Nov 2, 2012 2:27 AM by Jim Hummel
At Wednesday night's debate among the front-runners in the district 3 congressional race, U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany, R-Lafayette, mentioned an endorsement he says he received from Wisconsin Rep. and GOP vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan.
"I have a consistent, conservative voting record on all major issues, it's exactly the same as our vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan, who's endorsed me," Boustany said in his opening statement. "I'm really proud of the fact that he is our vice-presidential nominee and he's also a very close personal friend."
But after the debate, Boustany's main opponent, U.S. Rep. Jeff Landry, R-New Iberia, put that high-profile endorsement into question.
"There's no endorsement," Landry exclaimed, before going on to accuse Boustany of being "disillusioned."
Despite Landry's accusation, the Boustany campaign stands by their claim of an endorsement. A Boustany spokesman telling KATC that Ryan was supposed to come to Lafayette in October to make a formal announcement, however that event was cancelled due to Ryan's obligations along the presidential campaign trail.
KATC reached out to Ryan's office for confirmation, but staffers did not return our phone calls.
According to campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), Boustany did receive a donation from a political action committee (PAC) affiliated with Ryan. The "Prosperity PAC" donated $5,000 to Boustany back on June 30th of this year, more than one month after Landry announced his candidacy for the same seat. The PAC made no such donation to Landry's campaign.
However, it is also worth noting that a Super PAC affiliated with GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney did make a donation to Landry's campaign this election-cycle. "Free and Strong America" made a donation of $2,000 to Landry's campaign back in March of 2011, which is before Romney declared his candidacy for the White House.
While KATC was unable to independently confirm Boustany's claim of a Ryan endorsement, the money trail does show evidence of support. It also shows the GOP ticket is split on whom to back in the district 3 race.