Mary Still Silent on Real Estate Scandal

Landrieu calls for relief of Boeing & Lockheed, clients of her husband’s business partner

Washington Examiner | October 3, 2013


"The Tea Party has to understand that they cannot hold government and our private partners —which are many from big companies like Boeing and Lockheed, to small companies that are represented here — hostage over their inability to get a law that they don’t like amended."

That’s Sen. Mary Landrieu saying the GOP is holding Boeing and Lockheed Martin hostage, John McCormack at The Weekly Standard reports. That’s an interesting choice of companies, considering that Lockheed and Boeing are both lobbying clients of Tony Podesta, who recently paid $50,000 to Landrieu’s husband, realtor Frank Snellings.

Source: Washington Examiner

Read more

Homebuyers Guide: Landrieu For Sale…

Over the last several weeks, multiple stories from both conservative and liberal leaning outlets revealed that some of Washington’s most powerful lobbyists with business before Landrieu have potentially given hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of dollars to the Senator through her husband, Frank Snellings for real estate deals, raising serious ethical questions. In fact, the Huffington Post made clear that, “mixing personal finances with political connections runs the risk that one party or the other could potentially have more than just real estate in mind. [Beltway super lobbyist Tony] Podesta, for instance, counts giant defense contractor Lockheed Martin and oil behemoth BP among his clients. Landrieu, who sits on the Senate Appropriations Committee and comes from a state with a booming oil industry, is undoubtedly a key senator in the eyes of both of these corporations.” Most notable, Podesta, "the veteran lobbyist rarely misses an opportunity to strengthen his network of powerful friends."

The questions raised by these lobbyists to Landrieu transactions are very serious.  At a time when so many Americans are sick and tired of seeing elected officials in positions of trust abuse that power, Mary Landrieu is at best completely out-of-touch and at worse complicit in a scheme designed to trade money and favors for influence.
The truth of the matter is that Landrieu can put all of this to bed simply by being honest and transparent with her constituents.  Why wouldn’t she release all of this information and move on – unless there was something to hide? Here are the top 5 outstanding questions raised by the transactions (those that we know about, anyway):

1. What issues, and for what clients, has the Podesta Group lobbied Mary Landrieu on?

2. What issues did Tony Podesta & Heather Podesta personally lobby Mary Landrieu on?

3. Will Mary Landrieu release a comprehensive list of all of her contacts and meetings with lobbyists (as Senator John Kerry did in 2004) and will Frank Snellings release full list of real estate clients and commissions?

4. How much did the Landrieu family profit from these deals?

5. Mary Landrieu claims that Podesta never lobbied her on behalf of Lockheed or BP.  How is that plausible if they are as close as they claim? Wouldn’t Podesta be committing lobbying malpractice if he didn’t mention two of his biggest clients to a Senator he was extremely close with?

Lots of questions and a noticeable silence from Senator Landrieu.

Read more.

NRSC launching extended attack on Landrieu’s lobbyist ties

The Hill | September 4, 2013


The campaign launched Wednesday with a standalone site, LandrieuForSale.com, which outlines recent reports that Landrieu’s husband, Frank Snellings, has conducted real-estate deals for a number of high-powered Washington lobbyists with business before Landrieu.

According to the Huffington Post, NRSC Communications Director Brad Dayspring said the website is “Phase I” of an extended offensive against the senator.

The Washington Examiner reported last month that Snellings was in the process of selling a Capitol Hill townhouse owned by Tony Podesta, co-founder of the Podesta group, which lobbies for Lockheed Martin and BP, among other companies.

Landrieu, in her position on the Senate Appropriations Committee and as a senator from an oil-producing state, has influence over policies affecting both of these companies.

And the Huffington Post recently reported that Snellings also conducted real-estate deals for a number of lobbyists with ties to Louisiana politics, who have also contributed to or hosted fundraisers for Landrieu.

Among Snellings’ clients are former Louisiana Sen. John Breaux, a lobbyist for Patton-Boggs, employees of which have been Landrieu’s second top source of campaign donations; Richard Zuschlag, a health care industry CEO whose clients have donated more than $85,000 to Landrieu throughout her career; Melissa Maxfield, a lobbyist for Comcast who has hosted at least three fundraisers for Landrieu; and former Louisiana Rep. Chris John, who now works as a lobbyist for the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association and, in a Washington Post piece, defended a tough vote Landrieu took in favor of providing subsidies for the oil industry in 2007.

There’s no clear evidence of wrongdoing, however, and a spokesman for Landrieu has said the senator and her husband consulted with the Senate Ethics Committee on Snellings’ real-estate work and are careful to comply with all rules.

Republicans, however, sense an opening for an attack on a senator they believe to be one of the most vulnerable Democrats this cycle.

