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.
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.
Tuesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Oscar de la Renta dies; Pistorius sentenced; World Series begins and more national and international news for Tuesday, October 21, 2014.
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.
Even though it had been rumored for months, U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu finally pulled the trigger recently on a major campaign shakeup that moved control over to a few Big Easy insiders.
Louisiana's health department says it will seek law changes to stop billing sexual assault victims for exams and tests.
It wasn’t the historic slashes to higher ed funding or the ensuing tuition spikes that recently had LSU’s student body and faculty riled up in collective outrage.
Will $400 be enough for the re-election campaign of LPSB's Hunter Beasley to overcome two years of holding our school system hostage and hurting the education of our children all because of a personal dislike of the superintendent?
Saints tight end Jimmy Graham said Friday he expects his playing status in Detroit to be decided by coach Sean Payton on Sunday, shortly before the game.
Lawmakers have sidestepped a decision on whether they accept claims from Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration that the state closed last year's books with a nearly $179 million surplus.
Coming off the high of a fourth quarter comeback against Tampa Bay and a helpful bye week, linebacker Junior Galette sees a real turnaround coming for New Orleans' struggling defense.
Former President Bill Clinton, the Democratic Party's most popular surrogate this fall, is heading to Louisiana early next week for a campaign rally with U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu.
Time and again you hear people say DA Mike Harson is unbeatable because he's doled out political favors over the past 20 years. But a new lawsuit could end that speculation.
After the season's signature win (so far), here are some helpful tips for Cajun Nation during the conference stretch.
Did the state close last year's books with a surplus or a deficit?
Practicing without limitations on Wednesday, running back Mark Ingram looked ready to return to a New Orleans offense that once again ranks among the NFL's best when the Saints play at Detroit on Sunday.
It’s been decided: Superintendents of Louisiana’s public school system will retain the controversial powers granted by Act 1 of the 2012 session.
Louisiana Treasurer John Kennedy has a bone to pick with the Jindal administration, which recently — surprise! — announced that the state ended the most recent budget year with a $178.5 million dollar surplus.
The messaging battle, however, isn't tied to individual campaign accounts. Third-party groups have poured millions of dollars into advertising.
With her political future in jeopardy, Sen. Mary Landrieu is turning to a natural constituent base in her re-election bid.
Terrance Broadway threw for a touchdown and rushed for 113 yards to lead Louisiana-Lafayette to a 34-10 victory over Texas State on Tuesday night.