By Mark J. Landry
In the latest “Mary Landrieu approved message” entitled “Ship Builder,” Boysie Bollinger declares, “he is with Mary.” Bollinger –former chairman of the state Republican Party– states Landrieu’s chairmanship on the Senate Energy Committee, and the advances as the chairmen, as his reasons for his support for Landrieu. Unfortunately, the real reason for his new-found support for Landrieu maybe because she bought him off with tax dollars.
Besides being the chairman of the Senate Energy Committee, Landrieu is also a member of the Senate committee on Appropriations, and chair of the Appropriations subcommittee on Homeland Security. This means Landrieu is on the committee which decides where tax dollars are appropriated. For Bollinger, CEO of Bollinger Shipyards Inc, support of Landrieu means a financial windfall for he and his company.
In fact, Bollinger has already reaped the benefits of supporting Landrieu. In the 2008 election cycle Bollinger Ship Yards Inc. donated $14,550 to the Landrieu campaign (Federal Election Commission,) and that same year the US Coast Guard awarded Bollinger a $88 million contract to build Sentinel-class Cutters (www.uscg.mil). In December of 2009, Bollinger was awarded another US Coast Guard contract to build more Sentinel-class Fast Response Cutters (www.uscg.mil). Bollinger shipyards then gave the Landrieu campaign $15,900 during the 2010 election cycle (Federal Election Commission.) On September 21, 2012, it was announced on Landrieu’s web page that a $250 Million dollar contract to build six more Sentinel-class Cutters for the Coast Guard was awarded to Bollinger Shipyards. Landrieu even went to the Bollinger Shipyard facility to personally award the contract, and in return, Bollinger Shipyards donated $23,250 to the Landrieu campaign in the 2012 election cycle (Federal Election Commission.) Bollinger could be awarded up to $1.5 billion -including contracts already awarded- if all 34 planned are exercised (www.uscg.mil). By the way, the ship under construction in the “Ship Builder” ad is a Sentinel-class Cutter.
Bollinger was used as a tool in this ad to show how even Republicans are supporting Landrieu. Landrieu is on powerful Senate committees, committees so powerful that she can buy support using tax-payer funded contracts, and give-a-ways. Boysie Bollinger stands to make tens-of-millions of dollars off of tax-payer funded US Coast Guard contracts, and this is all because “he is with Mary.”