When we dished up our first Golden Boudin Awards cover story near the end of the recent legislative session, there were overlooked entries, unintended consequences and other fallout in various disguises.
For starters, there’s the one that slipped between the cracks, but we’ve decided to dole it out anyway. It was just too Seinfeldian to pass up. The award for “Best Fish-Related Exchange” goes to Reps. Jared C. Brossett, D-New Orleans, and Michael E. Danahay, D-Sulphur. The two men were discussing legislation that allows the use of skimmer nets at night and couldn’t quite agree on what type of fish were being targeted.
Brossett: What is a shrimp jack?
Danahay: A skipjack. It’s called a skipjack shad.
Brossett: Well, what is that?
Danahay: I have no idea.
On his daily radio broadcast recently, Moon Griffon also gave a shout out to one of the Golden Boudin award winners: “Best Watchdog” C.B. Forgotston. In particular, Griffon wondered aloud – with an invisible wink and smile to his listeners – how the prolific Web-based writer could nudge out the donor-supported watchdogs in Baton Rouge. Of course, Griffon knows as well as we do why it’s an enlightening hoot to keep tabs on the man that practically every elected official in the great state of Louisiana loves to hate.
Next up is Rep. Gordon Dove, R-Houma, chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee and likely to be a chief coastal floor leader for Gov. Bobby Jindal in coming sessions. He was awarded “Best Feud” for his tiff with Sen. Troy Hebert, D-Jeanerette. During the final hours of the session last week, Dove presented a compromise bill to the House on an appeal process for the state Scenic Rivers Program, which was endorsed by all six members of its conference committee – including Hebert. “I want this reported,” Dove said with a smile from the microphone.
Finally, there were unintended consequences attached to the recognition we bestowed upon Rep. Juan LaFonta, D-New Orleans. He won the “Biggest Mouth” award for, among other quips, telling Rep. Rickey Hardy, D-Lafayette, one afternoon, “I like that rainbow tie. I know you down with the gay people.” Since then LaFonta reports that his e-mail inbox and voice mail has overflowed with folks complaining that his remarks were in some way demeaning to gays and lesbians. In truth, LaFonta’s comments were directed at a lawmaker who had opposed rights for gays and lesbians in the past.
Moreover, LaFonta is one of the leading policymakers when it comes to promoting a better way of life for the LGBT community. That LaFonta has received any criticism for his pithy comments is unfortunate. A Golden Boudin was awarded to him because he’s a funny guy and you never know what might come out of his mouth. It’s also worth noting that LaFonta led opposition to an adoption bill this legislative session that would have left gay and unmarried heterosexual couples out in the cold.
He also authored legislation in 2008 to ban discrimination against gay state workers and recently won the Acclaim Award in the “Political Leader” category, which is presented annually to “honor individuals who have done exemplary work on behalf of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community.” Congrats to Rep. LaFonta on that honor, as well as on his Golden Boudin.