Louisiana, Edwards, Democratic Governors Association discussed on Morning Edition

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Was running against Republican challenger and he responded it was the most expensive gubernatorial election in state history and the ads were everywhere phony any response is not for us paid for an authorized by yep the name is combo pack and if you lived in Louisiana and known to TV you probably saw their ads last fall backing Edwards what we knew at the time was a gumbo packed up more than eight million dollars from the democratic governors association or DGA what we didn't know until a few weeks ago was where DGA got its money when we come through its twenty nineteen tax records we discovered that casino companies and contributed more than four hundred thousand dollars to the group right around the time of the Louisiana election we show these tax records to Paul Seamus Ryan at the watchdog group common cause when casinos are giving money to one of those groups right before an election at the casino has a vested interest in the governor's race and then the DJ or the RGA spends the money in that race that's pretty clear connection the Republican governors association also spent millions on the race back in responding and then last month the RGA also reported casinos among its contributors while casinos can't donate directly to any Louisiana campaign they can donate big sums to outside groups that have no restrictions on spending in the state such as the governor's association's Caesars entertainment for one gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to the association's Caesars owns the Harris in downtown New Orleans and receive that lucrative state license back in June the casino says it follows state law and shared with us a letter it sent to the governor's associations the letter instructs the group not to spend its donations in states with strict rules like Louisiana and the DJ got back to us and said they use the casino money for non political usas Ryan at common cause isn't buying it at the end of the day it's the casino money going to the DGA that arguably frees up DJ dollars to spend in Louisiana money that would be illegal if the actual dollars came from the casinos themselves a number of states have so called pay to play laws that determine who is prohibited from donating in West Virginia its contractors in Indiana it's Lotto companies those states and nine others have gubernatorial races on the ballot this November for NPR news I'm Patrick Madden.

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