosing of Broussard, a wealthy businessman who also ran a pro-Landry PAC called Make Louisiana Great Again, said he took Landry on a host of trips on a Bombardier Challenger jet in recent years. The destinations included Hawaii, Dallas, South Dakota and South Carolina, dating from 2020.
  • One of the trips Mosing provided, to Dallas, appears to be for Landry’s attendance at the 2021 Conservative Political Action Conference, a three-day event called “America Uncanceled” that is hosted by the group. There, Landry appeared onstage with U.S. Rep. Ken Buck, R-Texas, to talk about big tech. Landry also touted his work to prevent banks with gun policies from doing business with Louisiana, and he praised Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
  • Another trip, to Hawaii, appears to be for a meeting of the Conference of Western Attorneys General. Another trip began in Lafayette, continued to South Dakota and ended in South Carolina, where Landry and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem met with the South Carolina attorney general. Landry’s campaign reported receiving a $2,500 donation from a South Carolina businessman the same day as the trip there.
  • Elected officials are allowed to go on private plane rides without disclosing them. But trips that are not reported must fit into narrow windows of Louisiana’s campaign finance and ethics laws.
  • Campaign-related trips — a trip to “influence your election or nomination” to office — must be reported on campaign finance disclosures, Allen said. And in-kind contributions are subject to $5,000 limits for a campaign. PACs and the LAGOP, which has endorsed Landry, don’t have the same limits, and most of the flights are reported as in-kind contributions or expenditures billed to Landry’s PAC or the state party.
  • Robert Travis Scott, former president of the Public Affairs Research Council, said the flights from major Landry backers, such as Mosing and Shane Guidry, a top Landry ally who has also provided flights, likely should have been disclosed.
  • “It shows a much deeper involvement of political players than we knew before,” Scott said. “That’s the whole point of these ethics laws, to make sure the public knows where the influence is coming from.”
  • Since the beginning of 2022, Landry, his PAC and the LAGOP reported that he took $58,621 worth of private plane rides, mostly for travel on planes owned by Alpha Sierra Pilatus, which is connected to Orlando, the Harvey Gulf board member. One flight was a trip on Mosing’s plane to Shreveport. Several of the flights were reported as in-kind contributions, meaning they were given for free.
  • There are clues that other donors are providing Landry with private plane rides.
  • For instance, flight-tracking systems show a plane registered to a company called Palmetto Express, which is linked to Louisiana businessman Keith Myers, took three trips to Washington D.C. in recent years on the same day Landry was scheduled to be there: for arguments before the Supreme Court, a lunch with former President Donald Trump and Washington Mardi Gras.