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
JUNE 19 Former Saint Steve Gleason, who is paralyzed by ALS, released a statement Tuesday in response to the Atlanta radio station's skit making fun of him and the disease, this Picayune post reports. What did he say? He said he'd accepted the apology of the DJs who did it, notes that at least the incident has got people talking about ALS, and asks anyone who is burning to take action about it to do so -- by helping him fight ALS.
JUNE 19 Blogger Ian McGibboney takes a look at the Gleason incident in this post. He makes a good argument about the difference between having free speech and being free from consequences for your speech (which none of us is). He also admits that many of us got upset before we listened to the skit -- but lets us know that the reality is far worse than we can imagine. It was the incredibly bad judgment, even more than the actual speech, that probably got those DJs fired, he opines.
JUNE 19 Washington Post blogger Aaron Blake writes about Sen. Guillory's switch to the GOP in this post. He writes what most political watchers in Louisiana know: Guillory was a Republican before he decided to run for the senate seat in a mostly-D St. Landry district, and has switched back now that he plans to run for Lt. Gov. in a mostly-R state. But how come Blake missed Guillory's appearance on a TLC pageant show? Now that is a video we'd like to see. (Again).
JUNE 19 Here's another Washington Post blog post about a Louisiana politician, and it's just plain scathing. Ezra Klein says Jindal's Politico post was "insulting" to the intelligence of voters, and adds that Jindal is personifying the "stupid" he's railed against, by being an "elite" who convinces GOP activists of "things that aren't true." Me-ow.
JUNE 19 Here's Gov. Jindal's post in Politico, in which he asks the GOP to get over losing to Obama (again) and stop "the bedwetting." (Uh, what?) He gives his Republican buddies what is probably a nerd's idea of a coach's motivational talk, which starts with a list of accomplishments that they can't seem to exploit and ending with an absurd description of liberals that sounds like a character treatment for a Fox "News" movie scripted by Gordon Liddy. Sure, he's preaching to the choir, but even the choir's not this gullible.
JUNE 19 Lamar Parmentel read Gov. Jindal's post on Politico, but thinks it was so dumb it probably was published in the wrong paper. This post by Lamar on the Daily Kingfish opines that possibly Jindal's post was destined for the Onion -- because the governor couldn't possibly be serious here. If you listen closely, you can hear the staff of the Kingfish giggling.
JUNE 19 Blogger Robert Mann posts from Turkey, a country he has visited several times in the past few years. Mann gives an interesting overview of the current political and societal climate of the country, which -- if you're living under a rock and don't know -- is experiencing protests and turmoil these days. Mann promises to post as much as he can during his trip, which should be fascinating reading.
JUNE 19 Blogger CB Forgotston says the legislature is keeping the vicious cycle going with its funding of new buildings for the community college/technical college system. Universities across the state need maintenance and improvement on existing buildings, and the solution is to build new buildings at other schools? By the time the bonds are paid off, those buildings will be falling down, too, CB says.
Read the Flipping Paper!
Click Here for the Entire Print Version of IND Monthly
Read the Dining Guide
Click Here for the Entire Print Version of IND Eats Dining Guide
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.