CLINTON’S LAFAYETTE VISIT FOR NAUGHT ... Former President Bill Clinton’s Lafayette stop last Friday at Country Cuisine was part of a statewide blitz on behalf of his wife Hillary’s presidential bid — and after Saturday’s presidential primary results came in, he probably wishes he had spent his time campaigning elsewhere. “Obama crushes Clinton,” newspaper headlines across the country blared, as Illinois Sen. Barack Obama handily defeated Clinton in Louisiana, Washington and Nebraska. Obama won by a 57 percent to 36 percent margin in Louisiana. (In Lafayette Parish, Obama collected 8,378 votes, compared to 4,888 for Clinton.) Clinton arrived 90 minutes late for his Country Cuisine appearance, and it didn’t help matters that Country Cuisine seemed a strange choice for Clinton’s stop. Its top-notch barbecue and southern cooking notwithstanding, its limited seating meant that most of the estimated 400-plus in attendance couldn’t get inside to hear Clinton’s brief stump speech for his wife.
RADIO ADS AND ROBOCALLS ... Bill Clinton wasn’t the only veteran Democrat whose influence didn’t tilt the Louisiana Democratic Primary in the direction he hoped. Former Sen. John Breaux recorded a radio spot on Hillary Clinton’s behalf that aired on stations like KBON 101.1 — and personally introduced Bill Clinton in Baton Rouge and Lafayette — but his clout with voters may be receding after his ill-fated flirtation with the 2007 governor’s race. On the Republican side, Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee received the help of a third-party robocall campaign that left phone messages at Acadiana households lambasting Republican frontrunner John McCain and his “liberal friends.” The pro-life robocall said that a vote for Huckabee was “a vote for life,” and was the handiwork of Common Sense Issues, a Virginia-based non-profit 501(c)4 that has made more than 5 million calls nationwide promoting Huckabee’s candidacy. In Louisiana, Huckabee narrowly edged McCain by a 43 percent to 42 percent margin. In Lafayette Parish, McCain came out on top — he garnered 3,306 votes, while Huckabee collected 3,053 votes.
SHERIFF’S FRIEND GETS 10 YEARS IN LEBLANC TEXAS SCANDAL ... A longtime friend of disgraced Texas Sheriff Ralph Lopez was sentenced to 10 years in state prison for his role in the alleged bribery scandal involving a company owned by Patrick and Mike LeBlanc of Lafayette. San Antonio’s Express-News reported last week that State District Judge Juanita Vasquez-Gardner declined 68-year-old John Reynolds’s request to postpone sentencing so that he could care for his ailing wife. Reynolds, who also served as the former sheriff’s campaign manager, pleaded guilty to demanding $32,000 from the LeBlancs’ company, Premier Management Enterprises, in exchange for contracts to operate jail commissaries in Bexar County, Texas. Reynolds, who claimed the money was charitable and campaign contributions, was also ordered to pay $10,000.
The LeBlancs have maintained their innocence; on Saturday Patrick LeBlanc was elected to the Louisiana Republican State Central Committee, defeating Gary Reynolds 513 to 194 votes. LeBlanc ran an unsuccessful campaign for state representative last fall, losing to fellow Republican Page Cortez.
Last September, 71-year-old Sheriff Lopez pleaded no contest to state charges of taking golf and fishing trips paid for by Premier. He resigned from office.
Reynolds’ sentencing marks the end of the state’s public corruption prosecution, but the federal investigation continues. Lopez and Reynolds have been cooperating with the feds, and an FBI spokesman told the San Antonio paper on Friday that the investigation “into Premier’s contracting is ongoing.”
MELANCON, BOUSTANY TO HOST “FARM DAY 2008” ... U.S. Reps. Charlie Melancon and Charles Boustany are teaming up for “Farm Day 2008,” to be held Feb. 20 at the West St. Mary Civic Center in Jeanerette. It’s the second time the two congressmen have joined forces for the event, which debuted last year in Rayne. Now an annual gathering, the half-day session is designed to provide information for area farmers and ranchers about current legislation and policies in Washington, D.C., affecting agriculture. This year’s Farm Day will feature presentations from industry experts on the status of the Farm Bill and trade agreements, as well as keynote speaker Mark Keenum, USDA under secretary, Farm and Foreign Agricultural Service. Interested participants should RSVP by calling (866) 289-9210 or e-mailing
Contributors: Jeremy Alford, Scott Jordan and Leslie Turk
Despite sweeping changes enacted by Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration, the health insurance program for state workers and public school employees will have to use $88 million from its reserve fund to cover its costs this year.
