Jeff Landry continues to outpace his Republican rival Hunt Downer in fundraising for the 3rd Congressional District race. The latest campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Elections Commission show Landry pulled in approximately $251,000 from contributors during the Aug. 8 - Sept. 12 fundraising period. Downer raised approximately $193,000 through the same period. Overall, Landry's campaign has raised approximately $733,000 throughout the election cycle and reports having approximately $211,000 cash on hand at the close of the reporting session. Downer's campaign has raised a total of about $601,000 and reports having about $63,000 left on hand at the close of the reporting period.
Landry and Downer are now engaged in a Republican runoff to be settled Oct. 2. Landry placed first in the three-candidate Aug. 28 primary, leading Downer by 14 percentage points and coming just 162 votes shy of claiming the nomination outright.
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DEC 17 What many suspected has finally be confirmed -- Louisiana has the worst drivers in the Union! This post on a car insurance site ranks drivers in all 50 states based on infractions from running stop signs to drunk driving. Hey, we even beat Texas, and probably on the strength of Baton Rouge drivers alone.
DEC 17 Here's a December wrap-up by Gambit, featuring the top stories, the weird stories, the stupid stories of New Orleans for 2013. Some of them will be pleasant to remember, and others -- not so much. But it's sure worth a read, if for no other reason than to be reminded of why NOLA is such a great place. To visit.
DEC 17 In this post, blogger Robert Mann takes a look at the big ole bag of coal the Legislative Auditor put into little Bobby's stocking Monday. This breaks it down into the high (or maybe the low) points of the report, which as Mann points out verify some of the things he wrote about in his blog earlier this year -- and took a lot of grief over. It's nice to have somebody prove you were right.
DEC 17 Here's a link to the Picayune's obituary for artist George Rodrigue, who died this weekend after a long battle with cancer. There also are links here to the paper's coverage of Rodrigue and his work over the years, including videos and interviews.
DEC 17 Here's a story in the Lens about a competition to gather creative plans for coastal restoration in Louisiana. The $400,000 competition has been under way since this fall, and the semifinalists have been chosen. Those teams will be whittled down in the spring, when several will receive funding to develop their concepts.
DEC 17 Hey, there's no grass growing on the Legislative Auditor's Office. Here's a story in the Picayune about yet another audit released this week faulting a Jindal program. This time, it's a DHH contract, worth more than $350 million, to handle health care for Louisiana residents. The auditor says Jindal's people should have evaluated the contractor's performance before extending the contract. Jindal's people say they hired somebody to evaluate the performance -- but won't be using that to determine a contract extension, because that's already going to happen. Wait -- what?
DEC 17 This AP story out of Pennsylvania tells us that the Coast Guard wants wastewater transporters to use rivers instead of trains. This wastewater is produced by the controversial fracking procedure, and is destined for states that have underground storage facilities - like Louisiana, where everybody's free to dump their hazardous waste, apparently. But hey, those underground storage facilities are perfectly safe. Right, Bayou Corne?
DEC 17 The folks putting on the annual Baton Rouge performance of The Nutcracker are warning ballet-goers to buy their tickets from authorized dealers, because online ticket-sellers are overcharging, the Advocate reports here. Orchestra seats that go for $45 are being offered online for $300, the story says. The show is not sold out, even with the purchases made by the scalpers, the story says.
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