Jeff Landry, the Attorney General of Louisiana, and likely 2019 Republican Gubernatorial candidate, held a Washington D.C. fundraiser at the Trump International Hotel in January. A copy of the event invitation was provided to Documented.
For Landry, the motivation to hold the fundraiser at the Trump hotel may be political. He is expected to run in a crowded field of Republicans, in a state that Trump won in 2016 with a nearly 20 percent margin.
Another factor might be the business interests of Shane Guidry, the wealthy “Special Assistant” to AG Landry, and the former Chairman of his Transition Committee. Guidry is reportedly one of the largest donors in Louisiana politics, and had previously called for President Trump to take action that would help his family oil and gas industry business.
Guidry initially took a salary of $12,000 from the Attorney General’s office for his role, but has since been working on a “pro-bono basis” according to the Louisiana Advocate.
Guidry owns and is the CEO of Harvey Gulf International Marine LLC, a Louisiana based company that provides services for deepwater oil and gas drilling operations in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. The firm has suffered badly from the reduction in drilling operations following the drop in oil prices since 2014, and has recently entered into bankruptcy.
In May 2017, Harvey Gulf was seeking the repeal of loopholes in the Jones Act that allow foreign ships to work to service the oil and gas industry in direct competition with its own services. The company took out a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal signed by Shane J. Guidry, titled “An Open Letter to President Donald J. Trump. The letter called on the President to back the proposal:
“Mr. President, We are American. We hire American. We buy American. In keeping with your campaign promises, please support our industry like you have done with Carrier, Ford and other U.S. companies. Let us help you make America great again!”
The campaign was not successful and the loopholes remain.
Guidry and his family businesses were major donor to the Trump inauguration committee, providing a combined $500,000 according to the Advocate.
Harvey Gulf is also a donor to the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA), the 527 political committee that provides financial backing to elect republican attorneys general like Landry. The company provided $75,000 to the group in 2016.
RAGA recently held two events of its own at Trump properties. On November 10, 2017 the group held a dinner for top donors at the Trump Mar-A-Lago gulf course in Florida, first reported by MapLight, an event which Landry reportedly attended. It is not known if Guidry was at this event, although he has previously attended RAGA meetings representing the office of the Attorney General.
Then on December 7, 2017, RAGA held its annual holiday party at the Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C.. The spending for this event was first reported by CREW, with an invitation to the RAGA holiday party later being revealed by Documented.
Image used under Creative Common, by Kyle Tsui