Conventional wisdom is that Bobby Jindal benefited most by John Breaux dropping out of the governor's race, but Republican candidate and Arabi Sen. Walter Boasso is considering switching over to the Democratic Party. The Advocate reported that some Republicans are adding fuel to the fire by nudging Boasso to defect, further clearing the path for Jindal.
It's too early to predict which way Boasso will go, but he has to be giving the move some serious consideration. On a related side note, this could be a notable instance of the national Republican Party's recent struggles subtly filtering into Louisiana; when was the last time you remember a Louisiana Republican switching to the Democratic Party? ' Scott Jordan
WRDA PASSES HOUSE; WHITE HOUSE VOICES OPPOSITION
Last week, the U.S. House overwhelmingly passed the Water Resources Development Act, the omnibus appropriations bill for major flood control and water-related projects, by a 394-25 vote. WRDA, usually passed every two years by Congress, was last passed in 2000. Both the House and Senate passed separate versions of WRDA last year, but the bill never made it out of conference committee.
The $15 billion House version passed last week includes more than $2 billion earmarked for South Louisiana, including funds for coastal restoration projects, closure of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet and a channel deepening at the Port of Iberia. The House bill also includes more than $850 million for construction of the 72-mile Morganza to the Gulf levee, a provision that the White House previously attempted to strip out of WRDA.
President Bush still opposes the bill and wants to limit the total federal price tag to $10 billion and have states share in more of the project costs. Among Bush's specific objections is a provision the Louisiana delegation fought hard for to lower the state's costs in deepening and maintaining coastal harbors and channels. In response, Rep. Charles Boustany issued a statement noting, "I'm frustrated that the Bush administration is opposed to this provision, but I'm confident that it will not impede this important bill from being signed into law." ' Nathan Stubbs
DUELING BOBBY JINDAL WEB SITES
Now the clear frontrunner in this year's governor's race, Bobby Jindal is galvanizing both fans and critics, who are either elated or petrified by the Metairie congressman's campaign. Nowhere is this more evident than in the Wild West atmosphere of online political blogs, where two dueling Web sites, jindalisgood.com and jindalisbad.com, have cropped up devoted to all things Bobby.
Jindalisgood.com calls Jindal "a modern day Alexander Hamilton" and also features a bizarre chronicle of fictional stories, wherein Jindal is visited by a series of former Louisiana governors. Jindalisbad aims to expose "the truth about Bobby Jindal" and challenges jindalisgood.com for what it claims are several photo-shopped images, including one of a sneering John Breaux holding a martini. Both Web sites feature online stores and exclusive lines of T-shirts and bumper stickers. ' NS
LANGLINAIS' LAWYER TAKES AIM AT IBERIA D.A.
At a recent Iberia Parish Council meeting, Parish President Will Langlinais complained that as a result of the legislative audit investigating alleged wrongdoing, he "had to go out and retain the services of an outside attorney. I've not been kept in the loop." Now Langlinais' lawyer, Paul J. Hebert, a member of Lafayette law firm Ottinger Hebert, is trying to knock Iberia Parish District Attorney Phil Haney out of the loop as well.
Haney is investigating Langlinais, and Hebert contends that for Haney to continue would be a serious conflict of interest and strongly recommends that any further investigation be handled by an independent counsel or the state attorney general. Hebert is slated to address the council Wednesday, April 25. ' Mary Tutwiler
A WHOLE LOTTA LIL' BAND O' GOLD
Lafayette swamp pop supergroup Lil' Band o' Gold got the Led out last week in New Orleans. The band was in the Crescent City recording with none other than legendary Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant; the session was for an upcoming Fats Domino tribute record that will benefit Domino and the nonprofit Tipitina's Foundation. After recording wrapped up, Plant was a surprise guest at the band's Saturday night show at Tipitina's. At around 1 a.m., Lil' Band o' Gold's C.C. Adcock introduced Plant by saying, "All the way from Delcambre ... please welcome The Honeydripper."
