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Louisiana’s Bananas Foster, GOP Presidential Primary And A Little Fleming
Written by  // Wednesday, 01 February 2012 13:05 //

lagop_logo_new_600_stripesGOP bananas over Foster
    Democratic Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell, after being denied the chairmanship for 10 years by GOP members of the five-member regulating body, will finally wield the gavel in 2012.
    It took a “yes” vote from Republican Commissioner Jimmy Field, a former LSU quarterback, to catapult Campbell into the elusive chairmanship.
    Two other GOP members of the Commission – Clyde Holloway of Forest Hill and Eric Skrmetta of Metairie – voted “no.”  Campbell was elected chairman on a 3-2 vote.
    Campbell was supported by, in addition to Field, Democratic Commissioner Lambert Boissiere of New Orleans.

    The chairmanship usually rotates among the five members, but every time Campbell was nominated in the past, the Republican-dominated PSC denied him the position.
    The two GOP members of the Commission are not the only ones going bananas over Foster being voted in as chairman.  It is likely the utility companies regulated by the PSC are also a bit nervous since Campbell often clashes with them.
    Campbell of Bossier City was elected to a six-year term from the Fifth District of the PSC in the fall of 2002, defeating incumbent Democratic Commissioner Don Owen, who held the position for 18 years, in an expensive and contentious battle by a 51-49% margin.
    The Fifth District is comprised of 24 parishes in north Louisiana from the Texas to the Mississippi border.  Campbell was re-elected in 2008 with 78% of the vote.  He is up again in 2014.
    Campbell will chair his first PSC meeting in Pineville on February 15.  “It’s been a long time coming,” he said after being elected chairman.

 Opening on the bench
    District Judge Bruce Bolin of the 26th Judicial District Court, which includes Bossier and Webster parishes, will serve his last day on the bench on Tuesday, January 31.
    Bolin has served on the District Court since 1991 and is highly respected in the legal community.  Prior to being elected judge, Bolin served in the state  Legislature from 1979 to 1990 as the representative  from District 10.
    His retirement creates a judicial opening for which the governor will have to call for a special election.  Most likely the election will coincide with other elections scheduled for November 6, or it could be held as early as April 21, or the governor could designate another date.
    In the meantime, a temporary appointee will be named by the Louisiana Supreme Court to fill the vacancy.  Usually a former judge is chosen, and he or she cannot run for the judicial seat.
    Already declared for the judge’s position is Mike Nerren,  Assistant District Attorney, Juvenile Division, of the 26th Judicial District Court.  This would be Nerren’s first run for political office.
    Also being mentioned as a potential candidate is attorney Whit Graves.  He has run unsuccessfully for a seat on the District Court twice before.
    In 1996, he lost to now-Judge Ford Stinson, Jr. by a 54-46% margin. In 1999, he lost to now-Judge Johnny Robinson by a 52-48% margin.
    Another potential candidate is Judge John Slattery, who is the judge on the Springhill City Court.
    The Fax-Net will keep you updated on future developments.

 A sigh of relief?
    The political rumor mill was saying that the Louisiana Democratic Party was grooming a candidate to run against Republican 4th District U.S. Rep. John Fleming of Minden this fall.
    But that effort has apparently collapsed.  The proposed candidate, attorney Kyle Robinson of Bossier City, the son of District Court Judge Johnny Robinson, has told friends he will not run.
    So the hunt goes on for the Democratic Party to find a candidate to oppose Fleming.  With approval ratings at an all-time low for Congress and with the new make-up of the district after reapportionment, the Democrats feel they have a shot in the 4th District.
    Party leaders harken back to the 2008 general election when Fleming defeated former Democratic Caddo District Attorney Paul Carmouche by only 350 votes out of 92,572 cast.
    In 2010, Fleming was re-elected with 62% of the vote over Democrat David Melville of Bossier City (32%) and Other Party Artis Cash of Shreveport (5%).  Fleming will be seeking his third two-year term.
    The new 4th District is comprised of all or part of 13 parishes.  They are: Allen, Beauregard, Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Claiborne, DeSoto, Grant, Natchitoches, Red River, Sabine, Vernon, and Webster.
    There are 404,975 registered voters in the 4th District.  Of that total, 64% are white, 32% are black, and 4% are other races.  
    By party affiliation, 48% are Democrats, 29% are Republicans, and 23% are Other Parties.

Pomp and politics
    Six well-known persons were inducted into the Louisiana Political Hall of Fame this past Saturday night in Winnfield, the home of the Louisiana Political Museum.
    Pomp and politics were on display for the event, beginning with a reception at the museum, which is quite a facility.  If anyone is interested in Louisiana politics, a trip to the museum would be an interesting experience.
    The induction ceremonies took place at the Winnfield Civic Center before a packed house.  Elected officials and friends of the inductees from around the state were in attendance.  Several came from northwest Louisiana.
    It was the 20th anniversary for the Political Hall of Fame, which began in 1993.  A 21-member board makes the selections for the Hall of Fame.
    The six inductees for 2012 were detailed in last week’s Fax-net, but, briefly, here are the new Hall of Famers:
    *Former state Rep. Billy “Coach” Montgomery.
    *Former 5th District U.S. Rep. Jerry Huckaby.
    *Former Pineville Mayor Fred H.  Baden.
    *Former 1st District U.S. Rep. F. Edward Hebert.
    *Former La.  House Speaker E.L. “Bubba” Henry.
    *Former newsman Adras LaBorde.
    Montgomery, Huckaby, and Henry were present and told some interesting and humorous stories about their political careers.
    Baden, Hebert and LaBorde are deceased.  They were represented by family members, who spoke on their behalf.
    An aside: I attended the function and was able to reminisce with many friends that I had not seen in years.  I worked for both Huckaby and Hebert, so it was great to be able to relive the good old days with family and friends who came to see them inducted into the hallowed hallmark.


 

The presidential primary
    Louisiana’s Presidential Primary will be held on Saturday, March 24 under the closed primary system, according to Caddo Registrar Ernie Roberson.
    He notes that while candidates may have withdrawn from the party primary for president, their names will still appear on the ballot.
    For example, the Republican ballot will have the following candidates on it: Michele Bachmann, Randy Crow, Newt Gingrich, John Huntsman, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Buddy Roemer (of Bossier City), Mitt Romney, and Rick Santorum.
    Roberson noted that to be withdrawn a candidate has to file a notarized original letter with an original signature from the candidate.  Apparently, the candidates that dropped out did not do this.
    The Louisiana Republican primary vote will not likely have much of a national impact since it will come after Super Tuesday on March 6 and several other state preferential primaries.
    On the Democratic ballot will be Bob Ely, President Barack Obama, Darcey Richardson, and John Wolfe.   It’s a done deal for Democrats because Obama is assured of the nomination for a second term.
    Both parties know that Louisiana is a red state, and its eight electoral votes are not that important in the total scheme of things.
    Roberson emphasizes that the Presidential Preference Primary is a closed party primary.  Republicans will only be eligible to vote on GOP candidates and Democrats will only be eligible to vote on Democratic Party candidates.
    If you are a registered voter in another party or if you are a no party voter, you will not be eligible to vote in the Presidential Preference Primary.
    The deadline for changing your voter registration is February 22.  Applications must be postmarked or received by that date, Roberson points out.  For more information, call 226-6891.
    Early voting for the Presidential Preference Primary will begin on Saturday, March 10 through Saturday, March 17.  The office is closed on Sunday, but Roberson said that the office will be open on St. Patrick’s Day, the 17th.
    Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. each day.  The Registrar of Voters office is located at 525 Marshall Street at the corner of Marshall and Milam downtown across from the Caddo Parish Courthouse.   seen in years.  I worked for both Huckaby and Hebert, so it was great to be able to relive the good old days with family and friends who came to see them inducted into the hallowed hallmark.

The presidential primary
    Louisiana’s Presidential Primary will be held on Saturday, March 24 under the closed primary system, according to Caddo Registrar Ernie Roberson.
    He notes that while candidates may have withdrawn from the party primary for president, their names will still appear on the ballot.
    For example, the Republican ballot will have the following candidates on it: Michele Bachmann, Randy Crow, Newt Gingrich, John Huntsman, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Buddy Roemer (of Bossier City), Mitt Romney, and Rick Santorum.
    Roberson noted that to be withdrawn a candidate has to file a notarized original letter with an original signature from the candidate.  Apparently, the candidates that dropped out did not do this.
    The Louisiana Republican primary vote will not likely have much of a national impact since it will come after Super Tuesday on March 6 and several other state preferential primaries.
    On the Democratic ballot will be Bob Ely, President Barack Obama, Darcey Richardson, and John Wolfe.   It’s a done deal for Democrats because Obama is assured of the nomination for a second term.
    Both parties know that Louisiana is a red state, and its eight electoral votes are not that important in the total scheme of things.
    Roberson emphasizes that the Presidential Preference Primary is a closed party primary.  Republicans will only be eligible to vote on GOP candidates and Democrats will only be eligible to vote on Democratic Party candidates.
    If you are a registered voter in another party or if you are a no party voter, you will not be eligible to vote in the Presidential Preference Primary.
    The deadline for changing your voter registration is February 22.  Applications must be postmarked or received by that date, Roberson points out.  For more information, call 226-6891.
    Early voting for the Presidential Preference Primary will begin on Saturday, March 10 through Saturday, March 17.  The office is closed on Sunday, but Roberson said that the office will be open on St. Patrick’s Day, the 17th.
    Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. each day.  The Registrar of Voters office is located at 525 Marshall Street at the corner of Marshall and Milam downtown across from the Caddo Parish Courthouse.   

by Lou Gehrig Burnett, Publisher of Fax-Net

Originally published on Fax-Net



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