Editor’s Note: Still in mourning over the loss of his distant relative and mentor Deep Throat — and not one to let a great tradition die — Peep Goat debuts in this week’s issue. We finally coaxed Peep out of the shadows to bring reliable sources and piercing insight to all, not just a chosen few. Peep’s contributions will run more weekly than not — as the spirits move him, or her. You see, Peep’s identity, by its very nature, must remain a closely guarded secret known only to management here at The Independent Weekly. So off we go on a new adventure in journalism with a trusted and wise old friend. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Peep Goat, the INDsider’s insider.
Man of the House
State Rep. Joel Robideaux may be quietly making moves to position himself to succeed House Speaker Pro-Tem Karen Carter. It’s widely speculated Carter will be offered a position in the Obama administration, as she was one of the president’s earliest, more visible supporters in the Democratic primary. Robideaux, an independent, is as a low key/behind-the-scenes-operator in the House. Seldom seen making “grandstanding” speeches on bills or introducing legislation that draws lots of media frenzy, he is nonetheless respected as an honest and effective House member. He’d be a good balance to the often vocal — and never camera shy — House Speaker Jim Tucker. Robideaux’s ascent would place Lafayette political power at a premium, with Sen. Mike Michot continuing to serve as finance chair.
Band of Brothers
Nothing seems to have unified the fragmented black political structure of north Lafayette more than the special election to fill the seat of former state Sen. Donald Cravins Jr. The special election, to be held April 4, is a rematch of the Cravins Machine (this episode featuring Patricia, the mother) against State Rep. Elbert Guillory, the Rutgers-educated Opelousas lawyer who’s become the flag bearer of the “anti-Cravins” movement. Guillory defeated the Cravins machine in his own 2007 election, as well as in the St. Landry Parish sheriff’s race, where he supported Bobby Guidroz over the black candidate Laura Balthazar. The opportunity to place a dagger in the Cravins machine has apparently motivated the Young Turks of the Lafayette African-American political community, as Rep. Rickey Hardy is leading the charge for Guillory in Lafayette’s north side community. Col. Terry Landry, former head of state police who ran against Hardy last year for state rep, is supporting Guillory. The district is roughly 56 percent St. Landry and 44 percent Lafayette. It is apparent Hardy and Shelvin see it as an opportunity to reshuffle the power structure in the black community after a 20-year reign by the Cravins family.