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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

    WHAT'S ON THE POLICE CHIEF'S CELL PHONE? The mystery surrounding former Baton Rouge Police Chief Dewayne White's cell phone just took another turn, with the release of the police report relating to its disappearance to the local news media.  White, who has said he did not have a city-parish cell phone, then said he had one but it was lost or stolen, finally turned it over to his attorney last week.  You can read more about who the chief was talking to and what police say the phone was being used for at the link below.  

    Written on Wednesday, 10 April 2013
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USA Today has published an in-depth look at NCAA President Mark Emmert's past, revealing a trail of scandal where he has used his political skills to leave town before they blow up, blaming others for his own mistakes.  The only person touting his skills seems to be the head hunter who has helped him climb the academic ladder to reach his dream job of running the NCAA.  The story is running nationally in Gannett-owned newspapers.  Read the original story at the link below.   

While it's a little ironic that a pollster usually friendly to Republican causes would be the one to announce that the Emperor has no clothes, the national media has run with the latest poll numbers showing Governor Bobby Jindal's approval ratings in blood-red Louisiana are below President Barack Obama's.  Dropping 13 points since last October to a record low 38 percent, Jindal appears to be tanking in his home state just as he continues to step up his national aspirations.  Read more at the link below.   
Trina Edwards' marriage to former Governor Edwin Edwards has her poised to become Louisiana's next reality TV star when "The Governor's Wife" debuts on the A&E network this summer, putting Louisiana once again in the national spotlight for its unusual culture and characters.  In the spirit of Swamp People and Duck Dynasty, which have been ratings hits, Trina takes center stage in this show about her life and the impending birth of her first child with the 85-year-old former Governor.  Find out what the new Mrs. Edwards is really like at the link below from her hometown newspaper.

State Treasurer John Kennedy says a plan by Governor Bobby Jindal to pay vendors through an electronic transfer of funds through the Bank of America could result in a fiasco similar to the uproar caused when the administration attempted to issue state income tax refunds on debit cards and he wants more information before signing off.  Kennedy said he has scheduled a meeting with the administration next week, but could end up taking them to court for usurping his constitutional duties. 

To score a few points at home, Senator David Vitter is hoping to question the President's nominee to head the Securities and Exchange Commission about her role investigating the Saints Bountygate scandal when she was hired by the NFL to evaluate its investigation.  Mary Jo White is a former New York federal prosecutor who has won numerous high profile convictions, including against Mafia boss John Gotti, and upheld the sanctions against the Saints.  She is expected to be confirmed, but look for Vitter to try to detract from the issues with a play for the home team. 
After environmental justice advocate Erin Brockovich made a visit to Assumption Parish to visit with families affected by the growing sinkhole in that community, Governor Bobby Jindal has finally agreed to visit the community.  Last week, a reporter covering one of the Governor's press conferences asked three times whether the Governor would go without receiving an answer.  Residents in the area were evacuated more than seven months ago after what appears to be a failure of salt dome caverns used by Texas Brine.    

Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne says he is pondering a run for the Senate after polls show him a strong contender against Senator Mary Landrieu, but also admits he is interested in a race for Governor.  Prior to his election at Lt. Governor, Dardenne, shown here, has a long history of serving in elected offices, having also served as Secretary of State and in the legislature for 15 years.

Orleans Sheriff Marlin Gusman has faced off with Mayor Mitch Landrieu over whether or not the city should pay for prison reform measures, in a jail system that has seen 40 inmates die since 2006.  Landrieu says the Sheriff views the city as an open pocketbook available to him, and claims that Gusman's requests would require cuts in the police department and raising taxes. 

 Denham Springs Marshal Jerry Denton, shown here, withdrew his candidacy for the First Circuit Court of Appeals, in effect automatically electing his only opponent. Ironically, a challenge to his candidacy, which Denton says hindered his ability to raise the funds needed for his campaign, was proven to be without merit, with the man who filed the legal challenge to his candidacy admitting that after reviewing documents, he was satisfied that Denton was a qualified candidate and that his challenge would not prevail.  

Automatic cuts scheduled to go into effect on Thursday would mean that 7,000 Louisiana workers would be immediately furloughed, with a loss of almost $36 million in pay, and another $66 million for base operations in Louisiana would be cut, including funding for the Blue Angels, shown here.  The state would also see deep cuts to education, public health and funding for clean air and water.  Read more of what "sequestration" could mean to Louisiana if Congress doesn't act by Thursday at the link below.   

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

St. Tammany Coroner Under Fire

After a series of media reports questioning spending in the St. Tammany Parish Coroner's Office, the Parish Council has invited Dr. Peter Galvan, shown here, to come before them to explain or face having his millage rolled back to drain surplus funds held by the Coroner.  The Coroner's Office has a $14 million fund balance and has come under fire for spending on meals, salaries, vehicle upkeep and other questionable items. 
Senator Mary Landrieu is blasting Governor Bobby Jindal for putting his desire to enter national politics ahead of the needs of Louisiana's citizens by refusing to expand Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act which goes into effect in 2014.  Jindal's action is blocking 421,000 Louisianans from getting health coverage, according to a report issued by Families USA and the Louisiana Healthcare Coaltion.  The $1.1 billion spent by the federal government to provide care in Louisiana would have a ripple effect of creating 15,600 new jobs $1.8 billion in increased economic activity.  Jindal had no comment but you can read more at the link below.     
Paul McIlhenny, Chairman of the Board of the company that makes Tabasco products, died Saturday of a heart attack at his home in New Orleans, leaving behind a legacy of conservative of Louisiana's wildlife and wetlands.  McIlhenny was one of the founders of the America's WETLAND Foundation and served as Vice Chairman of its board.  He is shown here with R. King Milling, receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award for his work to save Louisiana's coastal wetlands.  McIlhenny is credited with tremendous growth of the Tabasco brand worldwide to 165 countries, translated into 22 languages. 

The Pelican Republic debuts as a compilation of diverse viewpoints from different places and ideologies.  You may find that The Boiling Frog frets over societal values while The Purple Veil delves into personalities; Politique Deux Centimes digs around Acadiana while Anonymous Rex keeps Louisiana in the DC picture and The Lively Pelican weighs in with more blabber from the Crescent City region. 

For those aspiring scribes out there with something to say, send your guest  blog to pelicanrepublic@politicsla.com.
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Jim Brown's Column