Two potential opponents for Louisiana Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, who will be seeking a fourth six-year term in 2014, have had second thoughts.
U.S. Reps. Steve Scalise, R-Jefferson, and Charles Boustany, R-Lafayette, announced they will run again for their U.S. House seats and not for the U.S. Senate.
That fits in nicely with the state and national Republican Party’s efforts to pare down the number of potential candidates who want to run against Landrieu. They would prefer only one GOP standard bearer in the race.
Still standing as potential opponents for Landrieu are U.S. Reps. Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge, John Fleming, R-Minden, and former U.S. Rep. Jeff Landry, R-New Iberia.
Of course, there’s Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, who fared the best in recent polling against Landrieu, but most political observers believe Dardenne has his sights set instead on the governor’s mansion.
All three potential Republican opponents – Cassidy, Fleming, and Landry say it is still too early to make an official declaration.
Cassidy has raised a lot of money and has been voting with the conservative wing of the Republican Party in the U.S. House. Recently, he voted against the Violence Against Women Act., which drew GOP support and passed both houses of Congress.
Fleming, a physician who is regarded as the most conservative member of the Louisiana U.S. House delegation, also voted against the act.
In the end, the Republican Party will likely unite behind one candidate, forcing others to step aside. Most politicos believe that Cassidy will be the chosen one – if he decides he wants to take on Landrieu, who is doing extremely well in recent polls.
If the GOP can pull this off, then it will be up to the Democratic Party to keep other Democrats out of the race, especially a black candidate, who would take valuable votes away from Landrieu.
No guessing about Nungesser
Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser doesn’t want to leave anyone guessing about whether he will make a second run for lieutenant governor in 2015.
He has already officially announced and is holding fundraisers to build up his campaign warchest.
Nungesser, a Republican, lost to Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne in 2011 by nearly 60,000 votes, 53 to 47%.
But the parish president, who became a frequent face on national television after the Gulf oil spill, says it will be a different ball game this time because Dardenne will be running for another office, thereby making the lieutenant governor’s race an open seat.
But one can bet that it will not be an easy walk in the political park for Nungesser. In 2011, five Republicans and three Democrats sought the state’s number two job.
Therefore, with the position being open, it is likely the lieutenant governor’s race will draw a slew of candidates in 2015 – both Republicans and Democrats.
Gunning for more controls
The U.S. Senate has stepped into the line of fire between pro-gun and anti-gun advocates as the heated national discussion over federal gun policy accelerates.
Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee began a review of four firearm-related bills, fueling the fire of an already raging debate.
The four bills up for consideration are:
*The Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 (S.150).
*Stop Illegal Trafficking in Firearms Act of 2013 (S.54).
*Protecting Responsible Gun Sellers Act of 2012 (S.374).
*School Safety Enhancements Act of 2013 (S.146)
MapLight, a nonpartisan organization, which reveals money’s influence on politics, did an analysis of campaign contributions since 2009 to and from pro-and anti-gun interest groups, mainly the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
It found that the Brady Campaign has contributed $5,868 to members of the current Congress since 2009. The NRA, on the other had, has contributed $1.5 million.
So let the gun games begin.
Here is another interesting bit of information from MapLight:
House members, on average, each raised $1,689,580, an average of $2,315 every day during the 2012 cycle.
Senators, on average, each raised $10,476,451, an average of $14,351 every day during the 2012 cycle.
Are you miserable?
A recent Gallup poll ranks Louisiana at No. 8 on its Most Miserable States list. Gallup collaborated with 24/7 Wall Street to come up with the rankings.
The study reflects the physical and emotional health of residents in each of the 50 states. States with high well-being had populations that smoked less, exercised more, and tried to learn new things every day.
These states also tended to share the outcomes of those behaviors and activities, and residents had lower levels of key health problems, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and heart attacks, and had more energy.
The Top 10 Most Miserable States were noted as: West Virginia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, Alabama, Ohio, Louisiana, Indiana, and South Carolina.
The Top 10 Most Happiest States: Hawaii, Colorado, Minnesota, Utah, Vermont, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Iowa, and Massachusetts.
by Lou Gehrig Burnett, publisher of Fax-Net
More political news...
Economic Development speech
From the media desk of Governor Jindal..
