Peep Goat

Peep Goat 3.25.09

Gautreaux gaining momentum?
While local attorneys Warren Perrin and David Calogero both have an interest in replacing federal Judge Tucker Melancon, who recently assumed senior status, I don’t put much into their chances. Frankly, it will definitely be either an African-American or a female. A white male has as much of a chance on this one as a female does of being invited to be a member of the Augusta National Country Club. Lafayette attorney Kay Karre Gautreaux continues to be the most prominent female name mentioned. Opelousas District Judge Alonzo Harris is also reportedly in the running. In other nomination circles, I’d put my money on state Rep. Rick Gallot Jr. of Ruston as a lock for U.S. attorney to replace Donald Washington in the Western District, except for the swirling speculation that he may not pass the FBI background check over financial issues. U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu is in the driver’s seat on both noms, but it’s the U.S. marshal position for the Western District that has her in an interesting quandary: She supports former State Police Cpt. Henry Whitehorn but has gotten a loud endorsement from many Louisiana sheriffs who favor ex-Rapides Parish Sheriff William Earl Hilton. William Whittington, appointed by President Bush, has served since March 2002 and is not being retained. He is responsible for the judicial security of the court houses and staffs in Shreveport, Monroe, Alexandria, Lafayette and Lake Charles. He also oversees the U. S. marshal programs on fugitive apprehension, enforces the orders of the courts, and conducts other law enforcement functions as required.
Congressman Charlie Melancon is rapidly emerging into the role held by former U.S. Sen. John Breaux of being a shuttle diplomat/ dealmaker between multiple factions in Congress. Melancon, a prominent leader of the Conservative Democratic Blue Dog Coalition now comprising more than 50 Democrats, or 20 percent of the Democratic majority, was recently dispatched to the White House to urge President Barack Obama to modify parts of the stimulus package, with success. While there is no love lost between him and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Melancon does hold a very good relationship with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, himself a pragmatic and consensus-building politician. Look for Melancon, as a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, to play a key role in Obama’s upcoming energy package.