Does Higgins suggest using campaign funds for child support debt?

by Lamar White Jr.

The congressional candidate who denied to KATC that he ever missed a child support payment, acknowledges in a phone conversation with his ex-wife that he owes her more than $100,000. You decide if he seems to contemplate using campaign funds to settle the debt.

Rosemary “Stormy” Rothkamm-Hambrice, one of three ex-wives of former St. Landry Parish sheriff’s captain/current congressional candidate Clay Higgins, posted a lengthy missive on Facebook, excoriating Higgins for failing to pay more than $140,000 (including interest) in child support over an extended period. Higgins, through his spokesman, had attempted to minimize the situation after Rothkamm-Hambrice sued Higgins last month to recover the money. “The timing of this is ridiculous,” Higgins’ communications director told The Advocate.

Higgins faces Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle in the Dec. 10 runoff for the Third Congressional District seat.

In a story published about two weeks after the lawsuit seeking back child support was filed, Higgins, who has suggested the Angelle campaign is behind the suit, told KATC-TV3’s Jim Hummel that he never missed a child support payment.

Rothkamm-Hambrice vehemently disagrees and in explaining her decision to come forward now, she writes, “Our children have seen all of the hateful posts my former husband has posted on his political page to which I have not responded. Some of his family members have attacked me personally.”

In her Facebook post, Rothkamm-Hambrice also attached audio recordings (listen here) of a conversation she had with her ex-husband earlier this year in which Higgins acknowledges that he owes the money and seems to contemplate using campaign funds as a possible solution, before noting that the need for accountability and transparency could create problems.

“Maybe you should just figure out a way to make it right,” she tells him.

“I don’t know how to do that. I have no job I don’t know if… Now, I really don’t know how much we should talk about this on the phone,” Higgins responds. “I’m just learning really about campaign laws and shit, but there’s going to be a lot of money floating around. But there’s every dime is accounted for… I have to keep a very, very….” he says before Ms. Rothkamm-Hambrice interrupts.

“Listen, believe me, I’m not suggesting that you pay me from any campaign whatever,” she says. “But I wouldn’t want to have anything to do with that. Whatever you pay me has to be completely clean, so you have to figure out a way to take care of that.”

Rothkamm-Hambrice also explains, at length, her ongoing frustrations with the congressional candidate who has come to be known as “the Cajun John Wayne.”

I am saddened and angry that Clay is attempting to blame me for his failure to provide for our children. He deliberately refused to pay child support for many years, knowing full well that I was having to carry the load without his assistance.

I was a young mother with three small children making approximately 30-35K per year. It wasn’t until almost 13 years later before I ever had a salary close to 65k per year.

He was making a 6 figure income throughout our marriage and for several years after we divorced.

He voluntarily underemployed himself, was fired from and/or quit many jobs in the car business both during our marriage and after our divorce.

He has repeatedly strung us along, and I was always chasing him for child support payments. He made no additional incidental payments, however he did carry health insurance policies on the children whenever he was employed which was sporadic.

At no time did I ever disallow him visitation with our children for all of the years that he refused to participate in the financial aspect of raising them. There were also many years that he did not exercise his right to visitation for weeks at a time. Sometimes six weeks would go by and he would not see the kids.

He was always chasing his next big dream, the one that would make him rich and would help me support the kids. That never happened.

Now that his next big dream is here he is claiming he doesn’t owe me anything. He knew going into this election that these and other issues would surface, and I urged him not to run because our children would be exposed to negative press; but he wouldn’t listen. I spent the better part of their childhood trying to protect our children from the truths about their dad and did everything within my power to foster positive relationships with him even though he was absent and did not financially participate in their lives.

Clay created everything about this problem, including the timing. For the sake of our children, he should have done the responsible thing and just admitted publicly that he owed the money, instead of using political spin in an effort to portray himself as a victim. I lived in fear for many years at the hands of this man.

He will never have any control over me again in any way.

Image courtesy Facebook

UPDATE: Around 2 p.m. Thursday, Rothkamm-Hambrice posted the following on the Facebook page of Brian Angelle, Scott Angelle’s brother, in response to claims by The Hayride’s Scott McKay that the Angelle campaign is behind the lawsuit for back child support.

Stormy Rothkamm-Hambrice
Stormy Rothkamm-Hambrice Scott, I posted it on my Facebook page yesterday because my attorney gave it to media at their request in response to Clay’s accusations against me in response to my lawsuit to have my judgment made executory in Louisiana approximately a month ago - they chose not to run my response for whatever reason. Their decision and I respect that. I posted it in its entirety yesterday. Several outlets have picked it up including Scott Angelle’s campaign.

Stormy Rothkamm-Hambrice
Stormy Rothkamm-Hambrice Yes, I did work for Governor Jindal, I know Timmy Teepell, I know John Bel Edwards, I know Ronnie Johns, I know a million people in State Government... I also worked for The Secretary of State, I also worked with Clay Higgins, I also had dealings with you, which I am sure you don’t remember. I am an honest person. You and I know many people in common and I am a decent person. Clay has lied to me for years and years. This is much more complicated and this was my only avenue to be heard because no one was listening.

Read the full exchange here.