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Poor Troy Hebert. Like his mentor, Bobby Jindal, he just can’t seem to get any traction or notice in a crowded field of candidates.

Unlike Jindal, however, instead of sending out daily email blasts from Iowa proclaiming the glass to be half full (when in reality, the glass was just dirty and needed washing), Hebert, one of 24 candidates for the U.S. Senate, is making his case in the courts.

He should be right at home there, given the number of times he was sued by agents he fired and/or harassed during his tenure as Jindal’s Commissioner of Alcohol and Tobacco Control (ATC).

Where Jindal resigned himself to the kiddie table at the Republican debates in Iowa’s debates that more resembled a bunch of hogs trying to get to the slop trough (and we all know by now that the biggest pig of all, Trump, ultimately prevailed, causing the others to squeal pretty loudly), Hebert is suing a polling firm because he was incorrectly identified as a (gasp!) Republican!

Hebert, a former Democrat while serving as a State Representative from the parishes of Vermilion and Iberia, is a declared Independent, running without party affiliation.

He doesn’t seem to be commanding the same respect as a candidate that he did as head of ATC where employees were required to stand and chirp, “Good morning, Commissioner,” when he entered the room.

So he’s claiming in his lawsuit that a May poll (not to be confused with a maypole) conducted by Southern Media and Opinion Research and its veteran pollster Bernie Pinsonat was “flawed” because it incorrectly identified him as a Republican.

He said the polling firm is incompetent at best and committing fraud at worst by “intentionally misleading respondents,” adding in a whine reminiscent of Trump himself, that “the system is definitely rigged against independent candidates” because the survey was used to keep him from participating in two candidate forums.

Pinsonat, in something of an understatement, said identifying Hebert as an Independent would not get him better numbers.

Hebert says he was not allowed to participate in a June 29 forum sponsored by the Louisiana chapter of the National Federation of Independent Businesses and the Louisiana Restaurant Association.

He was also turned away, he said, from a July 28 event put on by the Louisiana Municipal Association because he didn’t reach the required 5 percent in the Southern Media survey.

In that poll for the period of May 19-23, State Treasurer John Kennedy and “Undecided” were neck and neck at 32 percent. The only other candidate to touch double digits was U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany with 10 percent. Hebert, with 2 percent, edged out Eric Skrmetta, who got 1 percent.

At least Hebert can take some comfort in the knowledge that he did better in that poll than his former boss did in any of the polls in Iowa.

Of course he still has an outside shot of making the runoff—if he can only persuade Jindal to endorse one of the other candidates

 

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A lobbyist with close ties to former Louisiana Alcohol and Tobacco Control Commissioner Troy Hebert has been indicted by a Baton Rouge federal grand jury on more than 30 counts of bestiality and distribution and possession of child pornography. http://news.co.cr/u-s-owner-costa-rica-hotel-faces-online-child-porn-charges/47325/

Christopher G. Young, 53, a prominent lobbyist for the Beer Industry League of Louisiana, is also a brother to former Jefferson Parish President and assistant prosecutor John Young who was an unsuccessful candidate for Lieutenant Governor last fall.

https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1697&dat=20030620&id=bCgqAAAAIBAJ&sjid=MUgEAAAAIBAJ&pg=6713,2339971&hl=en

Young is part owner of a hotel in the Central American country of Costa Rica where he was a frequent visitor on business and vacation trips, says Costa Rica Star reporter Jaime Lopez. The indictment says Young received two videos depicting prepubescent boys engaged in bestiality from an associate in that country. From from 2013 through 2015, Young then distributed the pornographic videos to 38 different individuals on 33 separate occasions via his cellphones, the indictment says.

Young is a registered lobbyists for a number of interests, most of which have strong ties to the alcohol and entertainment interests in Louisiana. Young was listed as Executive director of the Louisiana Association of Beverage Alcohol Licensees for which he also was listed as a lobbyist.