Today, Governor Bobby Jindal will make an economic development announcement at the Michoud Facility in New Orleans at 1:35 PM. Bayoubuzz will update
New Orleans Coalition on Open Governance Celebrates Sunshine Week with
Citizen’s “Right To Know” Info
National Sunshine Week, March 10-16th, educates citizens about their rights regarding access to public meetings and public records and to give them the information they need to hold their government accountable. Sunshine Week seeks to enlighten and empower the public to play a more active role in government.
To mark Sunshine Week 2013, the New Orleans Coalition on Open Governance has put together a “Sunshine Center” with information related to the public’s rights to know including:
- The Sunshine Headquarters from the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana, featuring quizzes to test your knowledge of Sunshine Laws in Louisiana, templates for public records requests and open meeting complaints and fact sheets.
- A Satellite Government Database created by The Public Law Center which lists extensive information about agencies, panels and boards in Orleans Parish that use public funds and are regulated by public rules.
- A Charter School Reporting Corps, created by The Lens, dedicated to providing regular coverage of the 45 Orleans Parish charter school boards including meeting agendas, supporting materials, and reporter’s coverage of every board meeting.
- Information about rights to expungement of arrest records from the Justice and Accountability Center of Louisiana.
- Information on the 2013 National Freedom of Information Coalition Summit to be held in New Orleans this May 17-18.
For more information, visit www.nocog.org.
The New Orleans Coalition on Open Governance partner organizations include: The Committee for a Better New Orleans, Neighborhoods Partnership Network, Puentes, Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana, The Public Law Center, The Vietnamese American Young Leaders Association of New Orleans, Mary Queen of Viet Nam Community Development Corporation, Inc., and The Lens. Their mission seeks more open, responsive, and accountable government and governance by promoting community engagement in civic discussions and decisions, increasing access to public data and information, supporting media and communications that inform and equip stakeholders, and seeking beneficial public policy and structural developments.
From the "progressive" organization, the Louisiana Budget Project:
The Daily Dime
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu is keeping the pressure on Gov. Bobby Jindal to accept new federal dollars for extending Medicaid coverage to low-income Louisianans. Yesterday in the Shreveport Times, Landrieu cited several governors who have embraced the opportunity despite their opposition to the Affordable Care Act.
John Maginnis looks at the rosy picture that Gov. Bobby Jindal paints of Louisiana’s economy – with unemployment rates well below the national average – and asks a fundamental question: “if the Louisianaeconomy is doing so swimmingly under Gov. Jindal, why, instead of tweaking what already is working, are we contemplating radical surgery on state tax policy?”
Louisiana continues to take applications for online and other courses that will be offered by private firms and colleges despite questions about the overall legality of the program, state Superintendent of Education John White said Monday. Although the Legislature approved the Course Choice program last year, District Judge Tim Kelley ruled Nov. 30 that the law creating the program illegally diverts money for public schools to online firms and others. The state is appealing Kelley’s ruling to the Louisiana Supreme Court, and a hearing date is set for March 19.
A report from the legislative auditor finds that the state Department of Children and Family Services needs to do more to prevent employee misconduct, some of which has led to fraud. Twenty-six cases of alleged employee misconduct were either settled or were still pending resolution in the fiscal year that ended June 30.
Following last week's nullification of the election extending tolls on the Crescent City Connection, regional planning authorities in New Orleansmust sort out several issues, including how to pay for lighting on the bridge and what should be done about the ferries that run near it. Authorities must also decide how to handle the millions of dollars in tolls collected since the beginning of the year.
A new study by the Boston College Center for Retirement Researchsuggests that the drastic kinds of changes that some states have proposed for public pension funds, like converting them to 401(k)-style plans that would put retirees largely at the mercy of the stock market’s ups and downs, won’t be necessary. Instead, reforms like modest benefit cuts and increases in employee contributions are enough to help restore funds as the stock market rebounds from the 2008 losses.
Meeting Notifications: The House Appropriations Committee begins its review of the executive budget this afternoon at 1 p.m. Tomorrow morning, the House and Senate insurance committees meet to discuss the new health-insurance exchanges and the Medicaid expansion. And on Thursday, the House Ways and Means and Senate Revenue and Fiscal Affairs committees will learn the details of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s tax shift proposal.
Bayoubuzz Interviews December 2012
La. Commissioner of Ag. Strain says financial crises on Mississippi River Crises--Bayoubuzz.com
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