Written by The Independent Staff
Wednesday, 10 March 2010
The Louisiana Supreme Court, in reversing last week a Third Circuit Court of Appeal ruling that green-lighted a convicted felon’s candidacy for elected office, clarified an important aspect of state election law and underscored a universal tenet: Do the crime, do the time. Ernal Broussard wants to be a member of the Abbeville City Council. Problem is, he pleaded guilty five years ago to a federal felony — aiding and abetting an illegal gambling operation. State law says convicted felons have to wait 15 years after completion of sentence before running for office. Incumbent Francis Touchet Jr. challenged Broussard’s eligibility. A district court judge in Lafayette disqualified Broussard. The Third Circuit overruled, reasoning that the federal felony may not be a state felony. The high court settled the matter, ruling that it is.
The spring session is almost here, time for the annual running of the funding gauntlet by arts councils and cultural providers statewide. The executive budget released in February seeks a 41-percent reduction to both Decentralized Arts Funding and Statewide Arts Grants, two critical state-funded programs that help underwrite the festivals, fairs and other cultural activities that make Louisiana a destination for tourists worldwide. Forty-one percent is draconian, more so when total funding in 2009 for both programs was under $5 million, which is closer to a molecule than a drop in the budget bucket. If Louisiana government can throw down $50 million to save 1,600 jobs at a chicken plant, $5 million to buttress a cultural economy that employs many more sounds like a bird brainer.
There’s nothing like using your police department for a little paramilitary black-ops to keep residents on their toes. It was a trademark of former Opelousas Police Chief Larry Caillier, whose now legendary live-action police drills included an infamous mock hostage crisis at the Federal Building in Opelousas and a ‘terrorism situation enactment’ at a 9-11 memorial replete with explosions, tanks and an actor playing an Arab terrorist. In that grand tradition comes Bossier Parish Sheriff Larry Deen. Last week, Deen’s office announced it is launching a program called “Operation Exodus,” a policing plan for an end-of-the-world scenario involving a quasi-militia of ex-cops and a “war wagon” with a mounted .50 caliber machine gun. Lest you think Deen has been watching too much Mad Max, the inspiration for this apocalypto police state is actually, in part, the Bible. The part where all hell breaks loose.
Is Mary fading as Vitter solidifies his lock on the fourth floor?
Richard Buswell was sentenced Tuesday to more than 10 years in prison for his role in an investment scheme that defrauded his clients of more than $6 million.
The Latin Music Festival returns to Parc International this Saturday, Oct. 4, from noon to 10 p.m.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration has renegotiated contracts for six LSU hospital privatization deals, hoping to reach a compromise with federal health officials that will keep Medicaid dollars flowing to the privatized patient services.
Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu is defending her record on gun rights, seeking to rebut sharp criticism from the NRA in a state where the right to bear arms is given special constitutional protection.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Citizens, you have less than a week to register to vote in the Nov. 4 election. Remember, if you don’t vote you can’t complain about the outcome. Well, you can but it’s kind of hypocritical.
After being forced out by its former landlords last year, the community garden has a new location and a 10-year lease.
The party says it has hit a milestone, reaching 10,000 registered voters in the state.
Defensive captain Junior Galette is disgusted by the Saints' sluggish start.
The use of $60 million in Louisiana's public school financing formula to pay for nearly three dozen charter schools violates the state constitution, a statewide teachers' union claimed Monday in a lawsuit.
Security breach at White House; Bejing won't back down from protesters; pressure on third-graders and more national and international news for Tuesday, September 30, 2014.
Tuesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Lafayette Regional seeking new leadership after longtime director Greg Roberts’ June resignation.
February trial date indicates parties were unable to negotiate a settlement.
T&T show behind the scenes
Four bedroom in Breaux Bridge or four bedroom in Opelousas
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Gov. Bobby Jindal has been viewed as a health care policy wonk, and he's tried to build on that image ahead of a likely 2016 presidential campaign, positioning himself as the candidate with substantive ideas.
Jerry Jones watched what he called the best effort he's seen in 25 years as owner of the Dallas Cowboys in the first half, and that was before Tony Romo had the longest scramble of his career and DeMarco Murray finished off yet another 100-yard game.
Two of the most recognizable women in Republican politics, Sarah Palin and Mary Matalin, have been heavily involved in Louisiana’s current election cycle.
Even though the Louisiana Democratic Party has thrown its support behind former Gov. Edwin Edwards’ congressional bid, national Democrats are not expected to follow suit.
“[Mike] is no longer the energetic ADA that his recent ad is trying to portray. I just think Mike needs to get the hell out.” — Kermit Harson, DA Mike Harson’s brother
The New Orleans Saints have listed Jonathan Goodwin as questionable for Sunday night's game in Dallas, raising the prospect that second-year pro Tim Lelito will start at center for the first time.
The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981 and bottomed at 488 in 1999.
The state labor department figures released Friday show the initial claims decreased to 2,068 from the previous week's total of 2,071. For the comparable week a year earlier, there were 2,494 claims.
Museum of Fear opens its 2014 season with more scares than ever before.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The endorsements keep coming for District 9 LPSB candidate Jeremy Hidalgo, who picked up his fifth vow of support Thursday, this time from the Chamber’s political action committee.