The fight over legislative redistricting just got a whole lot spicier. House Speaker Jim Tucker, not immune to pressing for legislation on his on behalf in the past, is threatening to bend tradition and the law to his will again.
Tucker, term-limited as of this year, wants to run for the Senate and needs a new Senate district fashioned for the purpose:
"I would love to serve in the Senate. Whether that happens, we'll see," said Tucker.
However, as tradition and logic dictates, each Louisiana legislative body, the House and Senate, draw their own district maps pertaining to their respective chamber. The legislation representing the new maps then passes to the other chamber where it is traditionally approved without much protest or modification. This won't work for Tucker, since in his particular circumstance, the Senate district in which he currently resides is represented by David Heitmeier. Moreover, Heitmeier's district is majority African-American and has undergone very little population change since 2000. Henceforce, there is little reason to modify the district. As a Majority-Minority District, It also might bump up against the it's inherent protection under the Voting Rights Act.
So Tucker's got several problems with his potential Senate run: The district isn't favorable for a Republican as currently composed; it also isn't likely to be changed because of the VRA; and finally, it happens to be a Senate District, and Tucker has very little power to change it because he has no direct legislative control over the Senate redistricting bill. Certainly, it doesn't help that Heitmeier is on the Senate redistricting committee (as Vice-Chairman, no less).
But, none of this has dissauded Tucker. He is now threatening to modify the Senate bill when it arrives in the House. This would certainly be news when it comes to Senate President Joel Chaisson:
Chaisson is matter-of-fact when asked whether that dynamic has governed previous decennial redistricting sessions and whether it should remain in place when the Legislature convenes March 20 to take up the matter using the 2010 census count.
"Yes and yes," [Chaisson] said in a recent interview.
Tucker's answer: "I think that died with term limits."
Gentlemen, let's get ready to rumble.
From The Daily Kingfish
An FBI file contends that a young Edward M. Kennedy arranged to rent a brothel for a night while visiting Chile in 1961, a year before he was elected to the Senate.
The previously redacted State Department memo, dated Dec. 28, 1961, was released by Judicial Watch, a Washington-based organization that said it obtained it through a Freedom of Information lawsuit.
According to the memo, the Massachusetts Democrat made arrangements to rent the brothel "for an entire night" in Santiago earlier in 1961. "Kennedy allegedly invited one of the Embassy chauffeurs to participate in the night's activities," according to the memo.
One State Department official described Kennedy as "pompous and a spoiled brat," according to the memo. Kennedy was making a fact-finding trip to several Latin American countries. "Kennedy met with a number of individuals known to have communist sympathies," the memo said.
Kennedy was a 29-year-old assistant district attorney in Boston at the time of the trip. He was elected to the Senate in 1962 and served more than four decades until his death in 2009.