"I am the same man and the same candidate I was yesterday," Georges said in a statement released after he switched parties. "I simply choose not to participate in a system that puts party labels over good public policy. Partisan politics have become too divisive in Louisiana. I'm not running to be governor of a political party." Georges is joined by 12 other candidates including Jindal, the only Republican running. Other hopefuls include Democrats Foster Campbell, Walter Boasso, M.V. "Vinny" Mendoza, Hardy Parkerson, and Mary Volentine Smith; Libertarian T. Lee Horne III; and Anthony "Tony G" Gentile and B. Alexandrenko, who registered as "other." "No party" candidates include Vincent Mark Castillo, Arthur D. "Jim" Nichols and Sheldon Forest. ... SPEAKING OF SHELDON FOREST A 50-year-old independent water well driller from Maurice is the only gubernatorial candidate from Acadiana this election cycle. Sheldon Forest says he has been thinking about running for a decade. Since Sept. 5, when he threw his name into the hat, he's been saving his money. "I'm not accepting any campaign contributions; I don't belong to any party. I'm running for the people of Louisiana," he says. "I represent the common man."
He says what solidified his resolve to run was the political attack ads running on TV. "Look how these guys are treating each other. That's how they are going to treat us," he says. "They need somebody like me in there, who's going to keep all the state employees in place so we don't have a year of turmoil while new people learn their jobs, and who will take care of the people. I don't owe political favors to anybody."
Forest has some unusual ideas he's promoting, including raising money for hurricane recovery by taxing water usage. "There are so many people on a water meter that a little small tax, you won't even feel it. It will be like a mosquito bite, will add up to billions in no time ' forcing water to pay for the damage water caused. I'm an expert on water. It's a new tax base; nobody's ever thought of it." To help out the rice farmers of southwest Louisiana, Sheldon says he will institute a state program to promote ethanol made of rice. Defending Louisiana's coastline from attack is another point on Forest's agenda. "I plan to put lookout towers and forts along the coast, like it used to be in the old days. Actually, it should be pretty fun to do this." Forest says his heritage and work ethic has given him a natural ability to lead. "Being governor will be easier than digging water wells, that's for sure." ... BOUSTANY'S POSITIVE ASSESSMENT OF IRAQ Charles Boustany was one of two Congressmen who appeared on CNN's Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer to discuss their assessment of Iraq just a week before Congress was to hear key progress reports from U.S. military leaders. Both Boustany and the program's other guest, Democratic U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek of Florida, recently traveled to Iraq during Congress' August recess. While Meek favors a troop withdrawal due to the high cost of the war, Boustany echoed many of President Bush's recent statements that the current surge in troop levels appears to be working. "The plan that's been implemented since January is showing significant success," Boustany said. He noted Fallujah has seen a "major improvement" and that he and three other members of Congress were able to walk the streets there with only one marine platoon's worth of security. "Two months ago, that couldn't have happened," he said. Asked about recent reports that the President will be seeking an additional $50 billion or more from Congress for Iraq, Boustany said he would need to see a breakdown of the costs and that Congress should base its policy on the report from Gen. David Petraeus, the U.S.'s top military commander in Iraq.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Wednesday, March 12, 2014:
So far the Democratic agenda includes proposals to expand Medicaid; increase the minimum wage; offer equal pay to women; heighten regulations on predatory lending practices, like payday loans; and add more transparency in the governor’s office.
Hot-button education issues ranging from Common Core to charter schools have some lawmakers pushing to scrap the appointing process and go back to electing the state's super.
Police say the handcuffed man fatally shot himself in the back, but his family isn't buying the story.
Gov. Bobby Jindal offered a budget proposal that suggests new education and health care spending, pay raises for state workers and an incentive fund to encourage colleges to enhance their science, engineering and technology training.
Hopefully he’ll be better prepared today than he was in that Feb. 20 deposition.
They came by the hundreds, arriving from all regions of the state to gather on the steps of our Capitol in protest of the Legislature’s long tradition of giving industry the go-ahead to abuse our air, our water and our coastline, all in the name of good economics.
Gov. Bobby Jindal’s recent rhetoric against President Barack Obama has failed to boost his standing among the conservative base.
Louisiana's annual legislative session begins.
The state has hired marksmen to shoot feral hogs from helicopters at two wildlife management areas in south Louisiana.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has stalled action on a $3.5 billion annual school funding formula due to state lawmakers by March 15.
The New Orleans Saints have yet to make it official as of this writing, but popular wide receiver Lance Moore has reportedly been cut by the team to free up salary-cap space on the roster.
While two medical marijuana bills are slated for the upcoming legislative session, what some Louisianans might not know is that the plant was approved for therapeutic use by state lawmakers in 1991.
The agenda is shaping up to be lighter than in previous years. But Jindal is term-limited, with fewer than two years remaining in office, and he saw his last big initiative — a proposed rewrite of Louisiana tax law — collapse without getting a vote in 2013.
Sharper has been held without bail because of an arrest warrant issued by Louisiana authorities accusing him and another man of raping two women.
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.