Wednesday, 27 June 2018 18:01

Justice Kennedy Retiring; Louisiana Secretary of State race; Higgins touted; Dems angry

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The Louisiana legislative session is history but politics continues year-round. Bayoubuzz’s Louisiana political shorts for today involves these top stories—new Secretary of State candidate, Congressman Clay Higgins picks up endorsements in his re-election bid, Louisiana Democratic Party is very upset about today’s US Supreme Court Decision, Revenue Estimating Conference meets--bye Fiscal Cliff and Congressman Mike Johnson files new religious freedom bill


Brother! As if the State of Louisiana and the United States needed another highly emotionally charged issue to scream about on social media. Today, Anthony Kennedy, who has been known as the swing vote, will retire effective July 31, after 30 years of service. The issue could be important in upcoming Congressional races that might be competitive this fall. 


Entering the upcoming Secretary of State race is former former 16-year veteran legislator A.G. Crowe, (R) Pearl River. The former Senator announced Tuesday that he will be a candidate for Secretary of State in the fall election.

Crowe served on the St. Tammany School Board before being elected to the state legislature in 1999 where he served as District 76 State Representative from 2000 to 2008.  Crowe was elected to the State Senate in October of 2007 and was re-elected in 2011 over a term-limited State Representative by almost 75% of the vote.  In June 2015, Crowe surprised Senate colleagues announcing his decision to not seek a third term.   

ANGRY DEMS The Louisiana Democratic Party, along with other progressive and liberal-based organizations are angry. Here is an email from its executive director, Stephen Handwerk. You'll get the drift:   Today’s decision from the Supreme Court is just the latest attack against your livelihood. For years, big corporations, billionaire donors, and their Republican allies have been against unions and you, the working people.  It simply wasn't enough for the Republicans to give a massive multi-trillion dollar tax cut to big corporations and multi-millionaires - now they are going after working families.   The Supreme Court case Janus v. AFSCME isn’t just a political attack; it’s an attempt to divide us and limit the power unions and workers have to speak up for themselves, their families, and their communities.   Preserving and defending workers’ rights is a bedrock of our party. We’ll always stand with our #Union brothers and sisters and no Supreme Court case will change that.


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  When teachers, firefighters, nurses, and other hardworking folks are able to come together in unions, they improve the lives of everyone. Strong unions advocate for equal opportunity for women and communities of color, help move people into the middle class, and make our communities stronger. Help us fight back and show we're sticking with our unions.  

Yesterday, controversial US Congressman Clay Higgins picked up two strong endorsements for his upcoming fall race for re-election. Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry officially endorsed Congressman Clay Higgins as did the Louisiana Republican Party. Landry said, "I join President Trump in support of Congressman Higgins".  The Executive Committee of the Republican Party of Louisiana, Friday, announced its official endorsement of Clay Higgins for Louisiana's third congressional district. “No one is more conservative and more reflective of the citizens that live in the third congressional district than Congressman Clay Higgins,” Republican Party of Louisiana Chairman Louis Gurvich said. “President Donald Trump, the Executive Committee of the LAGOP, and I encourage all conservatives in the third congressional district to vote for Clay Higgins in the upcoming midterm election.”      

BYE, BYE FISCAL CLIFF, RIP The progressive-leaning Louisiana Budget project posted on its newsletter today that the "The Revenue Estimating Conference met Tuesday to update Louisiana's revenue forecast by recognizing more than $500 million in general fund revenues approved by lawmakers during the last two special sessions. And with that, the "fiscal cliff" that had dominated discussion at the Legislature for two years was a thing of the past. Louisiana has been moving toward the cliff since lawmakers enacted temporary taxes in 2015 and 2016, which were supposed to be a bridge to long term, structural tax reform. While the reforms never came, lawmakers did manage to shore up the state's revenue picture until 2025"   

TWISTED AND PERVERTED    Rep. Mike Johnson (LA-04) introduced H.R. 6213, the History and Tradition Protection Act of 2018, which his office states via press release, is designed "to combat the abuse of the Establishment Clause, which was intended to serve as a shield for people of faith, but has been twisted and perverted into a powerful weapon to be used against them. The bill has 34 original cosponsors.   Rep. Johnson released the following statement:   “Religious symbols and expression are deeply embedded in the history and tradition of our country, but for more than a half-century, radical secularist organizations have engaged in an aggressive campaign of fear, intimidation and disinformation in their quest to rid the public square of all religious symbols, history and expression. We must protect the principles on which our nation was founded. My legislation will ensure activists can no longer profit off the abuse of our laws, so we can better protect the religious liberties of all Americans.”   

Supposedly, Johnson’s bill abolishes the award of monetary damages and attorney fees in Establishment Clause cases where a plaintiff complains of (1) any monument, memorial, statue, or other figure containing religious words, imagery or symbolism, (2) a public building containing religious words, imagery or symbolism, (3) the presence of religious words, imagery or symbolism in official seals and flags, or (4) religious expression in the context of the proceedings of any deliberative body.


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