Lafayette Republican Congressman Charles Boustany is doing far better at hauling in the campaign cash than is his GOP colleague and opponent in the November election, U.S. Rep. Jeff Landry, according to Federal Election Commission numbers released this week. After a stellar second quarter that brought in $740,000, the Boustany campaign now has $1.91 million in cash on hand compared to Landry’s $975,000 campaign kitty. That’s a 2-1 financial advantage for the retired heart surgeon over the Tea Party-backed New Iberia lawyer/business owner.
UL Lafayette political scientist Pearson Cross tells The Advocate the advantage for Boustany, a Beltway insider with close ties to Speaker John Boehner, is likely due to his de facto incumbency in the redrawn 3rd Congressional District the two will compete to represent. “Boustany’s number is very robust for a congressional race,” Cross tells the Baton Rouge daily. “Based on the numbers he’s putting up, Landry has to do a lot better.”
When the state’s seven U.S. House districts were redrawn last year to reflect the loss of a seat due to stagnant population growth over the last decade, Boustany’s current 7th Congressional District was expanded eastward to take in Landry’s hometown, New Iberia. What remained of Landry’s current 3rd CD was absorbed into New Orleans- and Baton Rouge-area districts, leaving Landry, a first-term rep, with no district to call his own.
The new 3rd CD, which will go into effect in January and for which Landry and Boustany will compete to represent this fall, will run from eastern Acadiana all the way to the Texas state line. The majority of the new district will comprise Boustany’s current district, giving the eight-year incumbent a distinct advantage in name recognition and fundraising.
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DEC 8 - Maybe that wasn't such a good idea, after all. This post on the Louisiana Oil & Gas Association's site says we're looking at oil prices that are tanking because there's so much oil coming out of the Gulf. Some are even predicting a glut. What's likely to be the result? Lower gas prices, higher refinery profits, and more pressure on the feds to loosen export restrictions.
DEC 8 Here's the latest from blogger Robert Mann, and it's on one of his favorite topics: Bobby Jindal. He's taking a look at Jindal's record and his current maneuvering, which of course is a ploy to position him for a run for the White House. "America Next," Jindal's current big idea, is just as vague about what it is proposing as Jindal usually is, Mann says. And it won't protect him from his "unimaginative record," as Mann describes it.
DEC 8 - Don't know what that is? Then run on over to LaPolitics and read this post by Jeremy Alford, which serves as a history lesson about the famed tonic and it's purveyor, Dudley LeBlanc. It's really a fascinating story and Alford's description of Dudley as an "icon of Louisiana politics and culture" is not an exaggeration.
DEC 8 In this editorial, the Picayune again urges Gov. Jindal to take the Medicaid money. But the piece's exhortation that Jindal "be sensible" is a little misplaced, isn't it? Because Jindal's not being stupid -- well, maybe he is -- but he's following orders from people he believes can get him into the White House. This editorial is engaging in the argument that Jindal is publicly making, without acknowledging what his true motivations are. Somebody send these guys a clue.
DEC 8 Columnist Mark Ballard is writing about the impact of Vance McAllister's defeat of Neil Riser in this post. He starts out talking about how McAllister's more reasonable approach was more attractive to voters than was Riser's hard-line (tea-party-ish) rants. Dan Claitor, a state lege from BR who is expected to run for Congress soon, expressed it best when he said voters aren't looking for candidates who are "throwing temper tantrums when they can't get their way."
DEC 8 It's always gratifying when a Louisiana son makes international headlines. And our son, David "former KKK grand poobah" Duke is back in the news, making us all proud. This (UK) Telegraph story, unearthed by the Dead Pelican, tells us that Duke has been expelled from Italy but is trying to return. The Italians say he is trying to "establish a pan-European, extremist neo-Nazi group in northern Italy." Huh. You don't say.
DEC 9 This is a kind of puzzling post from columnist Jim Beam, in which he discusses a recent appearance by former Gov. Edwin Edwards in Lake Charles. He said he's surprised by EWE's "grasp of current events." Did Jim never meet Slick Eddie? He's no dummy, and for Beam to assume he is -- well, given he covered the man for 50 years, that's the surprise.
DEC 9 A "suspicious package" shut down part of Zachary Sunday, WAFB tells us in this post. The package, which eventually was "rendered safe" (bomb squad lingo for blown up) was found in a storage unit that someone quit paying on. Other cop gear was found in the unit, so it is possible the thing was a training tool, police say. But they leave out the best part: who bought it? Barry, Jarrod or Darrell?
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