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The Best and the Worst of the Week 

Judge Calvin Johnson of New Orleans Criminal Court blew the whistle on a bribery scheme aimed at convicts looking for an easy way out of probation. Johnson contacted the FBI in April to report the scheme, resulting in a defense lawyer and a former probation officer pleading guilty to federal corruption charges last week. His actions bring honor to a state judiciary tarnished by less scrupulous judges in recent years. Jimmy Swaggart, the Louisiana televangelist, recently said in a televised worship service that if a gay man ever 'looks at me like that, I'm gonna kill him and tell God he died.' His congregation at the service, taped in Baton Rouge, responded with applause. Swaggart later apologized, saying he regretted the remark, but Canadian broadcast officials are investigating him for violating that country's anti-hate speech law. Kimberly Williamson Butler, Orleans Parish Criminal District Clerk of Court, tried to pass the buck in several directions when explaining why voting machines were delivered late to nearly 90 precincts for the Sept. 18 primary. Butler initially blamed a long list of others for the massive snafu, then later admitted her office, which oversees parish elections, is at least partially responsible. Jimmy Fahrenholtz, one of only two incumbents recently re-elected to the Orleans Parish School Board, blew the deadlines for filing two campaign finance disclosure reports due before the Sept. 18 primary. He also has not filed a supplemental report due since Feb. 17 in connection with his first election in 2000. Fahrenholtz is disputing yet another reported late filing and a $2,000 fine by the Louisiana Ethics Commission. If he wants to maintain his "reform" credentials, he should get on track and put these matters to rest.


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