Jean-Paul Coussan and Elise Bouchner were selected as class representatives and delivered a humorous recap of the year. Representing LL’s sponsoring organization, the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, was Chairman Robbie Bush, a member of Class XVI. Also in attendance was Independent Weekly Co-Publisher Cherry Fisher May, a member of the inaugural Leadership Lafayette class who went on to participate in Leadership Louisiana this year. She was joined by fellow Class I participant Lynn Guidry. After the class members received their plaques and lapel pins, the party continued at Tsunami. Congressman Boustany and Cherry have inspired me to apply to Leadership Lafayette this year; Class XXII will be announced in the next couple of weeks. Look for Party Girl at the top of the list!
Members of Class XVII: Jeanette Alcon, Mary Neiheisel, Congressman Charles Boustany, Donna Delahoussaye and Lexi Baldridge
Leadership Lafayette Class XXI’s 10 months of leadership training and development culminated in a graduation ceremony at Oakbourne last month. U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany, a Class XVII alumnus, was the keynote speaker, telling Acadiana’s future leaders how the program convinced him he could make a difference and propelled him to seek public office (and as you all know, he was just re-elected).
Members of Class XXI: Michelle LeBlanc, Emily Foreman and Aimee Landry
Congressman Boustany and Melanie Martin congratulate Joe Zanco, who broke his foot and could not make it up the stairs to receive his plaque. His classmates are in the background.
Graduate Emily Foreman, Congressman Boustany, Melanie Martin and emcee Rob Guidry
Class XXI members Elise Bouchner and Jean-Paul Cousson prepare for their graduation ceremony presentation.
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Lawmakers and Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration shared a collective sigh of relief with the news that Louisiana's tax amnesty program brought in the $200 million that they used to help balance this year's budget.
SportsMON, DEC 9 12:56PM
by Brett Martel, AP Sports Writer
DEC 10 The state's tax amnesty program paid off in a big way, with more money collected than expected, Jeremy Alford writes in LaPolitics. There are laws that govern how that money is supposed to be spent -- but surely the leges will find a way around that, Alford predicts. After all, it has happened before: if there's one thing we're good at, it's robbing Peter to pay Paul.
DEC 10 Tom Aswell continues his coverage of the New Bethany Home for Girls in this post. Although the school shut down years ago, the story has been revived -- especially after several former residents returned to Arcadia last week to file sexual assault complaints against the man who ran the school. Only two of the women filed complaints; the others came (from other states) to lend support. It's a compelling story Tom tells here.
DEC 10 Blogger CB Forgotston isn't buying what the legislature's selling (to itself) regarding Louisiana's fiscal outlook. Leges are telling everybody they don't need to worry about mid-year budget cuts. The Legislative Fiscal Office's predictions aren't being questioned like they should -- except by reporters, CB says.
DEC 10 The Picayune's Jarvis DeBerry writes about Nelson Mandela in this post. The former President of South Africa, who died last week, was not the simple, sanitized "cuddly" guy being portrayed in the simple-minded, easily-distracted American pop media, he says. He's hoping that Mandela's legacy will not receive the same "whitewash" that has been perpetrated against MLK.
DEC 10 Sen. David Vitter's continued efforts to force a vote on lawmakers' health care doesn't pass the "moral high ground test," columnist Stephanie Grace writes in this post. There's no "real policy argument" here and the vote he's trying to force (in true Vitter style, by embarrassing his colleagues) will accomplish "almost nothing" except hurting people, she says. So if he runs for guv and wins, we can look forward to more pointless, empty political posturing? Great.
DEC 10 So who is behind David Vitter's SuperPAC? Blogger Bucktown Pirate takes a look in this post on the Kingfish. With "the internets" and "a modicum of free time," Pirate has done some digging and it's pretty interesting stuff. So why should citizens have to do this much digging to find out who is behind organizations that raise tons of money then spent to influence elections? Good question.
DEC 10 Bob Marley's children and widow have sued Raising Cane's for use of the words "One Love," this blog post on Spin says. The words were registered by the chicken chain years ago, but the family says they're owed damages, attorney fees and all profits attributed to the use because it also was the name of a song recorded by Bob Marley with the Wailers.
DEC 10 Here's Gambit's take on Gov. Jindal's refusal (so far) to take the Medicaid expansion money. He's done this before, the editorial post says: posture and pose for the cameras, then show up in a dark alley to take the money anyway. That time, he handed out the money using big goofy checks with his name as the payer, the post reminds us. So he's not "entirely allergic" to federal bucks after all, the post says.
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