Appointed by former President George W. Bush, U.S. Attorney for the Western District Donald Washington will likely be replaced by the Obama administration, with significant influence on his replacement coming from Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu. State Rep. Rick Gallot Jr. of Ruston is the frontrunner, with state Sen. Eric LaFleur of Ville Platte jockeying along with Hank Gowen, an LSU Board of Supervisors member from Shreveport. Both are very capable, but the bus is already filled with white males. Since Landrieu committed to keeping Jim Letten in the Eastern District, and Don Cazayoux is a lock in the Middle District, things don’t stack up well for any white male. Gallot, who is black, may be a shoo-in.
Jindal’s Local Supporters Hope for Awakening
In the wake of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s lampooned speech to the nation last week, some of his local supporters hope it provides him with a wake-up call, forcing him to revert to the “old Bobby” who was focused, passionate and accessible. With the shine of a possible 2012 campaign now tarnished, key supporters (who have complained publicly and privately) expect Jindal to reengage on solving issues affecting Louisiana and slow his nationwide travel. Another intriguing angle being whispered is the possibility of Jindal jumping into the Senate race against David Vitter in 2010, now that a presidential bid is unlikely. Rather than allowing the seat to be embarrassingly lost in the Republican Primary to far-right activist Tony Perkins (which could then set the seat up for a possible Democratic takeover should U.S. Rep. Charlie Melancon or Shaw Group CEO Jim Bernhard elect to run), national Republicans may simply assess that Vitter (in the wake of his involvement in the DC Madam scandal) is too damaged to survive politically. They may elect to throw him under the bus in the primary in favor of a safer choice like Jindal or Secratary of State Jay Dardenne. Already rumored in Washington is that the Auto Workers union is prepared to spend millions hammering Vitter for his vocal opposition to the Auto Industry bailout this past fall. “Vitter believes in paying prostitutes, not factory workers” is one ad theme reportedly being bantered about.
Guillory on the Move
Opelousas insurance mogul and politico Bobby Dupre hosted a fund-raiser for state Rep. Elbert Guillory’s Senate campaign last week at his home. The event was a “Who’s Who” of St. Landry Parish politicians. Besides Dupre, hosts included local attorney Pat Morrow and a handful of others hoping to see Guillory replace Don Cravins Jr., who resigned his seat to work for U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu. The event drew nearly 200 leaders from throughout the parish, including two parish wide elected officials openly supporting Guillory — Sheriff Bobby Guidroz and Clerk of Court Charles Jagneaux. Sources say Guidroz is working very hard on Guillory’s behalf. Guillory also nabbed the support of high profile business and political leaders in the Lafayette area, including beer distributor Herb Schilling, oilman Don Briggs, former school board member Shelton Cobb, former U.S. Attorney Mike Skinner, attorneys Tyron Picard and Robbie Mahtook, former city prosecutor Donald Fuselier, state Sen. Mike Michot and state Reps. Rickey Hardy, Page Cortez and Joel Robideaux — all of whom hosted a fund-raiser for Guillory at Schilling Distributing on Moss Street on March 2.
Update: In the race to replace federal Judge Tucker Melancon, George Arceneaux, Kay Karre Gautreaux and Mike Juneau have emerged locally with no sense of a consensus candidate just yet.
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 was finally coaxed out of the shadows to bring reliable sources and piercing insight to all. Not just a chosen few. Peep’s contributions 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 are on a new adventure in journalism with a trusted and wise old friend.