Plant sang a five-song mini-set, reprising his Honeydrippers' cover of "Sea of Love," and also sang the chestnuts "I've Been Around," "Treat Me Like a Fool" and Fats Domino's "It's Raining." He led the band through a swamp-boogie cover of the Led Zep classic "Whole Lotta Love" before leaving the stage around 1:30 a.m., and celebrated with the band the next day at a crawfish boil at McGee's Landing. ' SJ
RIDIN' FOR LOUISIANA'S COAST
Last weekend Terry Forrette set off on a three-month, 12,000-mile motorcycle trip around the perimeter of the continental United States. His sole mission is to raise awareness of Louisiana's disappearing coast. He's dubbed the project "Riding the Rim."
"People's lives, homes and jobs are dependent on maintaining the wetlands," he says on his Web site. "Not just for the inhabitants of Louisiana and those states with tidal wetland, but everyone in the entire country. You experience the importance of the wetlands each time you fill up at your gasoline station, pay a utility bill, or dine on fresh seafood from the gulf."
Forrette has partnered with the America's Wetland Campaign to Save Coastal Louisiana. For more information on Forrette's mission, to read about his journey as he travels, to make a donation, or to learn how you can help save Louisiana's coast, visit www.ridingtherim.com. ' R. Reese Fuller
AND THE CULINARY CLASSIC WINNERS ARE ...
The Acadiana Culinary Classic, held last week at the Cajundome Convention Center, each year features the finest buffet spread in town, with chefs from across the region pulling out their finest signature dishes to see whose cuisine reigns supreme. This year's winners include Brian Berry, the former Hilton's chef now with UL Lafayette, who won the poultry competition with his grilled duck breast with seared foie gras accompanied with duchess sweet potato and veggie stir fry; and Scott McCue of Cypress Bayou Casino, who won for best soup with a crawfish and apple wood smoked bacon Yukon gold potato bisque with goat cheese and white truffle croutons. Randol's restaurant won gold in both the finfish and shellfish categories but by far the biggest winner of the night was Cypress Bayou Casino, which racked up a total of 12 medals, including golds in soup, bread, beef & veal, and dessert. Cypress Bayou executive sous chef McCue was also awarded Best in Show, a $10,000 prize, for his bread entry, a brie cheese and grilled portabella mushroom bread, served with raspberry cabernet butter. ' NS
A FAMILIAR FACE ON THE NEW ORLEANS LEVEE BOARD
The secretary of the newly consolidated New Orleans Levee Board is a familiar face. John Barry, renowned historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the epic 1927 Mississippi flood chronicle Rising Tide, is putting his levee expertise to use by helping the board navigate layers of pre-consolidation holdings. "We're spending an enormous amount of time separating flood assets from nonflood assets," Barry told The New York Times last week. "The new board is interested in levees." Barry hopes the new board can overcome the old board's troubled legacy and push to get crucial levee repairs completed. "One thing that is not going to happen is, we're not going to lose our focus," he says.