Here is a list of Young’s lobbying clients provided by the State Board of Ethics:

CHRISTOPHER GERARD YOUNG
2016: Local / Legislative / Executive
P.O. BOX 55297
METAIRIE, LOUISIANA 70055
504-915-5953
DAVID BRIGGS ENTERPRISES, INC.
Legislative / Executive
Active: 1/25/2009 – current
641 PAPWORTH AVENUE
METAIRIE, LOUISIANA 70005
BEER INDUSTRY LEAGUE OF LOUISIANA
Legislative / Executive
Active: 1/25/2009 – current
575 N. 8TH STREET
BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA 70802
LOUISIANA ASSOCIATION OF BEVERAGE ALCOHOL LICENSEES, INC.
Legislative / Executive
Active: 1/25/2009 – current
P.O. BOX 55012
METAIRIE, LOUISIANA 70055
WINE AND SPIRITS FOUNDATION OF LOUISIANA, INC.
Legislative / Executive
Active: 1/25/2009 – current
575 N. 8TH STREET
BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA 70802
TIPITINA’S FOUNDATION, INC.
Legislative / Executive
Active: 1/25/2009 – current
4040 TULANE AVENUE, SUITE 8000
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA 70119
RXPATH
Legislative / Executive
Active: 1/23/2012 – current
641 PAPWORTH
METAIRIE, LOUISIANA 70005
FRENCH QUARTER BUSINESS LEAGUE
Legislative / Local
Active: 4/1/2014 – current
119 MULBERRY DRIVE
METAIRIE, LOUISIANA 70005

I attempted to obtain a comment from one of Young’s biggest clients, the Louisiana Beer Industry League. When I called the number, we had to navigate the usual menu. We were given options to dial different extension numbers to reach Executive Director John Williams, office representatives Nicole Patel and Toni Villa (titles unknown), and finally, Chris Young.

After punching the number for Young, I got several rings and then a voicemail for his extension number (no name). I called back three more times and in succession, punched the numbers for Williams, Patel and Villa. I got only Williams’ voice mail and with Patel’s number, I was routed back to the main menu so I then punched Villa’s number and, voila! She answered. After identifying myself and telling her who I was with, the conversation unfolded this way (my questions in italics; her answers in boldface type):

“I was calling for a comment on the indictment of Chris Young.”

“We have no comment at this time.”

“Is he still employed by the Beer League?”

“He is not an employee.”

“As of when?”

“He has never been an employee.”

“He’s not?” (I’m thinking of that menu option for Young’s telephone extension.)

“He’s a contractor.”

“Is he still under contract?”

“We have no comment.”

So all I got was he (a) is not an employee, he (b) is/was a contractor, but he (c) does/did have his own telephone extension at the Louisiana Beer Industry League.

In addition to his lobbying activities, Young also serves as  legal counsel for most, if not all, bars and restaurants coming before ATC for permits to sell alcohol.

One source told LouisianaVoice that after Hebert was named to succeed Murphy Painter as ATC Commissioner, “Young never showed his face at a hearing on permit requests.”

The source, a former ATC agent, said Young was required to appear at the ATC hearings to represent his clients during Painter’s tenure but when Hebert became commissioner, “everything was done behind closed doors.”

How did Young come to represent virtually all applicants for permits to sell alcohol?

Well, it’s easy when you have a close relative in the right place to help.

Chris Young’s sister, Judy Pontin, was installed by Hebert as a $71,000-a-year “Executive Management Officer” for ATC’s New Orleans office in November of 2013. As such, she is in a perfect position to help her brother.

ATC insiders told LouisianaVoice that when an establishment wants to apply for an alcohol permit, or whenever a business experiences problems with ATC, Pontin invariably refers them to Chris Young for legal representation.

We covered that angle back in February when we learned that Hebert intervened in an investigation by ATC agents into a fatal accident in which a man with a blood alcohol content of .307 percent (more than 3½ higher than the .08 percent legal definition of intoxication in Louisiana) and driving at a high rate of speed, struck two bicyclists, killing Nathan Crowson and severely injuring his riding companion, Daniel Morris.

Branch, who had a previous DWI conviction in 2006 and was given a six-month suspended sentence on that occasion, was convicted of vehicular homicide and first degree vehicular negligent injuring and sentenced to 7½ years in prison.

http://theadvocate.com/news/11878236-123/baton-rouge-man-joseph-branch

There remained the issue of whether or not The Bulldog, a bar where Branch had been drinking with two friends just before the accident, might be legally liable for continuing to serve Branch after it was evident that he was intoxicated.

Anytime there is an alcohol-related auto accident involving a fatality, the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control (ATC) investigates whether or not the driver had been served alcohol after it was obvious he was intoxicated. Such customers are supposed to be eighty-sixed, or cut off from being served more alcohol.

The investigation, which would routinely require weeks upon weeks of interviews, document and video review and which normally produce written reports 30 to 40 pages in length, was unusually short in duration and produced a report of a single page.

One page that completely exonerated the bar of any violation.

http://www.wbrc.com/story/16903763/bar-cleared-in-fatal-crash

Initially, two ATC agents, neither of whom now work for the agency, began the investigation by requesting a video of the night in question to determine if Branch displayed any obvious signs of intoxication. They also asked owners of The Bulldog, located on Perkins Road in Baton Rouge, for certain other documents and information, including copies of any and all receipts of alcoholic beverages purchased by Branch.

When the bar initially refused to cooperate, the agents who customarily investigate such cases, obtained a subpoena and served it on the bar.

Enter ATC Commissioner Troy Hebert who, as it happens, is a declared candidate to succeed David Vitter in this year’s election for U.S. Senate.

In an unprecedented move, Hebert, who had zero experience as an investigator, decided he would be the lead investigator of the Bulldog.

What possible motive would Hebert have in rushing through an investigation and issuing a press release on Feb. 9 absolving the bar of any responsibility? Why would he instruct the lead agent on the case to limit his report to one page?

Why would Hebert watch the video footage for only a few seconds before proclaiming he “saw nothing” there? Why not watch the entire video to see if Branch did, in fact, appear intoxicated?

Even more curious, why would Hebert instruct that same agent to return to The Bulldog and retrieve the subpoena the agent had served on the establishment for video and records, thus freeing the bar of any responsibility to turn over key records?

Is it possible that the answer to each of these questions can consist of two words?

Might those two words be Chris Young?

Chris Young was the legal counsel for The Bulldog prior to and throughout the ATC investigation. https://louisianavoice.com/2016/02/10/why-did-atc-commissioner-troy-hebert-intervene-as-lead-investigator-in-fatal-accident-was-it-to-protect-bar-owner/

Baton Rouge television station WAFB said in its online story about the Young pornography indictment that the case “is being investigated by the FBI.” http://www.wafb.com/story/31961141/baton-rouge-attorney-indicted-for-allegedly-distributing-bestiality-porn

LouisianaVoice said in January that the FBI was investigating Hebert for claims that he used his office to extort sex from a female restaurant manager in New Orleans in exchange for fixing her licensing problems. https://louisianavoice.com/2016/01/26/fbi-said-investigating-troy-hebert-for-using-office-to-extort-sex-from-woman-in-exchange-for-fixing-licensing-problems/

All of which leaves two unanswered questions:

  • Are we talking about two separate FBI investigations or is there only one and the Young indictment only the first of more to come?
  • Was Young indicted in order bring pressure upon him to implicate others further up the food chain?

Only time will provide the answers to those questions.

But one thing is for certain: If Hebert were a serious candidate for U.S. Senate, with even a ghost of a chance for election, you can bet his opponents in this fall’s election would be in a scramble mode today for records, reports and witnesses—anything to tie Hebert to this latest sordid affair, considering his close association with Young.

But in all likelihood, none of the candidates feel that sense of urgency.

 

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Bits and pieces picked up by LouisianaVoice while out and about in the Gret Stet of Looziana:

Yet another Jindal scheme backfires

Bobby Jindal’s gambit for a hoped-for selection as a vice presidential running mate or appointment to a cabinet post may have just been shot down by another Indian-American governor.

