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Irregularities Found in Hodges & Mannino Campaign Finance Reports

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By Dave Freneaux

The Louisiana Ethics Administration oversees all financial disclosure and reporting by candidates for public office across our state. As a result of a matter brought to our attention, Central Speaks has reviewed over 200 pages of documents required to be submitted by the six candidates for House and Senate races affecting the citizens of Central.

Valarie Hodges Campaign Amends Candidate’s Report

Candidates for Louisiana House and Senate are required to file a Candidate’s Report, detailing all campaign contributions and expenditures. Valarie Hodges, a candidate in House District 64, did fi le the report on time on September 22nd, but the report contained a $1,200 payment to her daughter, who lives with Ms. Hodges, for “Contract labor”. Such payments to family members are prohibited by the Louisiana Campaign Finance Disclosure Act. This issue was brought to the attention of Central Speaks by the Barry Elkins campaign, and Central Speaks immediately contacted Ms. Hodges for a response. A Hodges campaign official stated that they were unaware that the transaction was prohibited.

In bringing this issue to light, candidate Barry Elkins stated, “Whether Ms. Hodges knew about this law or not isn’t the point.” After being made aware of the issue, the Hodges campaign filed an amended Candidate’s Report, reclassifying the payment as a $1,200 “In-Kind Contribution” from Valerie Hodges to her campaign, and reducing the amount of her personal loans to the campaign by $1,200.

The Valarie Hodges campaign has issued the following statement on the matter: “There was an error made when my campaign report was filed by my accountant.  We have since filed an amended report with the State correcting the mistake. There was absolutely NO check written or cash given to any family member from my campaign funds. An in-kind donation that we made personally to my campaign was mistakenly reported as a campaign loan. It is a simple clerical error that has been corrected with the State. This is much-a-do about nothing.”

Mike Mannino Failed to File Financial Disclosure

Candidates are also required to file a Personal Financial Disclosure Statement within 10 days after qualifying for the election. Mike Mannino qualified for the Senate District 6 race on September 6th but, according to the Louisiana Ethics Administration Mr. Mannino has not yet fi led a Financial Disclosure.  The Louisiana Ethics Administration sent a Notice of Delinquency via certified mail to Mr. Mannino on September 29th, giving him 14 business days to file the report before being subjected to fines. 

Reached for comment, Mr. Mannino was unaware that he needed to file the report. He stated “They should have one on file there for me from the last race. I thought I was in compliance.  I have nothing to hide.”  Mr. Mannino immediately filed his Personal Financial Disclosure via fax.

35 Comments

  1. Mike Mannino

    October 6, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    Thanks Dave for the heads-up. If you read the law, it says you only have to file yearly. However, running for a higher office requires filing another report, which I did from your office today.

  2. dave

    October 6, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    My compliments to you for jumping on it quickly. Does the use of my fax machine constitute an In-Kind Contribution to your campaign?

  3. JBL

    October 6, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    Wonder if this was reported in “World accoriding to Woody news? And all that talk about ethics…Thank GOD CH2M Hill is not in town, i’m sure they would get the blame for this also…

  4. joseph

    October 6, 2011 at 11:11 pm

    When politicians are losing elections- they try to nit pick the other guys on technical stuff. This stuff isn’t even newsworthy!! Losers try to make mountains out of molehills. I trust in the Tea Party and US. Senator David Vitter ‘s endorsement of Valarie Hodges for State Rep. She’s a proven conservative who for years has campaigned for other conservatives. She didn’t just show up at election time. She is the past President of Rep. Women.
    I like Bodi too Don’t know his opp.

  5. Ray Ashford

    October 6, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    Mike nice pull-out campaign newsletter. Very impressive. BTW, if Dave weren’t such a good guy he could have printed a headline that could of read Mannino has Irregularity Problems.

  6. Mike Mannino

    October 6, 2011 at 11:49 pm

    Ray he was fair. Called me, took 5 minutes to fill out, and he let me use his fax. Should I report the donation ? LOL.

  7. Ray Ashford

    October 7, 2011 at 12:48 am

    Easy, Joseph its been fixed. Be careful when using the trust word. Mike somebody has probably already reported it. LOL

  8. joseph

    October 7, 2011 at 9:10 am

    Ray, what’s wrong with trust word? I look at Sen. Vitter’s voting record and I can tell he is a proven conservative. I agree with 99% of his votes. I’ve known Valarie Hodges and Sen. Vitter for years!! Val is a PROVEN conservative who did not just show up at election time! She’s been in the trenches for years fighting for our conservative causes. I may doubt other stuff about Vitter–but he is a trusted conservative vote! Valarie will be that in State Leg. that’s why Tea Party, Sen. Vitter and La.conservative.com, LABI,etc. have endorsed her.

