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
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, March 07, 2014:
Two Lafayette men have been revealed by police as the infamous duo behind a caper that shook our fair city to its core.
The Lafayette Parish School Board has received a second letter of demand related to last year’s insurance debacle, this time from Key Benefit Administrators claiming it’s owed $93,000 from the school system.
The Louisiana coastline is vanishing faster than mappers can keep track.
A bill that would have overridden local ordinances prohibiting public and private employers from discriminating against lesbian, gay and transgender people has been pulled within less than a week of being filed.
The panel that selects nominees for a controversial New Orleans area flood control board — a board that is suing more than 90 oil, gas and pipeline companies — is set to discuss legislation affecting its independence.
State prison officials cannot keep secret the seller and manufacturer of the two drugs purchased for executions at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
State lawmakers will not appeal a judge's ruling that it was improper to use $3.7 million from a probation and parole officers' retirement fund to balance the state's operating budget.
Conservatives have been losing their minds over this satirical bit on the Colbert Report.
The Lafayette Parish School Board leaves a lot to be desired, but is scrapping the election process in favor of an appointed board the answer?
The House approved legislation Tuesday night to roll back a recently enacted overhaul of the federal flood insurance program, after homeowners in flood-prone areas complained about sharp premium increases.
The NFL has formally designated New Orleans' Jimmy Graham as a tight end for the purposes of his franchise tag value, which is now set at $7.05 million next season unless Graham and the Saints subsequently agree on a long-term deal.
A federal appeals panel ruled Monday that businesses don't have to prove that they were directly harmed by BP's 2010 Gulf Of Mexico oil spill to collect settlement payments.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development has closed Interstate 10 from I-49 in Lafayette to Seigen Lane in Baton Rouge.
Jim Bernhard, who engineered the sale of The Shaw Group for $3 billion, recently has told several people involved in Democratic politics that he intends to run for governor in 2015.
A New Orleans levee board wants to hold the oil and gas industry accountable for decades of damage to our state’s coastline, but the Legislature may be poised to put the kibosh on the suit.
New standards curb elective induction
CVS stops tobacco sales
If an Acadia Parish fiddler misses a note while swatting a fly, will a St. Martinville accordionist learn “Ma ‘Tite Fille”?
(It's good, it's bad and it's just crazy)
Can state lawmakers find the nerve — and the votes — to neuter payday lenders?
A calm demeanor has served Gerald Boudreaux well — in his career, passion for sports and in life. And it could be just what his district needs in the state Senate.
Acadiana Catholics* react to Francis
The circumstances surrounding the Jan. 26 fire of the 18,000-square-foot home on Verot School Road seemed strange, but what's even more bizarre is the back-story behind owner Ralph Wadleigh.
Choice cuts from Acadiana's news media for Friday, Feb. 28, 2014: