The Alliance for Good Government announced Wednesday that it will support Democrat Ravi Sangisetty of Houma in the contest to capture the 3rd Congressional District. It is the second time this election season that the alliance has decided against endorsing the campaign of Republican Jeff Landry of New Iberia.
The alliance endorsed Landry’s opponent in the Oct. 2 Republican primary, Hunt Downer of Houma, a lawyer and former National Guard major general. Landry and Sangisetty will face off in the Nov. 2 general election.
Sangisetty, a Houma attorney, said he is proud to have the official seal of the Alliance for Good Government, especially since he has made accountability a central plank in his platform. “I’m running for Congress to fight to make the 3rd District better,” he said. “We need an open and accountable government that works for south Louisiana.”
Julienne Uhlich, Sangisetty’s campaign manager, said as far as good government goes, “the contrast between Ravi and Jeff Landry couldn’t be clearer.” She cited instances where Landry “broke federal election laws” while he worked on the failed campaigns of Craig Romero of New Iberia. Romero, a former Republican state senator, opposed U.S. Rep. Charlie Melancon, D-Napoleonville, in 2004 and 2006.
Melancon won both battles and is now vacating the 3rd District this year to run for the U.S. Senate against Republican incumbent David Vitter.
During the course of the Romero campaigns, for which Landry served in various roles from manager to treasurer, a number of judgments were handed down by Federal Election Commission. Romero’s campaign was once fined $5,800 for a late report, “admonished” for inadequate disclaimer notices on signs and was found to have “accepted prohibited corporate and excessive contributions” and paid a related civil penalty of $5,000, based on federal records.
“Jeff Landry is known for running corrupt campaigns,” Uhlich said. “He took illegal contributions and failed to document spending. That’s unacceptable and the voters deserve an honest and transparent election.”
Asked to comment on the Sangisetty campaign’s remarks, Brent Littlefield, Landry’s chief strategist, said most of the FEC infringements came in early 2004, before he or Landry ever joined the Romero campaign. Additionally, at least one of the instances — inadequate disclaimer notices on signs — was a mistake on the FEC’s part, Littlefield said.
As for the endorsement, he noted that the alliance’s backing did a lot of good for Downer, who lost the Republican primary runoff by 9,100 votes to Landry and carried only his home parish of Terrebonne. “The Alliance for Good Government, based in New Orleans, still has the endorsement of one of our previous opponents on their website,” Littlefield said. “The voters selected Jeff. Jeff has been recognized as the candidate for good government.”
Littlefield added that Landry has other nods that speak to his conservative credentials, like endorsements from National Right to Life, Concerned Women for America, the American Conservative Union and Family Research Council. “However, the endorsement we are most proud of is that of the tens of thousands of Louisiana voters who have already — and who will continue — to select Jeff Landry as their next congressman,” Littlefield said.
MAY 22 This post was written the day after the second line shooting in NOLA, by Brentin Mock. Mock is a friend of Deb "Big Red" Cotton, a blogger who was shot in the back and was seriously injured. It is a raw, emotional piece of writing, something the writer obviously felt he needed to get off his chest. But it raises questions that can't be easily dismissed, and might give some insight into where the source of these events truly is.
MAY 22 In this Baton Rouge Business Report post, Rolfe McCollister considers the privatization of bus service in Baton Rouge. After decades of under-funding, it is a mess, and although a tax (partially) passed last year, improvement hasn't happened yet. McCollister apparently feels it is time to let private business get in on the transit business.
MAY 22 This post on Bayou Buzz by Jeff Crouere urges the defeat of a bill that would grant modest pay increases over the next several years to the state's judges and clerks of court. The state is in no position to fund pay hikes, Crouere argues, with the pay increases costing a total of $9 million over several years. It sends the wrong message to the (proverbial) hard-working people of Louisiana, he says.
MAY 22 The Advocate reports here that State Treasurer John Kennedy is complaining about a meeting of the corporation that oversees the state's tobacco settlement. The Governor wanted it restructured, and he has some support, but not a lot. The corporation agreed with his plan, but Kennedy didn't, and it appears that the meeting was noticed in a manner completely different than that of all previous meetings. Kennedy's given to hyperbole, but in this case the fish don't smell too fresh.
MAY 22 In this Advocate story, Carencro Police Chief Carlos Stout says the recent federal indictment of a strip club owner is all wrong. The indictment alleges that drugs and prostitution went on with impunity because club staff made arrangements with "local" police. Stout says it never happened, and while his cops do work security in the parking lot, they're not allowed inside.
MAY 22 This amusing post in DIG Baton Rouge recounts an ad that ran on Craig's List recently; the advertiser was seeking tenants for a Beauregard Town house. He knew his market, and wrote an ad that the most ironical hipster couldn't resist. Apparently, he really did know his market, because the ad worked like a charm.
MAY 22 In this post in The Lens, Mark Moseley comments on the rhetoric Gov. Jindal employed in trying to save his tax "reform" package. One interesting point concerns Jindal's use of his brother, Nikesh, in a little story. Nikesh left Louisiana because of his inability to get a decent job, the story goes, but the story won't hold water: Nikesh lives in DC, which has an income tax level comparable to Louisiana, Moseley says. If income taxes caused the dismal situation, it should exist in DC too. Right?
MAY 22 This post by columnist John Maginnis traces the trajectory of the bill that would fund construction at community and technical colleges -- and bypass the Board of Regents and traditional higher ed funding mechanisms. Sure, it will bust the legislature's self-imposed debt limit, but some leges feel that there's more need (because there is more growth) in the community and technical college area than in the university area, he says.
David Calhoun and Elizabeth “EB” Brooks are the first two employees of Lafayette Central Park Inc., the nonprofit charged with turning Lafayette Consolidated Government’s 100-acre Johnston Street Horse Farm property into a passive public park. Calhoun was named executive director, and Brooks is director of planning and design.
There will soon be a whole lot of shakin’ going on at Benny’s Sportshack Supplement Depot, a new concept by Opelousas native Benny Nele. Located at 2002 Johnston St., the supplement shop, smoothie bar and café, featuring hot off the press paninis and wraps, plans to open in late May.