[Editor's Note: This story was updated Thursday afternoon with Walter Campbell's responses to a pair of questions posed to him via email by The Ind.]
Touting the campaign slogan “Ready to Listen, and Ready for Action,” Lafayette real estate executive Walter Campbell announced Wednesday afternoon his intention to seek the District 9 City-Parish Council seat this fall. The seat, which covers Youngsville and parts of Broussard, unincorporated Lafayette Parish and the city of Lafayette, is currently occupied by William Theriot.
Describing himself as “a fiscally conservative Republican,” Campbell earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from USL. He is co-owner and top producer with Keller Williams Realty in Lafayette, and currently serves as City-Parish President Joey Durel’s appointee to the Transportation Policy Committee, is president-elect of Kiwanis of Acadiana, a board member of Lafayette Habitat for Humanity and a Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce ambassador.
Campbell served six years in the Louisiana Air National Guard, including during 1991’s Desert Storm conflict, and is a graduate of Leadership Lafayette. He and his wife, Sherrie, a Broussard Middle School teacher, and their two children, Blake and Allison, are parishioners at Our Lady of Fatima.
The Ind: What motivated you to seek the District 9 CPC seat?
Campbell: For the most part, I believe those involved in our local government are doing a great job and disagree with anyone who compares what we have to the problems at the state and national levels. As a resident in District 9, and having been involved with politics from an armchair for years, I recognized that my district was getting the short end of the stick when it comes to improvements in infrastructure, quality of life and the need for comprehensive planning on a parishwide basis. Instead of complaining about it, I chose to become educated on the issues and get involved in making our community an even better place to do business and raise a family.
The Ind: What do you bring to the table that suits you for the job?
Campbell: My belief is that “good government” means that those involved are good communicators, exhibit strong character, always seek out the best solution through collaboration, and they listen and stand accountable to their constituents. I believe that I possess all of these traits abundantly and pray for the opportunity to serve District 9 and the community that I love.
MAY 24 Blogger Robert Mann posts this entry about the Baton Rouge Chamber's recent report on Louisiana's higher education system. It's critical to economic development, and yet our system is facing a "funding crisis" with no way to resolve it, the report says. The Chamber says control of tuition and fees must be returned to the higher ed governing boards.
MAY 24 Here's a NBC33 story about Tyrann Mathieu. He has signed with the Arizona Cardinals, inking a $3 million, four-year deal. He gets a signing bonus of $265K, but gets another, larger bonus if he doesn't get cut from the team for doing drugs. The deal reportedly includes mandatory tests and meetings for the player.
MAY 24 Jarvis DeBerry posts here about the redonkulus rhetoric that would have us believe NOLA is a safe city with a murder problem. Maybe the city's crime stats don't compare with its murder stats because you can't manipulate a murder, he says: a dead body's a dead body. It just doesn't make sense, he says, and his readers agree: a poll asks if they believe the city is safe, and more than 90 percent say no.
MAY 24 Jindal administration officials announced Thursday that the privatization of public health care is going to cost a lot more than they budgeted for, the Advocate reports here. "I'm so surprised," said no one. Anywhere. The cost they're projecting now is more than $1 billion - a lot more than the $626 million budgeted for it. And, it's more than it cost the state to operate those hospitals. So why are we doing this again?
MAY 24 Blogger CB Forgotston ridicules the recent PR campaign by the state GOP in the wake of a legislative auditor's request to both major parties. The GOP (apparently unaware that the Dems got the same request) started yammering about being targeted because it had "killed" a tax increase. CB finds that laughable, but it's also pretty funny that the GOP was comparing this episode to the IRS scandal (Because the President has so much to do with our state auditor. Right?).
MAY 24 Politico details some recent fund-raising efforts by Sen. David Vitter, which have raised the question of his future political plans. This time, it is a $5,000 per head "bayou weekend" that includes "Cajun cooking" and an all-caps "alligator hunt," the story reports. Funds raised go to a super PAC that can spend money to support Vitter in federal or state races, the story points out.
MAY 24 The pink building on Royal in the quarter was sold at a sheriff's sale Thursday, this Picayune story reports. An injunction that would have halted the sale wasn't enforced because the family failed to post a $150,000 bond, the story reports. So the owner of the mortgages on the building bought it, for nearly $7 million. Now the feuding family will have to negotiate with that company to get a lease on the building that has housed their business for close to 60 years.
MAY 23 This post in Louisiana Voice tells us about a bill by a Winnsboro lege that would require all public high school students to take at least one Course Choice online class in order to graduate. (What?) Blogger Tom Aswell says it's a monument to "waste and corruption," especially in light of the problems he's exposed with the program in recent weeks. Idaho had a similar program, but voters removed it by a 2-1 margin, Aswell says.
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.
Philip deMahy Sr., a once respected New Iberia ad exec, was sentenced May 2 to spend the next two years (he faced up to 100 years) in a state penitentiary after state and federal investigators found dozens of images depicting children engaged in lewd sexual acts on his personal computer.