In last week's Scuttlebutt, Gambit reported that state Sen. Butch Gautreaux was the only candidate in the lieutenant governor's race to have signed a "pledge" sent out by the North Central Louisiana Tea Party Patriots — a pledge that included supporting the U.S. Constitution "as explained in the Federalist Papers." Soon after, the Morgan City Democrat called his signature on the pledge a "mistake" and asked to have his name withdrawn from the group's website.
"I have, at no time, ever endorsed or shared the goals, purposes, or methods of the Tea Party," Gautreaux said in a statement. "My name's appearance on the NCLA Tea Party website and pledge is a mistake that, now brought to the attention of the campaign, is being rectified as quickly as possible. I will be asking that my name be removed from all NCLA Tea Party-affiliated content." (Just in case you weren't sure of his feelings, Gautreaux also cited his opposition to what he called the Tea Party's "nihilist rhetoric and eccentrically regressive perspective.")
The lieutenant governor's race has featured endorsements from several high-profile national figures. Former President Bill Clinton appeared at a Caroline Fayard fundraiser in New York (Fayard had once worked in the office of then-First Lady Hillary Clinton). At the fundraiser, the former prez said, "She will be a breath of fresh air. She is worth fighting to elect." On the GOP side, Roger Villere Jr. received an endorsement from Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, who is also chairman of the Tea Party Caucus; Bachmann recorded a 30-second ad urging Republicans to support Villere. — Kevin Allman