Monday, May 16, 2011

"Big Jim"

More big fun at the St. Pierre trial. The testimony here is from an employee of St. Pierre named James "Big Jim" Goodson who, if his various responsibilities (bodyguard, driver, landscaper, bag man, pimp, maintenance specialist) are described accurately, can best be likened to a Bond villain's henchman. I think my favorite line is the one below in red.

The government showed the jury a paper trail of most of the payments on an overhead projector. Goodson testified that St. Pierre had him give $5,000 to Nagin's re-election effort in May 2006 and confirmed the payment was in the form of a check to GNOR. He said he didn't know what GNOR was, but it's likely the Greater New Orleans Republicans, who openly supported Nagin's race against then-Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu.

That may help explain earlier testimony from former New Orleans technology chief Greg Meffert, who said that Nagin's campaign asked him to raise $250,000, and that when he enlisted St. Pierre to raise $100,000 of it, he met the target by reimbursing others so he could exceed the individual $5,000 donation cap without being detected. Campaign finance records don't show that much money coming into Nagin's campaign coffers from sources associated with St. Pierre, but Goodson's testimony shows some of it went to other campaign committees that supported Nagin.

There's such a wealth of elaboration on the Greater New Orleans Republicans and their "strategic" relationship with the Nagin campaign that I had trouble finding the appropriate place to direct you to start with this if you're new to it. Try this YRHT link.

Also, this explains a lot about why the crime cameras didn't work so well.

And Goodson, who said he could build "about anything," eventually did hands-on work for city technology projects. He constructed crime cameras for the cities of New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Gretna, Westwego and Savannah, Ga., he said. And he would climb to uncomfortable heights to hang the equipment, he testified.

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