Landrieu has won a number of tough races before, and had nearly $5 million cash on hand at the end of June for her reelection bid.

But the increasingly red tint of the state, coupled with some politically difficult votes she’s taken since her last reelection fight — namely a vote in favor of ObamaCare — have Republicans believing they might be able to take her down this time.

Source: The Hill

Read more

Mary Landrieu’s Real Estate Ties Target Of ‘Multi-Phase’ GOP Offensive

The Huffington Post | September 4, 2013


The National Republican Senatorial Committee launched a new paid media campaign Wednesday targeting Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu (La.), who has recently come under fire over a slew of real estate deals that her husband, realtor Frank Snellings, brokered on behalf of well-known Washington lobbyists.

Snellings, a former attorney, has been building a successful real estate practice on Capitol Hill since 2003. A review of his real estate deals conducted by The Huffington Post earlier this year revealed that a significant number of his clients made their livings on K Street, an avenue synonymous with Washington’s lobbying industry.

Snellings’ clients have included Democratic super-lobbyist Tony Podesta, former Louisiana senator turned lobbyist John Breaux (D), Comcast lobbyist Melissa Maxfield and former Louisiana congressman turned oil industry lobbyist Chris John (D).

The NRSC’s campaign centers around a web page called LandrieuForSale.com, which seeks to link the senator’s work to her husband’s real estate clients.

Landrieu and Snellings both appear to have reported their incomes on Senate financial disclosure forms, and Snellings maintains a public realtor’s website that makes no effort to hide his marriage to Landrieu.

Nonetheless, recent revelations about Snellings’ long and politically connected client list have created an opening for Landrieu’s opponents.

“The questions raised by these lobbyists to Landrieu transactions are very serious,” said NRSC spokesman Brad Dayspring, who described the website being launched Wednesday as “Phase I” of a multi-part offensive against the senator.

A staunch backer of Louisiana’s oil and gas industry, Landrieu has traditionally sided with Republicans, not her fellow Democrats, on issues related to offshore drilling and carbon emissions. In recent years, however, Louisiana’s electorate has veered to the right, and in 2012, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney won the state by a margin of 17.2 points, over President Barack Obama — all of which makes Landrieu one of the most vulnerable Senate Democrats seeking reelection in 2014.

Landrieu is far from helpless. Campaign finance reports indicate that she has raised over $7 million since 2009 for her combined campaign funds — a well-padded war chest, by any standard.

“Our goal is to force Landrieu to release a comprehensive list of all lobbying contacts and meetings,” said Dayspring, who suggested that Landrieu could have “potentially funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars” from lobbyists “to her husband for real estate deals.”

Landrieu’s spokesman Matt Lehner has vehemently denied that any of Snellings’ real estate transactions were linked to Landrieu’s work in the Senate.

“Senator Landrieu received guidance from the Senate Ethics Committee that stated it is completely permissible and appropriate for Mr. Snellings to be a real estate agent for anyone,” Lehner recently told HuffPost, adding that Snellings and Landrieu “have always abided” by the Senate Ethics Committee’s rules and “disclose their finances every year.”

Melanie Sloan, executive director of the watchdog group Citizens For Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) likewise said last week that she sees no ethical problems with Snellings’ work as a realtor or his client list.

But when it comes to Landrieu and Snellings’ business, the NRSC clearly smells the political equivalent of blood in the water. The group plans to launch additional advertising in various forms, said Dayspring, “be it digital, TV, and some out-of-the box type places,” he said. “Stay tuned.”

Source: The Huffington Post

Read more

LandrieuForSale.com Chronicles Real Estate Scandal

Washington, D.C. - The National Republican Senatorial Committee today launched a new website LandrieuForSale.com to chronicle the developing real estate scandal engulfing Senator Mary Landrieu.  The embattled Democrat has remained silent for more than a week as news that the most powerful Washington lobbyists with business before Landrieu have potentially funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars through her husband, Frank Snellings for real estate deals. he new website emphasizes the expanding web of murky relationships between Landrieu’s husband Frank Snellings and a group of Washington lobbyists that includes Tony Podesta, raising significant ethical questions.

A number of news outlets recently highlighted the fact that multiple lobbyists hired Senator Landrieu’s husband to buy or sell real estate on their behalf, presumably paying tens of thousands of dollars in commissions to do so. Despite these continued stories suggesting cash kick backs to her family, over the last week Senator Landrieu has yet to address the charges, instead forcing her taxpayer funded staff to explain both her and her husband’s behavior.

LandrieuForSale.com chronicles the peddling of cash and influence that Mary Landrieu, her husband and Washington lobbyists have engaged in for years.

