The push to unseat District Attorney Mike Harson is moving full steam ahead, with the Keith Stutes campaign announcing at a fundraising fête Wednesday night that it has raised more than $160,000.
[Editor's Note: This story has been updated with details the Stutes campaign provided about the poll.]
|Photo by Robin May|
The push to unseat District Attorney Mike Harson is moving full steam ahead, with the Keith Stutes campaign announcing at a fundraising fête Wednesday night that it has raised more than $160,000. That’s quite a pace considering the former longtime assistant district attorney didn’t officially announce his candidacy until early September — a mere two months ago.
The campaign has a fundraising goal of $500,000 by the end of next summer.
At the event Wednesday at the Petroleum Club, the Stutes campaign’s finance chairman, Sam Landers, also revealed the results of a poll commissioned by Stutes about two weeks before he announced his candidacy. According to the Stutes campaign, Southern Media & Opinion Research conducted the poll of 400 likely voters in the 15th Judicial District Aug. 19-21:
"The poll placed Keith dead even with Mike Harson if the election were held then, with 33 percent undecided. That’s amazing. After voters were asked if they recalled the indictments for bribery, extortion and racketeering surrounding dismissing DUI charges for cash under Mike Harson’s leadership, the support for Mike Harson collapses with almost a 30-point swing in Keith’s favor and placed Keith at a 48-22 margin over Mike Harson. Now that’s truly astounding. The poll basically shows that the incumbent can’t survive."
The central figure in the DUI bribery scandal that had employees of Harson’s office pleading guilty to federal charges earlier this year is scheduled for trial in mid-December. Lafayette private investigator Robert Williamson pleaded not guilty in federal court last week, and this week his attorney, Thomas Damico, asked the court to delay the trial, saying his client is in need of immediate medical care and will not be available to help prepare for his defense.
It's not the first time Williamson has invoked his mental health as a reason for his inability to handle his legal affairs, telling the court in December 2012 that he is bipolar and schizophrenic. In January, however, he changed his mind. Read that story here.
Despite sweeping changes enacted by Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration, the health insurance program for state workers and public school employees will have to use $88 million from its reserve fund to cover its costs this year.
The LPSB races are sure to get heated between now and Nov. 4, and with only 9 available seats, this year's field of 20 candidates will surely be wanting to set themselves apart from the crowd early; they'll get their chance next week, starting Tuesday with the kick-off of a three-day series of candidate forums.
Lawmakers say they've received complaints that waits have spiked, with people being forced to wait in line for more than an hour — and sometimes three hours — to handle routine tasks.
The campaign announced that Rep. Stuart Bishop of District 43 and Nancy Landry, District 31, have thrown their support behind the Naval Academy graduate and entrepreneur in his bid to unseat current Hunter Beasley in District 8.
A Lafayette man with an alleged taste for child porn was busted Thursday evening during a cyber crime sting launched by the Attorney General’s Office.
U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister says his chief of staff is on temporary leave after being booked with drunken driving.
It was a rare moment in Congress this week as Republicans briefly put aside partisanship in support of President Barack Obama's request to train and arm Syrian rebels, and while a number of Democrats opposed the measure, Louisiana's Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu found herself on the same side of the issue as her Republican challenger Rep. Bill Cassidy.
Home Depot breach bigger than Target; Alibaba IPO could be big; Rivers' last project and more national and international news for Friday, September 19, 2014.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
City-Parish President Joey Durel is asking the council to sign off on a resolution approving a pair of deals that would lead to razing the seedy Lesspay Motel at Four Corners to build a new police substation as well as transforming nearly a block Downtown where the old federal courthouse building now molders into a mixed-use development.
In 2013, the IRS — already the least popular governmental agency in the country — became the target of intense investigations after it was revealed that they had specifically and improperly scrutinized applications for tax-exempt status from organizations associated with the nascent Tea Party movement.
Improving the running game was "a point of emphasis" during the offseason and the results have manifested themselves in the form of substantially greater production.
Louisiana's health department said Wednesday that its evaluation of the state's Medicaid privatization was on target, despite criticism from the legislative auditor that it lacked key data and contained inconsistencies.
The feds converge on your office, seizing records on several employees as part of a pay-for-plea investigation. WWYD? If you’re Mike Harson, you give yourself a $12k raise.
It’s football season and after back-to-back winless weekends for the Saints and the Cajuns many citizens are finding it difficult to be civil much less happy. Well, chew on this.
Considering his repeated stays in the local penal system, David Narcisse Jr. should have known that having a semiautomatic shotgun, even one given to him by a friend, wasn’t the brightest of ideas.
A state district judge on Tuesday threw out a last-minute retirement hike lawmakers gave to the state police superintendent, ending a political firestorm over a pension boost passed without public scrutiny on the last day of the legislative session.
The House has passed a bill to increase oversight of veterans' hospitals under construction, following a report that some medical centers take three years longer to complete than estimated and cost an extra $366 million per project.
An obvious follow-up question for any Republican politician who accuses Democrats of being science deniers is one about science, to which Jindal bobbed and weaved like a welterweight champ.
The Lafayette City-Parish Council is expected to decide tonight (Tuesday) whether to go along with a proposal City-Parish President Joey Durel made in February’s State of the Parish Address and consolidate taxes for mosquito control and the parish health units into a broader tax program that would also cover animal control.
U.S. District Judge Richard Haik has dismissed Greg Davis’ lawsuit against the LPSB, yet in his ruling, the federal judge doesn’t bite his tongue in pointing out the "threat" being posed by certain board members.
Of all the political offices being contested throughout Lafayette Parish, the race for Broussard’s top police post has literally become one of the most heated.
A state district judge is deciding whether to issue an injunction against the enforcement of a last-minute retirement hike that lawmakers gave to the state police superintendent.
A new website is up for Louisiana's state government employees and retirees to choose their health insurance plans for next year, a choice they must make by October.
That fact that New Orleans led both games in the final 10 seconds of regulation, and lost each by a field goal or less, is of little solace.