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.
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.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Tuesday, March 11, 2014:
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.