With the state facing an estimated $750 million shortfall in next year’s budget, Republican Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser rolled up his sleeves to work on finding a solution of his own.Why keep the Governor in the dark on such a massive deal? Well, it looks like Nungesser (and State GOP Chairman Roger Villere) got roped into an elaborate scheme put on by a guy named Markos Fuson. I don't want to spoil the article for you entirely. But the synopsis goes like this. Fuson's company is a Delawre based corporation called Alexandros. It is described in the article as "a 'healing' company with a background in medical technology" is supposed to have brokered a deal with the Iraqi government to import oil to Louisiana using ships built at the now shuttered Avondale shipyard to be refined in Lake Charles at a facility not currently configured to do this sort of refining.
The result: an ambitious, potentially transformative arrangement that on paper proposes reviving Louisiana’s once dominant shipbuilding industry, creating more than 30,000 new jobs and investing nearly $1 billion into charitable endeavors involving education, health care and housing initiatives.
Too good to be true? That’s Gov. John Bel Edwards’ take.
Despite initiating a global correspondence and telling his letter’s recipients — who included U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and the Iraqi prime minister — that he was working at Edwards’ behest, Nungesser actually kept the newly elected Democratic governor in the dark, both men say.
Seems legit, right? Ok, well, what if I also threw in this nugget.
According to Alexandros’ proposal, Fuson had committed to investing 100 percent of his profits from the joint venture into Louisiana’s motion picture industry. He then pledged to invest his share of the film profits into a “to-be-established” charitable foundation that would offer education, health care and housing assistance to “minorities in Louisiana.”What could go wrong?
Anyway here we are just a few months into Billy Nungesser's stint at Lieutenant Governor and already things are getting weird. We suspect there's plenty more where that came from. Get used to reading this phrase.
Nungesser also blamed his staff, whom he relies upon to vet his documents. In this case, the letters never should have reached his desk, he said.