Jindal, following Rubio’s strong showing in Iowa but before he faltered in New Hampshire, executed a calculated ploy to reignite his own fading extinguished political star. But South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley spoiled that fantasy, a dream which was about as likely as his winning the presidential nomination.

Right about now, Bobby has to be pretty much peeved at Nikki. She, after all, is a much more attractive prospect as a running mate. She is an articulate, conservative female who would give the ticket ethnic diversity—and her response to President Obama’s last State of the Union Address was far superior than Jindal’s response to Obama’s first one. She was actually coherent and he was, well….something else.

Oh well, as our friend Stephen Winham has said on more than one occasion, there is always the chance of a hostile takeover of the 700 Club by the one-time boy blunder.

 

Phone audits and changes at the top at Troop D

Meanwhile, we have learned from within Louisiana State Police that State Police Superintendent Mike Edmonson, or at least someone acting on his behalf, has ordered that a toll analysis be pulled on department cell phones, presumably in Troop D, to try and determine who may be talking to LouisianaVoice.

As we pointed out before, it’s a classic example of shooting the messenger. LSP, aka Edmonson, does not want to know about problems in his department (and there are many, as we shall examine momentarily); he only wants to punish those vocal few who want to see the problems addressed. “They just can’t help themselves,” our source tells us. “It is the only way they know how to do business.”

Well, Mike, you can conduct all the cell phone audits you like but I’m afraid you’re going to come up empty. First of all, I don’t believe any retired troopers are going to hand over their phones and the active ones aren’t stupid. They know better than to use state-issue cell phones for such purposes for the very reason we’re now seeing played out in your little witch hunt. They wait until after work hours and when they are well away from LSP headquarters to contact us.

All of which also raises this question: Is this the same professionalism shown when you carry out investigations into criminal activity? If so, the criminals must be having a field day.

At the same time, we have learned that that Capt. Chris Guillory has been relieved of his command at Troop D—and that Ronnie Picou may even get his job back when he appeals. (We requested the investigative report now that the investigation has concluded, but our request was denied by LSP.)

Picou, it seems, was terminated for lying and not for payroll fraud in connection with all those times he was home sleeping when he was supposed to be on duty.

Funny how that works out. A state Department of Children and Family Services case worker was not only fired, but is being prosecuted for failing to carry out mandatory monthly in-home visits with foster children. Inspector General Stephen Street said her misconduct was not linked to any cases of child abuse but her pending arrest is significant for the potential of abuse. http://theadvocate.com/news/police/14884056-32/arrest-warrant-accuses-state-worker-of-reporting-at-least-20-times-she-had-checked-on-foster-childre

Picou is not accused of endangering the public while he was snoozing, but the potential was certainly there. And Guillory allowed it to occur just as he allowed other activity to occur as previously documented by LouisianaVoice. https://louisianavoice.com/2015/09/05/state-police-launch-internal-affairs-investigation-of-troop-d-commander-after-public-records-requests-by-louisianavoice/

State Police HQ sat on harassment complaint against officer in Troop D, captain for year; IA now said to be investigating

Gift cards for tickets, payroll chicanery, quotas, short shifts the norm in Troop D; troopers express dismay at problems

State Trooper in LSP Troop D is reportedly terminated in aftermath of investigation into LouisianaVoice disclosures

Edmonson solution to multitude of problems at troubled Troop D: go after messengers with a withering vengeance

Speaking of lying, it appears that Guillory may have been relieved of command for being less than truthful to investigators when he denied that he refused to take a complaint from Dwight Gerst. Guillory was initially cleared of that but LouisianaVoice subsequently published an audio of Guillory doing just that. https://youtu.be/zd-JV3rKjko

Following our posting the audio, Gerst re-filed his complaint with LSP Internal Affairs last week and on Thursday (Feb. 17), Guillory was re-assigned to State Police headquarters in Baton Rouge, effective Friday, a move tantamount to placing him on administrative leave, pending the results of further investigation.

One question to Mike Edmonson: Why did it require a series of stories in the media to prod LSP brass into action when they have known for some time that there were disturbing irregularities occurring at Troop D? Concerned troopers have complained on numerous occasions but nothing was done until a glaring light was shone on the situation.

