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Thursday, June 22, 2017

    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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Senator Rob Marionneaux wants Louisiana to repeal its personal and corporate income taxes like nine other states to help attract and retain people in the state.  But he could only muster support to send the proposal to a study commission to report by January 2012 on the affect the loss of billions of dollars would have on services without a comprehensive plan to replace the revenue.  Marionneaux says the legislature spends its time giving tax breaks to big businesses and special interest groups and opposed the study, pushing instead for an outright repeal. 
A local insurance agent under investigation by the Louisiana Department of Insurance shot and killed two state fraud investigators before killing himself during a stand-off with State Police in Ville Platte on Tuesday.  John Melvin Lavergne, 65, shot and killed Rhett Jeansonne and Kim Sledge shortly after they arrived at around 1:35 p.m. at the Lavergne Insurance Agency office to collect case information for their fraud investigation.  Lavergne then barricaded himself in the office while State Police tried to negotiate with him to surrender.  SWAT team members entered the building around 7 p.m. and discovered all three dead. 
Governor Bobby Jindal's plan to sell three state prisons and privatize their operations fell just one vote short when more than a hundred corrections employees and their families showed up at the Capitol to fight the bill that is part of Jindal's legislative package.  With Executive Counsel Stephen Waguespack saying, "We beg you to allow us to take the next step," the House Appropriations Committee voted instead to defer the bill by a vote of 13-12.  After the vote, Jindal sent a text message vowing to keep trying to pass the bill allowing the sale of the state's prisons until the legislative session ends on June 23rd. 
White residents in the Southern Hill neighborhood of Shreveport protested loudly when they were included in a majority black legislative district, so lawmakers drew a line around the neighborhood to accommodate them.  Now, Louisiana lawmakers are worried that the Obama administration's Justice Department might not see things the same way they do, setting up an interesting test of the Voting Rights Act.  The Washington Post takes a look at the issue at the link below. 

For the second time in less than a month, vandals have walked into the Thibodaux Police Headquarters parking lot and slashed more than 50 tires on police vehicles, costing taxpayers more than $7,000.  In May, vandals slashed 34 tires on new Chevrolet Tahoes, then returned this week to slash 20 more tires, leading Chief Scott Silverii to call the incident, "A serial attack."  Despite the fact that the parking lot has surveillance cameras, Silverii says the vandals appear to have avoided the cameras, indicating a knowledge of the security system. 

Governor Mike Foster tried unsuccessfully to get Fred Heebe appointed U.S. Attorney, the whole time Foster's longtime confidante and appointee to the Wildlife and Fisheries Board, Henry Mouton, was taking bribes from Heebe to try to shut down his competition. Foster said he was unaware the Mouton ran two other political action committees under the same address as Foster's campaign treasury.  Heebe contributed heavily to Senator David Vitter, who also took an active role in trying to close the Old Gentilly Landfill, which would send more business to Heebe.  As federal officials continue their investigation, things are really starting to smell.   
Buddy Roemer's campaign finance report shows the Presidential candidate has raised $54,990 since kicking off his exploratory committee last month -- $25,100 of that from his own pocket, making him the only person to contribute more than his $100 self-imposed contribution limit.  According to our math at Politicsla.com, that means almost 300 people in America have decided that a man who is "Free to Lead" deserves their financial support.  A Roemer spokesman said the campaign is right about where they expected it to be with fundraising, but more importantly, the Roemermobile, shown here, is rolling through primary states and Tea Party rallies to spread the word.  Read Buddy's latest interview from New Hampshire at the link below.   
With indications that the legislature may not complete the state's redistricting plans before the special session ends this week, Governor Bobby Jindal headed to Virginia for a campaign fundraiser on Tuesday before returning to Baton Rouge for another fundraiser Wednesday night.  Jindal, who has raised $12 million and has $9 million on hand, does not have an announced opponent. 
Attorney General Buddy Caldwell recently switched to the Republican Party in hopes of avoiding a challenger, but has ended up drawing the popular New Orleans former Congressman Ahn "Joseph" Cao, shown here, who said he will raise $1 million in his efforts to unseat the incumbent.  Cao scored an upset victory over former Congressman Bill Jefferson, but was unable to hold onto the heavily Democratic and African-American seat which is now held by former State Representative Cedric Richmond. 
 The Bruce Alpert article in today's Times Picayune sums it all up correctly.  The bloom is off the rose and who gives a damn.  Americas new era of politics is impotent.  There is a craving for disasters, so that a chorus from Washington, like bull frogs, can out croak each other about their deep concern.  But when the tide of public outcry subsides, here we are left with yet another mess.  Right after the spill, every near do well for every interest possible flocked in to get the media limelight, as their numbers ebbed with less attention given to the stories, so did they depart with the heavy media entourages to find the light shining elsewhere.  And, Congress, now acting more like a reality TV show than a body put in power to solve problems creates simple and stupid solutions for media sound bites, like shutting down drilling or moving to alternative sources of energy while at the same time creating instability in the only region where we had a backup plan for fuel.  All of this played out as we fund one, two, three wars with a broken bank.  Absurd.
Tuesday, 29 March 2011


 Ethics pure Bobby Jindal has a fundraiser announced by the folks who are managing claims for the BP Oil Spill.  Whooa! Nellie!  As the Times Picayune reports, this is an odd twist for the man who uses the bully pulpit to castrate the process then figures that the game should somehow benefit his campaign financially.  I wonder if the governor has filled in all the forms correctly, dotted the eyes, crossed the tees then be made to wait for the money?
After the Legislative Auditor reported that Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser may have violated parish charter and local laws for failing to get Parish Council approval before signing off on hurricane recovery contracts, federal investigators have issued subpoenas for contracts, FEMA work sheets and other documents signed by Nungesser in 2007.  The Times Picayune has sited the numerous potentially illegal and unethical actions in saying the investigation is warranted.  Read the strongly worded editorial at the link below.  
Two environmental advocacy groups are releasing a report today that identifies 42 disease clusters in 13 states, with four located in Louisiana.  Disease clusters are areas where a disease appears with an unusally high frequency, leading scientists to believe environmental causes may be present.  In Louisiana, they have identified a breast cancer outbreak near a New Orleans landfill, a brain cancer area in St. Mary Parish, childhood leukemia problems in Iberia Parish and and an area in Calcasieu Parish where 91 percent of the residents had health problems.  Read more about this alarming report at the link below.   

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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