TEMPEST IN A TEA POT?
Lafayette voters could put the TEA Party out of business.
The TEA Party movement in general and the Tea Party of Lafayette specifically take some pleasure in being small-government curmudgeons. Whether the movement locally is conscientiously opposed to discretionary spending by government or simply peddling right-wing claptrap remains a point of debate, and maybe it’s a bit of both. After taking on commercial real estate developer Glenn Stewart over the tax increment financing district Stewart wanted to create for his Parc Lafayette project — a confrontation that got ugly — The TPL proudly posted on its website a quote from the mercurial Stewart: “I think they are a bunch of wannabes who go around threatening our elected officials, and I think they ought to be ashamed of themselves. I think they’re the lunatic fringe.”
Ultimately, Stewart’s TIF ordinance was pulled. And to an extent the TPL can take credit for helping scuttle a pair of bills in the past legislative session that could have established other TIF districts, but the group remains largely a bunch of middle-aged and elderly white people at the loud, angry margins of our political life.
So now is put up or shut up time for the TPL, and it appears the group has its sights set on the City-Parish Council. Counting incumbents Jared Bellard (District 5) and William Theriot (District 9), the TPL has endorsed four candidates for the CPC. (Challengers Craig Spikes and Andy Naquin round out the TPL quartet.) And if we throw in Republican Joan Beduze, who is challenging fellow Republican Don Bertrand in District 7, it’s fair to say the TEA Party movement at the least, if not the Tea Party of Lafayette specifically, is backing five candidates for City-Parish Council.
Naquin is challenging Sam Doré in District 6 and Spikes wants incumbent Keith Patin’s District 8 seat. Beduze is not identified as TPL-endorsed on the group’s website, but her Facebook page resonates with a simpatico for TEA Party issues and with superstars such as Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann. And the candidates — Beduze, Theriot, Bellard, Spikes and Naquin — were the beneficiaries of a so-called “Conservative Caucus Fundraiser” last week in Broussard. An invitation to the event was posted on the TPL’s website.
While Spikes has no party affiliation, his fellow hopefuls from the Taxed Enough Already contingent — Naquin and Beduze — fit a profile that bit the establishment GOP in the rear in last year’s primary races: “more conservative” Republicans hoping to unseat “less conservative” Republicans. If you follow the chatter on the blogs and comment sections in Lafayette media, you know that Patin and Bertrand, who have voted for such “frivolities” as funding arts/culture, the comprehensive master plan and the horse farm, are frequently herded together under the RINO label — Republican in name only.
Both Theriot and Bellard have contenders on Oct. 22: fellow Republicans Walter Campbell and Britt Latiolais, respectively.
The Tea Party of Lafayette has also staked out positions against repealing the Lafayette Home Rule Charter and the school system property tax.
But at this point, even if their candidates sweep their respective races and the charter repeal and the school tax go down in flames, it might be fair to give the TEA Party movement an Incomplete; this will be, after all, the group’s first major election cycle in Lafayette Parish. But if its candidates and positions are rejected, it could be its last. — WP
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Monday, April 21, 2014:
Monday's Blogs from the Bog!
Local and state agents Thursday night raided The Keg, the popular college bar located in the area known as The Strip, leading to the (at least) temporary closure of the venue.
Time and time again, the Lafayette Parish School Board shows an overwhelming tendency toward idiocy, but Wednesday night’s contentious discussion over Northside High School’s teen mother program tops the list of dumb discussions.
C & C Technologies, HIT Fitness, R3 Sciences, the Acadiana Symphony Association and the United Way of Acadiana recognized for innovation.
“The accomplishment of this goal within the next ten years is not only critical for the region to effectively compete with other regions for residents and businesses, but also to provide an amenity for everyone in Acadiana to enjoy.”
Education Superintendent John White says a continued push to try to keep Louisiana from using tests associated with the Common Core education standards are creating "a state of chaos" for public school teachers.
The Acadiana Symphony Orchestra has decided to end its traditional Independence Day spectacular known as Red White & Boom.
Under the deal, Teche shareholders would get 1.162 shares of IberiaBank for each share of Teche stock.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's plan to use $210 million in surplus and one-time money to help balance next year's budget received the backing Thursday of the State Bond Commission, support that was needed for the maneuver to work.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
State wildlife and fisheries agents have arrested a 39-year-old man accused of stealing crawfish.
An East Feliciana Parish lawmaker has jettisoned his proposal to make it harder for a condemned prisoner to appeal a death sentence.
Senators advanced a proposal Wednesday that would let the governor remove New Orleans-area levee board members for violating what he considers to be public policy, despite concerns it would introduce political meddling into state flood protection.
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Dave Perkins, LCG Comp Plan honored along with local architects and designers at the 2014 INDesign Awards
Greg Manuel’s Lafayette-based residential development company is taking advantage of exponential industrial growth in Lake Charles.
Longtime Lafayette retailer ventures online.
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Thanks to cutting-edge digital technology, more and more consumers are banking on ATMs and mobile phones.
Regional bank bids farewell to Downtown May 30
ABiz takes a look back at the most noteworthy moments for the local banking industry over the last year.
Most experts say short-term interest rates will be unchanged through 2014, but long-term rates are inching up.
Largest recruitment event in Acadiana returns May 21 to the Cajundome Convention Center
A lawyer’s ad should only be a starting point, as there is much more to consider when seeking quality representation.
Thanks to the inaugural 2012 INNOV8, a design for lifting heavy objects was brought to market.
The annual juried competition recognizes excellence in architecture, interior design and historic preservation in Lafayette and the five surrounding parishes.
Cypress Bayou GM hosts open house.
New hires, promotions, transfers in Acadiana business
The scion of a landmark Four Corners restaurant climbs back into Lafayette’s culinary scene as franchisee for a popular burger chain.