Friday, 27 April 2012 18:30

Jindal's Plan, Carville's Letter, Legacy Lawsuits, Vitter Family, Vitter Family, Democrat Chairman, More

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louisiana capitol 2Every day, Bayoubuzz receives press releases, statements, comments, articles—you name it from various sources from across Louisiana and around the nation focused upon news, politics and government.

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Jindal and Louisiana's Condition

Farm Bureau and Legacy Lawsuits

Carville’s Interesting Letter

The Vitter Family

Polling Update from Anzalone Liszt Research (US Elections)

Karen Carter Peterson and Louisiana Democratic Party Chair

Women Rally, Baton Rouge

Governor’s Package Progress – Thursday, April 26

Jindal’s Pension Plan for government employees

Fleming Calls for Resignation of EPA Official Who Wants to “Crucify” Energy Companies

 Jindal and Louisiana's Condition

All –


Despite what you may have read in stories by the Associated Press and Advocate, Louisiana’s economy is in much better shape than the regional and national economies.


Simply put, government revenues and/or projected government revenues are not a strong benchmark for the health of a state’s economy.  The fact is that Louisiana is adding jobs at pace that exceeds the regional and national averages, has lower unemployment than the regional and national averages, has increasing personal income, and just set a new record for the number of employed workers in the state.

The Facts:

  • In March, the total number of employed workers in Louisiana reached an all-time high, surpassing the previous record set prior to Hurricane Katrina.
  • Over the last 12 months, Louisiana has added 41,000 private sector jobs.
  • In 2011, Louisiana’s job growth rate was almost double that of the South and U.S. overall.
  • In the South, Louisiana and Texas are the only states that have more jobs today than they had in 2008.
  • Louisiana’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in March was 7.1 percent, which is lower than the Southern Region average of 7.8 percent and lower than the national average of 8.2 percent.
  • March marked the 22nd straight month of private sector job growth and Louisiana’s unemployment rate has been below the Southern and national average since Governor Jindal took office.
  • Total personal income in Louisiana was $176.5 billion, an increase of 4.8 percent in 2011 compared with 2010.  In the 12-state Southeastern Region, Louisiana’s per-capita personal income ranked 3rd.
  • After a two decades long trend of out-migration, Louisiana has experienced four consecutive years of more people moving into Louisiana than out.  During that time period, the U.S. Census Bureau found the growth rate in Louisiana was 43 percent faster than the U.S., which can be attributed in large part to Louisiana’s economic performance.
  • In March, Site Selection magazine ranked Louisiana #3 in significant business development projects for 2011, on a per-capita basis, and #10 overall for states that gained the most new and expanded corporate facilities for the year.

Aaron Baer

Deputy Communications Director

Office of the Governor


Farm Bureau and Legacy Lawsuits

 BATON ROUGE - The state’s largest farm organization is backing a bill in the Louisiana Legislature that would allow both landowners and the oil and gas industry to mediate cleanup issues created by years of drilling on private lands.

Sen. Bret Allain, R-Franklin, introduced substitute language to Senate Bill 731 that would allow farmers and landowners to have their property returned to pre-drilling conditions, while drillers and oil companies would not be held liable for pollution issues they did not have a direct hand in creating. The so-called "legacy cases,” pollution issues dating back decades as a result of conditions created by multiple drillers, have been tied up in the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources` Office of Conservation for years.

The bill was approved by the Senate Natural Resources Committee and now goes to the full Senate for debate.

"The bill allows them (oil companies) to do an omission of regulatory responsibility, without admitting private damage, provides for public hearings at the department (of Natural Resources) upon their admission and makes the process of the public hearing admissible in a court of law," Allain said.

Allain, a farmer and landowner, said his family farm has experienced issue over the years involving pollutants left behind by drilling companies, or conditions that, while considered “cleaned up,” didn’t meet some state Department of Environmental Quality standards.

“Farmers have expressed to me their concerns over the years about these kinds of issues," Allain said. “If the (cleanup plan) program that DNR comes up with fits within the regulatory standards that provides for the oil and gas industry to clean up these sites, then there’s no need for oversight because they’re in compliance with the (current) law. The problem comes in when variances are granted. They’re often granted to allow lower standards. These sites need complete cleanup of all pollutants, not just some.”

