TEMPEST IN A TEA POT? Lafayette voters could put the TEA Party out of business.
The TEA Party movement in general and the Tea Party of Lafayette specifically take some pleasure in being small-government curmudgeons. Whether the movement locally is conscientiously opposed to discretionary spending by government or simply peddling right-wing claptrap remains a point of debate, and maybe it’s a bit of both. After taking on commercial real estate developer Glenn Stewart over the tax increment financing district Stewart wanted to create for his Parc Lafayette project — a confrontation that got ugly — The TPL proudly posted on its website a quote from the mercurial Stewart: “I think they are a bunch of wannabes who go around threatening our elected officials, and I think they ought to be ashamed of themselves. I think they’re the lunatic fringe.”
Ultimately, Stewart’s TIF ordinance was pulled. And to an extent the TPL can take credit for helping scuttle a pair of bills in the past legislative session that could have established other TIF districts, but the group remains largely a bunch of middle-aged and elderly white people at the loud, angry margins of our political life.
So now is put up or shut up time for the TPL, and it appears the group has its sights set on the City-Parish Council. Counting incumbents Jared Bellard (District 5) and William Theriot (District 9), the TPL has endorsed four candidates for the CPC. (Challengers Craig Spikes and Andy Naquin round out the TPL quartet.) And if we throw in Republican Joan Beduze, who is challenging fellow Republican Don Bertrand in District 7, it’s fair to say the TEA Party movement at the least, if not the Tea Party of Lafayette specifically, is backing five candidates for City-Parish Council.
Naquin is challenging Sam Doré in District 6 and Spikes wants incumbent Keith Patin’s District 8 seat. Beduze is not identified as TPL-endorsed on the group’s website, but her Facebook page resonates with a simpatico for TEA Party issues and with superstars such as Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann. And the candidates — Beduze, Theriot, Bellard, Spikes and Naquin — were the beneficiaries of a so-called “Conservative Caucus Fundraiser” last week in Broussard. An invitation to the event was posted on the TPL’s website.
While Spikes has no party affiliation, his fellow hopefuls from the Taxed Enough Already contingent — Naquin and Beduze — fit a profile that bit the establishment GOP in the rear in last year’s primary races: “more conservative” Republicans hoping to unseat “less conservative” Republicans. If you follow the chatter on the blogs and comment sections in Lafayette media, you know that Patin and Bertrand, who have voted for such “frivolities” as funding arts/culture, the comprehensive master plan and the horse farm, are frequently herded together under the RINO label — Republican in name only.
Both Theriot and Bellard have contenders on Oct. 22: fellow Republicans Walter Campbell and Britt Latiolais, respectively. The Tea Party of Lafayette has also staked out positions against repealing the Lafayette Home Rule Charter and the school system property tax. But at this point, even if their candidates sweep their respective races and the charter repeal and the school tax go down in flames, it might be fair to give the TEA Party movement an Incomplete; this will be, after all, the group’s first major election cycle in Lafayette Parish. But if its candidates and positions are rejected, it could be its last. — WP
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SEP 2 North Carolina's film tax incentive is about to expire, and Louisiana is getting the first benefit, this story on the Wilmington NC newspaper's website tells us. 'Banshee,' a Cinemax series from the same guy who created 'True Blood,' is moving production to New Orleans, the story says.
SEP 2 The Washington Post calls Bobby Jindal on his latest effort to get his name in the national media. In this editorial, the newspaper says Jindal's Common Core lawsuits are just aimed at "burnishing his conservative credentials for a presidential run." The paper, of course, reminds its readers that Jindal was a staunch supporter of the curriculum back when he first brought it to Louisiana.
SEP 2 Huff Post takes a look at a project by a California university which mapped hate speech on Twitter. The project counted derogatory words for homosexuals, people of different races and people with disabilities, then used colors to show where the tweets using these words originated. Spoiler alert: We don't look too good.
SEP 2 Blogger Lamar White Jr. offers this commentary on Bobby Jindal's recent comments about the current US policy toward ISIS. Jindal's sudden, shrill interest in the subject can only be attributed to his desperate desire to be president, Lamar opines. All this begs the question: Do we really want someone in the White House who is willing to say anything to get what he wants?
SEP 2 St. Mary Parish homegirl Julie Hébert lets us in on the next step in her career in this blog post. The writer/director, who has worked on shows like ER, West Wing, Numb3rs and Third Watch, has teamed up with John Ridley, the Academy Award winning screenwriter of 12 Years a Slave, for a new ABC series that will be filmed in Austin.
SEP 2 Here's another round of crazy on the Scott Rogers shooting from the Advocate. The Baton Rouge television personality was killed last week by his son-in-law (and alleged sexual abuse victim) who then turned the gun on himself. The story gets worse and worse.
SEP 2 This post on Deadline Hollywood outlines the massive tax incentive package passed by the California legislature last week. As one California solon put it, the move is a response to years of seeing movie and TV work "cannibalized by states and other countries poaching tens of thousands of good California jobs." Hey -- is he talking about us?
SEP 2 This photo essay on the NOLA Femmes blog examines homelessness in New Orleans. There are pictures of familiar intersections which look very different during tourist events than they do no a normal day in the city, and an account of the issue since Katrina. The post makes a good point: When the city rousts homeless people the day before a tourist event but calls it a "health issue," the claim rings false, doesn't it?
AUG 29 Everyone who cares about Louisiana should take time to peruse this story about coastal loss from Bob Marshall of The Lens. It's not enough to call it a story; it's an interactive experience packed with data and amazing graphics, timelines, history, photos and excellent writing. Set aside some time, because you can't go through this one in a few minutes.
AUG 29 Huffington Post has a blog called Love Letters, which is grandly described as "an anthology of reflections on places the world over." This entry is from LSU Football Coach Les Miles, who, it appears, loves Baton Rouge. (Of course he does; he's a rich straight white man.) And certainly Baton Rouge loves him - unless he loses (ask Curley "Golden Flake" Hallman about that) or leaves (ask Nick Saban).
AUG 29 This story by WVLA tells us about a guy who got busted for speeding in Baton Rouge. Who cares? This guy took that infraction to new heights by going 129 miles per hour on Nicholson Drive. Poor fella - he probably has spent so much time sitting in Baton Rouge traffic he just had to cut lose.
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