When a boxin’ match starts, de ring announcer says who iz fightin’, whare day are from an’ how much day weigh. Well, we had de qualifyin’ for different offices recently, an’ now de fight iz on.
In our parish, for now, we’ll have a special election for district judge in District F. Dat wuz de office helt by Judge Wilfred Carter until he recently announced he wuz steppin’ down. Dem what qualified are Derrick Kee, Michael Ned an’ Sharon Wilson. De winner uf dat race will fill de res’ uf Carter’s term, an’ den have to run again in de fall.
You would imagine de winner will probably not have much oppozition in de fall. Still, two elections jus’ months apart iz kinda hard.
De race dat will be closely watched iz happenin’ on de Occupied West Bank … de city uf Sulphur. De incumbent mayor, Chris Duncan, iz seekin’ reelection an’ is facin’ de man he beat by 200 votes to win 4 years ago — Ron LeLeux. LeLeux supporters have been layin’ low so far, but you can expect some real action in de next few weeks in dis one.
Also in de race are city councilman Mike Koonce and longtime water plant manager Clopha Boudreaux.
As for de city council, District 5 Councilman Stuart Moss got a free ride. In District 1, Dru Ellender, de incumbent, will face Randy Hebert. District 2 will see Paul Bergeron and C.J. Vincent facin’ off. Both are political newcomers.
District 3 will see incumbent Veronica Allison facin’ Ronnie Banks and Lelan LaBorde. Randy Favre, de incumbent in District 4, will face Fred Baden.
De election for de first primary iz April 5. If you live in Sulphur, we urge you to vote. Voter turnout in recent years for municipal elections haz been very low, an’ lots uf folks would like to see a better turnout.
Lots Uf Republicans
At de urgin’ uf my fran Mike Kurth, I braved nasty weather to go see former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee speak at a recent gatherin’ uf local Republicans. Me, I taught de nasty weather would keep de crowd away. Far from it … de Contraband Room at de Civic Center wuz packed.
Huckabee, who iz rumored to be de vice presidential candidate for de Republicans in de next presidential election, gave a very good speech. He told of growin’ up poor in a small town in southern Arkansas, an’ how he faught for everything he has today.
His speech drew a standin’ ovation, an’ right after, he grabbed a guitar an’ played a little wit’ local music star Judd Bares. Huckabee haz played with Jerry Lee Lewis an’ udder Nashville stars, an iz said to be pretty good on several instruments.
Also on de program were Commissioner uf Agriculture Mike Strain, who says he ain’t runnin’ for governor, but keeps showin’ up at political gatherings. Elbert Guillory, who made national headlines when he became one uf de few African-Americans to switch from Democrat to Republican, also spoke. De state Sen. from Opelousas iz runnin’ for lt. governor next year. Jay Dardenne, who haz de office now, will run for governor.
House Speaker Chuck Kleckley pointed out Republicans have 59 uf de 105 legislative house seats an’ 23 uf 39 Senate seats. All but one uf de state’s congressmen are Republicans. Of course, in de U.S. Senate, Mary Landrieu is a Democrat an’ David Vitter a Republican. Tink back 20 years ago; no one who keeps up wit’ politics in our state would have imagined de Republicans dominatin’ az day are.
LABI Has Dog An’ Pony Show
Every year LABI (de Louisiana Assoc. uf Bidness an’ Industry) goes trewout de state tellin’ bidnessmen what dar gonna be focusin’ on in de upcomin’ session uf de Legislature. Dis year de event wuz helt in de new SEED center near McNeese, an’ me an’ my buddy Max went.
Steven Waguespack, who replaced Dan Juneau afta 27 years uf service, iz now president uf de group. He gave a well-organized presentation uf what de organization wuz gonna focus on durin’ de session, which starts March 10 and runs trew June 2.
Waguespack sed dar gonna concentrate on two tings: workforce development an’ civil justice reform. Dis workforce development ting appears to be de buzzword wherever you turn dese days. Over de years, we’ve seen udder buzzwords in our state run into de ground, like offshore royalty, TOPS, right to work, an’ uf course, Core Curriculum. But now I bet you can’t talk to a politician for mo dan three minutes without hearin’ “workforce development.”
