Her special session was a legislative and public relations disaster, and now Gov. Kathleen Blanco's getting her feet held to the fire on the Road Home program. New Orleans Rep. Charmaine Marchand is so fed up with the slow pace of recovery checks that she briefly protested by camping out in a tent on the Capitol grounds. That led to a closed-door meeting between Blanco, representatives from embattled Road Home contractor ICF, Louisiana Recovery Authority leaders and ballistic legislators who are tired of hearing excuses about ICF's slow response time and questionable methods for awarding rebuilding grants. Rep. Tim Burns, a Mandeville Republican, described the meeting as "tense" and "soul-baring," and the clock is ticking for Blanco to either fire ICF or get the multiple problems with the Road Home program fixed ' quickly. ' Scott Jordan
REPUBLICANS STACKING TICKETS
After targeting three health care professionals for allegedly administering lethal drugs during Katrina and battling the resulting controversy, the state GOP thinks Attorney General Charles Foti may be ripe for the picking in 2007. Chairman Roger Villere says the party is still in talks with two district attorneys: Doug Moreau of Baton Rouge and Buddy Caldwell, a veteran DA representing East Carroll, Madison and Tensas parishes. "There are also a couple of other big names, but we're not ready to put them out there," Villere says. Other statewide races are being approached in the same manner ' the more the merrier, until one contender is chosen. As for the legislative races, Villere says parish chairmen and members of the GOP's state central committee are shaking the bushes to recruit candidates. "This will be 10 times the effort that we saw four years ago," Villere says. "We plan on having someone in every race, which is something we haven't done in the past. We're going to be active up and down the ballot." ' Jeremy Alford
SPIDERMAN MAY TAKE ON SUGARMAN
Wayne Carter, a Republican member of Baton Rouge's Metro Council, may be throwing his hat in the ring against mega-politico Bob Odom, Louisiana's agriculture commissioner. "There are some people urging me to do that," he says. "We'll make a decision in January." Carter, who also goes by "Spider," is president of Advanced Services, which buys and sells offshore drilling equipment. He's one of those rare south Louisiana Baptists, politically speaking, and he's a card-carrying member of the National Rifle Association. Odom, who has suffered recent sugar-related defeats at the hands of Gov. Kathleen Blanco, still has as much sway ' and money ' as ever, but his public bribery charges could find him back in a courtroom in the near future. ' JA
POLITICAL ADVERTISING RAMPING UP
It's all about the media buy, and all the major players in the 2007 gubernatorial contest are taking heed. The shifting model of modern Louisiana campaigns has television replacing exploratory committees, and Sen. Walter Boasso, a Republican from Arabi, went on the airwaves last week with ads for his "Get It Done Louisiana," a nonprofit group that addresses the needs of recovery. "We need an organization where people's voices can be heard, and this is just the place to do it," Boasso says. Rep. Bobby Jindal, a Metairie Republican, bought airtime all over the state during his election this fall ' not just in his district ' and even New Orleans businessman John Georges got a piece of the action in September when he personally appeared in television ads supporting the consolidated levee board initiative. ' JA
WAIVER SAVES FARMERS
During the final hours of the recent congressional session, lawmakers managed to squeeze out a short waiver extending the life of a popular guaranteed loan program for Louisiana farmers that was set to expire at the end of the year. The federal government had offered no forewarning that the terms were in jeopardy, leaving many farms scrambling for 2007 capital. Congress came through, however, pushing the expiration date to Sept. 30, 2007. The date itself wasn't controversial; it was the fact that it was stuck in the Farm Bill, which has proven difficult to pass through both chambers with agreement. The Farm Service Agency loan program provides operating money to "several hundred" farms in Louisiana, according to Republican Rep. Charles Boustany. "This was a tremendous victory for farmers and ranchers in Louisiana," he says, although the bill is still awaiting President Bush's signature. The FSA helps farmers who cannot qualify for conventional loans because they have insufficient financial resources. It also helps established farmers who have suffered financial setbacks from natural disasters. ' JA
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.
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Fifa under fire for fake turf plans; freed journalist back home; corporate conversions rising and more national and international news for Wednesday, August 27, 2014.
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.
Incumbent U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu and her lead GOP challenger Congressman Bill Cassidy are running close when it comes to money. Landrieu has $5.5 million to Cassidy’s $5.6 million in the bank.
With expectations mounting that Gov. Bobby Jindal will soon announce his campaign for president, attention is turning to not only who he will bring along with him but also what will transpire politically back home during the transition.
Seven of the 11 U.S. cities in a new ranking of “most dangerous diets” are in the Bayou and Lone Star states, but the ranking is more about poverty than fried oysters.
Lafayette police are investigating a fatal shooting involving an alleged burglar and homeowner.
Saints tight end Jimmy Graham got the message from the NFL. He's not dunking footballs over goal posts any more.
With qualifying over, the start of campaign season is official, and for the Lafayette Parish School Board, the race toward Nov. 4 will pit 20 candidates in battles for all 9 of the district’s available seats.
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.
That’s what Lafayette Parish has obtained in Pentagon surplus since 2006.
Qualifying continues through Friday.