ETHICS FOR DUMMIES: When you deviate from the ethics process, you either pay now or pay later.
Louisiana is making a strong move towards the way business is done in our state. Ethics reform is a major part of our progress. While lawmakers and the governor are moving us forward, some life-long politicians are moving us backward.
In 1996 Woody Jenkins and his campaign manager, Tony Perkins, agreed to pay $82,000 to a direct mail firm that was tied to David Duke. Okay, everyone makes mistakes even if this was a lollapalooza. Unfortunately, the larger mistake Jenkins and Perkins made was to purposely hide the campaign expenditure once they realized the mail firm was tied to Duke. That double whammy caused a fine with the Federal Elections Committee. To add insult to injury, Woody talked the FEC into reducing the fine because he claimed his finances would not allow him to pay a huge fine.
ETHICS FOR DUMMIES: Don’t hide campaign expenditures.
Woody Jenkins was a young republican in college; he changed to democrat when it was convenient to run in 1971 for the legislature. After 22 years, in 1994, Jenkins changed back to republican party.
In 1996 he ran as a republican for the U.S. Senate, winning the party nomination, and lost to Mary Landrieu. Woody cried foul, contested the results, took it all the way to a senate committee, cost the taxpayers thousands of dollars for a 10 month investigation to only find out the election results were accurate.
ETHICS FOR DUMMIES: Ensure the public confidence in the integrity of government.
Another controversy swarming around Woody Jenkins’ career was the creation of a non-profit, Friends of the Americas. Jenkins refused to publicly register Americas claiming the government had no jurisdiction on out-of-state groups raising funds. A claim many states reject.
This same non-profit ran by Jenkins and his family was later chastised for paying Jenkins, his wife and his treasurer $456,892 over a 2 1/2 year period (according to an article in The Advocate dated June 7, 1990.) Jenkins was a representative at the time and his financial records were requested. He refused claiming this was a tactic that competitors of his TV station sought.
ETHICS FOR DUMMIES: I repeat — ensure the public confidence in the integrity of government. (2nd strike)
Jenkins’ non-profit had other issues. The treasurer absconded with $305,997 of the funds of Friends of the Americas right under Woody’s nose according to an article in The Advocate. This took place over a two year period before Jenkins realized what was happening.
ETHICS FOR DUMMIES: One more time – ensure the public confidence in the integrity of government. (In baseball and criminal actions, they refer to this as: 3rd strike.)
Other allegations surround Woody Jenkins in regard to unpaid bills to campaign workers from past campaigns. There are also fines that were levied for withholding taxes for employees and failing to pay the government until questioned.
ETHICS FOR DUMMIES: Owe no man. (Actually this is in the Bible, but should be in the ethics code.)
What does all of this mean? It means that Woody Jenkins has made a proclamation of faith and does believe that life begins at conception. Good, so do I. Unfortunately, Woody fails to meet the ethical requirements that I and others expect our elected officials to espouse to when holding their self up as someone who will represent us in state government.
Reminds me of the old saying: “I am from the government and I am here to help you.” Yeah, right.
What a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.
C’mon guys, get it right this time. Let’s send someone to Congress that will bring home the bacon for the taxpayers of Louisiana. That person is not Woody Jenkins.
Until next time,
Red Stick Republican