C'est what? Hardy refusing campaign cash

by Walter Pierce

"I have enough in my campaign war chest that I'm fine."

In a sign of either supreme confidence or an epic political miscalculation, state Rep. Rickey Hardy, D-Lafayette, is refusing to accept campaign contributions from any source - individuals, trade and interest groups, companies - for his re-election bid this fall. Our money is on the former. The Hardy campaign, according to a source, has already returned about $2,000 in contributions from a prominent Lafayette attorney, a well-known trade group and individual constituents.

Hardy says his position on campaign cash is based on two factors: he has enough cash on hand and he's philosophically opposed to outside funding.

"I have enough in my campaign war chest that I'm fine," Hardy tells The Independent. "And also I want to send a message that we have to begin providing service when we're elected by the people and not be beholden to special interest groups and not representing the interests of all the people."

Hardy adds that supporters who have offered contributions have been pleasantly surprised by his rejection of their financial aid. "If you need it, you take it; if you're not in need, you don't take it," he says.

"Rickey Hardy is very confident that he's going to be re-elected," the first-term incumbent and long-time school board member says, likening himself to a pugilistic legend: "I believe in God and I believe in myself and I have high expectations of myself, absolutely. My record speaks for itself. I have confidence - I'm just like Muhammad Ali."