“Mary Landrieu refuses to release a comprehensive list of all of her contacts and meetings, instead forcing her taxpayer funded staff to answer for both her and her husband’s behavior,” said NRSC Press Secretary Brook Hougesen. “Mary Landrieu can put these serious questions to rest by detailing her interactions with these lobbyists, so why doesn’t she?  Is it a coincidence that lobbyists with business before Senator Landrieu decided to put her husband on the payroll?  The middle-class is being squeezed and folks are tired of the rich and powerful getting special deals, yet Mary Landrieu apparently believes she’s too important to have to answer these allegations.”

Read more


A Week Later, Landrieu Still Silent on Real Estate Scandal

Washington, D.C. - One week after news broke over the real estate scandal, an ethical cloud continues to hang over Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) as more revelations drip out. New stories and developments reveal that the most powerful Washington lobbyists with business before Landrieu have potentially given hundreds of thousands of dollars to Landrieu through her husband, Frank Snellings for real estate deals, raising significant ethical questions. 

Despite these continued stories alleging cash kick backs to the Landrieu family, Senator Landrieu has yet to address the charges, instead forcing her taxpayer funded staff to explain both her and her husband’s behavior.

The liberal Huffington Post reported"mixing personal finances with political connections runs the risk that one party or the other could potentially have more than just real estate in mind. [Beltway super lobbyist Tony] Podesta, for instance, counts giant defense contractor Lockheed Martin and oil behemoth BP among his clients. Landrieu, who sits on the Senate Appropriations Committee and comes from a state with a booming oil industry, is undoubtedly a key senator in the eyes of both of these corporations." Most notable, Podesta, "the veteran lobbyist rarely misses an opportunity to strengthen his network of powerful friends."

The National Review noted: “Tony Podesta isn’t the only BP lobbyist paying Senator Mary Landrieu’s husband for real-estate services. Jason Schendle, a BP lobbyist and former Landrieu staffer, also used Frank Snellings, Landrieu’s husband, to purchase a $687,500 Capitol Hill townhouse in March. Landrieu’s office did not disclose how much Schendle paid Snellings, but based on industry practices it was likely around $20,000. Snellings is being paid for services by lobbyists whose clients have business before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on which his wife, Landrieu, serves as a senior member, prompting questions about a conflict of interest.” 

The Huffington Post lists several influential lobbyists who have a cozy relationship with Mary Landrieu and Snellings: Richard Zuschlag, a health care industry CEO and Landrieu donor; Melissa Maxfield, top lobbyist at Comcast; Former Louisiana Rep. Chris John (D) who now lobbies for the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association, in which "Later the same year, Landrieu made news in Washington when she cast a deciding vote with Republicans to maintain billions of dollars in subsidies for the oil industry"; among many others.

After details of the unfolding story continued to emerge, Frank Snellings’ website still boasts of his marital and political ties to Landrieu, and features a large picture of the Capitol Building.  Now, one week after the scandal broke, Landrieu continues to refuse to answer serious questions:

1) What issues did Tony Podesta personally lobby Mary Landrieu on?
2) What issues and clients did Heather Podesta have before Mary Landrieu?
3) What issues and clients have other lobbyists including Richard Zuchlag, Melissa Maxfield and Chris John lobbied Mary Landrieu on?
4) Will Frank Snellings release a full list of his real estate clients? How many had business before Mary Landrieu?
5) How much did the Landrieu family profit from these real estate deals?

"We hope that Mary Landrieu’s Senate office isn’t for sale to the highest bidder, but it appears as though lobbyists with business before Mary Landrieu have found a way to potentially channel hundreds of thousands of dollars to her through these questionable real estate deals," said NRSC Press Secretary Brook Hougesen"Mary Landrieu has a responsibility to clear this up and shed light on the murky web of relationships and substantial cash commissions between her, Frank Snellings and Washington’s most powerful lobbyists.”

Read more

Landrieu Real Estate Scandal Threatens Re-Elect

Super lobbyist Tony Podesta has hired Senator Mary Landrieu’s (D-LA) husband, Frank Snellings, to sell his $1.8 million Capitol Hill townhouse.

Podesta is one of the most powerful lobbyists in DC, and his clients include BP and Lockheed - both of which have business in front of Landrieu.

Landrieu’s office creatively said that Podesta has not lobbied Landrieu "on behalf of Lockheed or BP."  Hmmm. As this article states: "…even though this wasn’t free money, the arrangement reeks of influence peddling."

This piece raises a lot of questions including, but not limited to:

What issues, and for what clients, has the Podesta Group lobbied Mary Landrieu on?
Will Mary Landrieu release a comprehensive list of all of her contacts and meetings with lobbyists similar to what John Kerry did in 2004?
Will Frank Snellings release a full list of his real estate clients and his commissions?

Read more

Paid for by the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
www.NRSC.org

© 2013 National Republican Senatorial Committee. All Rights Reserved.