Wednesday, June 8, 2011
The state House committee tasked with spending Louisiana’s money got an extra voice from Lafayette last week when Speaker Jim Tucker named Rep. Rickey Hardy to the House Appropriations Committee. Hardy had to resign from the House Commerce Committee to accept the assignment, which he happily did; widely regarded as the most powerful committee in the House, Appropriations deals with the state budget and other fiscal matters. The north Lafayette Democrat joins south-side Republican Page Cortez on the committee. (Rep. Simone Champagne, R-Jeanerette, rounds out an Acadiana trifecta.) This newspaper has given Hardy the business in the past over his sponsorship and co-sponsorship of some questionable legislation — barring senior citizens from seeking office, for one; forcing welfare recipients to pass drug tests, for another — but we’ve never doubted that Hardy is a straight shooter with the best interests of his district at heart.
Louisiana lawmakers proved yet again that deference to industry lobbyists over protecting public health is de rigueur in state politics. A bill that would have banned smoking in bars in Louisiana went up in smoke in the state Senate last week by a 22-15 vote, with Acadiana Sens. Elbert Guillory and Fred Mills joining the pro-carcinogen contingent. (Sen. Mike Michot, R-Lafayette, was absent for the vote.) It was the third such attempt to ban smoking in bars by state Sen. Rob Marionneaux Jr., D-Livonia. The bill originally included casinos in the ban — the legislation aimed to protect bartenders, waitresses, musicians and others who work in bars and casinos from the deleterious effects of second-hand smoke — but that component was stripped from the bill in a House committee. The ban on smoking in bars, however, did clear the full House. Opponents of the bill argued it would drive smokers and their tax revenue to other states. There may be a tendril of truth to that argument for establishments skirting state lines, although the ban on smoking in restaurants in Lafayette Parish doesn’t seem to have driven diners away. They adapted. The net result of this stupid failure by the Senate is that employees in Louisiana bars and casinos are virtually the only workers not protected by law from a proven environmental carcinogen.
We get the feeling Rep. Jeff Landry, R-New Iberia, is just trying too hard to out-conservative Rep. Charles Boustany, R-Lafayette, Landry’s presumptive opponent in the election next year for the new 3rd Congressional District. Landry’s D.C. press hack, the curiously named Millard Mulé, has been firing off chest-thumping press releases on the freshman congressman’s behalf since Landry took the oath of office in January. One of the most recent, however, raised eyebrows across the political spectrum: a braggadocios bulletin announcing the rep’s refusal to meet with President Barack Obama to discuss the budget impasse. Roughly 200 House Republicans, it’s worth noting, did accept the president’s invitation. The Times-Picayune reported the story last Wednesday, quoting Norm Ornstein of the conservative American Enterprise Institute, who pursed his lips at Landry’s petty posturing: “It is more than a little arrogant,” Ornstein told the Times-Pic. “It belittles the office of the presidency and shows that Landry has little understanding of the political process, the role of the constitutional institutions, much less basic politeness.”
A federal jury found attorney Daniel Stanford guilty Friday afternoon on eight of 13 counts for his role in the Curious Goods conspiracy.
Lafayette City-Court Judge Francie Bouillion has served on the bench for two decades since winning a special election to replace Judge Kaliste Saloom when he retired in 1994.
The Houston firm said Friday in its weekly report that 1,575 rigs were exploring for oil and 338 for gas. One was listed as miscellaneous. A year ago there were 1,776 active rigs.
A crew began erecting the 25-foot mini-wheel late morning Friday in anticipation of the evening’s Hottest Night of the Year party at the park.
Frances Boothe of Nunez, who also happens to be filmmaker Stephen Meaux’s grandmother, prepares a cool-weather fave.
The magazine's senior football writer also predicts a break-out year for Saints fourth-year running back Mark Ingram.
New Iberia colonial or Broussard traditional home
The LPSB is poised and ready to move forward with the termination of Pat Cooper following a discussion Thursday with the attorney hired for the investigation of the superintendent, but a decision of this magnitude should be left up to the new board seated in January, especially with three pro-investigation board members bailing out come the new year.
Fiery style for game day
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Gulf Coast ceremonies marking the ninth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina have begun.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says there is little known about the effects of tiger prawns on indigenous Louisiana shrimp. But, officials say the reports they're seeking will help state biologists monitor the distribution of the prawns and determine the possible presence of spawning populations.
Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh rested his regulars and watched with delight as Ray Rice's backups ground out 214 yards rushing in a 22-13 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Thursday night.
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High-profile criminal defense attorney Daniel Stanford awaits his fate in the Curious Goods conspiracy trial.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is set to put the kibosh on the legal ownership of monkeys trained to help the disabled, and the agency wants to know what you think.
A federal judge on Thursday asked lawyers battling over Louisiana's new, restrictive abortion law for an agreement that apparently could let clinics stay open — at least for a while — after the law takes effect Sept. 1.
Three bedroom Port Barre cottage or three bedroom historic district Opelousas home
No laboring for shoppers this holiday
It will be next month before Gov. Bobby Jindal will likely get a chance to change the membership of a South Louisiana flood board that is suing dozens of oil, gas and pipeline companies.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
An abortion rights organization wants a federal judge to block enforcement of Louisiana's new abortion law while its lawsuit to overturn the law makes its way through court.
Republican presidential prospects Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal are planning to speak at an Iowa Christian conservative event in September.
The attention surrounding Victor White III has spiked with the release of last week’s autopsy report, which has raised a number of serious questions about the night of his death and has put the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office under an increased wave of scrutiny as more national media outlets are jumping on the story, most recently seen on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show.
The Acadiana Center for the Arts and the Lafayette Economic Development Authority have announced a new artist stipend program, ArtSpark, designed to offer financial aid to local artists.
A group supporting taxpayer-funded private school tuition vouchers is appealing a federal judge's order that Louisiana must provide regular reports to federal officials on the state's voucher program.
The Discovery Channel has canceled reality TV star Will Hayden's popular "Sons of Guns" show after his arrest on an aggravated rape charge.
The LPSB will finally hear from the attorney it hired to investigate the superintendent at a special meeting Thursday at 4 p.m.
Three bedroom traditional or two bedroom Victorian cottage