  9. xyz

    October 7, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    Please tell me I did NOT just read “David Vitter” and “trusted” in the same sentence !

  10. Kim Fralick

    October 7, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    Mike, you are truly a meek man. Greek word is praus. It implies power under control. It is accepting everything that comes into one’s life as coming from the hand of God… Accepting it without resentment or retaliation. The bible says Moses was the meekest man who ever lived and look what kind of leader he was. We sure could use a Moses in the Louisiana senate!!

  11. joseph

    October 8, 2011 at 12:32 am

    Gov. Bobby Jindal endorsed Valarie Hodges this afternoon!! The Tea Party of La., LABI, La. Conservative.com and US Senator David Vitter have now endorsed Valarie Hodges.
    It’s not often we get the chance to have someone like this represent our area. She didn’t just show up at election time. She’s the real deal.

  12. Maria L

    October 9, 2011 at 9:51 am

    I tried to post this comment under the BREC Park: Bodi White post, but it would not allow any more comments to be made, so Im posting here since it relates to campaign. People were discussing the $100,000 loss that Mr. White took on the BREC property sale, and there were debates about what was published in Central City News and who said what. I watched the video of that meeting on this site last night (thank you for posting Mr. Freneaux), and what Mr. White actually said was “Me and my wife took a $100,000 loss by not making any dollars off the sale of that for the kids of Central to have a park.” Direct quote as Mr. Dave shows on the video. Central City News (Mr. Jenkins) printed that Mr. White said “My wife and I lost $100,000 on that so the people of Central could have a park.” That was in quotes in CCN paper. I’m sorry, but Mr. Jenkins, you did not quote him correctly. You made up that quote! When you put quotes around something, that means the exact words were said. That is not what Mr. White said. It is shameful to print a quote that is not even close to what was said to create a controversy. Thank you Mr. Freneaux for posting the video so that everyone can see for themself what Mr. White said, and that Mr. Jenkins printed a false quote. How can a newspaper person print a quote like that which is so incorrect? What else is he printing that isn’t correct?

  13. Belinda

    October 9, 2011 at 10:10 am

    Ya’ll are making mountains out of molehills. I see no change in context despite a few inconsequential words. Are we down to grapsing at straws now?

    I wish the CCN would also start videotaping, so if one has technical difficulties maybe the other will prevail. But thank you Dave, for your persistance in seeing to it that the video of the local debate was posted.

    I’m still not sure why you felt the need to include your little notes. I guess you wanted to reprimand Mike Mannino for not following the rules suggested by the host. But I hope that in the course of everyday life, and in the future with Mike as a Senator, Mike continues to follow his conscious in the truth, whether desired or not by those running the show.

    Also, as far as endorsements goes, I feel it only plays into the trouble we currently have with those in politics, who like to ‘play politics’. I believe each candidate should prevail on their own merit and not by the use of power plays, and money should not be a deciding factor. This is what has gotten us where we are now…Broke and corrupt.

    I believe all candidates should have equal voice and equal representation donated by the media, and would prefer to see those endorsement benefits provided to those medias to ensure the equal voice, coverage and representation of all candidates.

    Whether Ms Hodges or Mike Mannino were ever given an endorsement or not, I feel that each candidate is strong enough to stand alone on the their own merit. And I applaud their dedicated persistance in serving the people, that are the public.

    • dave

      October 9, 2011 at 10:34 am

      Belinda,
      Mountains out of Mole Hills? The very basis for the article calling Representative White’s honesty into question was the misquote. As misqouted, it makes people believe that Mr. White invested $100,000 and lost it all. The TRUTH, which is supported by the ACTUAL quote, is that Mr. White invested his time and energy in a real estate deal that never got off the ground because BREC got interested in the property before it was successfully marketed to industrial customers. Words Mean Things.
      Calling the words that a man speaks “inconsequential” is, I believe, your “grasping at straws” to turn the issue away fromn the misquote in the paper that claims to be journalistically superior.
      I did not reprimand Mr. Mannino in any of my “little notes”. The only “reprimand” was in the video and it comes from the Republican Women of Central’s moderator mmediately after Mr. Mannino chose to deviate from the format requested by the hosts of the event. Read again and you will find that the few words I wrote explaining what was contained in the video simply stated the facts that are backed up in the video itself.
      By the way, you and others refer to this as a “debate”, and it was not a debate. It was a Forum in which each candidate was invited to tell about themselves, period.
      Dave

  14. Belinda

    October 9, 2011 at 10:18 am

    and Mike was asked why he was running, and even though some feel he ‘broke the rules’ as implied by the little inserted notes into the video, I believe this was a valid reason to his reasoning for running. Some of us are completely sick of the abuses in office.

