Hall of Fame honors named

By James Ronald Skain
Journal Correspondent

The Louisiana Political Hall of Fame Museum has announced its annual Political Induction Event in Lafayette for Saturday, March 12, beginning with a 6-7 p.m. reception followed by a 7:00 p.m. Induction Banquet emceed by former Louisiana US Senator John Breaux.

The Louisiana Political Hall of Fame, based in Winnfield since its beginning nearly 20 years ago, has spread it wings to hold the event at the Cajun Dome in Lafayette.

The 2016 class of political inductees has a decidedly South Louisiana flavor, with three of the seven, Randy K. Haynie, Braxton, (B.I.) Moody, and Kaliste Saloom, Jr. calling Lafayette their home territory. The other four, former Governor Sam Jones, Richard Ieyoub, John Mamolides, and Donald (Boysie) Bollinger all have cultural roots in South Louisiana.

This 2016 crop of politicians consists of a mixture of four elected officials, and three who may be considered powers behind the seat of government. All of the seven inductees are male. Only one of the inductees is now deceased, the late Governor Sam Jones, who defeated Winnfield's own Earl K. Long in the 1940 Louisiana gubernatorial race.

Randy K. Haynie, a member of the Louisiana Hall of Fame Board of Directors, also has a connection to former Governor Long. Haynie's office in Baton Rouge is located in Governor Long's former home (Long View), across the Capitol Lakes from the state capitol. Haynie is known by his Baton Rouge peers as one of the most active and successful lobbyists in Baton Rouge.\par }{\plain However, another inductee in the class of 2016 is perhaps the man who wrote the book on how to get things done in Baton Rouge and Washington, DC, Donald T. Bollinger.

Referred to as "Mr. Director" in many circles because of his business acumen, membership on numerous Boards of Directors (including business, civic, and non-profit organizations) Bollinger is the Chairman and CEO of Bollinger Enterprises. Originally founded by his family in 1946 as Bollinger Shipyards, Donald T. Bollinger is a major player in Louisiana as well as national business and politics.

Richard Ieyoub, now a Baton Rouge attorney and Democratic political activist, first began his political career as District Attorney for Calcasieu Parish from 1984 to 1992.

In 1991 Ieyoub launched a successful statewide campaign for Louisiana Attorney General. In 2003, after three terms as Attorney General, he sought the governorship but came up short. His major accomplishments as Attorney General, according to his career biography, included launching and promoting "initiatives that protect our children and help our children lead a better quality of life." During his tenure as Attorney General, Ieyoub was very active in the fight against narcotics. Also, as Attorney General, he won a multi-million dollar tobacco settlement for Louisiana.

Braxton (B.I.) Moody III is another major "behind the scenes" political power. Moody, a CPA by profession, launched major a business career from his hometown in the Louisiana Acadian area. Steeped in the Cajun Culture, Moody is a longtime friend of former governor Edwin W. Edwards. He initiated the effort by writer Leo Honeycutt to capture the life and political times of former Governor Edwin W. Edwards. That book by Honeycutt was hugely successful and helped rejuvenate the former governor.

Kaliste Saloom, Jr. has been a household name in Lafayette since 1948 when he was assigned to be City Attorney. From 1953 to 1983, Saloom served as the only Judge for City Court of Lafayette. One of the major throughways in the City of Lafayette was named after the Saloom family. Saloom, Jr. remains active in Lafayette civic affairs.

John Mamoulides, the powerhouse District Attorney of Jefferson Parish, was first appointed District Attorney in the late 1960's. In 1972 Mamoulides first faced the electorate. He not only won that six year term, but was re-elected in 1978, 1984, and 1990. After serving nearly 30 years as District Attorney in Jefferson Parish, he retired in 1996.

Sam Jones, after serving one term as Louisiana Governor and breaking the 12-year hold on Louisiana politics by the Longs, ran against his old nemesis, Earl K. Long, for governor in 1948. However, Jones was defeated for a second term in office in a political battle which one historian noted that "Earl out-promised Sam." The legacy of Jones has centered around the theme of "good government" which Jones soundly upheld during his one term in office. Sam Jones' legacy continues to this day through the Public Affairs Research Council which he helped found over 60 years ago.

The 2016 Louisiana Political Family of Officeholders also has a decidedly Jefferson Parish flavor. The first politico in the Chehardy family was Lawrence A. Chehardy, born in in 1921. Chehardy served as tax assessor and later on the Court of Appeals. His son, Lawrence E. Chehardy, became the Tax Assessor in the parish and served for 30 years in office. A daughter of the original patriarch, Susan Marie became a lawyer and served as a judge in the 24th Judicial District. Later she became a member of the Louisiana 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

For "Politics Galore", the 2016 Political Hall of Fame will be held Saturday, March 12, 2016 at the Cajun Dome in Lafayette. The reception is scheduled from 6:00-7:00 p.m. with the formal induction banquet to start at 7:00 p.m. To get tickets, call Carolyn Phillips in Winnfield at 318-628-5928.