|August 15, 2006
Carville goes on the stump in Aspen
Rick Carroll - Aspen Daily News Staff Writer Tue 08/15/2006 11:01AM MST
But this time it's for Louisiana
The man who steered Bill Clinton into the Oval Office in 1992 was in
Aspen on Monday stumping for an entirely different cause: to raise
money to help hurricane-battered southern Louisiana.
Political consultant James Carville, the executive producer of the
motion picture "All the King's Men," which was filmed in New Orleans
and other parts of southern Louisiana before Katrina struck last
August, was making his rounds in an effort to parlay the movie
screening into a mini fundraising tour for the Friends of New Orleans.
It's the second film based on Robert Penn Warren's fictionalized
account of the rise and fall of Huey Long, the poster boy for Louisiana
politics who was reviled as much for his corruption and backroom deals
as he was revered for his hard-nosed campaigns and reaching out to the
Before the screening, first held at The Aspen Institute and
subsequently at a private home, Carville said the timing of the movie's
release -- it's scheduled to come out Sept. 22 -- fits in well with the
one-year anniversary of Katrina. Carville said he is hopeful that the
movie helps raise awareness of a state whose plight of fading wetlands
was exploited by the hurricane that struck the Gulf Coast region Aug.
"We're approaching the one-year anniversary of the storm, and there's a
lot of synergy here -- showing the film and having a fundraiser," he
That fundraiser was for the Friends of New Orleans, an organization in
which he sits on the board, along with Aspen Institute President Walter
Isaacson and other Louisianans and influential figures.
The new movie is laced with big names, from Sean Penn as Gov. Willie
Stark to Jude Law as Jack Burden. It seemed to be well received by the
nearly full house at Paepcke Auditorium, and following its screening a
panel discussion, moderated by Isaacson, zoomed in on Louisiana's
dubious political history that sits against a cultural background rich
with music, food and people.
"Was Huey Long a good governor?" Isaacson asked Carville about the
populist known as the "Kingfish," who was assassinated on the steps of
the Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge in 1935. Long, who had been
Louisiana governor, was a U.S. senator at the time of his death.
Carville's reply was a line and theme that came straight out of the
book: "All good comes from bad."
Isaacson, a New Orleans native, wondered aloud if it's a good thing
that these days the bayou state is the home to more honest elected
officials, but not necessarily rogue ones who could get things done --
such as Long and former governor Edwin Edwards.
Said Carville: "When you're 6 feet under water, FDR could have been
governor and Rudy Giuliani could have been mayor and you still don't
But perhaps the most troubling aspect of Louisiana, noted the
panelists, is the erosion of salt-water-rich wetlands that harvest more
shrimp annually than all other states combined.
"We lose more land a year than the island of Manhattan," Carville said.
And every 38 minutes, said Friends of New Orleans board member C.C.
Lockwood, a noted wildlife photographer, the state surrenders the
equivalent of one football field of marshlands.
Lockwood even suggested that if every visitor to south Louisiana
brought along a suitcase of sand -- or SOS, as he called it -- it may
just help, or at the very least send a message to Washington. That may
come off as idealistic, but Lockwood wasn't laughing.
"We've got to save the wetlands, the marshes, to protect the levees,"
he said. "The levees can't do it by themselves."
As for the "All the King's Men," Carville and Mike Medavoy, the movie's
producer and chairman and co-founder of Phoenix Pictures, seemed
confident it will do well not only at the box office, but also in the
"It's a movie that you can follow but it doesn't tell you what to
think," Carville said.
It also follows in some big footsteps.
The book won the Pulitzer Prize in 1946, and the 1949 movie was
nominated for seven Oscars and won three, including best picture, best
actor (Broderick Crawford) and best supporting actress (Mercedes
McCambridge). The first movie, however, was filmed mostly in
California, while the current one was shot entirely in Louisiana, and
was peppered with footage of the swamplands -- complete with cypress
tress and Spanish moss.
In the meantime Carville, 61, doesn't seem to be slowing down.
He launched a sport-talk show on satellite radio earlier this year
around the time of the Final Four, which saw the school from which he
graduated, Louisiana State University, get in by upsetting the likes of
Duke and the University of Texas.
"The sports show is as fun as anything I do," he said.
And with football season around the corner, Carville offered a few
observations. First, the North Division in the Big 12 Conference, home
to the University of Colorado, was "pathetic last year."
August 11, 2005
President may visit Louisiana, inspect coastline-
President Bush may visit Louisiana to inspect the state's eroding coastline,
Gov. Kathleen Blanco's office said Wednesday. 0
Press Secretary Denise Bottcher said the Governor's Office got a call from the White House
Scheduling Office after Blanco extended a written invitation to the President and made two
follow-up telephone calls.
No date for any visit has been set.
- The Advocate
July 26, 2005
WASHINGTON - Louisiana will lose out on the potential for billions of dollars in coastal
restoration money under an agreement chiseled out by a congressional panel that chose
to instead give the state short-term relief.
A House and Senate conference committee selected to come up with one energy bill
chose to add the Senate coastal language, which would give Louisiana more than half
of the $1 billion that would go to six states that allow oil and gas drilling off their coasts.
The other states are California, Alaska, Texas, Alabama and Mississippi.
- Gerald Shields, The Advocate
June 24, 2005
Good National News for the Louisiana coast. Below is a statement from R. King Milling,
Chairman of the America's WETLAND Foundation, on today's passage in the Senate
of a $1 billion coastal impact assistance amendment to the Energy Bill, which is slated
to provide more than $500 million for Louisiana's coastal restoration efforts over the
next four years.
"The nation moved a step closer today to support urgent attempts to save America's
WETLAND in coastal Louisiana. The action by the Senate acknowledges that this region
is of world ecological significance and the critical link of these important wetland areas
to our Nation's future energy and economic security. We have been sounding the alarm
that coastal erosion in Louisiana has become an emergency. It is a tribute to our
leadership from Louisiana and in the Senate that their colleagues have recognized
the gravity of this situation."
- R. King Milling, Chairman, America's WETLAND Foundation.