U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, a New Orleans Democrat, grabbed a few local headlines last week when she was endorsed by more than a dozen business leaders from the Acadiana region. Not to be outdone, her opponent this fall, state Treasurer John Kennedy, a Republican from Madisonville, will get his fair share of media attention this week when First Lady Laura Bush joins him at a Lafayette fundraiser. She is expected in Lafayette Thursday for a 4 p.m. meet-and-greet at the home of Will Mills, a local real estate developer who has come to the aid of Republicans around the country. To show up and press the flesh, it’s $1,000 per ticket. If you want a photo with Mrs. Bush, you’ll have to fork over $2,500.
It’s a high-reaching power grab for Kennedy, but it’s Landrieu who has been notching the big local endorsements, such as the Louisiana Sheriff's Association. Although the state’s sheriffs traditionally back Democrats – with the notable exception of GOP Gov. Bobby Jindal – LSA Executive Director Hal Turner says seniority is what pushed Landrieu over the top. "With the loss of other senior members of our Louisiana delegation this year, now, more than ever, we need Sen. Landrieu's experience and seniority in Congress so that she can continue making a difference in our state," Turner says.
Leonardo Alcivar, Kennedy’s communications director, says last week’s LSA endorsement wasn’t unexpected, given the historical leanings of the LSA. He framed it as a minor announcement. “Endorsements from associations are meaningless,” Alcivar says. “Mary Landrieu may be popular with party bosses and association higher-ups, but we know that sheriffs who are fighting on the front lines will be standing with John Kennedy in November.”
While crime and law enforcement issues haven’t become a hot topic in the campaigns, Kennedy says they’re included in the subject matter he wants to address in debates against Landrieu. More than a month ago, Kennedy called on Landrieu to participate in debates in every congressional district. Landrieu’s campaign responded by referring to a statewide tour Landrieu is currently taking to discuss voter issues. Landrieu campaign spokesman Scott Schneider also reminded Kennedy that lawmakers still have work to do. "Sen. Landrieu looks forward to a series of debates with Mr. Kennedy in October when the important work of this Congress is completed,” Schneider says.
In related campaign news, Landrieu was also endorsed this week by a pack of 15 farmers representing various sectors of the agriculture industry. Louisiana Rice PAC Treasurer John Denison was among those offering support.
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.
The New Orleans Saints have yet to make it official as of this writing, but popular wide receiver Lance Moore has reportedly been cut by the team to free up salary-cap space on the roster.
While two medical marijuana bills are slated for the upcoming legislative session, what some Louisianans might not know is that the plant was approved for therapeutic use by state lawmakers in 1991.
The agenda is shaping up to be lighter than in previous years. But Jindal is term-limited, with fewer than two years remaining in office, and he saw his last big initiative — a proposed rewrite of Louisiana tax law — collapse without getting a vote in 2013.
Sharper has been held without bail because of an arrest warrant issued by Louisiana authorities accusing him and another man of raping two women.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, March 07, 2014:
Two Lafayette men have been revealed by police as the infamous duo behind a caper that shook our fair city to its core.
She’s the daughter of the legendary Johnny Cash, but she’s been a gifted artist in her own right for three decades, and she’s coming to Lafayette.
The Lafayette Parish School Board has received a second letter of demand related to last year’s insurance debacle, this time from Key Benefit Administrators claiming it’s owed $93,000 from the school system.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The Louisiana coastline is vanishing faster than mappers can keep track.
A bill that would have overridden local ordinances prohibiting public and private employers from discriminating against lesbian, gay and transgender people has been pulled within less than a week of being filed.
The panel that selects nominees for a controversial New Orleans area flood control board — a board that is suing more than 90 oil, gas and pipeline companies — is set to discuss legislation affecting its independence.
State prison officials cannot keep secret the seller and manufacturer of the two drugs purchased for executions at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
State lawmakers will not appeal a judge's ruling that it was improper to use $3.7 million from a probation and parole officers' retirement fund to balance the state's operating budget.
Prepare yourselves for sun
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Conservatives have been losing their minds over this satirical bit on the Colbert Report.
Due to the chaos of Mardi Gras and the weather, the entry deadline for this year's INDesign Awards has been extended by one week.
The Lafayette Parish School Board leaves a lot to be desired, but is scrapping the election process in favor of an appointed board the answer?
Queen Evangline and King Gabriel ruled Tuesday night
The House approved legislation Tuesday night to roll back a recently enacted overhaul of the federal flood insurance program, after homeowners in flood-prone areas complained about sharp premium increases.
IND Style does Gabriel
Newsy bits for the fam
The NFL has formally designated New Orleans' Jimmy Graham as a tight end for the purposes of his franchise tag value, which is now set at $7.05 million next season unless Graham and the Saints subsequently agree on a long-term deal.