HARDY COMES OUT SWINGING The Lafayette rep shows an Ali-esque flair for showmanship.
Rep. Rickey Hardy, D-Lafayette, was among the first round of candidates to qualify last Tuesday morning at the Clerk of Court’s office downtown. But unlike his buttoned-down fellow politicos, Hardy put his wardrobe where his mouth normally is: way out there.
The first-term pol showed up in pugilist-themed attire: sweat pants, an athletic shirt and, glaringly and with abundant humor, boxing gloves. Slogans on the gloves read, “Fight Corruption” and “and Raising Standards.” Unfortunately, Hardy had to remove the right glove to sign his qualifying papers, leaving him vulnerable to a left hook.
But the slogans were appropriate: While Hardy has sponsored or co-sponsored his share of hair-brained legislation in his four years in Baton Rouge — bills to bar senior citizens from seeking office and requiring state welfare recipients to take drug tests come immediately to mind — he has been a color-blind champion of stamping out corruption in Lafayette’s wonderland of quasi-governmental agencies and for increasing the academic standards required for participation in high school athletics. His contribution to blowing the lid on mismanagement and apparent fraud at the Lafayette Housing Authority led to a federal take-over of the agency and the canning and/or resignation of several executives and board members. The LHA imbroglio also exposed what by most rational minds would be considered at the least malfeasance in the conduct of the agency’s Disaster Housing Assistance Program, for which former City-Parish Councilman Chris Williams served as a case manager. And this is where the race gets interesting:
Hardy, a former four-term Lafayette Parish School Board member, defeated Williams in a 2007 runoff for the District 22 seat. The two were vying to replace term-limited state Rep. Wilfred Pierre, whose nephew, Vincent Pierre, is Hardy’s main challenger in the Oct. 22 election. (A third candidate, Democrat Roshell Jones, is also running.)
In that 2007 election, Hardy captured just enough of the black vote — Williams got most of it — to pair with overwhelming support from white voters in the district to carry the day. Expect a similar dynamic this time around, with Hardy and Pierre straddling a fissure in black leadership in north Lafayette.
And if Hardy’s planning the old rope-a-dope strategy, he better be ready for some counter punches. — WP
JUNE 20 Here's the transcript of the esteemed journalist Rush Limbaugh's recent spot on Sen. Elbert Guillory. Guillory's video explaining why all black folks need to go running right over to the GOP (and no, one of the reasons given is not that you can't get elected Lt. Gov. as a "D" in this state) is "amazing" and a "tear-jerker" to Mr. Limbaugh. Of course, he doesn't mention that Guillory thought enough of the D party to join it so he could get elected to the state senate. But Rush doesn't disappoint; he does manage to make the spot about him in the end.
JUNE 20 Here's a WBRZ investigative piece on a foundation in Baton Rouge that may have some problems. Like what, you ask? How about under-reporting income by $700K or having a member who gets contributions by telling folks about her mystical experiences? This lady says it all began 30 years ago when a bishop who died "spoke" to her from his coffin, letting her know that she was not "out of her head." Um, OK.
JUNE 20 Here's another analysis (or post-mortem, as the case may be) for Gov. Jindal's recent post in Politico. This time, it's from the editorial board of the LSU Reveille. The kids say there were some problems with the column; mostly, they were related to Jindal insulting his friends, his enemies, and everyone in between, including himself. The contradictions Jindal displayed weren't lost on these students -- or anybody else.
JUNE 20 This post by the editorial board of the Picayune congratulates former Saint Steve Gleason on the "inspiring" way the man has responded to a mean-spirited and just plain appalling skit on a radio station about him and ALS, the paralyzing and fatal disease he has. As usual, the editorial states, Gleason directed attention from himself and to the disease, which he says is misunderstood, underfunded and ignored. Maybe this will bring some attention to the disease, the board writes.
JUNE 20 The Advocate posts this story about the sudden death of James Gandolfini, the television, stage and film actor probably best known for his role as Tony Soprano on the HBO series. Gandolfini died while vacationing in Italy, the story reports. He won three Emmys for the Sopranos role, but also was honored with a Tony nomination for God of Carnage.
JUNE 20 Clancy DuBos writes here about the legal, financial and political quagmire that is NOLA law enforcement these days. Sheriff Gusman and Mayor Landrieu are facing off in federal court, and as DuBos says, the stakes are high. Gusman's prison is "a hellhole," DuBos writes, and Landrieu claims the books there are "deliberately unfathomable." Gusman says everything's hunky dory, but it would be better if he got more money from Landrieu. What a mess.
JUNE 20 Blogger Tom Aswell says Gov. Jindal needs to quit touring the country bragging about his "gold standard" of ethics reform -- because it just ain't true. Aswell gives us a lot of statistics on our dismal ethics record, including a long list of violations committed by our fearless leaders and political groups. Taken all at once, it's not a pretty picture, and certainly not a golden one.
JUNE 20 This post in the Picayune reports that a contractor pleaded guilty to a bribery scheme that involved fake bids and kickbacks. The contractor said he cut a deal with a guy working for Orleans Sheriff Gusman to submit fake bids so his real company could "win" work for the sheriff, the story says. The former sheriff's employee already has pleaded guilty, the story says. Meanwhile, Sheriff Gusman says he hasn't been contacted by any investigators.
JUNE 20 Here's a Huff Post blog by Jason Linkins, taking a few shots at Gov. Jindal for his recent Politico column. For instance, he takes issue with Jindal's advice that the GOP "stop the bedwetting," pointing out that there were certainly some Jindal-positive patches on those damp sheets. But the main gist of the column is that Jindal was singing one tune back in November, but he's using a different score now. Either way, it's hitting a sour note with Linkins.
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Frank’s Casing Crew, now doing business as Frank’s International, will make its final appearance on ABiz’s list of the Top 50 Privately Held Companies in Acadiana this year, and once again it will likely be at the top with more than $1 billion in annual revenues. The 75-year-old company specializing in tubular fabrication and installation services to the oil and gas industry plans to offer shares of its stock to the public for the first time.
The defeat, or rather highjacking of House Bill 420 in the final days of this year's Legislative Session, say Reps. Vincent Pierre and Terry Landry, is the result of the propaganda spread by one unidentified local media outlet and an unnamed former state Representative, but nothing to do with the original legislation's lack of checks, balances or details.
He’s a singer. A songwriter. A piano man. A family man. He’s even got his own Wikipedia entry. He’s David Egan. And he knows ancient secrets about the monolithic stones of Stonehenge that he’s not willing to share.