The LPSB races are sure to get heated between now and Nov. 4, and with only 9 available seats, this year's field of 20 candidates will surely be wanting to set themselves apart from the crowd early; they'll get their chance next week, starting Tuesday with the kick-off of a three-day series of candidate forums.
Lawmakers say they've received complaints that waits have spiked, with people being forced to wait in line for more than an hour — and sometimes three hours — to handle routine tasks.
The campaign announced that Rep. Stuart Bishop of District 43 and Nancy Landry, District 31, have thrown their support behind the Naval Academy graduate and entrepreneur in his bid to unseat current Hunter Beasley in District 8.
A Lafayette man with an alleged taste for child porn was busted Thursday evening during a cyber crime sting launched by the Attorney General’s Office.
U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister says his chief of staff is on temporary leave after being booked with drunken driving.
It was a rare moment in Congress this week as Republicans briefly put aside partisanship in support of President Barack Obama's request to train and arm Syrian rebels, and while a number of Democrats opposed the measure, Louisiana's Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu found herself on the same side of the issue as her Republican challenger Rep. Bill Cassidy.
Home Depot breach bigger than Target; Alibaba IPO could be big; Rivers' last project and more national and international news for Friday, September 19, 2014.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
City-Parish President Joey Durel is asking the council to sign off on a resolution approving a pair of deals that would lead to razing the seedy Lesspay Motel at Four Corners to build a new police substation as well as transforming nearly a block Downtown where the old federal courthouse building now molders into a mixed-use development.
In 2013, the IRS — already the least popular governmental agency in the country — became the target of intense investigations after it was revealed that they had specifically and improperly scrutinized applications for tax-exempt status from organizations associated with the nascent Tea Party movement.
Improving the running game was "a point of emphasis" during the offseason and the results have manifested themselves in the form of substantially greater production.
Louisiana's health department said Wednesday that its evaluation of the state's Medicaid privatization was on target, despite criticism from the legislative auditor that it lacked key data and contained inconsistencies.
The feds converge on your office, seizing records on several employees as part of a pay-for-plea investigation. WWYD? If you’re Mike Harson, you give yourself a $12k raise.
It’s football season and after back-to-back winless weekends for the Saints and the Cajuns many citizens are finding it difficult to be civil much less happy. Well, chew on this.
Considering his repeated stays in the local penal system, David Narcisse Jr. should have known that having a semiautomatic shotgun, even one given to him by a friend, wasn’t the brightest of ideas.
A state district judge on Tuesday threw out a last-minute retirement hike lawmakers gave to the state police superintendent, ending a political firestorm over a pension boost passed without public scrutiny on the last day of the legislative session.
The House has passed a bill to increase oversight of veterans' hospitals under construction, following a report that some medical centers take three years longer to complete than estimated and cost an extra $366 million per project.
An obvious follow-up question for any Republican politician who accuses Democrats of being science deniers is one about science, to which Jindal bobbed and weaved like a welterweight champ.
The Lafayette City-Parish Council is expected to decide tonight (Tuesday) whether to go along with a proposal City-Parish President Joey Durel made in February’s State of the Parish Address and consolidate taxes for mosquito control and the parish health units into a broader tax program that would also cover animal control.
U.S. District Judge Richard Haik has dismissed Greg Davis’ lawsuit against the LPSB, yet in his ruling, the federal judge doesn’t bite his tongue in pointing out the "threat" being posed by certain board members.
Of all the political offices being contested throughout Lafayette Parish, the race for Broussard’s top police post has literally become one of the most heated.
A state district judge is deciding whether to issue an injunction against the enforcement of a last-minute retirement hike that lawmakers gave to the state police superintendent.
A new website is up for Louisiana's state government employees and retirees to choose their health insurance plans for next year, a choice they must make by October.
That fact that New Orleans led both games in the final 10 seconds of regulation, and lost each by a field goal or less, is of little solace.