The Lake Charles politico has been a quintessential Democrat during his career, dating back to his days as Calcasieu Parish District Attorney. But reports are circulating that Ieyoub is considering a move to the Republican fold. He did nothing to discount a move last week. Asked about the rumors, Ieyoub cheerfully replied, "I have no comment on that."
It would seem that Ieyoub might passionately discount any flirtation with the GOP after logging a career infused by votes from African-Americans and blue-collar constituents. But the 61-year-old proven vote-getter would be a prize catch for state Republicans and could hardly be blamed for entertaining overtures to break through to the other side. Ieyoub could emerge as a challenger in 2007 to Gov. Blanco, the candidate he embraced in her runoff against Bobby Jindal two years ago.
Blanco and Ieyoub were a potent force in the final days of that campaign, but if there is an Ieyoub switch in the offing, Jindal might end up endorsing his former adversary. National Republicans are seeking diversity in the ranks and would relish the sight of an Indian-American backing a Lebanese-American in a Deep South gubernatorial race.
Ieyoub has found fellow Democrats his most menacing foes in the last decade. He missed a runoff for the Senate against Woody Jenkins by an eyelash nine years ago, and he contends Sen. Mary Landrieu played dirty politics to nudge past him into second place in the primary. In 2003, Buddy Leach took away a part of the Ieyoub base, leaving Blanco as the Democrat to battle Jindal. Ieyoub finished a close third in the race.
Friend and supporter Jim Bernhard of the Shaw Group is now the chair of the Louisiana Democratic Party. Bernhard makes it even less likely that Ieyoub will defect to the GOP. But Ieyoub is a man who embraces change. He probably has one good race remaining, and as a Republican, Ieyoub could challenge Landrieu or Blanco and have a fighting chance of prevailing.
As a Democrat, this seasoned politician must wait until he's 64 years old in 2008 to go toe to toe with U.S. Sen. David Vitter, and there may be ample candidates inside the Democratic fold. Ieyoub has a substantial record and sizable ambition, and soon political junkies will know if the Republican Party is large enough for the Lake Charles heavyweight.
JEFFERSON EYED BY FEDS
Federal agents raided two residences occupied by New Orleans Congressman Bill Jefferson this month. Reports quote unnamed sources as saying cash was seized from a freezer in the process. Jefferson attorney Michael Fawer says any information in the case should be put on ice, and the high-profile lawyer chides the feds for allegedly leaking the story.
Some pundits are preparing a political obituary for the eight-term U.S. House member, but Jefferson is used to beating the odds. He was born in Lake Providence, one of the poorest towns in America. After earning a diploma from Southern University in Baton Rouge, Jefferson collected a law degree from Harvard. While serving in Congress, he added a master's degree to his resume.
Jefferson is a soft-spoken, lanky man and a consummate schmoozer. He has been involved in business dealings on a couple of continents, and there is speculation that his associations in Africa are at the center of this probe. It's too early to count Jefferson out, and his defense will be vigorous with Fawer at the helm. The feds are also playing to win this one by placing the case in a largely white Republican suburb of Virginia, not in Washington D.C., where Jefferson lives away from New Orleans.
Six years ago, Jefferson ran for governor and finished a distant second to Mike Foster in the race. In defeat, he solidified his standing as the most prominent African-American politician in Louisiana. The Second District congressman succeeded Lindy Boggs in the House and has rubbed shoulders with some of the most prominent politicians in America during his 15 years on Capitol Hill.
The former Louisiana lawmaker, who sometimes was called "Dollar Bill" for his ability in the state Senate to attract funding for programs near and dear to New Orleans, is now derisively called the same name in some quarters. He's likely to face a forgiving electorate next year, but his career ' and freedom ' could be at stake if he is indicted.
Business organizations opposed the proposal, saying it would lead to job losses and higher prices for goods and services.
An attempt to repeal a six-year-old law that permits public school science teachers to use material outside a classroom's adopted textbook has been rejected by the Senate Education Committee.
New York Times poll shows Obama, Jindal have identical approval and disapproval ratings in the state.
OK, so they’re bentgrass, the type used on golf course greens. But grass is grass.
The Senate Finance Committee approved the bill Wednesday, despite opponents who argued it would shut down the storefront lenders.
A measure to allow the state to implement its own, less stringent plan for limiting carbon dioxide emissions unanimously passed the Senate.
FDA to regulate e-cigarettes, Jodie Foster gets married, Vermont to require labels on genetically-modified food, and more news for today, April 24, 2014.
Thursday's Blogs from the Bog!
A push to expand Louisiana's Medicaid program as allowed under the federal health care has been overwhelmingly rejected by the Senate health committee.
Louisiana welfare recipients would be prohibited in state law from spending the federal assistance at lingerie shops, tattoo parlors, nail salons and jewelry stores, under a bill that received the support Wednesday of a House committee.
Senators will consider whether to prohibit private businesses in Louisiana from paying unequal wages to employees of different genders for the same job.
Rep. Joel Robideaux has delayed bill hearings and said unless a compromise can be reached, he won't bring up the legislation this session.
Once again, Lafayette Parish School Board President Hunter Beasley is focused on an issue that has nothing to do with the educational well-being of our public school children.
After exhausting his appeals all the way to the state Supreme Court, the owner of the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete has no legal remedy left save one: do an end run around the high court via a bill that would grandfather his “right” to keep a 550-pound tiger enclosed in a pin at his roadside business.
Louisiana poet Darrell Bourque has won the 2014 Louisiana Writer Award, given annually to recognize outstanding contributions to Louisiana's literary and intellectual life.
Drivers would have to secure dogs riding in truck beds while on interstate highways, if the Senate agrees to a bill backed by the House.
An effort to prohibit employers from discriminating based on sexual orientation or gender identity was shelved Tuesday for the legislative session.
Louisiana won't lessen its penalties for marijuana possession, keeping laws on the books that allow people to be jailed up to 20 years for repeat offenses of having the drug in hand.
“This is one of the oldest divides that exists, and that divide is about the haves and the have-nots.”
It took a few weeks for the pitfalls to emerge in the governor’s $25 billion budget, but the time of judgment has finally arrived.
With pressure continuing to build for him to resign, Congressman Vance McAllister announced plans recently to remain secluded during the Easter break, but the Swartz Republican has said he’ll be back on the Hill casting votes and attending committee meetings when the congressional recess ends April 28.
A bid to limit the use of unmanned aircraft on private property in Louisiana stalled Monday in the Louisiana Senate.
A Shreveport lawmaker said Monday he's scrapping his proposal to name the Bible as Louisiana's official state book.
Attorney hopes fellow lawyers will join him in urging the D.A. to step aside and allow a competent, ethical challenger to take over the scandal-ridden office.
An official with the Louisiana Department of Education was arrested on a range of charges Friday after allegedly breaking into a home and brandishing a knife.