As he enters the final days of the Louisiana Gov. runoff, Republican nominee Eddie Rispone is attempting to flush his campaign with outside money from special interests — attending five separate high-dollar fundraisers in the next week — despite claiming throughout the primary that he would be fully self-financing his gubernatorial effort.
Rispone claimed repeatedly throughout the La. Gov. primary that his campaign would not be indebted to special interests because he was paying the tab on his own race. “I’m not beholden to any special interest group,” Rispone pointedly told The Advocate in September 2019.
Yet, as soon as he advanced from the primary, Rispone emphatically decided to break his pledge. Between Nov. 8 and 16, Rispone will attend at least five fundraisers that cost as much as $5,000 a head to attend. According to reporting by the Associated Press, to date Rispone has raised nearly $3 million in donations from outside groups and special interests since advancing to the La. Gov runoff.
Disclaimers on the invitations for these fundraisers explicitly state that if donors had not donated to Rispone’s primary effort — which many didn’t because Rispone primarily self-funded his primary campaign — they were then allowed to contribute twice the maximum amount allowed by La. law. This rule essentially provides a loophole for donors to pay Rispone back for initially self-financing his campaign. The fundraiser invitations also clearly state that corporations and LLCs can directly contribute to Rispone’s general election effort — which are, by definition, the same special interest groups Rispone originally promised to ward off from his campaign.
Critics are likely to argue that Rispone was forced to initially self-finance his campaign due to a lack of support in La., not because he did not initially desire support from outside donations.
Rispone is challenging incumbent La. Gov John Bel Edwards on Nov 16.