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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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Livingston Parish President-elect Layton Ricks expects a smooth transition with outgoing Parish President Mike Grimmer following a particularly ugly campaign.  Ricks said he had a brief meeting with Grimmer and plans to meet again before taking office on January 9th.  Ricks is meeting with department heads prior to what he says will be personnel changes, but not wholesale firings.  He has also proposed a committee to select architects and engineers for parish work that removes the Council and Administration from the politics of choosing firms. 
The indictment of a consultant accused of bribing one of the State's top officials in the Hazard Mitigation Program has resulted in the firing of one state official the same week the Shaw Group fired the whistleblower in the case.   Meanwhile, the Governor's Office of Homeland Security demoted its top official in charge of hazard mitigation and cut her pay by $27,000.  The State's Hazard Mitigation Program has been under investigation by the federal Inspector General and the State Attorney General, who says the investigation is only beginning. 
 It was only a matter of time before what really matters in Congress made it to the front pages, all be it the financial pages.  But wait long enough and we'll get down to the nitty gritty of why America's economy is in shambles and how it was all made possible.  Insider trading seems to have been in the "hands off" zone around Congress for years but, with suspicion mounting as to how hedge funds and corporate greed have sliced up America's middle class, if this story every gets legs, we'll begin to see the light as to how it all happened.  Forget the sex, drugs and rock 'n roll scandals, Democrats and Republicans alike probably agree that the story of insider trading should be "hands off."
After New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu ousted Occupy New Orleans protesters from the park near City Hall, the group became one of a few in the nation to receive a reprieve from a federal judge, allowing them to return to their encampment.  Just 12 hours after about 150 people were evicted by New Orleans Police, Occupy New Orleans supporters won a restraining order from Judge Jay Zainey allowing them to return.  Zainey expressed his disappointment that Landrieu had police remove them just six hours before his ruling.  Read Landrieu's reply at the link below. 

For those wondering about the most recent constitutional amendment all alone on the November 19th ballot, it was no accident that legislators chose to have voters consider it apart from the amendments on the October ballot.  This favor to real estate agents to pushed for the amendment prohibiting a tax that doesn't even exist in Louisiana, proves that no special interest is too special for this current legislature, according to Times Picayune columnist James Gill.  Read more about what he calls "silly amendments" that cost taxpayers millions to put on the ballot at the link below. 

In a parish that is still down about half its pre-Katrina population, politicians spent over $3 million on negative campaign ads this cycle to reach about 12,000 voters, inflicting damage to the parish's reputation across a two-state area.  From Gonzales to Biloxi, viewers saw candidates accused of gambling addictions, extra-marital affairs leading to suicide, racist antics and back room deals.  In the photo shown here, current Parish President Craig Taffaro is depicted as making money off the BP oil spill.  Now the newly elected crop wants to sit down and assess the damage they've done.  Read more at the link below. 
Monday, 21 November 2011

Jindal Gains Control of BESE Board

After a long stalemate with the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, Governor Bobby Jindal and his allies spent heavily in BESE board elections around the state, assuring that he will have nine or 10 of the votes on the 11 member board.   Jindal had previously been unable to get the 8 votes needed to hire Recovery School District Superintendent John White as the next Superintendent of Education.  Jindal supporters say charter schools are likely to expand with the new board, a defeat for those who favor fixing the traditional school model.
Congressman Jeff Landry leveled some of the harshest criticism so far at the Baton Rouge Area Foundation for its handling of a $100 million fund set aside by BP to compensate oil workers who suffered losses in last year's drilling moratorium , saying the foundation intentionally made the application process difficult for workers so they could use the funds for charitable causes instead. 

Attorneys in Florida who are representing about 100 workers who did not receive their awards, joined a growing chorus of complaintants saying some
materials sent to the foundation by workers came back to the workers unopened.  Ken Feinberg, appointed by BP and President Obama to handle the claims, said he sent 6,000 claims to the foundation, of which only 755 were paid.  Read more at the link below. 

Senator Mary Landrieu had some harsh words for Governor Bobby Jindal, who she claims fumbled the ball on failing to provide the information needed for the state to compete for $80 million in grants that would provide internet service to rural Louisiana and $60 million in grants for early childhood education.  The Jindal administration has defended its position, saying federal dollars come with strings attached.  Landrieu pointed out that another state will now benefit from the more than $140 in grant funding that she and others worked to get for Louisiana.

Thursday, 10 November 2011


 There is really not much more to say about Texas Governor Perry's debate performance in last night's Republican Presidential Debate than he is as done as Texas Toast.  Trying to make a key point of how he would govern, the man who would implode before cameras in New Hampshire with goofiness came out of the shoot with his plan to eliminate three federal agencies when elected president.  Problem is after his big buildup, he couldn't even name the three. When pressed,  he fumbled around for his cheat sheet and admitted he couldn't think of three. Ooops!  I don't htink making light of this on David Lettermen's show will help. Read and watch the man who would be President.
Oil field workers who worked for over 10 months to provide documents to be repaid lost wages after the BP Oil Spill are crying foul against the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, who charged $6.5 million in administrative fees and only distributed about $11 million of the $100 million BP intended to repay workers.  The fund was closed for good in September and the Foundation is now administering the remaining funds to charities, while oil spill czar Kenneth Feinberg has questioned the Foundation's process in front of a Congressional hearing last week.  Read more about this developing story at the link below.
 The Internet is given credit for helping to elect the last President and it is being touted now as a force to realign American democracy, and none too soon.  The power of the two party system is now felt deeply in the pocketbooks of most Americans and, with the unbidled information flow of the web, the party may soon be over for the parties.  The abuses of the right and the left, that have brought financial insecurity and fear to so many, will be uncovered by an angry public who will use the electronic media to hand out political pink slips to those who have put greed in front of God and Country.
Mississippi will vote tomorrow on whether a fertilized egg, like the ones shown here, should have the full legal rights of a person.  The so-called "personhood" amendment, which is being touted as an anti-abortion move, would also outlaw certain forms of contraception, stem cell research, certain forms of in vitro fertilization and would allow the criminal investigation of a woman who suffers a miscarriage to make sure she did not have an abortion.  It would allow abortion even if the life of the mother was in danger.  Outgoing Governor Haley Barbour and both the Republican and Democratic candidates for Governor have endorsed the far reaching amendment.  Read more about it 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. 

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