The Next Hit on Jindal
Based on background interviews with sources close to every gubernatorial campaign, the last few days of the primary aren't likely to produce any skeletons in frontrunner Bobby Jindal's closet. But the attacks will come nonetheless. 'Yesterday we also received word that John Georges may be planning an 11th-hour attack on Bobby slated for the final week of the campaign," says Jindal campaign manager Timmy Teepell. 'While this report does come from a credible source, we cannot know for certain whether it is true or not." In an earlier interview with Gambit Weekly, however, Georges says, 'Bobby Jindal is the issue in this race. I'm not going to attack Bobby Jindal, though." Teepell had but one response: 'We will certainly take Mr. Georges at his word. But we will also watch closely to see if he keeps his word." Jindal is a Republican congressman from Kenner, while Georges is a businessman from New Orleans running as an independent. " Alford


The Persistent Candidate
Even though state Treasurer John Kennedy is facing no opposition and is thus re-elected, his campaign finance report reads like one belonging to a politician under heavy fire. He has an astounding $367,000 media buy in escrow and there's presently a new ad up in strategic markets. Kennedy, a newly minted Republican, also dropped roughly $41,000 on production costs last month " after qualifying was over. He is spending thousands on Internet advertising with the likes of, and Most notably, Kennedy's camp is dishing out payments ranging from $500 to $750 for 'email consulting" to Pat Bergeron of Baton Rouge, the man behind, a very opinionated blog that bills itself as a 'news" source. Kennedy seems to be taking a cue from the playbook of Congressman Bobby Jindal, a fellow Republican. During his re-election to the House last year, Jindal dropped hundreds of thousands of dollars on media buys despite facing only token opposition. The strategy was simple " his bid for governor was right around the corner and federal dollars cannot be spent on state campaigns, or visa-versa. As for Kennedy, it seems more likely than ever that he's gearing up to run against U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, a Democrat from New Orleans, in 2008. By spending his 'state" campaign funds now, he can legally keep his name in front of voters statewide in advance of his expected challenge to Landrieu a year from now. " Alford

Again With Tony P
Former state Rep. Tony Perkins of Baton Rouge continues to increase his exposure in Louisiana, despite being president of the D.C.-based Family Research Council. Last week, he teamed with the state GOP to weigh in against plans by gubernatorial candidate John Georges to remove the Louisiana State Police from monitoring gaming laws. Last month, he also endorsed Brian McNabb in an East Baton Rouge Parish House race. And in coming days, Perkins will appear alongside former Speaker of the U.S. House Newt Gingrich at a fundraiser in Baton Rouge. Perkins is one of many eyeing next year's U.S. senate race against incumbent Mary Landrieu " just like state Treasurer John Kennedy. " Alford

Field of Strangers
Of the 17 candidates who ran for governor four years ago, Republican Congressman Bobby Jindal is the only one seeking the state's highest office again in the Oct. 20 primary. Even minor, colorful candidates from the 2003 race " Patrick 'Live Wire" Landry comes to mind " are sitting this one out. In fact, Jindal and a perennial candidate for agriculture commissioner from Transylvania, La., are the only two nonincumbents from the 2003 primary to seek the same offices on the 2007 ballot. Elsewhere: Democratic Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu defeated four opponents in 2003; he faces an equal number in 2007, but none are holdovers from four years ago. Incumbent Attorney General Charles Foti faces two opponents; his lone 2003 opponent, Republican Suzie Haik Terrell, is not among them. Treasurer John Kennedy, now a Republican, recently won re-election without opposition. In 2003, Kennedy was unopposed as a Democrat. None of the six candidates who ran for state insurance commissioner in 2003 are on this year's ballot, including current incumbent Jim Donelon, who later won the job in a special election. Today, Bob Odom, incumbent state Commissioner of Agriculture & Forestry, a Democrat, has three Republican opponents in the Oct. 20 primary. Of that trio, only Don Johnson of Transylvania challenged Odom four years ago. Incumbent Secretary of State Jay Dardenne, a Republican, faces two opponents. None of the candidates, including Dardenne, ran for the seat in 2003, which was won by incumbent Fox McKeithen, who later died in office. Dardenne replaced McKeithen in a special election. " Johnson

Waiting on the City
Six months after civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson led a 'right to return" march past her FEMA trailer in the Lower Ninth Ward, retired postal worker Gertrude LeBlanc is still waiting for basic city services " like city grass cutters. Calls to local elected officials have thus far proved fruitless, she says. Volunteers from the activist group Common Ground finally came to her aid late last month, cutting grass across the street that had grown '10 feet high." But more work remains in the vacant, abandoned lots that surround her home in the 1700 block of Tennessee Street. 'The weeds done grow plenty," LeBlanc says. 'The city ain't never done nothing." Back in April, Jackson and Mayor Ray Nagin joined top state and local elected officials in taking turns paying homage to LeBlanc, who is still the only resident on her flood-damaged block. " Johnson

Judge Appeals Fine
Orleans Parish Juvenile Court Judge David Bell is asking the Louisiana Ethics Commission to waive $2,500 in fines after he admittedly filed a campaign finance disclosure report 169 days late. The report from his 2004 election was due Feb. 15; it was not filed until Aug. 3. The judge's request will be considered at the ethics board's regular monthly meeting on Thursday (Oct. 11) in Baton Rouge, says ethics board attorney Alesia Ardoin. In a letter to the ethics board, the judge noted that judicial candidates are barred from handling campaign funds, but admitted the report was not filed timely and that he was not thoroughly familiar with campaign finance law. 'My campaign did not collect proceeds during the period in question. However, my campaign did have outstanding debts from the election. The only (campaign activity) consisted of personal loans from me to the campaign. As a result of the campaign not receiving any contributions, I was unaware of the need to file a report," the judge wrote. Bell noted that he has no prior violations. He is asking for a 'one-time waiver" of the fine. " Johnson

Room at the Inn
They are tourists and conventioneers " not reinforcements from the understaffed New Orleans Police Department. More than 12,000 law enforcement professionals are expected to begin arriving in New Orleans later this week for the 114th meeting of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Oct. 13-18. U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and FBI Director Robert Muller are scheduled to address the conference of top cops, beginning at 10 a.m. Monday (Oct. 15) at the Morial Convention Center. The convention opens at a time when NOPD is still headquartered in FEMA trailers more than two years after Hurricane Katrina. In addition, the city is expected to repeat its dubious distinction as the nation's per-capita homicide capitol. At press time, New Orleans appeared poised to exceed last year's total of 161 murders " over this first weekend of October. " Johnson

Amendment Has Strings
The first constitutional amendment on the Oct. 20 ballot will ask you whether supplemental pay for full-time police officers and firemen should receive greater protection from changes by lawmakers. Under the proposal, the state salary supplement can never be decreased and voters won't have to ratify every increase to the pay approved by the Legislature, whatever the amount. Still, even if the amendment passes muster with voters, the Legislature will maintain control. According to an analysis conducted by the Baton Rouge-based Public Affairs Research Council, a nonpartisan policy think tank, the amount could be reduced with a two-thirds vote of both chambers and a gubernatorial endorsement. But here's the rub: Any level of supplemental pay in place immediately prior to the effective date of the amendment will be protected by the constitution. That means Gov. Kathleen Blanco's proposed $425 monthly stipend (up from $300) passed during the recent session will take effect only when the constitutional amendment is passed. Expect some heavy last-minute campaigning by the men and women in blue, even though the amendment is likely to pass. " Alford

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