From a release which went out at noon today…
The Republican Party of Louisiana recently requested information from the Louisiana House of Representatives through a public records request concerning Representative Gary Smith’s contracts with British Petroleum following last year’s oil spill. Smith is refusing to reveal this information as the request is being unreasonably delayed by the State House until after the election. The request, made on October 7th, asks for the House office to provide, among other things, email records from Smith’s legislative email account pertaining to any contracts he, his family or their companies received from the BP Oil Spill Clean up.
“Gary Smith and his family have made money on nearly every natural disaster to hit our state,” Executive Director Jason Doré said. “Representative Gary Smith should be upfront with his constituents about his work with BP and stop using procedural delays to hide the truth.”
In the days after Hurricane Katrina, Smith’s family company, a motorcycle shop, landed $100 million worth of contracts to provide housing for FEMA. In doing so, the politically connected Smith family company had the state RV dealer waive restrictions that would have prevented the Smith company from selling RV’s to FEMA. Nevertheless, the Smith family company was fined for selling trailers to FEMA without a proper license.
Additionally, Smith served as the registered agent for another company that received a $500 million Corps of Engineers contract following Hurricane Katrina.
“Now that Smith is running for Senate, he is touting Governor Jindal’s ethics reform, yet his record shows he is not opposed to inside dealing for himself, his family and friends,” Doré said. “It is time for Gary Smith to come clean on his family’s cleanup work for BP.”
By filing the public records request, the State Party hoped to learn the answers to several important questions that many of Smith’s constituents are asking, including:
Did Representative Smith use his position as a state representative to direct BP contracts to his family’s companies? What correspondence does Representative Smith have with BP and other oil spill officials concerning the cleanup work? Did Representative Smith violate any ethics laws in failing to disclose the BP contracts?