Cough, Cough…Karmen Blanco hired by Cox Lafayette

Sunday’s political shorts in the Advocate carried an interesting short story: “Governor’s daughter gets OK for Cox job.” The short story:

One of Gov. Kathleen Blanco’s daughters has gotten approval from state ethics officials to go to work for Cox Communications.

Cox wants to hire Karmen Blanco to ‘assist in its Lafayette community outreach efforts,’ the company’s governmental affairs executive told ethics officials.

The company asked about the propriety of the move since Cox bids for state work.

The Louisiana Board of Ethics said last week that Cox can hire Karmen Blanco because her job won’t include business dealings with the state. The board said Blanco’s daughter must disclose her income because she benefits financially from a company that does business with the state government run by her mother.

Karmen has spent her career to date as a development director for Our Lady of Fatima elementary school here in Lafayette. As I understand it such jobs center around promotion and fundraising. The Cox job appears to be a PR job with a focus on promoting Cox in Lafayette. (Where God knows they need some real, local help.) I hope I’ll be excused if I wonder whether experience promoting an elementary school was what Cox found most interesting about Karmen Blanco’s background. Karmen’s day to day job will soon be to put the best face on Cox’s relationship with Lafayette. That will inevitably include putting the best face on its coming competition with Lafayette; If Karmen is like the rest of us it will be hard not to believe what you spend your days earnestly promoting; If Kathleen is like the rest of us it will be hard for a parent not to know what a daughter believes and is saying. Not all potential conflicts involve to state contracts…

Kathleen Blanco has been a real friend of Lafayette in its conflicts with Cox. I trust that won’t change.