Tuesday, October 31, 2006
THE DEAD PELICAN
BY CHAD E. ROGERS
As reported by several media outlets, agriculture commissioner Bob Odom is once again pushing for a $135 million, tax-financed syrup mill in Bunkie.
A meeting of the Louisiana state bond commission is scheduled for the third Thursday in November, and the Bunkie Mill is not on the agenda. In order for the item to be placed on the agenda, State Treasurer John Kennedy must approve the item. At this time Kennedy has not decided to put it on the agenda, because he is still considering the economic feasibility of the new mill proposal, sources tell THE DEAD PELICAN. However, the item can be placed on the agenda without his consent, if 2/3 of all bond commission members vote for it.
And behind the scenes, Bob Odom and Senate President Hines are pressuring Blanco to support the mill, and mustering enough votes to override Kennedy. The members of the bond commission are controlled by Blanco, and they will vote as she wants them to vote. Should she decide to support the $135 million syrup mill, then the majority of the bond commission members will vote for it, and the mill will be considered at the November bond commission meeting!
So why do Governor Blanco and economic "guru" Mike Olivier now support the project?
Sources speculate that the reasons are purely political. It is believed that Bob Odom and Senate President Donald "Doc" Hines have offered her help in getting re-elected in exchange for her cooperation with the project.
This November meeting will be first meeting where Jay Dardenne sits in a sec. of state.