The Lake Charles politico has been a quintessential Democrat during his career, dating back to his days as Calcasieu Parish District Attorney. But reports are circulating that Ieyoub is considering a move to the Republican fold. He did nothing to discount a move last week. Asked about the rumors, Ieyoub cheerfully replied, "I have no comment on that."
It would seem that Ieyoub might passionately discount any flirtation with the GOP after logging a career infused by votes from African-Americans and blue-collar constituents. But the 61-year-old proven vote-getter would be a prize catch for state Republicans and could hardly be blamed for entertaining overtures to break through to the other side. Ieyoub could emerge as a challenger in 2007 to Gov. Blanco, the candidate he embraced in her runoff against Bobby Jindal two years ago.
Blanco and Ieyoub were a potent force in the final days of that campaign, but if there is an Ieyoub switch in the offing, Jindal might end up endorsing his former adversary. National Republicans are seeking diversity in the ranks and would relish the sight of an Indian-American backing a Lebanese-American in a Deep South gubernatorial race.
Ieyoub has found fellow Democrats his most menacing foes in the last decade. He missed a runoff for the Senate against Woody Jenkins by an eyelash nine years ago, and he contends Sen. Mary Landrieu played dirty politics to nudge past him into second place in the primary. In 2003, Buddy Leach took away a part of the Ieyoub base, leaving Blanco as the Democrat to battle Jindal. Ieyoub finished a close third in the race.
Friend and supporter Jim Bernhard of the Shaw Group is now the chair of the Louisiana Democratic Party. Bernhard makes it even less likely that Ieyoub will defect to the GOP. But Ieyoub is a man who embraces change. He probably has one good race remaining, and as a Republican, Ieyoub could challenge Landrieu or Blanco and have a fighting chance of prevailing.
As a Democrat, this seasoned politician must wait until he's 64 years old in 2008 to go toe to toe with U.S. Sen. David Vitter, and there may be ample candidates inside the Democratic fold. Ieyoub has a substantial record and sizable ambition, and soon political junkies will know if the Republican Party is large enough for the Lake Charles heavyweight.
JEFFERSON EYED BY FEDS
Federal agents raided two residences occupied by New Orleans Congressman Bill Jefferson this month. Reports quote unnamed sources as saying cash was seized from a freezer in the process. Jefferson attorney Michael Fawer says any information in the case should be put on ice, and the high-profile lawyer chides the feds for allegedly leaking the story.
Some pundits are preparing a political obituary for the eight-term U.S. House member, but Jefferson is used to beating the odds. He was born in Lake Providence, one of the poorest towns in America. After earning a diploma from Southern University in Baton Rouge, Jefferson collected a law degree from Harvard. While serving in Congress, he added a master's degree to his resume.
Jefferson is a soft-spoken, lanky man and a consummate schmoozer. He has been involved in business dealings on a couple of continents, and there is speculation that his associations in Africa are at the center of this probe. It's too early to count Jefferson out, and his defense will be vigorous with Fawer at the helm. The feds are also playing to win this one by placing the case in a largely white Republican suburb of Virginia, not in Washington D.C., where Jefferson lives away from New Orleans.
Six years ago, Jefferson ran for governor and finished a distant second to Mike Foster in the race. In defeat, he solidified his standing as the most prominent African-American politician in Louisiana. The Second District congressman succeeded Lindy Boggs in the House and has rubbed shoulders with some of the most prominent politicians in America during his 15 years on Capitol Hill.
The former Louisiana lawmaker, who sometimes was called "Dollar Bill" for his ability in the state Senate to attract funding for programs near and dear to New Orleans, is now derisively called the same name in some quarters. He's likely to face a forgiving electorate next year, but his career ' and freedom ' could be at stake if he is indicted.
Local and state agents Thursday night raided The Keg, the popular college bar located in the area known as The Strip, leading to the (at least) temporary closure of the venue.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, April 18, 2014:
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Time and time again, the Lafayette Parish School Board shows an overwhelming tendency toward idiocy, but Wednesday night’s contentious discussion over Northside High School’s teen mother program tops the list of dumb discussions.
“The accomplishment of this goal within the next ten years is not only critical for the region to effectively compete with other regions for residents and businesses, but also to provide an amenity for everyone in Acadiana to enjoy.”
Education Superintendent John White says a continued push to try to keep Louisiana from using tests associated with the Common Core education standards are creating "a state of chaos" for public school teachers.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's plan to use $210 million in surplus and one-time money to help balance next year's budget received the backing Thursday of the State Bond Commission, support that was needed for the maneuver to work.
State wildlife and fisheries agents have arrested a 39-year-old man accused of stealing crawfish.
An East Feliciana Parish lawmaker has jettisoned his proposal to make it harder for a condemned prisoner to appeal a death sentence.
Senators advanced a proposal Wednesday that would let the governor remove New Orleans-area levee board members for violating what he considers to be public policy, despite concerns it would introduce political meddling into state flood protection.
The Lafayette City-Parish Council on Tuesday will vote on a resolution that if approved would clear the way for a December ballot proposition asking voters to approve a 1-cent sales tax parishwide to help fund the construction of a new terminal at Lafayette Regional Airport.
Just days before the fourth anniversary of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster and oil spill, the Coast Guard has moved cleanup of Louisiana's coast to a new phase, allowing BP to end its "active" efforts in the area.
Legislators still must leave their guns at the door of the Louisiana Capitol.
Sen. Fred Mills may have an "R" behind his name, but his actions in the Louisiana Legislature transcend the established boundaries of his party.
The Louisiana House overwhelmingly rejected a repeal of the state's unconstitutional anti-sodomy law Tuesday.
The Louisiana Senate sided with Gov. Bobby Jindal and the oil industry Tuesday, agreeing to void a lawsuit that a south Louisiana flood board filed against more than 90 oil and gas companies for coastal damage.
Acadian rep notifies would-be supporters that an April 25 fundraiser for the embattled U.S. rep won’t go on as planned.
While it isn’t all too unusual for public bodies to have hired security present during meetings, the LPSB’s push to do so is arguably a response to the antics of one board member.
“I’m running. Why would I be raising all this money? Just to have to return it to people?”
With incumbent U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu watching from afar, and with a united Democratic Party in her corner, the fight to get the GOP officially behind Congressman Bill Cassidy is gaining just as much momentum as it is hushed controversy.
15th Judicial District Judge Durwood Conque has announced that he will not seek re-election after 27 years on the bench.
The controversial standardized tests are set to be used in third-grade through eighth-grade public school classrooms next year.
The Louisiana Senate has agreed to prohibit unmanned aircraft from flying over chemical plants, water treatment systems, telecommunications networks and other items considered "critical infrastructure" in Louisiana.
It didn’t take long for KATC TV 3 to jump all over the news of a dead body found in Girard Park, but in its rush to produce headlines, the local TV station got sloppy.
An unholy trinity of civil-society upheavalers whose first names are not Conner, Tanner or Logan are facing charges in Eunice.