It’s the least-surprising story of the decade. Totally predictable. And it’s why we warned the “Republicans” in the Louisiana Senate not to make Edwin Edwards’ longtime bag man the president of the body.

Nobody listened when we laid out the exposure Alario held for the GOP as Senate President, though on a different set of ethical questions than he currently faces. We had this in November 2011

It’s possible that the latest round of River Birch investigations will miss Alario. One would think making him the Senate President wouldn’t be possible unless he’s absolutely clean in that case. Nobody I talk to thinks he is, which means that the possibility exists that RINO’s and Democrats might collude – shamefully enough with the acquiescence of Jindal, or so I’m told – to make Alario the Senate President just in time for him to run afoul of the U.S. Attorney in a highly-publicized case. And at that point the Democrats who established the slimeball politics which normalized a River Birch in Louisiana in the first place would get to score political points over the downfall of one of their most notorious products.

And if that isn’t a political “own goal” waiting to happen I don’t know what is.

Alario wasn’t implicated in anything illegal in the River Birch case that year, just like he managed to skate on the first River Birch investigation back in the mid-1990’s despite a set of FBI wiretaps fairly clearly showing a pay-for-play setup being run out of his office in the House of Representatives at that time.

The current round of corruption charges he’s being investigated for involves conduct a lot less complicated than real estate, landfills and environmental legislation. It was easily understood enough that it hit the media last year…

Federal officials have launched a criminal investigation into how Louisiana Senate President John Alario spent tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions, according to two people with knowledge of the probe.

The FBI began the investigation after | The Times-Picayune and WVUE Fox 8 News last year reported discrepancies in Alario’s campaign records, said the two sources, who asked not to be named.

It’s unclear whether agents have found any wrongdoing involving Alario, a Republican from Westwego who is one of Louisiana’s longest-tenured and most powerful politicians. The sources said the probe remains active.

The full scope of the investigation is not publicly known. The sources said it includes the news organizations’ findings that Alario reported expenses for LSU sports tickets and for a fundraiser at New Orleans’ Audubon Golf Course that were a combined $22,000 more than payments recorded by those two entities.

Those and other discrepancies, some confirmed by Alario and others disputed, have raised questions of whether he used some campaign contributions and some taxpayer-paid reimbursements for purposes other than the official, non-personal uses required by law.

In a statement, FBI spokesman Craig Betbeze said the agency “can neither confirm nor deny the existence” of the investigation.

Alario, asked if he knew of the probe, wrote: “I have absolutely no knowledge of the issue you raise in your statement.”

Alario was the star of the Times-Picayune’s Louisiana Purchased investigations, in which the paper dug through campaign finance disclosures and found all kinds of “slushy” uses of campaign funds among the state’s politicians. The amounts in question for Alario were sizable.

And the recent developments call to mind the precise scenario we warned about when Alario was up for the Senate President position he currently holds.

This is an election year. You have a brutally-partisan Democrat in the White House known for using the Justice Department against his political enemies, and you have a Louisiana Democrat Party badly in need of something to run on.

And you have a partisan Democrat media, both locally and nationally, which loves stories of how corrupt Republicans are. And loves to embarrass Louisiana’s current Republican governor who would like to become a presidential candidate.

So Alario is being investigated by the FBI, and it’s not hard to imagine charges would come down from the US Attorney just in time for election season. And all anybody will talk about this fall is John Alario and REPUBLICAN corruption, even though the majority of Republican voters in Louisiana see Alario as a turncoat Democrat who represents little of why they’re Republicans in the first place.

This is why it was a stupid idea to make Alario the president of a Senate with a Republican majority. It’s not hard to see what’s going to happen as a result.



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