What will 2008 bring?
As the year draws to an end—and the election of new leaders is almost complete—many people are looking to the new year and wondering what it holds for Baton Rouge and Louisiana. Much hangs in the balance. There are always the optimists, and there are also always some pessimists. Where do you fall? Do you see big things ahead? Do you see trouble? What are your predictions for 2008? (By the way, were you right about 2007? Have things turned out the way you had hoped?)
I would like you to e-mail us your specific predictions for 2008. What do you see happening in our community and our state? Be sure to include your name with your predictions, and we will select some to share in this space before the end of the year. Send your e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Will you be right about 2008?
Back in August, before the candidates had qualified, I wrote a column asking, “Will the big names fall?” I referred to three powerful Louisiana politicians: Commissioner of Agriculture Bob Odom, Attorney General Charles Foti and Senator Cleo Fields.
All three qualified. Sen. Fields' candidacy was challenged as ineligible because of term limits, and the case went all the way to the Louisiana Supreme Court—which ruled by a 6-1 vote he could not run again. He was out.
Foti ended up finishing third and out of the runoff. He was out, too.
And Odom ended the primary with 41% of the vote, just ahead of challenger Mike Strain, who had 40%—and all the momentum. Odom decided recently to drop out of the race, making Strain the winner.
The fact that these three big names are out of power—along with the election of Bobby Jindal—sends a strong message that the face of Louisiana politics has changed. Not many would have ever predicted all of this happening. It is a unique opportunity for our state.
I congratulate all the local and statewide candidates who won on Oct. 20. It is an exciting time in our state and leadership will be key. Each of you has an opportunity to play a key role in our state's history and make a difference. The people of Louisiana are counting on you all to put the petty differences aside and get the job done with bold steps forward. Louisiana citizens have great expectations and the nation is watching.
Vote on Nov. 17
Many important races are still yet to be decided. While there were many votes for change on Oct. 20, it is critical to go back to the polls on Nov. 17 and finish the job. With a low turnout, your vote will have that much more of an impact. Please exercise your right to vote and encourage your family and employees to do likewise.
In the Oct. 9 issue, I shared my thoughts on the statewide and local races and how I would vote. Many of those elections were decided on Oct. 20. And while the voters have already made some good choices, there are still races to be decided. I have repeated the endorsements below:
Attorney General: Buddy Caldwell
You have two capable candidates, District Attorney Buddy Caldwell and attorney Royal Alexander. Unfortunately, this is the “nasty statewide race” in the runoff. I have seen the attack ads and heard the rumors. I have met with both candidates. I spoke to those who know them well. In the end, based on legal experiences and judgment—for a position that needs both—I will vote for Buddy Caldwell.
EBR Sheriff: Greg Phares
You have to vote twice for sheriff. Once for the unfulfilled term to the end of 2007, and once for a full term. I will vote for Sheriff Greg Phares. He may not be the slickest politician in the race, but I believe he is the best and most experienced law man. And at a time when our community's safety is paramount, we just can't be wrong.
I know all of the candidates running in these seats, and I have attended forums, visited Web sites and done many interviews. There are good people running, and I applaud each for getting into the arena. But voters must choose one. While I only live in District 70, here's who I believe will be the best in the Legislature in each district:
House of Representatives: District 68, Steve Carter; District 69, Erich Ponti; District 70, Franklin Foil
Senate: District 14, Jason DeCuir
It's time once again to submit nominations for the Baton Rouge Business Awards & Hall of Fame, sponsored by Junior Achievement and Business Report. Do you have a candidate for Hall of Fame, Company of the Year, Business Person of the Year or Young Business Person of the Year? Call 928-7008 to request a nomination form for 2008 or fill out the online form at batonrouge.ja.org. The 2008 Business Awards & Hall of Fame event is scheduled for April 24 at the Holiday Inn Select.
We need your help
This is the fourth quarter—and the community needs your help.
The 53 Capital Area United Way agencies provided a total of 13,394,308 services in 2006 compared to 7,327,802 services in 2004. That's an 82% increase in two years.
Since hurricanes Katrina and Rita, we all know of the growing needs in our 10-parish area. Because these needs are so significant in the area of health and human services, our charities and nonprofit agencies need our support.
As a board member of the Capital Area United Way, I have learned that the needs continue to grow, and your campaign giving is a key to the future. The new United Way CEO, Howard Taylor, and 2007 campaign chairman, Van Mayhall, as well as the staff and many volunteers have worked tirelessly to raise the bar, including engaging professionals, engaging retirees and recruiting new companies to run campaigns.
As we enter the fourth quarter of the campaign, we are asking you to step onto the field and help us meet the challenge. If you or your company would like to conduct a campaign or simply make a donation, you can visit the new CAUW Web site at TheWayToHelp.org or call 383-2643.
comments powered by Disqus
Real estate recap: DPW reorganization recommendations coming … Capital Region home sales post 5% gain in February … WWII bombing range near Hammond at center of new lawsuit
New airline eyeing Baton Rouge
What Families Are Spending on Prom Night