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Alliance Forums This Week
The Orleans Parish chapter of the Alliance for Good Government will host back-to-back forums for candidates seeking three congressional seats in the November federal primary. Candidates for the Second Congressional District begin at 7:15 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 4, at the Roussel Auditorium on the second floor of the music and communication building at Loyola University. Forums for the First and Third districts begin the following night at 7:15 p.m., at the same location. For more information, call Alliance president Robert Moffett at 822-2224. -- Johnson


IOP Reunion Oct. 15
One of the most well attended political fundraisers of any year generates no campaign cash whatsoever, and that partially explains its popularity. The Loyola Institute of Politics' annual reunion and fundraiser -- canceled last year because of Hurricane Katrina -- will return from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. next Sunday, Oct. 15, at 2403 Camp St. (corner of First Street) in New Orleans. The IOP is led by Loyola Professor and pollster Ed Renwick. Tickets are $65 a person. With all the heated local, state and federal contests on the Nov. 7 ballot, attendance by politicos and wannabes is sure to be high again this year. For more information and tickets, call Renwick or Gayle Mumfrey at (504) 865-3548. -- DuBos


Voters Still on Rolls
The Sept. 30 primary election is over, but a question lingers: How long will Orleans Parish residents displaced by Hurricane Katrina be allowed to continue voting in city elections? The answer, according to a spokesperson for the Orleans Parish Registrar of Voters, is the same for all New Orleans voters, including those displaced by Katrina, members of the U.S. military serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, and students overseas. "Any person -- not just those displaced -- who maintains his residence here in New Orleans and does not register where they are temporarily living, and who requests a ballot or votes frequently, may continue voting in Orleans Parish," says Abigail Washington, confidential assistant to Orleans Parish Registrar Sandra L. Wilson. A voter must cast his or her ballot at least once during a four-year federal election cycle to remain on the rolls. -- Johnson


Councilman's Former Client Jailed
New Orleans City Council member James Carter, a leading organizer of the city's recent crime summit, says he is "deeply saddened" that a man he once helped avoid prison while he worked as a criminal defense attorney is now accused of a violent crime spree -- in Carter's council district. Terry Johnson, 42, and another convicted felon allegedly ran over a retired woman in their getaway car following a botched Aug. 22 robbery in Faubourg Marigny. In 2004, records show, Carter was Johnson's court-appointed public defender when a Criminal Court jury acquitted Johnson of an attempted murder charge. All attorneys are obliged to present the best defense for their clients. Carter says the state's case against Johnson in 2004 was "weak," adding, "I am deeply saddened by the fact that Terry Johnson involved himself in these alleged criminal activities. My heart and soul go out to the victims of these alleged crimes. This [case] is the exact reason why I have personally removed myself from accepting any more criminal defense work, because of people continuing to involve themselves in this type of activity." Carter, 37, won a May 20 runoff election against Kristin Palmer, despite television ads by the Police Association of New Orleans (PANO) attacking Carter's work as a criminal defense attorney. -- Johnson


No Business Like Pro-Business
It's that time of year again. The Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI), one of the state's most influential lobbies and a group that regularly contributes money to pro-business politicos, has released its annual assessment of legislative voting records. From 2004 to 2006, the House and Senate members with the worst voting records, according to LABI, are both Democrats from New Orleans -- Sen. Diana Bajoie, with 28 percent, and Rep. Juan LaFonta, with 22 percent. The highest voting records in the Upper Chamber belong to Sen. Robert Barham, R-Oak Ridge, with 97 percent, and Sen. Mike Michot, R-Lafayette, with 91 percent. In the House, it's a tie between Reps. Carl Crane, R-Baton Rouge, and Mert Smiley, R-Port Vincent, who both put up a 99 percent score. LABI officials say "only key business votes" were included in the tallies, and those on which the business lobby took a "clear, broad-based position." For more information, visit -- Alford


All Eyes on Third District
Political analyst Stuart Rothenberg told USA Today last week that of all the congressional seats up for grabs this year, that of Louisiana's Third Congressional District is among the few whose Democratic occupant is susceptible to defeat. The analysis refers to the heated rematch between Congressman Charlie Melancon of Napoleonville and his Republican challenger, state Sen. Craig Romero of New Iberia. "The freshman Democrat won a squeaker two years ago before Hurricane Katrina ravaged this district and faces a well-funded Republican state senator," the national paper reported. Additionally, Jeffrey D. Sadow, an associate professor of political science at Louisiana State University-Shreveport, is predicting the Third District, which stretches from Acadiana into the parishes of St. Bernard and Plaquemines, could even determine the U.S. House majority. "And it is a contest that could draw the country's notice," he says. "This year is the last cycle of Louisiana having general election runoffs after the national election day courtesy of its weird nonpartisan blanket primary system." -- Alford

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