The Conservative Louisiana political action committee, which supports Republican U.S. Sen. John Kennedy, returned a $25,000 donation from nursing homes owner Bob Dean last week, after the media reported Dean was housing nearly 850 of his nursing home residents in a warehouse during Hurricane Ida.
Seven of those nursing home residents died after being moved to the Tangipahoa Parish warehouse from Dean’s facilities. Dozens more were hospitalized. The Louisiana Department of
Health eventually had to move hundreds of the medically fragile evacuees out of Dean’s warehouse and transfer them to more appropriate accommodations.
Health officials concluded the facility was unsafe for the hundreds of people it housed—and effectively shut it down toward the end of last week.
Charles Spies, Conservative Louisiana’s treasurer, confirmed the PAC had returned the money to Dean, who made donations to several campaigns, including Gov. John Bel Edwards, according to The Advocate. Spies declined to comment on why the donation was given back.
Legally, PACs are not allowed to coordinate with the campaigns of the candidates they support. This means Kennedy is not supposed to be involved in the PAC’s fundraising efforts or direct how it spends its money. Spies—who previously worked for former U.S. Sen. David Vitter—runs the PAC on behalf of Kennedy supporters.
With Dean’s donation, the PAC raised $100,000 during the first six months of 2021, according to its latest federal campaign finance report. Three other Baton Rouge businessmen—Mike Wampold, Art Favre and Daniel Heard—also donated $25,000 each. They made the donations in May and June, shortly before the campaign finance reporting period closed.