A powerful and controversial figure, Odom has been embroiled in legal troubles since 2002 when a grand jury indicted him on charges that included bribery and money laundering. He was re-elected in 2003 amid those charges and the legal wrangling continued through his last term. The charges were eventually dropped. Odom's seventh term comes to an end Jan. 14, when Strain is sworn in. ... CAMPBELL'S RISQUÃ? MONEY Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell, a Democrat from Elm Grove, may have finished at the bottom of the high-profile candidates for governor this year with only 12 percent of the vote, but he had the sexiest money. DÃ©jÃ Vu Showgirls, a Bourbon Street strip club that boasts "thousands of beautiful girls and three ugly ones," ponied up $5,000 to Campbell's bid, according to campaign finance reports. Another $5,000 came from the owner of SB Entertainment's infamous Chicken Ranch Brothel in Pahrump, Nev. The company's president, Jason Mohney, has also reportedly owned four New Orleans strips clubs at one time or another.
When The Advocate asked Campbell about the funds, the PSC member said he had no idea how the money came into his campaign. "I've never been in DÃ©jÃ Vu personally," he said. "But, hey, it's legal." THE WRDA BILL'S LOCAL PROJECTS A far-reaching water resources bill already approved by Congress finally reached the desk of President Bush last week, placing the fate of a number of local coastal restoration and protection measures firmly in the hands of the commander-in-chief.
Overall, the bill has authorization for at least $3.6 billion, or 17 percent of its total, set aside for Louisiana, and a great deal is dedicated to the parishes of Terrebonne and Lafourche. Locally it includes authorization for Morganza to the Gulf and improvements to south Lafourche levees. Most notably, it includes the $900 million for the Morganza-to-the-Gulf hurricane-protection project, which entails more than 72 miles of floodgates, locks and other protections.
Other local projects included are $9.6 million for work on the Bayou Sorrel Lock; $129.7 million to improve channel depths at the Port of Iberia; at least $32 million for public access to the Atchafalaya Basin Floodway System on 20,000 acres of land; an agreement to study the possibility of a regional visitor's center for the Atchafalaya Basin Floodway System in the Morgan City area; $1.2 million for wastewater improvements for Lafayette; and $1 million for wastewater improvements for Lake Charles.
Bush has threatened to veto the bill, but a veto override is likely. In a bipartisan move that deserves credit, the entire Louisiana delegation has pledged to support a veto override. ... JINDAL WEB SITE COLLECTING RESUMES Gov.-elect Bobby Jindal is making it clear he won't be using the backroom, "good ole' boy" system to select members of his new administration. The 36-year-old Rhodes scholar, who based his campaign on reforming the state's image, says he considers every job within his administration an open one and has set up a Web site, louisianatransition.com, encouraging all interested to apply. In a message posted on the site, Jindal writes he is looking for "talented people who love our state to help me bring change to Baton Rouge." "As I've said many times," Jindal continues, "reforming Louisiana means guaranteeing that 'what you know' is more important than 'who you know.' That's why this Web site is the only way to submit your resume or apply for an administration job during the transition ' it will ensure a fair talent search to find the best and brightest to serve Louisiana." Interested applicants attach their resumes to a simple form on the site, which is then submitted to Jindal's transition team for consideration. In addition, the site also seeks input from those not seeking a job. A separate feature prompts you to "submit an idea" to the Jindal team. Jindal writes he wants to hear from anyone with "an idea to make our state government more efficient, innovative or effective." ... SECRETARY OF STATE'S WEB SITE BOGS DOWN Trying to access the updated election returns on Oct. 20 from the Secretary of State's Web site was about as pleasant as a root canal. Users who waited long enough would eventually find the information they sought, while others' connections would time out.
Jacques Berry, spokesman for the Secretary of State's office, says the problem was "a combination of extremely high traffic internationally and the methods that some users were using to get the information." Bots ' particularly "screen scrape" programs ' would attempt to access information from the Web site every second. The unusually high traffic activity didn't take the web server down, it just slowed information down to an excruciating trickle. "There were too many users but especially too many bots running, and we're looking at what we can do in the future." He says the problem will be addressed before the November runoff elections.
The Secretary of State's Web site experienced 124 times more traffic on election weekend than it normally does. While an average of 215 users access the site every weekend, this past weekend had 27,000 users, with 6.2 million hits to the site. "There was unprecedented international interest in this race," Berry says.
U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu is courting young voters in several appearances across Louisiana this week, talking about her support for legislation that could lower students' college costs.
Coton de tulear joins Westminster; Paypal splitting from Ebay; first US Ebola diagnosis and more national and international news for Wednesday, October 1, 2014.
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Stage 4 vet takes on cancer and reminds us all what it really means to get involved.
Is Mary fading as Vitter solidifies his lock on the fourth floor?
Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration has renegotiated contracts for six LSU hospital privatization deals, hoping to reach a compromise with federal health officials that will keep Medicaid dollars flowing to the privatized patient services.
Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu is defending her record on gun rights, seeking to rebut sharp criticism from the NRA in a state where the right to bear arms is given special constitutional protection.
Citizens, you have less than a week to register to vote in the Nov. 4 election. Remember, if you don’t vote you can’t complain about the outcome. Well, you can but it’s kind of hypocritical.
After being forced out by its former landlords last year, the community garden has a new location and a 10-year lease.
The party says it has hit a milestone, reaching 10,000 registered voters in the state.
Defensive captain Junior Galette is disgusted by the Saints' sluggish start.
The use of $60 million in Louisiana's public school financing formula to pay for nearly three dozen charter schools violates the state constitution, a statewide teachers' union claimed Monday in a lawsuit.
February trial date indicates parties were unable to negotiate a settlement.
There was a time when United Ballot had a political stranglehold so tight on Lafayette’s black community it was nearly unbreakable, but that grip might be loosening.
The race for Lafayette city marshal may not be the most exciting of this year’s local political contests, but it could prove the most historic.
With the DA’s race too close to call and negative media coverage of Mike Harson on the ebb, will challenger Keith Stutes take the gloves off?
Gov. Bobby Jindal has been viewed as a health care policy wonk, and he's tried to build on that image ahead of a likely 2016 presidential campaign, positioning himself as the candidate with substantive ideas.
Jerry Jones watched what he called the best effort he's seen in 25 years as owner of the Dallas Cowboys in the first half, and that was before Tony Romo had the longest scramble of his career and DeMarco Murray finished off yet another 100-yard game.
Two of the most recognizable women in Republican politics, Sarah Palin and Mary Matalin, have been heavily involved in Louisiana’s current election cycle.
Even though the Louisiana Democratic Party has thrown its support behind former Gov. Edwin Edwards’ congressional bid, national Democrats are not expected to follow suit.
“[Mike] is no longer the energetic ADA that his recent ad is trying to portray. I just think Mike needs to get the hell out.” — Kermit Harson, DA Mike Harson’s brother
The New Orleans Saints have listed Jonathan Goodwin as questionable for Sunday night's game in Dallas, raising the prospect that second-year pro Tim Lelito will start at center for the first time.
The endorsements keep coming for District 9 LPSB candidate Jeremy Hidalgo, who picked up his fifth vow of support Thursday, this time from the Chamber’s political action committee.
Republican U.S. Sen. David Vitter will be out knocking on doors this weekend with anti-abortion activists encouraging people to vote against his colleague, Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu.
The ACLU of Louisiana has sued Abbeville's mayor and police chief over a policy barring police from any social media use showing the city in a bad light.