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.
The Lafayette City-Parish Council will consider on Tuesday a revised plan to the transform a block in Downtown Lafayette into a mixed-use residential-retail-commercial development that doesn’t include giving title to the property to the Lafayette Public Trust Finance Authority, an arrangement the council rejected earlier this month.
Trying to combat the national undertones of Louisiana's U.S. Senate race, Democratic incumbent Mary Landrieu is traveling the state this week on a sort of pork celebration tour, telling voters about the projects and aid she's delivered to Louisiana.
Ever thought that big, pink Gulf coast shrimp you ordered at the restaurant or bought from the store didn't taste juicy or salty enough? Maybe it wasn't from the Gulf.
The state treasurer won't sign financial documents needed for $200 million in borrowing or for a refinancing of existing debt until he believes they accurately explain the surplus disagreement.
Homecoming outfits with ease
Acadian style home in St. Martinville or traditional Breaux Bridge home
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Bill Cassidy voted for 97 percent of the bills signed by Barack Obama.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is joining South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley on her campaign bus tour.
A New Iberia man has been sentenced to life in prison for killing a 4-year-old girl and scalding her 3-year-old brother.
A district judge decided Wednesday against sanctioning attorney/school board candidate Dawn Morris for her behind-the-scenes role in a lawsuit against Mark Cockerham.
Secretary of State Tom Schedler says Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration may have improperly destroyed records in the state employee health insurance program, in the middle of a heavily-criticized rewrite of benefit plans.
San Fran wins the World Series; Sistine Chapel improvements; Kurds moving toward Syria and more national and international news for Thursday, October 30, 2014.
Thursday's Blogs from the Bog!
Paper cites the former ADA's "experience as a prosecutor, his demonstrated integrity, and his ideas for reshaping the [DA's] office" in urging voters to support Keith Stutes Nov. 4.
Louisiana officials have sent a letter to the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene un-inviting members of the group who have recently been to ebola-affected West African countries from attending the group’s annual conference in New Orleans next week.
Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints have to find a way to win on the road if they plan to take over first place in the NFC South.
"It is obvious that Louisiana economic performance has not outperformed the South or the United States as a whole and, in fact, has substantially underperformed..."
A state district judge said he will rule Friday on a preliminary injunction to keep some charter schools from receiving $60 million through Louisiana's public school financing formula.
Saints fans were to gather, make merry, eat/drink compliments of a new Downtown group and watch the Saints beat Carolina and claim 1st place in the NFC South. But...
Three bedroom traditional or four bedroom traditional in Lafayette
Our fav dress for all seasons
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram doesn't see his dramatic spike in production as any sort of validation.
U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu is facing off one last time with her two main Republican challengers before next week's election.
Shoppers familiar with Louisiana-based Rouses Market might be surprised when they walk into the new third location set to open at the Corner of Johnston Street and Duhon Road south the Acadiana Mall on Wednesday.
Noted architect and co-founder/principal of Architects Southwest receives highest honor given to former student.
Know an innovator, job creator and visionary with a penchant for hard work? We want to know that person.
He’s pulling for Knezek and Hidalgo on his end of the parish but issued endorsements in three other districts as well.