Sidney Cates V, an investigator for the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office and a former New Orleans police detective, is thinking of running for the legislative seat left open by the resignation from the state House of newly inaugurated New Orleans City Councilman Jared Brossett.
“I’m seriously considering it at this point,” Cates said. “I still have to have conversation with my wife, but more than likely, I will be there.”
If Cates does jump in, a possibility first reported by the LaPolitics Weekly newsletter, he could be up against New Orleans political veteran Ed Murray, widely rumored to be considering a run in the same House district because term limits will keep him from holding onto his seat in the state Senate.
Cates is the son of Sidney Cates IV, a Civil District Court judge in Orleans Parish. In an interview, he said he spent most of his police career as a homicide detective. Recently, he has worked as an investigator for the DA, tasked with ensuring that homicide and other cases that come from the NOPD are ready for trial. He’s also a member of the Orleans Parish Democratic Executive Committee.
“I’ve spent my entire adult life in public service,” he said. “I’m passionate about things that affect the district: criminal justice, economics, community involvement.”
Brossett’s old territory, House District 97, includes most of Gentilly and parts of Mid-City. A special election to fill the seat is scheduled for Nov. 4, with a runoff if necessary on Dec. 6.
Hard to see what $14,300 bought
It has been difficult to decipher exactly what services St. Tammany Parish District Attorney Walter Reed’s son Steven provided for a 2012 fund-raising event for which he was paid $29,400. The younger Reed and the DA have given conflicting accounts about what the son’s company, Liquid Bread LLC, did for the money.
But the longtime officeholder was able to produce something tangible to show for another whopping payment to a Steven Reed company: a one-minute anti-drug video that aired on a public access television station in Bogalusa, according to nola.com/The Times-Picayune.
The news organization, which obtained the video through a public records request, interviewed a television producer who said the spot likely cost $500 to $750 to produce. According to campaign finance reports, however, Steven Reed’s company, Globop, was paid $14,300 for the 2009 video, which features the district attorney, captured on a single camera, talking about protecting children from drugs, followed by a voice-over and a picture of Reed.
Walter Reed, who took office in 1984, has paid his son’s companies nearly $95,000 from his campaign fund over seven years.
Globop, which in its 2011 report to the Louisiana Secretary of State’s Office listed Walter Reed as its secretary and a director, designs and produces “interactive multi-media events,” according to its website.
Actor’s tweet about fracking goes viral
Social media have been a major tool used by opponents of a plan to drill an oil well in St. Tammany Parish. But none of the Facebook sites that have popped up has gotten the same traction as a tweet from actor Ian Somerhalder.
Somerhalder, a native of Covington, a graduate of St. Paul’s School and a current star of the CW series “Vampire Diaries,” made his thoughts known in a May 3 tweet.
“Louisiana! Tell Helis Energy that! You are NOT FRACKING ST.TAMMANY PARISH! Its a wetland area & WILL NOT BE DONE RIGHT!” he wrote.
Somerhalder is an environmental activist. His Twitter feed includes hashtags such as #CoalSucks, and his eponymous foundation’s mission statement is “to empower, educate and collaborate with people and projects that positively impact the planet and its creatures.”
As of Thursday, Somerhalder’s fracking tweet had been retweeted more than 1,400 times.
Editor’s note: The first item in this column was updated May 9 to correct the spelling of Sidney Cates V’s first name.