That speaks volumes about the quality of leadership at LSP.

 

Troy Hebert just won’t go away

Also On Wednesday, Troy Hebert, former director of the state Alcohol and Tobacco Control Commission (ATC) appeared on the Jim Engster Show. http://www.jimengster.com/jim-engster-podcasts/2016/2/17/0217-wednesday-the-advocates-mark-ballard-republican-state-rep-chris-broadwater-former-senator-troy-hebert-assistant-editor-james-moran-of-tiger-rag

Hebert, who is flirting with becoming an independent candidate for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by David Vitter, was his usual half-baked self on the show, both in terms of sheer hypocrisy and blatant ignorance.

During his 38-minute interview (which is more than double the time to which Andy Warhol said he is entitled), Hebert credited Huey Long for creating the state Civil Service system.

Wow. Huey Long? Really? The man who practically invented political patronage in Louisiana?

Troy, Troy, Troy. Try Sam Jones and Jimmie Davis.

Jones, who served as governor from 1940-1944, was the one who finally overthrew the Huey Long dynasty and is credited with restructuring state government into a civil service system which, by the way, was dismantled by Huey’s brother, Earl K. Long, when he became governor in 1948. Jimmie Davis reinstituted civil service for keeps during his second term, from 1960-1964.

Huey Long indeed. Troy, you need to brush up on your history.

You also need to brush up on consistency.

During his interview on Engster’s show, he also advocated that all state employees, including college professors, punch a time clock in order to qualify for their paychecks.

Except for college professors, who do extensive research, grade papers, give lectures, and advise students, all outside the classroom, a time clock isn’t such a bad idea in concept. It’s done in the private sector and in most public sector cases, it would work just as well.

It’s not such a bad idea to have legislators punch a time clock. As it now stands, they are paid per diem for entire legislative sessions, including the current special session. But those per diem payments are also paid on Fridays and weekends, days on which legislators do not meet except on extremely rare occasions. How do we justify paying them $149 per day for days on which they do not meet? How do we justify paying them when they do not show up to vote on key issues?

(Taking the current special session, for example, which began on Feb. 14 and ends on March 9, there are nine days—Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays—on which the legislature does not meet. But each of the 144 members receives $149 for each of those days. That’s $193,104 in per diem payments for doing nothing.)

But… but… but, Troy, about those time clocks and your own attendance record at ATC…

How would you go about punching a time clock during the time you were out at the construction site when you were building that nice house on University Lake when you should have been tending to state business? We have it on pretty good authority that you were out there virtually the entire time construction was going on. Was there a time clock at the work site?

Was there a time clock at your apartment over the Copper Monkey Nightclub in the New Orleans French Quarter where you managed to spend quite a bit of time during working hours? Just asking.

Troy? Troy?

….Now where did he go?

 

 

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In the early morning hours of Jan. 22, 2012, Joseph Branch, with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .307 percent (2½ higher than the .08 percent, the legal definition of intoxication in Louisiana) and driving at a high rate of speed, struck two bicyclists, killing Nathan Crowson and severely injuring his riding companion, Daniel Morris.

Branch, who had a previous DWI conviction in 2006 and was given a six-month suspended sentence, was convicted of vehicular homicide and first degree vehicular negligent injuring and sentenced to 7½ years in prison. http://theadvocate.com/news/11878236-123/baton-rouge-man-joseph-branch

That should be that, right?

Well, no. There remained the issue of whether or not The Bulldog, a bar where Branch had been drinking with two friends just before the accident, might be legally liable for continuing to serve Branch after it was evident that he was intoxicated.

Anytime there is an alcohol-related auto accident involving a fatality, the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control (ATC) investigates whether or not the driver had been served alcohol after it was obvious he was intoxicated. Such customers are supposed to be eighty-sixed, or cut off from being served more alcohol.

So, how are investigations carried out?

Meticulously. Carefully. Thoroughly.

Think again.

