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.
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.
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Wednesday, April 16, 2014:
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.
Former Grant parish District Attorney Ed Tarpley says he's running for the U.S. House seat currently held by Republican Vance McAllister of Swartz.
Louisiana-Lafayette got strong starting pitching and timely hitting to hold off Arkansas-Little Rock 6-3 in Sun Belt Conference baseball in Lafayette, La.
Chris Williams knows how to pilfer from the public coffers, this time with a back-pay lawsuit filed three years ago against the Lafayette Housing Authority, which netted the former city-parish councilman a cool five figures.
McAllister's office vowed that he intended to stay in office — for now. As for questions about whether he would stand for re-election in November, those were dodged.
The Green Army's Lafayette brigade has announced it will pay a visit Friday morning to Sen. Page Cortez to urge him to vote against Sen. Robert Adley's SB 553, which the group is calling the "Big Oil Bailout Bill of 2014."