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
U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu is courting young voters in several appearances across Louisiana this week, talking about her support for legislation that could lower students' college costs.
Coton de tulear joins Westminster; Paypal splitting from Ebay; first US Ebola diagnosis and more national and international news for Wednesday, October 1, 2014.
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Stage 4 vet takes on cancer and reminds us all what it really means to get involved.
Is Mary fading as Vitter solidifies his lock on the fourth floor?
Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration has renegotiated contracts for six LSU hospital privatization deals, hoping to reach a compromise with federal health officials that will keep Medicaid dollars flowing to the privatized patient services.
Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu is defending her record on gun rights, seeking to rebut sharp criticism from the NRA in a state where the right to bear arms is given special constitutional protection.
Citizens, you have less than a week to register to vote in the Nov. 4 election. Remember, if you don’t vote you can’t complain about the outcome. Well, you can but it’s kind of hypocritical.
After being forced out by its former landlords last year, the community garden has a new location and a 10-year lease.
The party says it has hit a milestone, reaching 10,000 registered voters in the state.
Defensive captain Junior Galette is disgusted by the Saints' sluggish start.
The use of $60 million in Louisiana's public school financing formula to pay for nearly three dozen charter schools violates the state constitution, a statewide teachers' union claimed Monday in a lawsuit.
February trial date indicates parties were unable to negotiate a settlement.
There was a time when United Ballot had a political stranglehold so tight on Lafayette’s black community it was nearly unbreakable, but that grip might be loosening.
The race for Lafayette city marshal may not be the most exciting of this year’s local political contests, but it could prove the most historic.
With the DA’s race too close to call and negative media coverage of Mike Harson on the ebb, will challenger Keith Stutes take the gloves off?
Gov. Bobby Jindal has been viewed as a health care policy wonk, and he's tried to build on that image ahead of a likely 2016 presidential campaign, positioning himself as the candidate with substantive ideas.
Jerry Jones watched what he called the best effort he's seen in 25 years as owner of the Dallas Cowboys in the first half, and that was before Tony Romo had the longest scramble of his career and DeMarco Murray finished off yet another 100-yard game.
Two of the most recognizable women in Republican politics, Sarah Palin and Mary Matalin, have been heavily involved in Louisiana’s current election cycle.
Even though the Louisiana Democratic Party has thrown its support behind former Gov. Edwin Edwards’ congressional bid, national Democrats are not expected to follow suit.
“[Mike] is no longer the energetic ADA that his recent ad is trying to portray. I just think Mike needs to get the hell out.” — Kermit Harson, DA Mike Harson’s brother
The New Orleans Saints have listed Jonathan Goodwin as questionable for Sunday night's game in Dallas, raising the prospect that second-year pro Tim Lelito will start at center for the first time.
The endorsements keep coming for District 9 LPSB candidate Jeremy Hidalgo, who picked up his fifth vow of support Thursday, this time from the Chamber’s political action committee.
Republican U.S. Sen. David Vitter will be out knocking on doors this weekend with anti-abortion activists encouraging people to vote against his colleague, Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu.
The ACLU of Louisiana has sued Abbeville's mayor and police chief over a policy barring police from any social media use showing the city in a bad light.