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
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Lawmakers and Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration shared a collective sigh of relief with the news that Louisiana's tax amnesty program brought in the $200 million that they used to help balance this year's budget.
by Brett Martel, AP Sports Writer
DEC 8 - Maybe that wasn't such a good idea, after all. This post on the Louisiana Oil & Gas Association's site says we're looking at oil prices that are tanking because there's so much oil coming out of the Gulf. Some are even predicting a glut. What's likely to be the result? Lower gas prices, higher refinery profits, and more pressure on the feds to loosen export restrictions.
DEC 8 Here's the latest from blogger Robert Mann, and it's on one of his favorite topics: Bobby Jindal. He's taking a look at Jindal's record and his current maneuvering, which of course is a ploy to position him for a run for the White House. "America Next," Jindal's current big idea, is just as vague about what it is proposing as Jindal usually is, Mann says. And it won't protect him from his "unimaginative record," as Mann describes it.
DEC 8 - Don't know what that is? Then run on over to LaPolitics and read this post by Jeremy Alford, which serves as a history lesson about the famed tonic and it's purveyor, Dudley LeBlanc. It's really a fascinating story and Alford's description of Dudley as an "icon of Louisiana politics and culture" is not an exaggeration.
DEC 8 In this editorial, the Picayune again urges Gov. Jindal to take the Medicaid money. But the piece's exhortation that Jindal "be sensible" is a little misplaced, isn't it? Because Jindal's not being stupid -- well, maybe he is -- but he's following orders from people he believes can get him into the White House. This editorial is engaging in the argument that Jindal is publicly making, without acknowledging what his true motivations are. Somebody send these guys a clue.
DEC 8 Columnist Mark Ballard is writing about the impact of Vance McAllister's defeat of Neil Riser in this post. He starts out talking about how McAllister's more reasonable approach was more attractive to voters than was Riser's hard-line (tea-party-ish) rants. Dan Claitor, a state lege from BR who is expected to run for Congress soon, expressed it best when he said voters aren't looking for candidates who are "throwing temper tantrums when they can't get their way."
DEC 8 It's always gratifying when a Louisiana son makes international headlines. And our son, David "former KKK grand poobah" Duke is back in the news, making us all proud. This (UK) Telegraph story, unearthed by the Dead Pelican, tells us that Duke has been expelled from Italy but is trying to return. The Italians say he is trying to "establish a pan-European, extremist neo-Nazi group in northern Italy." Huh. You don't say.
DEC 9 This is a kind of puzzling post from columnist Jim Beam, in which he discusses a recent appearance by former Gov. Edwin Edwards in Lake Charles. He said he's surprised by EWE's "grasp of current events." Did Jim never meet Slick Eddie? He's no dummy, and for Beam to assume he is -- well, given he covered the man for 50 years, that's the surprise.
DEC 9 A "suspicious package" shut down part of Zachary Sunday, WAFB tells us in this post. The package, which eventually was "rendered safe" (bomb squad lingo for blown up) was found in a storage unit that someone quit paying on. Other cop gear was found in the unit, so it is possible the thing was a training tool, police say. But they leave out the best part: who bought it? Barry, Jarrod or Darrell?
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