Jostling for the 2007 District 24 state Senate election has already begun. District 44 State Rep. and former Lafayette City Councilman Wilfred Pierre is already off to the races with fund-raisers announcing his intentions to replace state Sen. Don Cravins. And Don Cravins Jr. isn't happy about it.
The elder Cravins is term limited out of his current seat in 2007 and recently announced his intentions to run for mayor of Opelousas in 2006. Pierre, now in his fourth term in the state House, also is prevented for running for re-election of his current seat in 2007.
In the past couple weeks, Pierre's office sent out letters inviting supporters to a $300 per person Baton Rouge fund-raiser for his Senate bid. Pierre did not return a call for comment by press time.
Pierre voted for term limits in 1995, but that does not prevent him from running for a different seat or taking a four-year break to run for his old seat again.
Don Cravins Jr., who many have speculated will also run for his father's District 24 state Senate seat in 2007, says Pierre is jumping the gun. "I think it's premature for anybody to come out and say we're running for something that won't come about until 2007," he says. "I can't do that. We've got so many things we need to deal with before the 2007 Senate election."
Cravins Jr. also contends it's disingenuous for legislators to approve term limits if they only intend to run for different legislative seats. "If everyone's just going to switch houses, we really didn't limit anything then," he says. "I hope new people are allowed to get involved in government."
The election for the District 24 Senate seat is now scheduled for October 2007. However, in the event that Sen. Cravins is elected mayor of Opelousas in next September's municipal elections, state Senate President Don Hines would need to call a special election prior to the 2007 spring legislative session to fill the Senate seat. ' NS
PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP FOR FIBER?
Lafayette Utilities System Director Terry Huval is seriously considering the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce's suggestion that LUS seek private partnerships in its effort to bring fiber into Lafayette Parish's homes. The chamber recommended a public-private partnership (which it says would be similar to a municipality constructing an airport terminal and runway and leasing space to airlines on the premises) in its unanimous endorsement of the LUS project last week. The chamber is encouraging LUS to conduct a nationwide request for proposal process if residents vote on July 16 to authorize the utility to sell $125 million in bonds for the project.
"There's no question we had that plan to begin with," says Huval, explaining that one likely scenario involves teaming with a company that runs a co-op specifically designed to buy cable programming in bulk for its members, both private and municipal small-system cable providers. "We'd be a member of that private company," he says.
Huval likens such partnerships to LUS' contract with a tree-trimming service, Asplundh, which helps maintain overhead utility lines obstructed by tree limbs. That company's base of resources and personnel across the country allows it to quickly deploy additional staff to Lafayette in the event of a natural disaster, Huval says.
If a full-fledged partnership opportunity emerges, LUS would have to rewrite its business plan, because it's likely the utility would not be able to use tax-exempt municipal bonds. Huval says such partnerships require extensive analysis. "I have seen way too many public entities go into public-private partnerships, which makes everybody feel good, and then the private company does not produce." ' LT
Around 1:15 a.m. Easter Sunday, French Teacher Xavier Colignon and his fellow French instructors were wrapping up a night of celebrating his birthday at the bar Marley's, in downtown Lafayette. After being punched in the face by an unidentified assailant, Colignon fell to the floor, fracturing his skull in two places. The assailant left through the bar's back door. Marley's co-owner Eric Cloutier says the entire incident was videotaped on his surveillance system, and the tape was handed over to Lafayette police. On Friday, Cpl. Mark Francis said that police had arrested 27-year-old Ben Thibodaux of Lafayette on charges of second-degree battery. Thibodaux is the son of Lafayette Parish School Board President David Thibodaux. ' RRF
It has been more than a year since the Lafayette Department of Environmental Quality held its last recycling day in November 2003. That event commemorated 15 years of recycling in the city and took in 20 tons of computers and electronics, 343 used car and truck tires and 150 large books for recycling and redistribution. This year, Environmental Quality Director Boyd Boswell says he is hoping to increase that haul by about 25 percent at "Recycling Spring Fling" from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday, April 9, at 400 Dorset Ave. (near the railroad tracks off Pinhook Road).
This year's event will include a 4,000-gallon truck from Aaron Oil company in Berwick to collect any old automotive fluids. Workers will not be accepting household chemicals such as paints and pesticides or TVs, VCRs and small appliances such as toasters and microwaves. Environmental Quality will also be handing out copies of its first-ever Parish Residents Interested in their Direct Environment (PRIDE) Guide at the event. "Obviously, I want to see people come out to properly to dispose of the items we're collecting," says Boswell. "But, more importantly, by handing out this PRIDE guide, we're telling people how to get rid of everything we're collecting any day of the week for free." ' NS
An abortion rights organization has filed the first court challenge to a Louisiana law that would require doctors who perform abortions to be able to admit patients to a nearby hospital.
U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister started his sign-up for re-election Friday the same as any other candidate, filling out paperwork and handing over cash to pay his qualifying fee. But he finished it quite differently, doused with ice.
The recent release of Victor White III’s autopsy report could spell trouble, as it tells a much different story of his death than the one told five months ago by the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office.
“Candidates for Congress and members of Congress spend between 30 and 70 percent of their time raising money to get back to Congress or to get their party back into power.”
Over the last four days of the trial against attorney Daniel Stanford, there’s been one notable absence from Judge Elizabeth Foote’s courtroom: attorney Bill Goode.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees and wide receiver Nick Toon are not on the same page yet, and time is running short for Toon to get it right.
U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister started his sign-up for re-election the same as other candidates, filling out paperwork and handing over qualifying money. But he finished it like no other, doused with ice.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Jell-o sales plummet; Hamas kills suspected informers; bodies arrive in Malaysia and more national and international news for Friday, August 22, 2014.
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Qualifying continues through Friday.
The political tilt of the Senate during President Barack Obama's final two years in office is likely to hinge on a handful of female contenders in tight and costly races.
A former BP executive will be allowed to travel to the United Kingdom later this month while he awaits trial on charges relating to an investigation of the 2010 Gulf oil spill.
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Jindal privatized nearly all the LSU hospitals without waiting for federal officials to sign off on financing arrangements that rely on millions of federal Medicaid dollars.
U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu and her main Republican challenger, Congressman Bill Cassidy, verbally sparred as they officially signed up on the opening day of qualifying for Louisiana's November election.
Superintendent tells crowd he'd just emerged from a four-hour meeting with the attorney hired to investigate him.
The start of the three-day qualifying period for November’s elections has so far yielded 10 official bids and one new announcement from candidates seeking a seat on the school board.
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Candidates for Louisiana's Nov. 4 election must officially sign up for the ballot this week.
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A Baton Rouge judge issued a temporary restraining order Monday against enforcing a law that prohibits anyone 70 or older from running for justice of the peace or constable.