The Post reports that lobbyists arranged a meeting between Voyager reps and Landrieu, and shortly after the meeting, someone in Landrieu's office asked Voyager founder Randy Best if he would throw a fund-raiser for Landrieu. Best did just that in October 2001, and Voyager employees and relatives soon donated enough to Landrieu's coffers to put the company in the Top 20 of Landrieu donors, eclipsing corporations like BellSouth and Tenet Healthcare. Approximately four days after Landrieu hauled in close to $30,000 in Voyager contributions, she added the earmark amendment to a House bill, initially allocating $1 million but then waiving the matching money requirement to push the allotment to $2 million. Two weeks later, she secured $700,000 for Voyager to be tried in Louisiana.
On the public relations front, Landrieu didn't help her cause by declining interview requests from The Post, instead releasing a statement saying, "It is not uncommon for Members of Congress to receive contributions from individuals who support their policy goals." She also noted she has "long championed new approaches to improving children's education, leading the push for smarter public-private partnerships and for innovative programs like Voyager." ... SHAWN WILSON APPLYING FOR DISTRICT 3 SCHOOL BOARD SEAT Shawn Wilson has thrown his name in the ring to be considered for the District 3 school board seat being vacated by Rickey Hardy. Hardy was elected last month to the state Legislature and will be leaving his school board post at the start of the new year. The school board will vote on an interim replacement for Hardy at its Jan. 9 meeting. Wilson, who recently lost a runoff election for District 3's city-parish council seat, sent in his resume and cover letter late last week, asking the board to consider naming him as Hardy's successor.
Wilson decided to apply after talking with several supporters who encouraged him to stay publicly involved after his unsuccessful campaign for city-parish council. He also sees a need for new leadership on the board, given the poor perception and lack of trust in the school system evident in the recent debates over the closure of N.P. Moss Middle School. "Leadership isn't always sent; it's called," Wilson says. "I think my background offers something that should be considered, and if the board so desires, I'll be willing to accept that challenge."
Wilson, a 37-year-old Democrat, is currently serving as confidential assistant to Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development Secretary Johnny Bradberry. Previously, he worked under Gov. Kathleen Blanco as a deputy director for legislative affairs and as executive director of the Louisiana Serve Commission during her term as lieutenant governor. Thus far, Wilson and retired Louisiana Technical College administrator Shelton Cobb, whom Hardy recently recommended, are the only two applicants for the District 3 school board seat. Like Wilson, Cobb also ran unsuccessfully for the District 3 city-parish council seat. Whomever the school board appoints to replace Hardy will serve through October, when a special election will be held for the seat.
Contributors: Scott Jordan and Nathan Stubbs
Thursday's Blogs from the Bog!
Dogs get back-to-school blues; mother pleads for release of journalist; ice bucket challenge and more national and international news for Thursday, August 28, 2014.
A group supporting taxpayer-funded private school tuition vouchers is appealing a federal judge's order that Louisiana must provide regular reports to federal officials on the state's voucher program.
The Discovery Channel has canceled reality TV star Will Hayden's popular "Sons of Guns" show after his arrest on an aggravated rape charge.
The LPSB will finally hear from the attorney it hired to investigate the superintendent at a special meeting Thursday at 4 p.m.
Authorities are investigating a report that a student there warned the principal of impending violence similar to that depicted in the movie "The Purge."
Saints cornerback Champ Bailey has played for more than a handful of playoff teams during a career that has seen him selected to 12 Pro Bowls.
Police say a 56-year-old Lafayette man walking behind a dump truck died when the truck hit him as it was backing up.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is a proud papa of new baby girl.
The books on Louisiana's last budget year have been closed, but it took a bit of borrowing from this year to make the numbers work.
The Iberia Parish Coroner responded Monday to the attention surrounding the questionable shooting of Victor White III, a black man from New Iberia who died April 2 while in the custody of local law enforcement.
Two months after lawmakers agreed to create a $40 million higher education incentive fund, no decisions have been made about how to divide the money.
With Drew Brees back healthy, the New Orleans Saints are free to work on the little things that can make the difference between a Super Bowl run and something less.
Incumbent U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu and her lead GOP challenger Congressman Bill Cassidy are running close when it comes to money. Landrieu has $5.5 million to Cassidy’s $5.6 million in the bank.
With expectations mounting that Gov. Bobby Jindal will soon announce his campaign for president, attention is turning to not only who he will bring along with him but also what will transpire politically back home during the transition.
Seven of the 11 U.S. cities in a new ranking of “most dangerous diets” are in the Bayou and Lone Star states, but the ranking is more about poverty than fried oysters.
Lafayette police are investigating a fatal shooting involving an alleged burglar and homeowner.
Saints tight end Jimmy Graham got the message from the NFL. He's not dunking footballs over goal posts any more.
With qualifying over, the start of campaign season is official, and for the Lafayette Parish School Board, the race toward Nov. 4 will pit 20 candidates in battles for all 9 of the district’s available seats.
An abortion rights organization has filed the first court challenge to a Louisiana law that would require doctors who perform abortions to be able to admit patients to a nearby hospital.
U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister started his sign-up for re-election Friday the same as any other candidate, filling out paperwork and handing over cash to pay his qualifying fee. But he finished it quite differently, doused with ice.
The recent release of Victor White III’s autopsy report could spell trouble, as it tells a much different story of his death than the one told five months ago by the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office.
“Candidates for Congress and members of Congress spend between 30 and 70 percent of their time raising money to get back to Congress or to get their party back into power.”
Over the last four days of the trial against attorney Daniel Stanford, there’s been one notable absence from Judge Elizabeth Foote’s courtroom: attorney Bill Goode.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees and wide receiver Nick Toon are not on the same page yet, and time is running short for Toon to get it right.