Wednesday, October 5, 2011
But it doesn’t always speak clearly; sometimes it insinuates.
The numbers demanded a double take. An incumbent lugging nearly two years’ of bad headlines is rolling in the dough. His competitor, a decades-long civil servant with 22 years in the U.S. Air Force under his belt, is scraping by. I can’t remember which campaign-finance report on the Ethics Board’s website was more compelling — the handsome sum raised by Councilman Brandon Shelvin in one of Lafayette’s poorest districts, or Carencro City Manager Lloyd Rochon lending his campaign four times more than it had taken in. Where Shelvin had generated more than $20,000 in contributions and had better than $15K in the bank, Rochon had less than $250 to spend after a single $500 contribution and $2,000 personal loan.
It only hit me later like an antacid that Shelvin’s reporting period spans Jan. 1 to Sept. 12; Rochon’s runs from Sept. 8 — the day, late in the afternoon, he filed the paperwork to run — to Sept. 22. Rochon slipped into the race at the 11th hour when it was clear Shelvin would otherwise go unchallenged. Shelvin has been in campaign mode for months.
I spoke with Rochon Friday and he says his campaign coffer has bulged since he filed the report with Ethics — more than $5K in contributions in a little over a week. That says a lot in a race in which the challenger is a late entry. Rochon plans a series of media buys and will be canvassing a lot in this final stretch of the campaign.
But what do Shelvin’s contributions reveal? We don’t know what he’s collected since he filed his report; the councilman has been unwilling to speak to this newspaper for more than a year. But his report suggests robust and enthusiastic support for his campaign. This is where the report insinuates.
Thirty-four of the 43 contributions Shelvin cites in the report — almost $16,500 or better than 80 percent of contributions during the nine-month reporting period — came in a single haul on July 21. That’s the night a fundraiser for the candidate was held at a downtown restaurant — the night contributions, nearly a third of them up to the $1,000 maximum, came streaming in from people of means who neither live in District 3 nor, more than likely, share Shelvin’s political views. The majority of contributors on July 21, in fact, are not Shelvin’s constituents.
Indeed in some cases these contributions, regardless of date received, jibe with our understanding of how the political game is played. Sheriff Mike Neustrom, a fellow Democrat, needs support from the black community; his campaign committee contributed $250. So, too, do the contributions from Acadian Ambulance ($250) and Cox Communications ($250), corporate players that spread the wealth widely, evenly and commonly among opposing candidates, one of whom will win and could later be either an asset or a liability to their board room prerogatives.
But why would Denice Skinner, a member of the Lafayette Parish Republican Executive Committee, donate to a Democrat running for City-Parish Council? Or a developer who makes a bundle on low-income housing projects? That developer, Greg Gachassin, wrote a personal check to Shelvin for $500, as did two companies he owns — Park Group Construction and The Cartesian Company. That’s $1,500 more or less from one contributor. Gachassin’s physician brother Philip, and his father, Nick Jr., also contributed.
The list of contributors to the Shelvin campaign is reproduced on Page 5 along with some scathing analysis from Editorial Director Leslie Turk. What do that list and analysis tell us? Not much explicitly, but they imply a lot.
Abshire has rejoined the Lafayette Bar Association, where she previously served as marketing coordinator under longtime Executive Director Susan Holliday
Home-grown Baton Rouge market/deli heads to Lafayette.
Deadline for submitting noms for annual competition is March 15
Whitney Bank officials have confirmed that the downtown branch will cease to exist when it relocates its regional headquarters to River Ranch at the end of May.
So far the Democratic agenda includes proposals to expand Medicaid; increase the minimum wage; offer equal pay to women; heighten regulations on predatory lending practices, like payday loans; and add more transparency in the governor’s office.
Hot-button education issues ranging from Common Core to charter schools have some lawmakers pushing to scrap the appointing process and go back to electing the state's super.
Downtown Lafayette restaurant launches new concept near Le Triomphe
Police say the handcuffed man fatally shot himself in the back, but his family isn't buying the story.
Yeah, it's smoked venison sausage stuffed in a suckling pig stuffed in a lamb and roasted over an open fire.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Gov. Bobby Jindal offered a budget proposal that suggests new education and health care spending, pay raises for state workers and an incentive fund to encourage colleges to enhance their science, engineering and technology training.
Reamco founders Brent Milam and Ashley Lane now shareholders in acquiring company and part of its management team.
Low heels, high style
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Tuesday, March 11, 2014:
The board hopes to recover all fees paid, plus one-half, along with what could amount to hundreds of thousands in additional penalties.
Oh, the irony... or something like that.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Hopefully he’ll be better prepared today than he was in that Feb. 20 deposition.
They came by the hundreds, arriving from all regions of the state to gather on the steps of our Capitol in protest of the Legislature’s long tradition of giving industry the go-ahead to abuse our air, our water and our coastline, all in the name of good economics.
Gov. Bobby Jindal’s recent rhetoric against President Barack Obama has failed to boost his standing among the conservative base.
Louisiana's annual legislative session begins.
The state has hired marksmen to shoot feral hogs from helicopters at two wildlife management areas in south Louisiana.
St. Patty's Day crafts
New menu items ready for the Lenten season
The Cane Fire Film Series screens “MaidenTrip” on Monday, March 10, at the AcA.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The vibe of the tribe done modern
The Louisiana Workforce Commission said Friday that initial claims rose to 2,125 from the previous week's total of 1,964. There were 2,887 initial claims during the comparable week in 2013.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has stalled action on a $3.5 billion annual school funding formula due to state lawmakers by March 15.