Crossing paths with a Japanese-speaking producer, a reporter from Finland and an Australian photojournalist wasn't much of an oddity in New Orleans during the early months following Hurricane Katrina's landfall. While national attention hasn't died off completely, international press has moved on in many cases to other worldwide woes. But with the anniversary of the storm upon us, they're back on the beat.
Natalie Wyeth, a spokeswoman for the Louisiana Recovery Authority, says she has been fielding requests for credentials from France, Germany, Poland and elsewhere around the globe. "So far, we are up to 150 requests for credentials, ranging from local to international," Wyeth says. "This is going to be a great opportunity to show people this is a functioning city. We're excited to show off our promise and progress." As for documentary filmmakers and celebrity news hounds, no one of that stature has requested credentials yet, she says. ' Jeremy Alford
WHAT ABOUT BOBBY?
We know that Bobby Jindal can deliver his own children, but can he deliver congressional seats for fellow Republicans around the state? Jindal, who represents the First Congressional District, will be hosting a fund-raiser in Metairie in September for Republican state Sen. Craig Romero of New Iberia. Romero is the GOP's hope in the Third Congressional District, which runs nearly the entire coastline from St. Bernard to Vermilion. Even though he faces only token opposition, Jindal spent $1 million on political operations during the second quarter of 2006, sinking about half of that into an aggressive media buy.
Is it possible that Jindal ' eager to flex his political muscle ' might use some of that media to help Romero claim the Cajun district seat from Congressman Charlie Melancon, an Assumption Parish Democrat? The Romero camp is staying mum on the possibilities. "I am not aware at this time that any of that coverage would be used to benefit this campaign," says spokesman Brent Littlefield.
Jan Witold Baran, a high-profile elections lawyer with Wiley, Rein and Fielding in Washington, D.C., says as long as Jindal doesn't attack or directly oppose Melancon in the ads, he can run spots supporting Romero with virtually no limit. "There are ways it can be done," he says, adding the law was recently clarified by the Federal Elections Commission. As for cold hard cash, Jindal gave Romero's campaign $4,000 earlier this month. ' JA
BLANCO WANTS TO MAINTAIN GUARD CONTROL
If there's one state in the nation that has come to recognize the countless uses for National Guard troops, it's Louisiana. In addition to working search-and-rescue missions, the guard sent soldiers to New Orleans to police looters during the early days and murderers in recent weeks. President Bush is considering an executive takeover of the National Guard ' it was sent to him in the House version of the defense authorization bill ' but governors around the nation, including Kathleen Blanco, are asking Bush to let it go.
Blanco says the language would give Bush "unnecessary authorization" to take control of the guard. But the legislation only allows it to happen in the event of a "serious natural or manmade disaster, accident or catastrophe that occurs in the United Statesâ?¦" It was a core issue in the blame game the feds and state played in the months following Katrina, and Blanco contends the proposed change would do nothing to improve that situation. "Federalization is not, never has been and never should be a condition for getting help for federal troops when requested by a governor," she says. "Federalization of the National Guard would in no way guarantee additional Department of Defense troops, and indeed could even preclude the deployment of those forces." ' JA
HEAD OF THE CLASS
If Sports Illustrated's preseason predictions hold true, it will be another great year of college football in Louisiana. SI has picked both LSU and UL Lafayette to win their respective conferences, a feat that would put each team in a major national bowl game at the end of the season. SI has LSU picked as the country's fourth best team and features a trio of up and coming LSU defensive stars, cornerback Chevis Jackson, free safety LaRon Landry and linebacker Ali Highsmith on one of six regional covers it has printed for its current Aug. 21 issue. LSU and UL Lafayette kick off the season against each other next weekend in Tiger Stadium. ' Nathan Stubbs
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.