The Post reports that lobbyists arranged a meeting between Voyager reps and Landrieu, and shortly after the meeting, someone in Landrieu's office asked Voyager founder Randy Best if he would throw a fund-raiser for Landrieu. Best did just that in October 2001, and Voyager employees and relatives soon donated enough to Landrieu's coffers to put the company in the Top 20 of Landrieu donors, eclipsing corporations like BellSouth and Tenet Healthcare. Approximately four days after Landrieu hauled in close to $30,000 in Voyager contributions, she added the earmark amendment to a House bill, initially allocating $1 million but then waiving the matching money requirement to push the allotment to $2 million. Two weeks later, she secured $700,000 for Voyager to be tried in Louisiana.
On the public relations front, Landrieu didn't help her cause by declining interview requests from The Post, instead releasing a statement saying, "It is not uncommon for Members of Congress to receive contributions from individuals who support their policy goals." She also noted she has "long championed new approaches to improving children's education, leading the push for smarter public-private partnerships and for innovative programs like Voyager." ... SHAWN WILSON APPLYING FOR DISTRICT 3 SCHOOL BOARD SEAT Shawn Wilson has thrown his name in the ring to be considered for the District 3 school board seat being vacated by Rickey Hardy. Hardy was elected last month to the state Legislature and will be leaving his school board post at the start of the new year. The school board will vote on an interim replacement for Hardy at its Jan. 9 meeting. Wilson, who recently lost a runoff election for District 3's city-parish council seat, sent in his resume and cover letter late last week, asking the board to consider naming him as Hardy's successor.
Wilson decided to apply after talking with several supporters who encouraged him to stay publicly involved after his unsuccessful campaign for city-parish council. He also sees a need for new leadership on the board, given the poor perception and lack of trust in the school system evident in the recent debates over the closure of N.P. Moss Middle School. "Leadership isn't always sent; it's called," Wilson says. "I think my background offers something that should be considered, and if the board so desires, I'll be willing to accept that challenge."
Wilson, a 37-year-old Democrat, is currently serving as confidential assistant to Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development Secretary Johnny Bradberry. Previously, he worked under Gov. Kathleen Blanco as a deputy director for legislative affairs and as executive director of the Louisiana Serve Commission during her term as lieutenant governor. Thus far, Wilson and retired Louisiana Technical College administrator Shelton Cobb, whom Hardy recently recommended, are the only two applicants for the District 3 school board seat. Like Wilson, Cobb also ran unsuccessfully for the District 3 city-parish council seat. Whomever the school board appoints to replace Hardy will serve through October, when a special election will be held for the seat.
Contributors: Scott Jordan and Nathan Stubbs
The fight to clean up Lafayette Parish could get some added ammunition with two ordinances up for votes Tuesday by the City-Parish Council targeting litter-bugs.
By striking a deal to lessen the blow of health insurance changes on state workers, school employees and retirees, Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration lowered the volume of criticism but gave itself and local school boards a new budget headache.
With the airport tax coming up for a parishwide vote in about a week, the Broussard City Council and its mayor have come out in support of the proposal.
Protesters rallied peacefully in several Louisiana cities in the wake of the Missouri grand jury decision not to indict a police officer in the fatal shooting of Michal Brown.
US cities bidding on Olympics; Guard prevents more Ferguson riots; storm threatens travel and more national and international news for Wednesday, November 26, 2014.
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
The U.S. rep billed LSU for work allegedly performed on the same days Congress voted on major legislation and held important committee hearings on energy and the ACA.
Abysmally low participation by the public has prompted the council to scuttle the 2014 survey with plans to simplify it and try again next year.
The village now says the ordinance will likely be overturned and authorities will more vigorously enforce existing leash laws.
Bill Cassidy cast an early ballot Tuesday, seeking to draw renewed attention to a race that has fallen off newspaper front pages and away from people's minds as they plan holiday meals and shopping schedules.
Battered all night by Baltimore's relentless pass rush, Drew Brees could feel his protection collapsing and Terrell Suggs getting ahold of him as he urgently unloaded a pass to the right flat toward tight end Jimmy Graham.
After a convincing defeat at the polls on Nov. 4, Earl “Nickey” Picard has decided to let bygones be bygones with his former right-hand man Brian Pope, announcing his support for his former employee’s runoff bid to become Lafayette’s next city marshal.
Saturday the athletic department did everything possible to ensure the 2014 Ragin’ Cajun seniors remembered fondly their last home game. Rain and lightning never arrived but turbulence did in the form of the Appalachian State Mountaineers.
Even stranger than the Republican Party’s decision to hold a “unity rally” earlier this month for Congressman Bill Cassidy in a Baton Rouge bar, Huey’s Bar, was the fact that the establishment was named after Louisiana’s most famous Democrat.
Bar Code is not a gay bar.
After failing to pass a medical marijuana bill last year, state Sen. Fred Mills, R-Parks, is telling supporters he will return in 2015 with legislation that focuses on different applications like oils and pills.
Voters, obviously, are not yet tuned into the 2015 ballot, despite the intriguing races it will host.
By now, the story of how longtime LSU coach Dale Brown discovered Shaquille O'Neal has been told many times: Brown happened upon a massive 13-year-old at an army base in Germany, stayed in touch with him and eventually became like a second father.
Fate simply wasn't ready to give the New Orleans Saints a break from longtime nemesis Steve Smith.
Lafayette Police have had a busy day.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration will use $130 million in patchwork financing from a tax amnesty program, insurance settlement, uninsured motorist penalties and other excess funds to close most of the state's midyear budget deficit.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu said she disagrees with President Barack Obama's actions on immigration, hoping the latest controversy doesn't worsen her campaign difficulties.
Gay-rights advocates challenging Louisiana's same-sex marriage ban announced Thursday that they have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review their case before it is heard by a federal appeals court.
Thinking himself the “son of God,” the man charged with the 2013 killing of an officer of the Chitimacha Tribal Police will not stand trial following a ruling Thursday on his mental competency.
Either Saints coach Sean Payton doesn't want to tip Baltimore off as to who'll start in New Orleans' secondary on Monday night, or he really doesn't know yet.