P.I. Connected To Sen. Vitter’s Campaign Arrested After Trying To Record Sheriff Who Endorsed Rival

Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand speaks to the media at the New Orleans International Airport, Friday, March 20, 2015, in Kenner, La. Richard White sprayed a TSA agent in the face with wasp killer then slashed... Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand speaks to the media at the New Orleans International Airport, Friday, March 20, 2015, in Kenner, La. Richard White sprayed a TSA agent in the face with wasp killer then slashed a second guard with a machete before a third agent shot him three times at a security checkpoint in the New Orleans international airport Friday. (AP Photos/Jonathan Bachman) MORE LESS
Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

A Dallas private investigator was arrested Friday after Jefferson Parish, La., Sheriff Newell Normand (pictured) said he caught the man recording his breakfast conversation in a coffee shop, according to multiple local reports.

The P.I., Robert J. Frenzel, ran away when Normand confronted him, according to a report from WVUE. Normand told the television station that he believes Frenzel was spying on him on behalf of U.S. Sen. David Vitter (a gubernatorial candidate) because Normand endorsed a different candidate (Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne).

NOLA.com reported Frenzel works for the J.W. Bearden and Associated, an investigative agency in Dallas, which Vitter’s campaign paid more than $130,000 in legal fees in 2015.

Today (Saturday) is election day in Louisiana.

Vitter is one of nine candidates looking to replace Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who has to step down because of term limits. The top two candidates will face-off in a Nov. 21 runoff election.

Vitter’s campaign gave a statement to NOLA.com: “This person (Frenzel) works for a firm that we hired to do research, all within the bounds of the law. This includes John Bel Edwards’ business associate and major donor, and his relationship with the John Bel Edwards campaign. It has nothing to do with Newell Normand.”

John Bel Edwards is a democratic state representative who is also running for governor. The Advocate wrote in their 2015 election guide that Edwards, Vitter, Dardenne and Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle have the most well-funded campaigns.

Dardenne told NOLA.com that Vitter has “been caught cheating, lying and now spying. Voters have seen enough from David Vitter to know two things that he is corrupt and can’t be elected in a runoff.”

Latest Livewire

Notable Replies

  1. Politics in Louisiana is, and always has been, a contact sport. Laissez les bon temps roulez.

  2. If I could be a political reporter anywhere in the country, Louisiana has to be at the top of the list. Its a freaking gold mine of really interesting bizarro stories!

  3. Vitter is approaching toast status in LA, and it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

    Vitter Campaign Limps Into Louisiana Gubernatorial Primary Vote

    Recent polls show the senator running even with or slightly behind Democrat John Bel Edwards, the minority leader in Louisiana’s House of Representatives. Republicans Scott Angelle, a member of the state’s utility regulatory board, and Lieutenant Governor Jay Dardenne trail farther behind.


  4. Edwards is leading heading into the jungle primary, but once 2 out of the 3 main GOPers are eliminated, its hard to see Edwards holding the lead. If Vitter pulls it out, that’s probably our best chance.

    This story and the one about his Mistress having his baby after refusing his demand that she get an abortion haven’t really sunk in with voters yet.

  5. Avatar for mjv135 mjv135 says:

    It’s Louisiana … he’s a Republican … unless they catch him sharing a male prostitute with Jindal, he’ll be just fine. And even then … well, it’s Louisiana.

Continue the discussion at forums.talkingpointsmemo.com

33 more replies


Avatar for system1 Avatar for valgalky23 Avatar for jootjoint Avatar for littlegirlblue Avatar for the_lone_apple Avatar for 1daven Avatar for trnc Avatar for wwss Avatar for inlabsitrust Avatar for daveyjones64 Avatar for grandpoobah Avatar for ottnott Avatar for ignoreland Avatar for robcat2075 Avatar for 538liberal Avatar for tao Avatar for serendipitoussomnambulist Avatar for mrf Avatar for fiftygigs Avatar for darrtown Avatar for raincntry Avatar for junebug Avatar for antisachetdethe Avatar for Landshark2995

Continue Discussion
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: