Joseph Bouie elected chairman of Legislative Black Caucus

Rep. Joseph Bouie

It's been a relatively tame match-up between state Reps. Joseph Bouie and Helena Moreno for the City Council at-large Division 1 seat.

But that changed Monday, when Bouie’s campaign shot off an email deriding Moreno for awarding a Tulane University scholarship worth more than $150,000 to the son of her paid political consultant, Greg Buisson, who is white, instead of to deserving black students in her district.

Moreno fired back, accusing Bouie of awarding his own Tulane scholarship to one student and then handing it to another before the first one could earn a degree.

One problem, though: Bouie did not authorize the original attack, he said Tuesday. Seeing the email himself after it went out, “I said, ‘Man, where did that come from?’ ” Bouie said.

Jeff Thomas, a political blogger who has handled communications for Bouie’s campaign, later issued a retraction. He said the email was drawn up and paid for by a source independent of the Bouie campaign, though he would not name the source. “This was our mistake," he said.

As for Moreno's retaliatory claim, Bouie said he reviews his scholarships annually and awards them, based on need, to qualified applicants.