Hours after the government shut down, Rep. Abraham skipped town and skipped votes to attend fundraiser

From left to right: Roger Villere, Reince Preibus, Kristen Greene, Craig Greene, and Ralph Abraham

On the day after the federal government shut down, Congressman Ralph Abraham, a Republican representing Louisiana’s fifth district, flew to New Orleans to attend a $250 a ticket fundraiser for the Louisiana Republican Party, missing at least six different votes.


Although the LA GOP had announced that Congressmen Graves, Higgins, Johnson, and Scalise would also be in attendance, Abraham was the only member of Louisiana’s congressional delegation to show up to the event, which featured former White House chief of staff Reince Preibus as its keynote speaker. Scalise, the House Majority Whip, is recuperating from surgery at a D.C. hospital, and the other members of the delegation presumably realized, like President Trump did, that it would be terrible optics to attend a political fundraiser during the middle of a shutdown.

Abraham, who has recently signaled his intention to run for governor next year, did not publicly disclose or announce his decision to attend the “Elephant Gala,” but Dr. Craig Greene, a newly-elected member of the Public Service Commission, posted this photograph on both his Twitter and Facebook accounts:

From left to right: Roger Villere, Reince Preibus, Kristen Greene, Craig Greene, and Ralph Abraham

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Lamar White, Jr.
Lamar White, Jr. is an award-winning writer and the publisher and founder of the Bayou Brief, Louisiana’s only statewide news and culture publication. Born and raised on the banks of the Red River in Alexandria, he is a proud product of the Louisiana public education system and a graduate of Rice University in Houston and SMU’s Dedman School of Law in Dallas. Lamar has been writing about politics and public policy in Louisiana for twenty years, beginning as a weekly youth columnist for his hometown paper, the Town Talk. After earning his undergraduate degree in English and Religious Studies, Lamar moved back to Alexandria, where he launched a popular blogsite, CenLamar, and worked for five years as the Special Assistant to the Mayor. He exposed significant problems with Louisiana’s school voucher program, which resulted in a series of other investigations and ultimately in the removal of several schools from the program. He was the last person to argue online with Andrew Breitbart. He investigated and then broke the report that U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise had once attended a white supremacist conference. He was the first to share a photograph of Bobby Jindal’s portrait in the state Capitol. He exposed U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy’s incomplete timesheets while the then-representative moonlighted as a physician. He earned headlines in Texas after the gubernatorial campaign of Greg Abbott falsely claimed he had been exploited as a “campaign prop” by Abbott’s opponent, Wendy Davis, and after exposing U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’s campaign for relying on online “bot farms” to counter Beto O’Rourke, and he earned headlines in Mississippi after publishing videos of U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith making bizarre comments about public hangings and voter suppression tactics which were both perceived as racist. Lamar was the recipient of the 2011 Ashley Morris Award, given to the writer who best exemplifies the spirit of New Orleans, and in 2019, he was honored as one of Gambit’s Top 40 Under 40 and as the year’s Outstanding Millennial in Journalism at the annual Millennial Awards. He has been the subject of profiles in the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, Above the Law, and the Advocate and has appeared multiple times as a guest on CNN and MSNBC. Lamar currently lives in New Orleans with his two golden retrievers, Lucy Ana and Ruby Dog.