In any case, Waguespack explained how de group wuz gonna beat on de legislators for mo money for trainin’ uf workers for jobs dat are comin’ to our state.
De udder item LABI will concentrate on iz civil justice reform. One uf de points day will address is auto insurance. Our state leads de nation, wit’ an average cost uf $2,699 per year. Texas iz second at $1,545 a year.
Uf course a group like LABI will blame de trial lawyers for dis, an’ uf course you can bet de trial lawyers will be loaded for bear when de Legislature convenes. Remember de dates for de session, folks, an’ az we always say, watch your wallet when dem boys are in Baton Rouge.
Nagin Verdict Shocked Some
When former New Awlins mayor Ray Nagin wuz fount guilty on 20 uf 21 corruption charges, lots uf folks wuz shocked. Udders sed it wuz jus’ anudder step in de clean-up uf de Big Easy.
De fact iz, de feds offered him a deal an’ he refused it. An’ when you do dat, you better win de trial.
It’s hard to get a jury to vote 12-0, which is what it haz to be on every charge, an’ day voted 12-0 twenty times.
Mos’ say Nagin didn’t help hiz cause by takin’ de stand an’ makin’ himself an easy target for de prosecutors.
He’ll be sentenced later. Federal guidelines call for 15 years for each count, but de federal judge doesn’t have to follow dat guideline. In any case, he will be spendin’ jail time for his takin’ uf bribes an’ political contributions in exchange for city contracts.
Wonder if he an’ former Congressman William “cash in freezer” Jefferson will play booray in prison.
IMCAL Gettin’ Feedback
IMCAL, dis area’s regional transportation planning commission, haz held some input meetings trewout our area to find out what folks use in de way uf transportation, an’ what day want to see done to improve de movement uf folks in our area.
Me, I attended one uf dem meetings an’ heard lots uf good comments from folks about bridges, highways an’ even bike trails. Late in de evenin’, when I’d been up waaay too long, I summed up my thoughts wit’ dis idea: blow up de I-10 bridge and built anudder one an’ provide bus service between Lake Charles and West Cal. Guess I shouldn’t have sed dat, but I did.
Some Folks Doin’ Good
It’s always good to read or hear about folks in our community doin’ sometin’ to help dem what iz less fortunate dan day are. Such was de case recently when Dr. Harry Castle uf Oak Park Dental offered free dental service for de needy on Valentine’s day an’ saw almost 200 people. Next time you see de good doctor, give him thanks for doin’ good for de community.
Also recently, de Family Foundation of Southwest Louisiana singled out some folks for dar work in improvin’ our community. Christine Perry, Phillip and DaWanna Tarver and First Federal Bank were named philanthropists uf de year by de foundation. District Attorney John DeRosier spoke uf Perry’s involvement in preventin’ child abuse and her work with the Salvation Army and de court-appointed Special Advocate program. De Tarvers were recognized for dar long history of contributions to local schools, athletics and civic organizations. First Federal Bank was recognized for the huge part it plays in so many organizations in our area. Congratulations to Christine, the Tarver family and First Federal Bank for making a difference in our community.
Deep Taughts While Plannin’ What To Wear At Mardi Gras
10) Will my buddy, Ardoin, in Mamou, make us a good gumbo again dis year?
9) Will de McNeese baseball team ride dat win over Missouri to a great season?
8) Where can I find some real cane poles to be ready for white perch season?
7) Iz Mary Landrieu bein’ chairman uf de Senate Energy Committee good for us?
6) Why does de co-pay on insurance keep goin’ up every year?
5) Does T Claude have a chance uf makin’ de bobsled team for de 2018 Olympics?
4) Will de Texans take Johnny Football in de first round uf de NFL Draft?
3) Can someone win de firs’ shot in dat special election for judge in District F?
2) Will anyone from around here run for state office in de 2015 elections?
1) Iz Snookie stretchin’ de truth when he sez he had 1,200 pounds uf deer meet processed at Hollier’s?
Lefty Sez he went to Mardi Gras las’ year an’ got knocked out by a coconut trown from de firs’ float in de parade. Me, I tink he got dat shiner in anudder way.
‘Til next time, lache pas la patate.