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
WaPo Watergate editor Ben Bradlee dies; Clintons stump for Dems; Liberians stranded and more national and international news for Wednesday, October 22, 2014.
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
"I am extremely disheartened by the political machines that are attempting to hijack my efforts along with others that advocate for children."
Landrieu, who is fighting to keep her seat for a fourth term, said that Ebola is serious and precautions should be taken, but she accused Republicans of using the virus outbreak in West Africa to "create fear" here at home.
Law enforcement agencies are participating in a "Louisiana Heroin Summit," designed to address the recent rise in heroin use and drug-related deaths around the state.
State education officials are preparing to release performance scores for public schools and public school districts.
Saints coach Sean Payton is starting a new week by emphasizing, repeatedly, the many good things he noticed during New Orleans' latest loss.
We will be offering our recommendations on the constitutional amendments tomorrow.
The justices did not comment in leaving in place lower court rulings that dismissed the lawsuits against BP and other companies involved in the worst U.S. offshore oil spill.
White registration is down by 7,700 voters while black registration has shot up by 7,100 voters.
Even though it had been rumored for months, U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu finally pulled the trigger recently on a major campaign shakeup that moved control over to a few Big Easy insiders.
Louisiana's health department says it will seek law changes to stop billing sexual assault victims for exams and tests.
It wasn’t the historic slashes to higher ed funding or the ensuing tuition spikes that recently had LSU’s student body and faculty riled up in collective outrage.
Will $400 be enough for the re-election campaign of LPSB's Hunter Beasley to overcome two years of holding our school system hostage and hurting the education of our children all because of a personal dislike of the superintendent?
Saints tight end Jimmy Graham said Friday he expects his playing status in Detroit to be decided by coach Sean Payton on Sunday, shortly before the game.
Lawmakers have sidestepped a decision on whether they accept claims from Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration that the state closed last year's books with a nearly $179 million surplus.
Coming off the high of a fourth quarter comeback against Tampa Bay and a helpful bye week, linebacker Junior Galette sees a real turnaround coming for New Orleans' struggling defense.
Former President Bill Clinton, the Democratic Party's most popular surrogate this fall, is heading to Louisiana early next week for a campaign rally with U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu.
Time and again you hear people say DA Mike Harson is unbeatable because he's doled out political favors over the past 20 years. But a new lawsuit could end that speculation.
After the season's signature win (so far), here are some helpful tips for Cajun Nation during the conference stretch.
Did the state close last year's books with a surplus or a deficit?
Practicing without limitations on Wednesday, running back Mark Ingram looked ready to return to a New Orleans offense that once again ranks among the NFL's best when the Saints play at Detroit on Sunday.
It’s been decided: Superintendents of Louisiana’s public school system will retain the controversial powers granted by Act 1 of the 2012 session.
Louisiana Treasurer John Kennedy has a bone to pick with the Jindal administration, which recently — surprise! — announced that the state ended the most recent budget year with a $178.5 million dollar surplus.
The messaging battle, however, isn't tied to individual campaign accounts. Third-party groups have poured millions of dollars into advertising.