Appointed by former President George W. Bush, U.S. Attorney for the Western District Donald Washington will likely be replaced by the Obama administration, with significant influence on his replacement coming from Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu. State Rep. Rick Gallot Jr. of Ruston is the frontrunner, with state Sen. Eric LaFleur of Ville Platte jockeying along with Hank Gowen, an LSU Board of Supervisors member from Shreveport. Both are very capable, but the bus is already filled with white males. Since Landrieu committed to keeping Jim Letten in the Eastern District, and Don Cazayoux is a lock in the Middle District, things don’t stack up well for any white male. Gallot, who is black, may be a shoo-in.
Jindal’s Local Supporters Hope for Awakening
In the wake of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s lampooned speech to the nation last week, some of his local supporters hope it provides him with a wake-up call, forcing him to revert to the “old Bobby” who was focused, passionate and accessible. With the shine of a possible 2012 campaign now tarnished, key supporters (who have complained publicly and privately) expect Jindal to reengage on solving issues affecting Louisiana and slow his nationwide travel. Another intriguing angle being whispered is the possibility of Jindal jumping into the Senate race against David Vitter in 2010, now that a presidential bid is unlikely. Rather than allowing the seat to be embarrassingly lost in the Republican Primary to far-right activist Tony Perkins (which could then set the seat up for a possible Democratic takeover should U.S. Rep. Charlie Melancon or Shaw Group CEO Jim Bernhard elect to run), national Republicans may simply assess that Vitter (in the wake of his involvement in the DC Madam scandal) is too damaged to survive politically. They may elect to throw him under the bus in the primary in favor of a safer choice like Jindal or Secratary of State Jay Dardenne. Already rumored in Washington is that the Auto Workers union is prepared to spend millions hammering Vitter for his vocal opposition to the Auto Industry bailout this past fall. “Vitter believes in paying prostitutes, not factory workers” is one ad theme reportedly being bantered about.
Guillory on the Move
Opelousas insurance mogul and politico Bobby Dupre hosted a fund-raiser for state Rep. Elbert Guillory’s Senate campaign last week at his home. The event was a “Who’s Who” of St. Landry Parish politicians. Besides Dupre, hosts included local attorney Pat Morrow and a handful of others hoping to see Guillory replace Don Cravins Jr., who resigned his seat to work for U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu. The event drew nearly 200 leaders from throughout the parish, including two parish wide elected officials openly supporting Guillory — Sheriff Bobby Guidroz and Clerk of Court Charles Jagneaux. Sources say Guidroz is working very hard on Guillory’s behalf. Guillory also nabbed the support of high profile business and political leaders in the Lafayette area, including beer distributor Herb Schilling, oilman Don Briggs, former school board member Shelton Cobb, former U.S. Attorney Mike Skinner, attorneys Tyron Picard and Robbie Mahtook, former city prosecutor Donald Fuselier, state Sen. Mike Michot and state Reps. Rickey Hardy, Page Cortez and Joel Robideaux — all of whom hosted a fund-raiser for Guillory at Schilling Distributing on Moss Street on March 2.
Update: In the race to replace federal Judge Tucker Melancon, George Arceneaux, Kay Karre Gautreaux and Mike Juneau have emerged locally with no sense of a consensus candidate just yet.
Editor’s Note: Still in mourning over the loss of his distant relative and mentor Deep Throat — and not one to let a great tradition die — Peep Goat was finally coaxed out of the shadows to bring reliable sources and piercing insight to all. Not just a chosen few. Peep’s contributions run more weekly than not — as the spirits move him, or her. You see, Peep’s identity, by its very nature, must remain a closely guarded secret known only to management here at The Independent Weekly. So off we are on a new adventure in journalism with a trusted and wise old friend.
JUNE 17 If anyone ever wonders why Saints fans hate Atlanta with a capital H, here's a good indication. Radio "professionals" at an Atlanta station created an entire segment around making fun of former Saints player Steve Gleason, who is now paralyzed by ALS. Listen, nobody's ever accused DJs of being rocket scientists. But how could someone think it is amusing to pretend to ask a man with a degenerative, fatal disease if he will be alive next week? The DJs have been fired, and are now whining about how gutless their former bosses are. Wow.
JUNE 18 Here's the latest from the Advocate on the fatal hit-and-run accident allegedly involving the president of the Livingston Parish School Board. He's accused by police of hitting a 21-year-old man on a highway early Sunday and driving away. The man died at a hospital later. On Monday, police seized the president's truck and towed it away. But he's available for board meetings: apparently a $500 bond is sufficient for this type of thing over in St. Helena Parish.
JUNE 18 Former broadcast journalist Griffin Scott has posted this plea on his blog for financial assistance from his readers. Scott, who says he was fired after he wrote something fairly innocuous (for Facebook) on his wall, is suing a media giant for his job back. He's framed himself as David going after a bloated media giant, and he's probably not far off.
JUNE 18 Here's a fairly absurd column posted on DIG Magazine about the completely absurd practice of naming killer storms. Tornadoes don't have names. Blizzards don't have names. But hurricanes do, and there's a big process to bestow them, Jacques Cormery writes. He's right about the crazy assemblage of names -- this year, there's everything from Tanya to Humberto -- and his idea that we don't waste good names on killer storms is a good one.
JUNE 17 Political columnist John Maginnis has some advice for Louisiana Republicans: grow up. After the schism that occurred in this past session - fiscal hawks teaming up with Democrats to spank the Republican "majority" and hand Gov. Jindal his, er, aspirations for continued solon control -- they need to figure out how to get along with each other, Maginnis writes.
JUNE 17 Here's the Picayune's obit story for Dorothy 'Miss Dot' Domilise, the lady who made poboys at the uptown restaurant that bears her name. Miss Dot moved to New Orleans during World War II, where she met and married her husband Sam. When she passed away Friday she was 90, and had spent more than 60 of those years working at the restaurant on Annunciation Street.
JUNE 17 This editorial in the Advocate speaks in favor of the consent decrees that have federal judges overseeing police operations and the sheriff's parish prison in New Orleans. Mayor Landrieu and Sheriff Gusman can't get along, so outside forces, like the Inspector General and the judges, are needed to make sure things run right, the editorial opines.
JUNE 18 Here's a post from Manny Schewitz on Forward Progressives that is good for a chuckle. Manny had an epiphany back in November, and is sharing it with us today: he believes that Fox "News" is killing the GOP by pandering to right wing nuts. Now, don't get it twisted: Manny's not broke up about it. He says he enjoys watching the downward spiral with a shot of whiskey and "a schadenfreude chaser."
Frank’s Casing Crew, now doing business as Frank’s International, will make its final appearance on ABiz’s list of the Top 50 Privately Held Companies in Acadiana this year, and once again, it will likely be at the top with more than $1 billion in annual revenues. The 75-year-old company specializing in tubular fabrication and installation services to the oil and gas industry plans to go public this year.
The defeat, or rather highjacking of House Bill 420 in the final days of this year's Legislative Session, say Reps. Vincent Pierre and Terry Landry, is the result of the propaganda spread by one unidentified local media outlet and an unnamed former state Representative, but nothing to do with the original legislation's lack of checks, balances or details.
He’s a singer. A songwriter. A piano man. A family man. He’s even got his own Wikipedia entry. He’s David Egan. And he knows ancient secrets about the monolithic stones of Stonehenge that he’s not willing to share.