The investigation, which would routinely require weeks upon weeks of interviews, document and video review and which normally produce written reports 30 to 40 pages in length, was unusually short in duration and produced a report of a single page.

One page that completely exonerated the bar of any violation. http://www.wbrc.com/story/16903763/bar-cleared-in-fatal-crash

Initially, two ATC agents, neither of whom now work for the agency, began the investigation by requesting a video of the night in question to determine if Branch displayed any obvious signs of intoxication. They also asked owners of The Bulldog, located on Perkins Road in Baton Rouge, for certain other documents and information, including copies of any and all receipts of alcoholic beverages purchased by Branch.

When the bar initially refused to cooperate, the agents who customarily investigate such cases, obtained a subpoena and served it on the bar.

Enter ATC Commissioner Troy Hebert.

This is the same Troy Hebert who allegedly once admonished an agent for not shooting an unarmed man. When an ATC agent attempted to question a man who appeared to be intoxicated in the Tigerland area near the LSU campus where a number of bars and clubs are located, the man dove at the agent’s feet in an attempt to take him down. He was quickly overpowered and handcuffed by agents who reported the incident to Hebert. They said Hebert asked, “Why didn’t you shoot him?”

It is also the same Troy Hebert who another Baton Rouge bar owner says set his establishment up for selling to underage customers.

In December, his bartender refused to sell alcohol to an underage patron working undercover in tandem with an ATC agent. When the bartender refused to sell alcohol to the underage customer, the female ATC agent purchased the drink and gave to the younger girl and then cited the bar for selling alcohol to underage patron.

“That server is taught that they are to remove the drink from the individual who is underage,” Hebert said.

“She slides the beer to the underage girl,” bar owner Andrew Bayard said. “She assumed possession and gives it to the underage girl. I don’t feel that is a fault of my employee.” http://www1.wbrz.com/news/bar-owner-at-odds-with-state-alcohol-agents-claims-his-employee-was-set-up

Hebert officially resigned as commissioner, effective Jan. 10, the day before the new governor, John Bel Edwards, took office. He since has announced he will seek the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. David Vitter who is not seeking re-election.

But we digress.

In an unprecedented move, Hebert, who had zero experience as an investigator, decided he would be the lead investigator of the Bulldog.

What possible motive would Hebert have in rushing through an investigation and issuing a press release on Feb. 9 absolving the bar of any responsibility? Why would he instruct the lead agent on the case to limit his report to one page?

Why would Hebert watch the video footage for only a few seconds before proclaiming he “saw nothing” there? Why not watch the entire video to see if Branch did, in fact, appear intoxicated?

Even more curious, why would Hebert instruct that same agent to return to The Bulldog and retrieve the subpoena the agent had served on the establishment for video and records, thus freeing the bar of any responsibility to turn over key records?

Is it possible that the answer to each of these questions can consist of two words?

Might those two words be Chris Young?

The New Orleans attorney represents scores of clubs and bars (and convenience stores) before the ATC and his sister, Judy Pontin, is the executive management officer for ATC’s New Orleans office, earning $71,000 per year.

John Young, the brother of Chris Young and Pontin, is the former president of Jefferson Parish and was an unsuccessful candidate for lieutenant governor in last fall’s statewide elections.

ATC insiders told LouisianaVoice that when an establishment wants to apply for an alcohol permit or whenever the business experiences problems with ATC, Pontin refers them to Chris Young for legal representation.

Chris Young was the legal counsel for The Bulldog prior to and throughout the ATC investigation.

Daniel Morris, who was severely injured in the accident, retained the representation of Lafayette attorney Patrick Daniel who issued his own subpoena to ATC for certain records to bolster his litigation against The Bulldog.

In February 2013, more than a year after the accident which left Morris disabled, Daniel sent a letter to ATC general Counsel Jessica Starns noting that ATC FAILED TO PROVIDE RECORDS TO MORRIS

“Your response is considered incomplete as it does not contain certain items referenced in the produced documents,” he said.

It was not immediately determined if the records were finally produced but it does raise the obvious question of why did ATC not comply with that subpoena in the first place, thus necessitating a follow up letter from the attorney?

