"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.
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.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Thursday, April 17, 2014:
Thursday's Blogs from the Bog!
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.
Now that lawmakers have shot down efforts to cap annual interest rates for payday loans, supporters for stricter regulations of the storefront lenders are rallying behind another strategy.
The Appropriations Committee held public testimony day, letting people talk about what they like or don't like about Gov. Bobby Jindal's budget recommendations for the 2014-15 fiscal year that begins July 1.
Lafayette police are investigating the death of a 21-year-old woman whose body was found early Sunday in a drainage ditch in Girard Park.