Currently the Department of Natural Resources` Office of Conservation has been the landing zone for such cleanup disputes in the past. The office currently has a backlog of 280 such cleanup cases that date back more than a decade.

"Many landowners granted these leases in good faith and hoped their land would be returned in the condition it was found," said Ronnie Anderson, president of the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation. “Farmer's and other landowners don’t want these issues to end up in court, but unless this bill is passed these sites could be in ligation for years and the land unproductive."

Anderson said the bill also calls for the creation of a multi-jurisdictional oversight committee made up of the Department Resources, the Department of Agriculture and Forestry, the Department of Health and Hospitals and the Department of Environmental Quality to review mediation issues between landowners and oil companies.

The House on Friday approved a controversial bill that extends low interest rates on subsidized student loans for another year, but pays for that extension by killing a piece of the 2010 healthcare law, which prompted a veto threat from President Obama Friday morning.

Members approved the Interest Rate Reduction act in a 215-195 vote, with about 30 Republicans voting against the bill, while at least a dozen Democrats supported it. The end of the vote was confusing, with a few members appearing to switch their votes before the final tally.

Read the story here.

Carville’s Interesting Letter


Guess what I just wrote into my calendar for May 1: “Send a letter to Karl Rove.”

I’ve already written it. It goes like this.

Dear Karl,

I saw you poured $1.2 million into mudslinging TV ads in five battleground states. Bad news, though: My side’s grassroots supporters just matched you, dollar for dollar. So if you thought you were gonna buy yourself the White House and Senate with all that money, tough biscuits.

Sorry about you wasting all that cash. Maybe just go to Vegas next time?


Of course, before I can send that letter, it has to be true – and that’s where you come in. 

Let’s match Karl’s $1.2 million before May 1. Democratic Senators will even match your contribution so it’ll count double. But you gotta act fast – like now. So click here to give $5 or more.

The Vitter Family


May is just around the corner and many families will have children wrapping up their school years. Some of those children will soon be college students, others may be returning home from college to spend summers with mom and dad.

For Wendy and me, sending our oldest off to college last fall was tough, so we're excited to see her come back home this summer. But like many parents and college students alike, we're concerned about the job market ahead for college graduates.

So in this political year, when President Obama and his allies stoke the news media about student loans, I urge you to ask the bigger question: how do you pay back college loans if you can't get a job?

I certainly want to continue to help make college affordable to begin with, but according to a recent Associated Press report, one out of two new graduates is jobless or underemployed.

The best we can do to help our future generations is to foster an opportunistic economy for them to work hard and succeed.

As parents, we were given that opportunity and, I believe, we should give them the same fighting chance.


Polling Update from Anzalone Liszt Research (A Democratic consulting agency)

Latest PurplePoll shows Obama leading Romney, 48% - 44%, among likely voters in a dozen crucial swing states. Obama has held on to a narrow lead in this poll since last November. 

Swings within swings. Campaigns & Elections magazine counts down the top 10 "swing counties" Romney needs to win this November.

Definitely Obama, Maybe Voting. Voters ages 18 to 29 support Obama over Romney by 35 points, but only 56% say they will definitely vote this year, according to Gallup. On the other end of the spectrum, voters 65+ back Romney by 12 points, and 86% vow to vote in the general election. 

Growing pains for community colleges. As they take on ever-greater numbers of students seeking job preparation, career changes or paths into 4-year institutions, community colleges must grapple with low graduation rates and demands for accountability. 

Hispanics in America features visuals and information about Hispanic demographics, policy concerns and party affiliation ahead of 2012 election. 

"Net Migration from Mexico Falls to Zero-and Perhaps Less" 

according to new study by the Pew Hispanic Center.

Continental Shift. Recent polling out of the UK shows the ruling Conservative Party dropping, while center-left Labour hits their highest support level since 2003. In France, President Sarkozy will go head-to-head against Francois Hollande in a run-off election on May 6, with Sarkozy the underdog.

Missed a past newsletter? They can be found on our website, here.



