Citing several sources familiar with Jerry Luke LeBlanc’s plans to go after term-limited state Sen. Mike Michot’s District 23 seat, on Thursday the INDsider reported on the likelihood of a LeBlanc-Page Cortez matchup. Our efforts to reach LeBlanc for that story were unsuccessful. But this morning via email, LeBlanc, who makes $215,000 a year as vice president for administration and finance at UL Lafayette, says he’s decided against making a run.
“I want to thank all of the individuals who encouraged me to consider running for the District 23 Senate seat in the fall elections,” LeBlanc writes. “I have decided that the current timing would not be right for me to seek elective office. Therefore, I will not be a candidate. The university has numerous large projects and initiatives under way with more on the horizon, which will demand my full attention. Again, I thank all of those in the community for expressing confidence in me.”
LeBlanc, an independent, would certainly have had some ground to make up, as District 43 state Rep. Cortez, though he has not made it official, plans to seek the seat this fall. The INDsider first reported Cortez's ambitions for the Senate in February. A Republican in his first term in the House, Cortez has for months been holding fundraisers, like the upcoming April 19 event at Schilling Distributing on Moss Street. An influential group of business leaders and politicians is already on board the "Cortez for Senate" effort. Herb Schilling and Kenny Hix of Shilling Distributing, Dwight Prudhomme of Republic National Distributing, Julie Calzone of Calzone and Associates and Tyron Picard of The Picard Group are hosting the fundraiser, along with co-hosts state Sens. Elbert Guillory, Mike Michot, Fred Mills and Jonathan Perry; state Reps. Joel Robideaux, Bobby Badon, Rickey Hardy, Nancy Landry and Jack Montoucet; and City-Parish President Joey Durel, Carencro Mayor Glenn Brasseaux, Broussard Mayor Charlie Langlinais, Scott Mayor Purvis Morrison and Youngsville Mayor Wilson Viator.
LeBlanc resigned from the Legislature in 2004 to serve as former Gov. Kathleen Blanco’s commissioner of administration. He was a five-term state rep from Lafayette and is the son of a former state representative. He also worked as a real estate appraiser during his time in the Legislature.
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MAR 12 Here we go! The former vice president of Louisiana College has filed suit against the private Baptist school and its embattled president, Joe Aguillard, the Town Talk reports here. He says he was fired because he blew the whistle on Aguillard. But really -- who cares? This means interrogatories, depositions, and other evidence-gathering activities. That alone will be worth the price of admission.
MAR 12 Blogger Dayne Sherman writes about Gov. Jindal's refusal to expand Medicaid in this post. He asks: if Bobby's so pro-life, how come he doesn't care about the life already here? Dayne, who hasn't posted in quite a while, apparently has been saving up. He's got a lot to say about what Jindal's been up to, including some recent events which saw Jindal as "Pee-Wee Herman acting all John Wayne." Now that's a visual.
MAR 12 This post on NOLA Defender's politics blog covers Gen. Russel Honore's new command, that of a self-named "Green Army" of environmental activists. The Army got together for the first time (in real life; they've been networking online for a while now) this past weekend on the steps of the State Capitol in Baton Rouge. The first aim: protect Louisiana's aquifers from industry that would drain and contaminate them. The army may be small, but already has attracted attention, the blog tells us.
MAR 12 Here's an interesting post on the politics blog of The Lens about the proposed increase in minimum wage. As a business owner, you might expect Chase to come down against it, but in true Chase Family fashion he does not. He argues that paying a "just" wage encourages productivity, adding that discussions about what people are paid should not be limited to economics, but include that concept of justice.
MAR 12 Here's a post by Becky Banks on Salon about True Detective and Louisiana. She's talking here about what she feels to be the elements of a classic southern gothic horror story, as well as the trend in Louisiana "reality" shows to downplay the intelligence of the cast and portray the state as "another country." It's an interesting read but don't go there if you haven't watched the end of TD; the killer's identity is discussed here.
MAR 12 Here's DIG Baton Rouge taking a look at some of the bills prefiled before the session that started Monday. Among them, a bill to make a (very, very old) Bible the state's official book, another that would close our primary system, and one that would allow anyone to carry a concealed weapon without a permit. Now that's a GREAT idea.
MAR 12 Here's an example of how well the death penalty works in Louisiana. This NBC33 story tells us about a man who spent 30 years on death row at Angola -- before being freed this week after it was determined he was innocent of the crime we were going to kill him for.
MAR 12 Blogger Jeff Crouere writes about the governor in this post on Bayou Buzz, and it's not a clipping that will end up on Bobby's refrigerator. He starts out saying that Jindal is weak at home and "irrelevant nationally." And that might be the nicest thing he says in the whole post. The only place Bobby Jindal will ever be President is "in his fantasies," Jeff writes. Yikes.
MAR 11 Two (allegedly) newsworthy things happened on Monday: Bobby Jindal laid out his plan for the legislative session, and Lil Boosie gave his first interview after being sprung from the joint. (Who's Lil Boosie, you say? Click here.) To celebrate these equally fascinating monologues, the Picayune posts this story asking you to determine which luminary uttered which pearl of wisdom.
MAR 11 Columnist John Maginnis writes here of Gov. Bobby Jindal's recent streak of meanness toward the President. Since it is having no effect on his national profile, and Bobby's not delusional (oh, OK - thanks for the update on that) Maginnis opines that Jindal is possibly auditioning to be someone's (anyone's?) vice president. Impressing higher-ups is one of Jindal's abilities, Maginnis reminds us.
MAR 11 Blogger Jason Berry gives us an update on the continuing activity connected to BP oil spill claims. For some time on the American Zombie blog, he's been keeping up with the "shenanigans" at a level not even contemplated by Louisiana's media. (You know, kind of like he did with Ray Nagin. So probably the Picayune will be taking credit for this in a couple years, too.) There are links to his previous posts, as well, so if you're curious this is a good place to start.
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