Should members of the LSU Board of Supervisors disclose who receives their scholarships?|
Story Archives: 'Blue bloods' stand firm
- 2013 - 962 articles
- 2012 - 1954 articles
- 2011 - 2029 articles
- 2010 - 2139 articles
- 2009 - 2066 articles
- December 2009 - 163 articles
- November 2009 - 166 articles
- October 2009 - 231 articles
- September 2009 - 161 articles
- August 2009 - 136 articles
- July 2009 - 153 articles
- June 2009 - 126 articles
- May 2009 - 164 articles
- April 2009 - 242 articles
- March 2009 - 204 articles
- March 31st, 2009 (Tuesday) - 2 articles
- March 30th, 2009 (Monday) - 3 articles
- March 29th, 2009 (Sunday) - 2 articles
- March 28th, 2009 (Saturday) - 4 articles
- March 27th, 2009 (Friday) - 1 articles
- March 26th, 2009 (Thursday) - 25 articles
- March 25th, 2009 (Wednesday) - 11 articles
- March 24th, 2009 (Tuesday) - 1 articles
- March 23rd, 2009 (Monday) - 1 articles
- March 22nd, 2009 (Sunday) - 1 articles
- March 21st, 2009 (Saturday) - 6 articles
- March 19th, 2009 (Thursday) - 35 articles
- March 18th, 2009 (Wednesday) - 9 articles
- March 17th, 2009 (Tuesday) - 2 articles
- March 16th, 2009 (Monday) - 3 articles
- March 14th, 2009 (Saturday) - 4 articles
- March 13th, 2009 (Friday) - 2 articles
- March 12th, 2009 (Thursday) - 27 articles
- March 11th, 2009 (Wednesday) - 15 articles
- March 10th, 2009 (Tuesday) - 3 articles
- March 5th, 2009 (Thursday) - 31 articles
- March 4th, 2009 (Wednesday) - 12 articles
- March 3rd, 2009 (Tuesday) - 1 articles
- March 2nd, 2009 (Monday) - 2 articles
- March 1st, 2009 (Sunday) - 1 articles
- February 2009 - 163 articles
- January 2009 - 157 articles
- 2008 - 1757 articles
|'Blue bloods' stand firm|
About the time the 23rd Annual Franklin Parish Catfish Festival winds down Saturday evening we will know the outcome of a hotly contested special election to fill a state Senate seat in south Baton Rouge.
The race is between two Republicans, Dan Claitor and Lee Domingue. They hope to succeed Dr. Bill Cassidy, who was elected last fall to Louisiana's 6th District in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The campaign for Senate District 16 has evolved into an ugly name-calling affair, though neither candidate—Claitor or Domingue—could hold a candle to Earl Long. It's been bad, though, especially by south Baton Rouge standards, a region of the city that prides itself on rising above the fray, so to speak. It's been an expensive legislative race, too, for the candidates have spent more than $600,000. An individual knowledgeable about the race says the candidates will spend $700,000-$800,000 before it's over with.
To understand the dynamics involved in the campaign one needs to know a thing or two about District 16. It stretches from the gates of LSU to the Country Club of Louisiana. "Blue blood" country. So "blue" that one's roots must extend three or four generations deep before one could be considered a native of south Baton Rouge, or worthy of belonging to the "old guard" in Red Stick. The "chic," or "nouveau riche," need not apply for admission.
Therein lies part of the problem for Domingue.
He's a newcomer by south Baton Rouge standards, and we could safely describe him as "new money." Considering Domingue's track record on the business front, though, we don't know for sure how wealthy Domingue is. He has at least one bankruptcy under his belt, while an heir to the Doc Pennington fortune alleges Domingue fleeced her in a business deal the heiress says went sour.
It's never a good thing to get sideways with the Pennington family, a family that has given away more money to more causes in Baton Rouge than most people will see in a lifetime. They are the gold standard.
That brings us to Claitor, who is "old guard" south Baton Rouge through and through. His family has been around for a spell. And they're respected, which may explain why the Domingue campaign's attempts to label Claitor a dreaded trial lawyer have failed.
Something else that failed was Gov. Bobby Jindal interjecting himself into race.
Jindal endorsed Domingue. The endorsement was received like a "shotgun wedding" on Highland Road.
It's unclear why the governor got involved in the Claitor/Domingue affair. It could have something to do with the more than $100,000 in political contributions Domingue has given Jindal and a non-profit organization that advocates the Jindal agenda, Believe in Louisiana. Rolfe McCollister, publisher of Baton Rouge Business Report, chairs Believe in Louisiana. The Business Report endorsed Domingue, too.
Someone else who could have prompted Jindal to get involved in the mix was the Rev. Dino Rizzo. Rizzo is pastor at Healing Place, an influential evangelical church in Baton Rouge. Though a Catholic like Claitor, Jindal and Rizzo are close.
Rizzo and Domingue apparently are close, too. Close enough that Rizzo endorsed Domingue and gave his campaign some $2,500.
Along the way, The Advocate, Baton Rouge's major daily newspaper, published some unflattering articles on Domingue. Domingue's supporters have questioned whether The Advocate's reporting was influenced by its reporters' bias toward evangelicals. Those supporters are the same people who have questioned whether The Advocate's recent unfavorable reporting on Jindal was influenced by its reporters' bias toward the governor's relationship with the evangelical community. They claim as well that The Advocate is biased toward conservatives in general.
I don't buy it.
I don't buy it because when Doug Manship Sr. was publisher of The Advocate the newspaper could be counted on to criticize then-Gov. Edwin Edwards at literally every turn. That tradition carried on under David Manship's tenure as publisher during EWE's fourth term in office.
Instead, what we've witnessed in the Claitor/Domingue race is a situation similar to countless situations that have occurred in politics in the past—the chosen one (Domingue) has failed to win over the electorate thus far.
At least that's the way it's shaping up in the District 16 Senate race where polls tell us Claitor is in the driver seat. If Claitor prevails, he will have his work cut out for him, for Domingue and his supporters most certainly will be a bitter lot.
If the opposite occurs, Healing Place will be the place to be—puckered lips in tow—come Sunday morning.