  15. Belinda

    October 9, 2011 at 11:41 am

    well Dave, I really do not see the huge difference in the words from either source myself. I do realize words mean things, or should anyway. However, in this case, they seem to mean more to you than to me. Interpretation of words that are as vague as these, requires ones perception to be involved as well. And your perception and mine just happen to differ here. Others will be there own judge in their interpretation as well. And the public at large can decide, but we still get the right to our own opinions.

    And the host or hostess speaker in the case, asked for the reason why the candidates were running. Mikes reasoning just happened to include those things that occur in government that could be viewed as very questionable both ethically and morally here. Mike did exactly what the host asked for. Again it is your interpretation that he was reprimanded as pointed out and indicated by your posted note in the video, however it is not my interpretation.

    Part of ones reasoning for doing something can often come from the fact a person doesn’t like what is happening in a situation. You get what you asked for. If the hostess did not intend for anyone to say anything to this effect, as one of the reasons they were running, she should have maybe reviewed their answers prior to them being voiced. But then you would have a controlled, type of censorship that would be staged. And that would not very conducive to the concept of an open forum, now would it?

    • dave

      October 9, 2011 at 12:02 pm

      Belinda,
      Please tell the truth, Your comment is just flatly untrue. You day “Again it is your interpretation that he was reprimanded as pointed out and indicated by your posted note in the video”. By NOWHERE in the video do I even hint that Mannino got reprimanded. The moderator in the video simply restates the rules and clarifies the intent. That you see that as a “reprimand” should tell you something. But let’s be honest, I said nothing about it. The video is indeed, Just the Facts.
      Dave

    • dave

      October 9, 2011 at 12:24 pm

      Belinda,
      The problem with the misquote is that it serves as the basis of the article attempting to discredit Representative White. Without the misquote, there is no controversy.
      Dave

  16. Belinda

    October 9, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    @ Dave, The posted note to which I am referring to Dave, and that you felt compelled to include into the video reads as follows:

    “Therefore, this short clip will present the instructions to the speakers by the Republican Women of Central and the entire unedited statements made by Mr. Mannino and Representative White”

    Thats the posted note, that occurs just before the video, in which you draw readers to pay attention to the INSTRUCTIONS to the speakers. I thought since you made special note of it, you were insinuating that somehow, someone here doesn’t follow INSTRUCTIONS.

    If I am mistaken in my interpretation here, and it does not follow logically to assume such a stance, based on the posted note intentionally placed, then my sincerest apologies are in order.

    If it does make sense to logically assume when directed to pay close attention to a stated section prior to viewing it, that the mediator or reporter, in this case you, feels it should be noted…that naturally leads me to believe that somehow the mediator feels someone broke some rule here. Which I do not lend myself into agreement with, as previously explained.

    • dave

      October 9, 2011 at 1:57 pm

      Belinda,
      Presenting video clips out of context would lead viewers to conclusions which are not reflective of the event. For instance, you referring to the RWC Forum as a “debate” might lead people to believe that the candidates were to be debating, and talking about the position of their opponents. Presenting, in the first slide of the video, where the entire unedited video can be seen, is all I can do to be completely fair.

      I think it is interesting and very telling that your objection is not about what the explanatory slides say. Your objection is actually to what was said at the forum. Sorry, I have to let the actual words of the candidates and moderator speak for themselves as I am not in the habit of misquoting anyone.
      Dave

  17. Lauren

    October 9, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    Dave,
    Thank you for posting the video. Unfortunately some choose to grasp at straws that aren’t there. It is very irresponsible reporting by CCN, but unfortunately, I’ve come to expect that from CCN. I’m very appreciative that you print the truth, just the facts, in an unbiased manner. That is not a common thing in today’s world. So, thank you!