Polling Firm






April 22-24





April 13-17





April 13-17





Polling Firm






April 20-24

Reg. Voters



National Journal

April 19-22





Polling Firm





Ind/Other Trend

April 26






Polling Firm






April 11-17

Reg. Voters




April 12-15

Reg. Voters




Polling Firm


Polly Vote


Iowa Electronic Markets

Econometric Models

Index Models


April 23







Polling Firm



Right Direction

Wrong Track


April 13-17





April 13-17




Karen Carter Peterson and Louisiana Democratic Party Chair

Greetings again from LaRoots, Louisiana's Grassroots Political Network.

This weekend, as festival season kicks into high gear across the state, Louisiana's Democratic State Central Committee will hold its organizational meeting in Baton Rouge, determining our party's leadership for the next four years.  In this crucial time for Louisiana Democrats, we offer the following thoughts. 

Four years ago, Buddy Leach took on the difficult task of leading a struggling party.  He has led honorably, and we, along with Democrats across the state, appreciate his hard work.  

Every four years, the Democratic Party has the opportunity to remake itself, incorporating fresh perspectives and energy, and it is our obligation to make the most of this opportunity.  

LaRoots proudly endorses Karen Carter Peterson for Chair of the Louisiana Democratic Party.  

Both as an elected official and a party official, Karen demonstrates a leadership style that is energetic, inclusive, and engaged.  We find her commitment to transparency and her team-building spirit particularly appealing.  

From a policy statement regarding DSCC operations, Karen writes:

"In an effort to break with the past and foster trust, cooperation and unity, we must develop policies and procedures to bring more transparency and accountability into the operations of the party.

"No one person should be the sole arbiter of who should be nominated to fill these very important positions.  I believe that the party will be strengthened by engaging regional leaders to make recommendations to fill these vacant seats.

"If elected, I am committed to a process for recruitment and approval.  The party has an opportunity to involve local advocates, elected officials, young people and new collaborators to work with the party - this has been a missed opportunity for far too long."

This is only one example of the innovative, savvy leadership that will benefit all Louisiana Democrats.  

Enjoy festival season, y'all, we have a lot to do in the next four years:  re-elect a President in 2012, defend our Democratic Senator in 2014, put a Democrat back in the Governor's chair in 2015, and (dare to dream) replace our embarrassing Junior Senator in 2016.


The Langhoff Family

Louisiana Revenue Estimating Conference

 Earlier this week the Revenue Estimating Conference projected a large revenue shortfall for the remainder of FY12 and for FY13 totaling $514 million. In a recent blog post, LBP Director Jan Moller explains the numbers behind the revenue drop and shows how the increased use of tax exemptions has made things worse by eroding the state's tax base, making it harder to pay for critical services and invest in our future. In particular, corporate income tax collections have plummeted over the last four years.

Here is an excerpt:

In 2007-08, companies paid $939.7 million into the state treasury (down slightly from the peak of $1.05 billion the previous year). In the current fiscal year, corporate taxes are expected to bring in $141 million. That’s a drop of 85 percent in four years. . .


. . . In 2007-08, Louisiana was already losing 57 cents of every corporate tax dollar to various tax breaks. But the pace has accelerated since then, to the point where companies are now excused from 88 cents of every dollar they owe the state.

Read the full post here. For more information on the Louisiana Budget Project, visit

Women Rally, Baton Rouge

As the 2012 Louisiana Legislature has consistently voted against the interests of women on issues, including pay equity and comprehensive sex education, Unite Women will challenge these measures with marches and rallies across the country on Saturday, April 28, including in Baton Rouge at City Plaza behind City Hall.

                “Halfway through the 2012 Legislative Session, our elected officials have ignored the facts and proven that they are intent on restricting the rights of women and rolling back a century of progress,” said Unite Women Louisiana Chair Ashley Baggett. “By rejecting the ‘Equal Pay for Women Act’, they ignored the census statistics showing that Louisiana women earn 67 cents for every dollar men make, the largest gap in the nation.  They ignored that Baton Rouge has the highest per capita AIDS rate in the US and Louisiana has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates when they rejected the comprehensive sex education bill.  And this was just on Wednesday [April 25]! If you want to send the message ‘enough is enough’, join us on Saturday, April 28 for Louisiana’s Unite Women’ rally.”

