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
Black Friday shopping begins; Pope visiting Turkey; oil prices decline and more national and international news for Friday, November 28, 2014.
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.
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.
The Ethics Board gives the lame duck Youngsville mayor permission to offer a sweet parting gift to the community he’s presided over for three terms.