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.
Local and state agents Thursday night raided The Keg, the popular college bar located in the area known as The Strip, leading to the (at least) temporary closure of the venue.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, April 18, 2014:
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Time and time again, the Lafayette Parish School Board shows an overwhelming tendency toward idiocy, but Wednesday night’s contentious discussion over Northside High School’s teen mother program tops the list of dumb discussions.
C & C Technologies, HIT Fitness, R3 Sciences, the Acadiana Symphony Association and the United Way of Acadiana recognized for innovation.
“The accomplishment of this goal within the next ten years is not only critical for the region to effectively compete with other regions for residents and businesses, but also to provide an amenity for everyone in Acadiana to enjoy.”
Education Superintendent John White says a continued push to try to keep Louisiana from using tests associated with the Common Core education standards are creating "a state of chaos" for public school teachers.
The Acadiana Symphony Orchestra has decided to end its traditional Independence Day spectacular known as Red White & Boom.
Under the deal, Teche shareholders would get 1.162 shares of IberiaBank for each share of Teche stock.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's plan to use $210 million in surplus and one-time money to help balance next year's budget received the backing Thursday of the State Bond Commission, support that was needed for the maneuver to work.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
State wildlife and fisheries agents have arrested a 39-year-old man accused of stealing crawfish.
An East Feliciana Parish lawmaker has jettisoned his proposal to make it harder for a condemned prisoner to appeal a death sentence.
Senators advanced a proposal Wednesday that would let the governor remove New Orleans-area levee board members for violating what he considers to be public policy, despite concerns it would introduce political meddling into state flood protection.
The must have pieces this season
Dave Perkins, LCG Comp Plan honored along with local architects and designers at the 2014 INDesign Awards
Greg Manuel’s Lafayette-based residential development company is taking advantage of exponential industrial growth in Lake Charles.
Longtime Lafayette retailer ventures online.
It’s not how aggressive or conservative you are — it’s planning for risk that matters most.
Thanks to cutting-edge digital technology, more and more consumers are banking on ATMs and mobile phones.
Regional bank bids farewell to Downtown May 30
ABiz takes a look back at the most noteworthy moments for the local banking industry over the last year.
Most experts say short-term interest rates will be unchanged through 2014, but long-term rates are inching up.
Largest recruitment event in Acadiana returns May 21 to the Cajundome Convention Center
A lawyer’s ad should only be a starting point, as there is much more to consider when seeking quality representation.
Thanks to the inaugural 2012 INNOV8, a design for lifting heavy objects was brought to market.
The annual juried competition recognizes excellence in architecture, interior design and historic preservation in Lafayette and the five surrounding parishes.
Cypress Bayou GM hosts open house.
New hires, promotions, transfers in Acadiana business
The scion of a landmark Four Corners restaurant climbs back into Lafayette’s culinary scene as franchisee for a popular burger chain.