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.
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.
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.