C’EST BON Tehmi Chassion might be the worst, most obstructionist member of the Lafayette Parish School Board in memory, but he might also be a one-termer. Enter Joshua Broussard, the camera-ready 32-year-old former president of the NAACP’s Lafayette chapter, who announced his candidacy for Chassion’s District 4 seat this fall. A Northside High alumnus and UL student, Broussard told us soon after announcing that he’s “running for this position because we need a strong front and to get behind Dr. Cooper, his vision and his plan for this community, our schools and our children. If we focus on his vision, we can unite this school system.” Broussard will have to beat a well-oiled political machine maintained by former City-Parish Councilman Chris Williams; Williams’ protege, Councilman Brandon Shelvin, is Chassion’s half brother. But Broussard can probably also bank on backing, financial and otherwise, from some influential powers in Lafayette fed up with dysfunction on the board driven in no small part by Chassion’s frequent shenanigans.
PAS BON Briggs’ utter disregard for truth and honesty has left many in Lafayette wondering what the hell Daily Advertiser brass was thinking when it offered the LOGA leader a seat on its editorial board. Maybe we’re just not understanding Gannett’s idea about what an editorial board should be, but we’ve had this odd notion that an editorial board consults with and advises the editors, helping to establish and drive a newspaper’s editorial viewpoint and how it covers stories. If that’s the case at the Advertiser, expect a lot of industry cheerleading at the expense of skeptical journalism.
COUILLON Pity poor Don Briggs. The head of the Louisiana Oil & Gas Association — a trade group he founded and one that has provided a nice source of income for himself and his son — felt a stroke a-comin’ after being exposed as a high-chutzpah, low-information fraud during a deposition about LOGA’s suit against Attorney General Buddy Caldwell over that levee board lawsuit against Big Oil. Two tenets have long been central to the Briggs Doctrine: “greedy trial lawyers” are behind “frivolous” lawsuits against oil companies, and Louisiana’s litigious climate is driving those companies out of the state or preventing them from doing business here in the first place. But under questioning from attorneys, Briggs’ utterly calculated and craven hyperbole blew up like the Deepwater Horizon. The oil industry shill admitted he didn’t have a shred of evidence that Louisiana’s legal climate affected jobs in oil and gas. He even admitted he hadn’t even read the levee board’s suit against the oil companies. The humiliation of acknowledging the emperor’s nudity reportedly caused Briggs’ blood pressure to spike, forcing him at doctor’s orders to skip court hearings in Baton Rouge over the LOGA suit against Caldwell.
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AUG 1 Blogger Mike Deshotels takes the gloves off in this post as he writes about education "reform" in Louisiana. It's not reform because it is not improving education - not even a little, he says. He's also taking the mainstream media to task here; they're not doing their job in reporting on these issues, he says.
AUG 1 Death Valley, Deaf Valley, Tiger Stadium, whatever you call it, it's been named the "most intimidating" college football arena in the country. This post on the College Spun blog looked at the top 15 and named LSU number one. It references the 1988 Tommy Hodson play -- when the crowd's reaction registered as an earthquake on the university's seismograph.
AUG 1 Fortune Magazine takes a look at a study by researchers in Indiana and Hong Kong (well THAT'S an interesting pairing) who looked at corruption in American states. Of course, we're in the top five, coming in second behind Mississippi. Hey, we'll do better next year!
AUG 1 Columnist Jeremy Alford is writing about secrecy in this post on LaPolitics, in particular "the dark side" of the legislative process, also known as conference committee. The loosey-goosey (and generally not open) process is rich with possibilities for problems, as was proven with the so-called Edmonson amendment, Alford writes.
AUG 1 Blogger Tom Aswell reports here on the emails he received in response to a public records request to State Police in his continuing investigation of the so-called Edmonson Amendment. In particular he's reporting the "talking points" created by one top State Police official about the bill, as well as some snide comments about one of Aswell's reporters.
AUG 1 Louisiana voters don't seem to be overjoyed by any of their choices in the Senate race, Jim Brown writes in this week's blog post. The polls don't show robust support for any of the candidates, Brown says, and he's thinking back to the time he floated legislation that would have allowed people to vote for "None of the Above."
AUG 1 Blogger CB Forgotston is keeping up with the reaction to the Edmonson Amendment, but the real problem isn't going to be fixed with more laws, he says. A major problem is a lack of integrity among legislators, he opines; without it, no amount of legislation is going to solve this problem.
AUG 1 Since the Washington Post story start circulating this week - you know, the one where the writer says that Congressional Candidate Lenar Whitney is the most frightening hopeful he's ever met - the lady has become notorious, this post on the NOLA Defender blog tells us. You can even watch her documentary (?) entitled "Global Warming is a Hoax." Ahem. Can we run away now?
JUL 31 Blogger Rod Dreher is offering excerpts, as he often does, from a blog he's found interesting. This time, the subject of his interest is the ubiquitous Facebook, but it's a creepy view of the social media format, and how predators can use it.
JUL 31 Here's a fun post on the Movoto blog about Louisiana stereotypes. These 10 are accurate, the blog posits, and it's really not wrong. Most of them are pretty positive - as opposed to other stereotypes about us, which also aren't all wrong.
JUL 31 State Treasurer John Kennedy, who also sits on the board that oversees State Police retirement, continues his push to have the so-called Edmonson amendment investigated, blogger Tom Aswell reports here. The director of that retirement system says an investigation is coming, but he's waiting on lawyers to tell him what to do.
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