Role Reversal



By Jeremy Alford 

A New Orleans lawmaker who pushed one of the highest-profile changes to the state’s campaign finance laws during the recent special session on ethics reform is facing an ethics charge herself. Rep. Karen Carter Peterson, a Democrat, unintentionally accepted $1,250 in donations that should have been turned down last year for her re-election bid.   Sheldon Bruno of New Orleans, who prepared Peterson’s campaign finance report, says it was an oversight that has since been corrected. “That money has already been returned,” he says. “We’ve also filed a supplemental report.” Peterson’s blunder comes at a sensitive time. She pushed legislation that would ban third-party sources from paying campaign finance violations, and her measure is now sitting on the desk of Gov. Bobby Jindal, a Republican, for his signature. Last year, Jindal’s campaign failed to report in a timely manner an $118,000 in-kind donation from the Louisiana Republican Party. Rolfe McCollister Jr., publisher of Daily Report and Greater Baton Rouge Business Report who served as Jindal’s campaign treasurer, quickly vowed to pay Jindal’s anticipated $2,500 fine. Such third-party payments would be prohibited under Peterson’s provision. 

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