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
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Sign "ninjas" cleaning up clutter; NYC doctor positive for Ebola; Ferguson grand jury decision nears; and more national and international news for Friday, October 24, 2014.
We can safely assume incumbent Chief K.P. Gibson isn’t too worried about this challenger.
Nationally, Republicans must gain six seats to win Senate control. The most competitive races, many in states where Obama lost in 2012, remain too close to call.
The Baton Rouge Republican has repeatedly battled a perception within his own party that he perhaps wasn't the best choice to carry the GOP banner.
Even if Jimmy Graham's production dips while the star tight end recovers from a shoulder injury, it looks like Drew Brees won't have much trouble finding other targets.
A former campaign manager for Senate candidate Rob Maness is striking at the Republican contender's tea party support, saying Maness only sought to appeal to conservative organizations because he needed money for his campaign.
Ninety-two percent of public school teachers were rated either effective or highly effective in a report the state issued marking the second year of a new statewide evaluation process.
School board members Mark Babineaux, Hunter Beasley and Tehmi Chassion can vote to fire Cooper — because we all know that’s exactly what they’ll do.
District 2 school board candidate Simon Mahan is hoping to unseat first-term incumbent and former Carencro Mayor Tommy Angelle in the Nov. 4 election.
District Attorney Mike Harson is showing his desperation by falsely attributing quotes to his opponent and blocking journalists from his social media.
The governor is traveling the country laying the groundwork for a possible 2016 presidential campaign, but his approval ratings at home hover well below 50 percent.
State District Judge Bob Downing extended the order and delayed a planned Wednesday hearing about a permanent injunction while negotiations continue between Attorney General Buddy Caldwell and the waste disposal site operator.
New Louisiana higher education commissioner Joseph Rallo will be paid more than his predecessor.
Elijah McGuire and Alonzo Harris each had four rushing touchdowns, and Louisiana-Lafayette rolled to 419 yards on the ground in a 55-40 victory over Arkansas State on Tuesday night.
Bill and Hillary Clinton are the validators-in-chief for Democrats struggling through a bleak campaign season in states where President Barack Obama is deeply unpopular.
President Barack Obama is turning to black radio listeners to plead for midterm votes, a targeted approach to drum up Democratic support at a time when many candidates don't want him around in person.
"I am extremely disheartened by the political machines that are attempting to hijack my efforts along with others that advocate for children."
Landrieu, who is fighting to keep her seat for a fourth term, said that Ebola is serious and precautions should be taken, but she accused Republicans of using the virus outbreak in West Africa to "create fear" here at home.
Law enforcement agencies are participating in a "Louisiana Heroin Summit," designed to address the recent rise in heroin use and drug-related deaths around the state.
State education officials are preparing to release performance scores for public schools and public school districts.
Saints coach Sean Payton is starting a new week by emphasizing, repeatedly, the many good things he noticed during New Orleans' latest loss.
We will be offering our recommendations on the constitutional amendments tomorrow.
The justices did not comment in leaving in place lower court rulings that dismissed the lawsuits against BP and other companies involved in the worst U.S. offshore oil spill.
White registration is down by 7,700 voters while black registration has shot up by 7,100 voters.