  18. Nancy Blount

    October 9, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    I have at times agreed and at other times disagreed with both Dave at CS and Woody at CCN regarding certain situations and issues. Regarding the sale of the land to BREC for the Sports Park and the words of Rep. Bodi White being misquoted in the article in CCN, I agree with Dave’s comments posted in the comments for this section. Dave’s comments posted above at 10:34 am especially, articulate the reason that this matter does “matter” here. Bodi White’s comments at the RWF were misquoted in CCN, and then this misquote was used as the basis of an article that, I believe, attempted to cast doubt on the character of Rep. White and also make it look like he and Mr.Rogillio were at odds over what actually happened in reference to the $100,000 lost earning potential. In fact, Mr. Rogillio and Rep. White were in essence saying the SAME thing. I for one was VERY disappointed to see this misquote of Rep. White’s words and the attempt with the associated article to cast doubt on Rep. White’s character.
    As a side note to this, I feel that Rep. White expressed the positive quality of meekness(power under control) in his response at the RWF, realizing that something that he had handled in a positive way was being cast wrongly in a negative light.
    To sum up, I have disagreed at times with certain things written in
    both of the local newspapers. However, regarding this particular situation, I concur with Dave at CS. I am glad that Dave has helped to shed light on this particular situation. I have known Rep. White to have positive moral character, and I appreciate Dave’s part in revealing additional background on this matter that shows the full picture here, confirming the integrity that I have known Rep. White to have.

  19. Belinda

    October 9, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    Dave, this may have started out as a forum but it has ended up as a debate as evidenced by this very discussion, and the multiple conversations on the matter, which is the definition of a debate. So regardless of how it started, it has ended up as a debate.

    I can’t believe I have to do this, but lets look at the words for which you seem to obsess over as if some untruth was told regarding Bodi White by another…due to the aka ‘misquote’.

    The only words added here is just Bodi repeating himself twice. He adds nothing new to the origial quote as presented by the CCN but these words….’by not making any dollars (which would define loss in his previous sentence and the amt of dollars) off the sale’ . This is just a repeat of what he said prior…

    “My wife and I lost $100,000 on that

    (*insert additional words here –> by not making any dollars off the sale

    — which he did just say in the word “lost” and the money figure he gives prior in dollars….therefore a REPEAT……and then the conclusion of the quote/misquote when he says “of that for the kids of Central to have a park.” Oh and btw, where is the park?

    If this is all you’ve got, I would defintely call that grasping at straws, to try to make a case out of something when it doesn’t exist factually in context or change the meaning in anyway.

    Some may have not heard the number of words, or just decided not to do the repeat, but the conceptual meaning remains the same and everyone seemed to understand, except you who chooses to twist it into something it is not!

    If it was or was not fully quoted, the meaning is unchanged for the extra words you are so excited to boast as a misquote, are nothing more than a repeat of what he already said.

    As if this wasn’t controversial enough for Bodi to even be connected in anyway here, his business partner furthered the controversary when interviewed by the CCN, stating that Bodi did not pay anything in 2007 and did not recieve anything in 2008.”

    That is where another controversary comes in. How is it you lose $100,000 in something you never paid anything for to begin with as attested to by his business partner, and how can you lose $100,000 when you never paid for your own interest in it to begin with?

    The only controversary here is the one in which Bodi himself created, and whom you are helping to dismiss, distract and cover up by trying to project and place blame onto another.

    But even I am suprised at you this time Dave, you are going lower and lower and your antics stupider and stupider. You are risking your own reputation for those who could care less about you other than what you can do for them. This argument is just too stupid even for you! I guess you can get away with it with your audience though!

    But don’t worry, the parrots will soon be here to feed you some more seed.

    Have a great evening.

    • dave

      October 9, 2011 at 6:01 pm

      Belinda,
      As we often hear:
      “Methinks thou dost protest too much.”
      (Which, ironically, is a common misquote of Shakespeare when he actually penned “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”)
      The concept that you don’t seem to grasp is a lost opportunity cost, which is what Representative White “lost” here.
      Please see Nancy Blount’s last post if you do not believe that this misquote has had EXACTLY the effect I have explained, which is the ONLY reason I felt obligated to point out the facts here – Just The Facts.
      Dave

  20. Ray Ashford

    October 9, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    Some people have characterized Dave as being naive,mayberry, a homer, even a goody two-shoes journalist, or questioned his even being a journalist. We can agree or disagree on these opinions. But to say the man is stupid, will only question your intelligence, your motive, or just shows plain ignorance on your part.
    BTW, I called Mr White and had a short conversation with him if any of you care to read my post its on page 5. I say this only because I might have been the one that started this conversation last week about the video and the 100,000 dollars.

  21. Belinda

    October 9, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    Another famous misquote commonly referenced from Dragnet…

    “Just the facts, ma’am.”

    And Mr Ashford, I never said Dave was stupid, if you will re-read perhaps you will find I attribute his argument and his antics as stupid….to stupid for him to be involved in or trying to promote and/or get others to believe.

  22. Cyndi

    October 10, 2011 at 8:29 am

    I have to agree 100% with the post by Nancy Blount. My thoughts exactly.

