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.
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.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Google vs. Amazon in drone race; more deaths in Syria; Russia escalates Ukraine conflict and more national and international news for Friday, August 29, 2014.
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