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 21 Tom Aswell is telling us about another "efficiency" contract the state has signed. This one is paying a consultant (i.e. someone with a briefcase from out of town) $140 an hour, plus tens of thousands in air fare. The agency on the receiving end of this tender care? The DMV. Well -- that's working great, then.
AUG 21 This post on The Lens brings us up to date on the ongoing process of populating the levee board that will decide if the so-called Big Oil lawsuit will move forward. Gov. Jindal has done his best to put the kibosh on the suit by removing pro-suit members, but the process of replacing them is not simple, Bob Marshall tells us.
AUG 21 Here's Politico's coverage of Bobby Jindal's loss in the Common Core lawsuit this week. Interestingly, it boils down to dueling quotes from the judge who handed the administration its collective hiney and Kyle Plotkin. There's also commentary here about Jindal's flip-flop on the issue.
AUG 20 Education blogger Mercedes Schneider, as usual, is using her (not insignificant) teaching skills to give us the skinny on the recent court ruling on Common Core. Schneider gets into the details of legal strategy and argument at play here. As usual, it appears that Jindal's lawyers dropped the ball. Hey, at least they're consistent. (Or maybe Jindal didn't really want to win, he just wanted the Tea Party to think he wanted to win?)
AUG 21 Columnist Jim Beam is writing about ISIS in this post. The civilized world has to do something about this group and the atrocities its members are committing, he says. Maybe President Bush "blew it" in Iraq, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't do anything more, he says.
AUG 21 Blogger CB Forgotston is continuing his habit of announcing that he won't be running for stuff in this post on the Forward Now blog. He's also poking fun at State Police Commander Mike Edmonson (and his entourage, dubbed "Dork Dynasty" by some Troopers) and the Advocate. Apparently Edmonson isn't happy with people who are keeping this boondogle in the news. Awww.
AUG 21 This post on the NOLA Defender blog talks about some things that New Orleans and Ferguson, Mo., have in common. As a white woman, author Kezia Kamenetz says it isn't her place to talk about what the African-American community should do about the violence within, but as a human she can certainly call for fairness in the criminal justice system.
AUG 21 Columnist Stephanie Riegel is writing about the scandal that has rocked the LSU Alumni Association (to wit, the executive director's "girlfriend" also was his employee; when they "broke up" he started paying her, with alumni money, to keep her mouth shut). In particular, she's looking for some lessons to learn from the mishigas.
AUG 20 This post on the Texas Observer is a good one to read if you haven't bothered to pay much attention to the Rick Perry indictment. The pundits have collectively dismissed it as partisan politics - but the special prosecutor is a Bush man, and the judge is GOP. (They didn't mention THAT, did they?) It's a pretty good round up of what we do know, and more importantly, what we don't.
AUG 20 In this post, blogger Rod Dreher takes a look at the Tea Party's horror at David Vitter's reluctance to say he hates the Common Core with every fiber of his being. He also includes some commentary on the Tea Party's inability to tell news from satire. Hey, maybe that's why Facebook has to add those labels. Mystery solved!
AUG 20 This story in the New York Times updates the rest of the nation on the Common Core issue here in Louisiana, proclaiming that it is "dividing" the state. Unfortunately for Gov. Bobby Jindal, it is only a few sentences in before the author mentions that Jindal "ardently" supported Common Core when Louisiana joined the movement a few years ago, and the implication is that he's agin it now because he wants to be president and thinks that will help.
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