After intimating his intentions for months, Jeff Landry has officially entered the race to succeed Charlie Melancon as congressman in Louisiana'a 3rd District (Melancon is vacating the post and running for U.S. Senate against David Vitter). The New Iberia attorney has never held office but is no political neophyte. He directed former state Sen. Craig Romero's unsuccessful bid for Congress in the 3rd District in 2006, and ran for Romero's old state Senate seat in 2007, narrowly losing the runoff election to Troy Hebert.
Early fundraising indicates Landry leading a crowded field of Republicans that also includes state Rep.and former St. John the Baptist Parish President Nickie Monica, Belle Chasse businessman Chris Leopold and Kristian Magar of New Iberia, a UL adjunct professor in the oil and gas business. In campaign finance reports filed for the fourth quarter of 2009 with the Federal Elections Commission, Landry posted $115,000 cash on hand, over $90,000 more than Magar, his closest Republican rival (Landry's total includes $21,000 of his own money). The only other candidate in the race is attorney Ravi Sangisetty of Houma, a Democrat. Sangisetty posted a $253,000 war chest in his year-end finance report, $100,000 of which comes out of pocket.
Landry made his announcement today via a video address to voters posted on his Web site, LandryforLouisiana.com. “Our country is in peril because our government is out of control," he says, "caused by a president and a Congress where free spending and liberal values rein, where the size of our government is growing as fast as our coast is eroding. All the while our economy is in shambles. We need people to run for office who truly want to serve the public and not rely on the taxpayers as their source of income. I am Jeff Landry. That’s why I am running for Congress.”
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SEP 12 Blogger Tom Aswell continues to dig into the "theater of the absurd" that is the Jindal Administration's running of the Office of Group Benefits. After laying off employees because there wasn't anything for them to do, the administration then had to hire a private firm just to answer the phones. (Turns out it costs millions to get someone to answer the phones. Who knew?)
SEP 12 This post on The Lens examines Bobby Jindal's flippity-flopping on the issue of Common Core. C.W. Cannon offers a bit of history and a clear primer on the issues, but in the end it's nothing more than Jindal's attempt to fund his next career move, Cannon writes, which will probably be as "a beta-male Sarah Palin on the bayou."
SEP 12 Controversial leader Joe Aguillard may not be in charge anymore, but the fallout from his tumultuous tenure continues at Louisiana College, this post on the American Baptist Press website reports. The school's accreditation is in danger, after the school was placed on probation for a culture of “misstating, ignoring or denying matters of documentable fact,” ABP reports.
SEP 12 Here is a lovely obituary, complete with arrangements, for Alison Neustrom, who died Wednesday at the age of 42. Neustrom, who was the research director of PAR, had dedicated her short life to helping people who, for whatever reason, were "struggling on the margins of life," the obituary states. In addition to her husband and her large, loving family of relatives and friends, she leaves behind a 2-year-old daughter.
SEP 12 NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is not exactly popular in New Orleans, where residents have a long memory for people who pick on their Saints. Earlier this week, the Picayune called for his removal. Now business owners are getting into the game, WGNO reports here.
SEP 12 This post on NOLA Defender details recent developments in the New Orleans homeless problem. The city is bent on removing the homeless tent cities, at least those in areas frequented by tourists. The homeless do have their advocates, however.
SEP 11 You have to wonder about these people who can't stop telling you how smart they are -- but refuse to participate in any discussion. Congressman Bill Cassidy says he stands by his comments about the Senate being a "plantation," but apparently is afraid of having to talk about it in public, because he's leaving the Senate debate to Mary Landrieu and Rob Maness, NOLA Defender reports in this post.
SEP 11 This post by Kris Davidson describes her work on a National Geographic Traveler piece about Louisiana. Included in this post is the layout of the story, as well as some amazing images she captured.
SEP 11 Columnist Clancy DuBos marks the entry of former NOLA Mayor Ray Nagin into prison with this post. He looks back over Nagin's short career in politics, from his start as a "rock star" who was anything but political, to a corrupt, lazy politician who wasn't any better at taking bribes than he was at running the city.
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