Barry was a featured speaker in The Independent Weekly's 2006 Lecture Series. ' SJ
FARMER'S MARKET TO REOPEN IN OIL CENTER
The City Garden Market, where local farmers sold everything from apples to zucchuni, is slated to reopen May 5. The new location will be a parking lot on the corner of South College and Heymann Boulevard, directly across the street from Champagne's. Market organizer Leslie Barton says the move from River Ranch to the Oil Center will bring farm fresh produce closer to core customers, as well as locating the market in a neighborhood that has strong association with the development of Lafayette. "We wanted to transform the market into a municipal event with support from city government and the Oil Center Renaissance Association," says Barton. "We're getting back to basics." Barton plans for the market to be open year round, every Saturday, 8 a.m. to noon. ' MT
LOUISIANA LIGHTNING COULD BE IN FOR LONG YEAR
UL Lafayette grad, Cy Young award winner and all-around local legend Ron Guidry, AKA Louisiana Lightning, looks like he has his work cut out for him in 2007 as the New York Yankees' pitching coach. A number of Yankee starting pitchers like Mike Mussina are already battling injuries early in the season, so the Yanks are relying on rookies like Chase Wright, a lefty and Guidry protÃ©gÃ©. Last Sunday night must have been particularly galling for Guidry, as Wright gave up a record-tying four home runs in a row against the Bronx Bombers' hated rivals, the Boston Red Sox. The Sox were down 3-0 in the third inning when the onslaught started. As Jason Varitek jacked the fourth Red Sox bomb in a row out of the park, the ESPN cameras caught usually reserved Red Sox G.M. Theo Esptein exclaiming "Oh. My. God." ' SJ
A federal jury found attorney Daniel Stanford guilty Friday afternoon on eight of 13 counts for his role in the Curious Goods conspiracy.
Lafayette City-Court Judge Francie Bouillion has served on the bench for two decades since winning a special election to replace Judge Kaliste Saloom when he retired in 1994.
The magazine's senior football writer also predicts a break-out year for Saints fourth-year running back Mark Ingram.
Gulf Coast ceremonies marking the ninth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina have begun.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says there is little known about the effects of tiger prawns on indigenous Louisiana shrimp. But, officials say the reports they're seeking will help state biologists monitor the distribution of the prawns and determine the possible presence of spawning populations.
Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh rested his regulars and watched with delight as Ray Rice's backups ground out 214 yards rushing in a 22-13 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Thursday night.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Google vs. Amazon in drone race; more deaths in Syria; Russia escalates Ukraine conflict and more national and international news for Friday, August 29, 2014.
High-profile criminal defense attorney Daniel Stanford awaits his fate in the Curious Goods conspiracy trial.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is set to put the kibosh on the legal ownership of monkeys trained to help the disabled, and the agency wants to know what you think.
A federal judge on Thursday asked lawyers battling over Louisiana's new, restrictive abortion law for an agreement that apparently could let clinics stay open — at least for a while — after the law takes effect Sept. 1.
An abortion rights organization wants a federal judge to block enforcement of Louisiana's new abortion law while its lawsuit to overturn the law makes its way through court.
Republican presidential prospects Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal are planning to speak at an Iowa Christian conservative event in September.
The attention surrounding Victor White III has spiked with the release of last week’s autopsy report, which has raised a number of serious questions about the night of his death and has put the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office under an increased wave of scrutiny as more national media outlets are jumping on the story, most recently seen on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show.
A group supporting taxpayer-funded private school tuition vouchers is appealing a federal judge's order that Louisiana must provide regular reports to federal officials on the state's voucher program.
The Discovery Channel has canceled reality TV star Will Hayden's popular "Sons of Guns" show after his arrest on an aggravated rape charge.
The LPSB will finally hear from the attorney it hired to investigate the superintendent at a special meeting Thursday at 4 p.m.
Authorities are investigating a report that a student there warned the principal of impending violence similar to that depicted in the movie "The Purge."
Saints cornerback Champ Bailey has played for more than a handful of playoff teams during a career that has seen him selected to 12 Pro Bowls.
Police say a 56-year-old Lafayette man walking behind a dump truck died when the truck hit him as it was backing up.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is a proud papa of new baby girl.
The books on Louisiana's last budget year have been closed, but it took a bit of borrowing from this year to make the numbers work.
The Iberia Parish Coroner responded Monday to the attention surrounding the questionable shooting of Victor White III, a black man from New Iberia who died April 2 while in the custody of local law enforcement.
Two months after lawmakers agreed to create a $40 million higher education incentive fund, no decisions have been made about how to divide the money.
With Drew Brees back healthy, the New Orleans Saints are free to work on the little things that can make the difference between a Super Bowl run and something less.