Could those records have contained information that conflicted with ATC’s one-page report of Feb. 9, 2012, the report that supposedly cleared The Bulldog?

A lot of questions were left hanging out there and someone deserves some answers.

We’re guessing that would be the families of the two cyclists.

But we may never know those answers.

In June 2014, the First Circuit Court of Appeal upheld a Baton Rouge state district court in tossing Morris’s lawsuit on the basis that the responsibility for intoxication lies with the individual, not the establishment.

Thus was added insult to Morris’s considerable injuries.

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When LouisianaVoice was first contacted about Troy Hebert back in December, one of the things our anonymous source said was that the former Commissioner of Alcohol and Tobacco Control was positioning himself for a congressional run.

While everything the source told us was verified in a month-long investigation, we simply could not bring ourselves to believe that Hebert would seriously believe he could be a serious candidate for Congress.

After all, the Jeanerette native had enough baggage to justify an extra train car on any such expedition to Washington.

For openers, the veteran legislator cum ATC commissioner had, while serving as a state representative, managed to finagle a state contract for debris cleanup following hurricanes Katrina and Rita. That alone was a flagrant conflict of interest but because he was apparently close to Bobby Jindal, the State Board of Ethics chose to look the other way.

Then there is his tenure at ATC, marked by constant battles with his agents. Rumors of racism on his part persisted and he required his agents to rise and chirp, “Good morning, commissioner” whenever he entered the room. At hearings on alcohol permit revocations and other penalties, he insisted on being called “judge,” though he was merely an administrative officer.

So we discounted out of hand the report that he might make a run for a congressional seat. We assumed he was taking aim of the seat now held by U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany who has made his intentions known that he plans to seek the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by David Vitter.

Nah, we said. The source is simply wrong.

But wait.

Politics necessarily dictate sizable egos and apparently there is none bigger than Hebert’s.

And there it was, when we googled “Hebert announces for U.S. Senate.” Up popped this link: http://www.katc.com/story/31082873/troy-hebert-to-run-for-senate?clienttype=mobile

That’s the web site of Lafayette television station KATC. We clicked on the link and this story appeared on our screen:

Troy Hebert, a former state senator and former commissioner of the state Alcohol and Tobacco Control Office, says he plans to run for the U.S. Senate this fall. 

Hebert, who is from Jeanerette and lives in Baton Rouge, served in the Louisiana state Senate as a Democrat, but later switched to Independent. He was Alcohol & Tobacco Control Commissioner for the past five years and resigned at the end of December. 

Hebert said he plans to run as an Independent.

“Given the number of voters that are fed up with both parties, the large number of registered Independents and the swollen number of republican candidates, simple math shows a great opportunity for voters to elect their first truly conservative Independent United States Senator,” Hebert said. “This realization has some people in high places, with a lot to lose, already trying to keep me out the race. They think I kicked their asses before, just think what I could do as a U.S. Senator.” 

Hebert joins three other Louisiana politicians who have announced they are vying for U.S. Sen. David Vitter’s Senate seat. Vitter announced he would not seek re-election after losing the governor’s race last fall.

U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany, R-Lafayette, U.S. Rep. John Fleming, R-Minden, and state Treasurer John Kennedy, also a Republican, have said they are running.

So it’s not the House but the Senate that Hebert is running for. Seems our source was pretty much spot on with this opening line back on Dec. 18, 2015:

“I have watched all of Mr. Herbert’s actions in the last year with amazement. His latest attempts to go around the State to get name recognition for what I hear will be a Congressional run has led me from watching from the sidelines to sending you this information.”

“Herbert also has been holding town hall type meetings across the State after he announced his resignation at end of year so he can get name recognition for his run for Congress,” she said.

Okay, it’s not the House, but that and other information provided us was accurate enough for us to see that our source is up in the middle of Troy Hebert’s business—and he has no idea who it is.

Stand by folks. If you thought last fall’s governor’s race was nasty, you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet.

As C.B. would say if he were still with us: You can’t make this stuff up.

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