GURVICH: A Defense Of Jeff Landry Against Advocate Innuendo

This past Friday we read in The Advocate a lengthy front page article insinuating that Jeff Landry and his brother Ben had committed wrongdoing by furnishing temporary labor to construction projects in the Cameron/Calcasieu region.

We were immediately put on our guard by the fact that the two reporters who authored the story were of pronounced left wing sympathies. Sure enough, a careful reading has confirmed our suspicions that this is just another illustration, if one were still needed, that the left-leaning media operates on a two-tiered standard wherein all Democrats are presumed innocent, and all Republicans are presumed guilty.

First the facts: Jeff Landry and his brother have been in the business of providing temporary labor for some time. This is an honorable and essential business which helps American industry to build and operate the plants which produce so much of our national wealth.

The article falsely claimed that by using some skilled foreign labor on the project (welders and pipefitters), these jobs did not go to Americans. This is manifestly untrue- the Cameron/Calcasieu region is the only place in Louisiana where business is (or was, at the time of the Cameron LNG plant’s construction) absolutely booming, with building projects going on all over the place. There simply is no skilled labor to spare there, so without foreign labor these projects could not be completed on time, or the projects would simply not be built in Louisiana at all.

A man with whom the Landrys had recently begun a business relationship, a Houston-based labor broker by the name of Marco Pesquera, did indeed find himself in trouble with the federal authorities for fraudulently obtaining visas for skilled foreign workers. But as even this biased article conceded, the illegal activity that caused his undoing had nothing to do with the Landrys.

Mr. Pesquera’s relationship with them began in 2017, well before he was indicted and arrested in late 2018. He plead guilty in early 2019 to various charges dating back to 2011. He was sentenced to thirty-eight months imprisonment in early 2019, and he and his lawyer have been trying to make a deal with federal prosecutors to reduce his sentence ever since.

Federal prosecutors, who are by now very knowledgeable about Mr. Pesquera’s illegal activities, have not chosen to take any action against the Landrys. And with good reason- the Landry companies were only the local subcontractors to Mr. Pesquera’s Texas based company, so they had no way of knowing about his fraudulent visa activities. When they did realize there was a problem with Mr. Pesquera, they promptly ceased doing business with him.

Unsupported inferences and innuendos have become the stock in trade of liberal activists posing as news journalists, while they casually ignore the clear findings of an extensive investigation conducted by professional federal law enforcement officials. This growing partisan slant has irrevocably damaged the credibility of most news organizations and created grave concerns about their ability to conduct fair investigations of any and all political figures whom they oppose. Friday’s news article is a prime example of this problem!

Louis Gurvich, Chairman
Republican Party of Louisiana



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