                Included in the Legislative actions Baggett cited as contributing to the “War on Women” are:

•         SB 568 and HB 573, the  “Equal Pay for Women Act” both failed to pass out of committee

•         HB 820, the Comprehensive Sex Education Bill, failed to pass out of committee

•         SB 593 which limits abortion to 20 weeks, taking away a doctor’s ability to use “sound and proper judgment”  passed the Senate

•         HCR 11 supporting federal defunding of Planned Parenthood

•         The likely Congressional repeal of the 1994 Violence Against Women Act, a bipartisan measure providing essential services to victims of domestic abuse, supported by 6 of 7 Louisiana Congressmen and Senator Vitter

“For too long, women and men have taken for granted we would never to back to time our parents and grandparents remember when abortion was illegal.  State legislatures across America have been passing such strict restrictions and regulations, including mandating trans-vaginal ultrasounds in Virginia, that reproductive freedom is disappearing,” said Baggett. “As access to birth control is limited through federal insurance regulations, it is clear that that the basic right to privacy could become a thing of the past, causing irreparable damage to women."

Unite Women is endorsed by Catholics for Choice, the National Organization for Women, the National Women’s Political Caucus, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, The Nation publisher Katrina vanden Heuvel and the Capitol City Alliance. A complete list can be found at at the Louisiana’s Unite Women group

Governor’s Package Progress – Thursday, April 26

Governor Package Bills Passed in the Senate Today:

HB 590 by Representative Karen St. Germain - Makes veterans who are currently exempt from paying a driver’s license fee also exempt from having to pay a fee to obtain an identification card.

Passed out of the Senate Committee on Transportation.

SB 579 by Senator Robert Adely - Maintains TOPS eligibility for servicemen and women choosing to reenlist.

Passed out of the Senate.

Fleming Calls for Resignation of EPA Official Who Wants to “Crucify” Energy Companies

Washington D.C. – Congressman John Fleming, M.D. (LA-4) issued the following statement, calling for the resignation of an EPA official who illustrated his agency’s strategy for dealing with oil and gas companies by comparing it to Roman crucifixion:

“I have seen the video of Al Armendariz and it’s very disturbing. Mr. Armendariz, an administrator with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Dallas office, described his enforcement philosophy with these words: ‘The Romans used to conquer little villages in the Mediterranean. They’d go into a little Turkish town somewhere, they’d find the first five guys they saw and they would crucify them. And then you know that town was really easy to manage for the next few years.’ 

“The use of threats and intimidation to force energy companies to submit to an extremist agenda may be fitting under a totalitarian regime, but it is never acceptable in the United States. The sad reality is that Mr. Armendariz employed this strategy. Without real evidence, the EPA tried to stop a company that was safely drilling with hydraulic fracturing. The case was finally dismissed earlier this year, but it stands as an example of the EPA’s willingness to ‘crucify’ energy companies.

“Mr. Aremdariz’s apology for his remarks is simply not enough. He should no longer be in a position from which he can wield his authority to intimidate hard-working companies.”

Note: Congressman Fleming spoke today on the House floor about this issue. The video of his remarks can be seen here.

Dr. John Fleming is Chairman of the Natural Resources Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs and is a member of the House Armed Services Committee. He is a physician and small businessowner and represents the 4th Congressional District of Louisiana.

Jindal’s Pension Plan for government employees

Critics of Governor Jindal's proposed "cash balance" pension plan for state employees have made a number of inaccurate claims. The current retirement systems have amassed an astonishing $18.9 billion in unfunded liabilities, but reform opponents defend the status quo with scare tactics while relying on a flawed report from the Legislative Auditor. These critics claim that switching from the current defined benefit plan to a cash balance plan would increase costs to the state, drive up taxes, and even force people into poverty. In fact, this reform would put Louisiana's retirement systems on a more sustainable path, protecting state employees and taxpayers alike...

 Click here to read the full report.

Books about and by Bobby Jindal from Amazon


Bobby Jindal: The Transformational Story of a Brown-skinned, Die-hard Conservative in the Deep South by Xander Cricket (Paperback- Apr 7, 2009)




Leadership and Crisis by Bobby Jindal (Kindle Edition - Nov 15, 2010)






60 Minutes - Bobby Jindal (March 1, 2009) (Mar 17, 2009)






Louisiana governor takes state helicopter on visits to church services.(PEOPLE & EVENTS)(Bobby Jindal): An article from: Church & State by Gale Reference 




zimmermanHow is race and politics impacting the Martin, Zimmerman case?  Discuss this topic by clicking here.

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