15 February 2008

john alario, jeff arnold, jim tucker, austin badon id'd as receivers of free 'hannah montana' tickets

...another generation of criminals in the making...john alario shown to be teaching his grandchildren to use their elite status to pinch free stuff...

screen grab from wafb - video and story at link
We've got the list of legislators who, along with the governor's chief of staff, received free tickets to a Hannah Montana concert. There's been a lot of talk at the Capitol Friday about the free tickets. One person that's no saying much, so far, is Jindal's chief of staff, Timmy Teepell.

We tried to ask Teepell about the three free Hannah Montana tickets he got for his children. "Little later" was his response when we questioned him about the issue. Four state legislators from the New Orleans area also got tickets. They each received four tickets. Those legislators are Speaker of the House Jim Tucker, Senator John Alario, Representative Jeff Arnold, and Representative Austin Badon. Four tickets also went to Julio Malera, a member of the Superdome Commission.

The seats were for admittance to the governor's box at the arena, which comes with 28 tickets. Jindal's office says five of the tickets were not used by anyone. As for the future events, the governor's spokeswoman says: "The box will be used principally as a tool for recruiting out-of-state businesses, as well as a way to build stronger relationships with businesses in Louisiana. The box will also continue to be made available to those legislators who request tickets and any extra tickets will be made available to staff." There is nothing illegal about the free tickets, but the handout came at a time when Governor Jindal was about to start the current special session dealing with ethics reform, including free tickets for lawmakers and appointees.

"Helping my granddaughters was an honorable thing for him to do," Sen. John Alario says. Senator Alario says he gave the Hannah Montana tickets to his granddaughters. "I didn't know who Hannah Montana was. I probably don't know her more than North Dakota. The request came from my granddaughters and certainly, I would honor their request," he says. "And they went for free?" we ask. "Yes," he replied.

Reporter: Caroline Moses, WAFB 9NEWS
more later...