  23. Catherine

    October 10, 2011 at 11:45 am

    Dave,

    I have read what you and Belinda have posted about the BREC Park issue. I am going to have to take sides with Belinda. What I saw in the Central Newspaper was an error in punctuation and perhaps grammar, but not an error in semantics. The point is not in proof-reading, but the issues surrounding the BREC Park deal. As a voter, I have questions about how Mr. White has placed himself into an attractive position with this deal. The question I am asking myself, as I am sure are others, is this: “Would Mr. White have been in a position to work this deal had he not been in Office?” And, I am unable to see where Mr. White lost ANY money on the deal. If you have the answers, then please, help to clear up the smoke-screen for this entire deal.

    Kind regards,
    Catherine

  24. Maria L

    October 10, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    Catherine: Are you kidding? What Central City News printed in QUOTATIONS was just an error in punctuation and grammar? I have to strongly disagree with you. A quote means the EXACT words that someone said. What CCN printed was NOT the exact words that Mr. White said. Mr. Jenkins created a statement that took what Mr. White said out of context and was VERY misleading. I agree with Nancy’s statements. Who is Mr. Jenkins trying to fool? You may be gullible enough to believe him, but not me.

  25. In Reply

    October 10, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    Catherine,
    Your very own words in your comment show that the misquote of Representative White published in CCN alongside the accompanying article related to that misquote did create a FALSE picture of Representative White saying that he and his wife actually lost $100,000, when in reality what he was saying was that he and his wife lost the OPPORTUNITY to make $100,000 so that the children of Central could have a park. Here are YOUR VERY OWN WORDS from YOUR comment: “I am unable to see where Mr. White lost ANY money on the deal.” Your very own words from your comment underscore the reality that Representative White’s words WERE misquoted in a way that most certainly did involve semantics (meaning) and not just punctuation or grammar. Even you seem unable to grasp the fact that Representative White DID NOT say that he and his wife actually lost $100,000 on the sale. So apparently the misquote of his words by CCN has even fooled you into thinking that that is what he said! Hence the need for the clarification of Representative White’s words and actions that Dave has provided with his articles, comments and video. I think it is very important for EVERYONE OF US to make sure that we don’t portray something in a way that is not accurate or to similarly present something in an unfair way, possibly in an attempt to tarnish someone’s reputation in a way that is undeserved.

  26. Catherine

    October 11, 2011 at 8:29 am

    Maria L and Dave,

    The great thing about life is it offers an opportunity for differences in outlooks and opinions. My perspective differs from both of yours. Period.

    As far as the responses to my post, I see a great deal of anger and a need to be correct. I see my comment as simply a comment; I am not one to sweat the small stuff. Nor, do I have a need to be right, for which I am greatful. I think that in the future, the polite thing to do when responding is not to condesend or insult. But, that’s just me.

    Kindly,
    Cat

  27. dave

    October 11, 2011 at 10:21 am

    Catherine,
    I’m not sure if your “anger” comment was for me. I am far from angered, I am simply determinedly insisting on being truthful. I try never to post or print anything I can’t back up with proof, and I welcome any intelligent rebuttal to what I present, but I ask for that same level of proof from the claims others make.

    And please understand that I do not take this personally and I very much encourage intelligent debate and I respect people who can make their arguments and back them up, even if I do not agree with their opinions. Agreeing to disagree is indeed possible.
    Dave

    Dave

  28. Catherine

    October 11, 2011 at 11:17 am

    sigh.

    Boy, am I happy that I reside in Ponchatoula.

  29. Ray Ashford

    October 11, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    Catherine, since you are from Ponchatoula, I will give you Mr White’s number.(225-261-3903). If you leave a message, he will probably call you back. If you would like to speak with Mr Mannino, 225-261-8346. Both from the central phone book. Please grace this site with your presence on a more frequent basis.

    Kindest Regards,

    Ray

  30. Catherine

    October 11, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    OOPS!!! Not all of my post came through — a glitch on my side, I’m sure, as Charter has been out and about working on their lines. What I meant to say is this:

    I am glad that I reside in Ponchatoula during this newly formed Senate District race because it has given me the opportunity to travel outside of my own community and Parish, and to interact with other SE Louisianians. As Ponchatoula is a small town that is starting to get bigger, it is nice to see how similar surrounding areas are handling their growth. I can see why the issue with Central’s Park is a hot topic. Parks are GREAT to have, and great things are so hard to wait to become.

    Thanks to the people of Central, whom I have actually met in person and those that I met online. I have enjoyed the interaction, the look into your corner of the world, and the occasional lively debate.

    Cheers!
    Catherine

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