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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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With the help of Governor Bobby Jindal and business interests, candidates for the BESE board who support charter schools hold a big fundraising lead over those supported by the Coalition for Louisiana Public Schools, who represent teacher unions. local school boards and other education interests.  With three BESE board members appointed by the Governor, Jindal allies are trying to elect as many of the remaining eight as possible to help the Governor push through his initiatives, including appointment of a new Superintendent of Education. 
Wednesday, 21 September 2011


 James Gill, in a Times Picayune editorial, muses over the Louisiana Governor endorsing his neighbor while hanging out at the Tea Party debate.
Longtime President of the AFL-CIO Victor Bussie, shown here, was laid to rest on Friday after being remembered by dignitaries and ministers as a champion of Louisiana's working people, elderly, poor, uneducated and disabled.  Rev. Brad Franklin said, "He used his hands to transform the world," while  former Governor Edwin Edwards, a friend of Bussie's for over 50 years, called on the next generation to step up and carry his work forward.  Bussie's funeral was attended by both Democrat and Republican statewide and local elected officials, with his funeral procession led by a fire truck from Shreveport, where Bussie began his career as a firefighter. 
Ascension Parish Assessor Renee Mire Michel worked in the Assessors Office for 20 years before she was elected to the top job.  Now legislator M.J. "Mert" Smiley, Jr. decided to run for Assessor and according to Michel, is deliberately making up accusations about her office's handling of property assessments. First Smiley claimed there were 5,000 properties missing from the tax rolls, a claim he did not offer to prove and didn't return phone calls from the news media to explain.  Read what he tried next at the link below.
Senator David Vitter continued his string of endorsements by announcing his support for Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser for Lt. Governor over incumbent Jay Dardenne, calling Nungesser "the true conservative" in the race and praising his fight for Louisiana's coast through four hurricanes and the BP oil spill.  Dardenne hit back with a string of accusations, including that Nungesser has supported national Democrats in the past.  The two are shown here at LSU earlier this year.  Read more about who the "true conservative" is at the link below.   

By a surprising 91%, Americans want the federal govenment to invest in restoring the Gulf Coast, dispelling claims by some that the nation is suffering from "fatigue" over coastal restoration as a national issue.  In a national poll released today by the America's WETLAND Foundation, 84% of Americans also feel that the federal government should be responsible for the health of the Mississippi River, which has dumped nutrients into the Gulf of Mexico that have created a dead zone the size of New Jersey.  However, they split 50/50 over the perception of whether Americans understand that the river is vulnerable. The poll was conducted by The Kitchens Group, a Florida-based national market research firm and has a margin of error of 2.9%.  You can read complete results from this poll at the link below. 

 Good thing for the recess, because Congress in session equals growing discontent with their lack of responsible governance, so reports AP from citing a new poll showing a whopping 87% negative approval.  The Tea Party and Speaker of the House, John Boehner, seem the biggest losers, but that should not have Democrats jumping for joy, as the public finds their work on the debt ceiling and most everything else unacceptable. 
 What if Michael Vick were white? That's the question ESPN asks in a provocative online story this morning, which has the broadcast talk shows abuzz about racism.  ESPN, in its commentary, went so far as to depict Vick as "white faced" at the head of the article raising issues most dare not touch.  Whether to crank up attention for the website or talk about the blackness of this NFLer's style, the article goes where none have before.
 It may be a sign of the political times when well respected names in politics opt out of the arena for a better life.  When you normally think City Council member you think big political aspiration to use the the office as stepping stones.  Good for Arnie, figuring he can have a life away from the madness that is now local politics.  Maybe this is a good example of trying lure people to office who don't mind leaving.
Tom Aswell of Capitol News Service has uncovered that Governor Bobby Jindal is using the unsavory practice of "bundling" checks, with big corporations writing identical checks, many on the same day, totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars, to different campaign accounts the Governor has opened -- the Committee to Re-Elect Bobby Jindal and Friends of Bobby Jindal.  Earlier, news reports confirmed that the Governor also had some of the same donors contribute to his wife's foundation.  The Independent in Lafayette has more on this story and a link to Aswell's blog, "Louisiana Voice" at the link below.

Last night's media reports on the Baton Rouge Metro Council's decision not to put Mayor Kip Holden's bond proposal before the voters came with a wide variety of excuses.  Councilwoman Alison Cascio Gary actually suggested that the Baton Rouge Police should move into City Hall instead of build a new headquarters building, although she had no comment on where the police units would park under this arrangement.  Central Councilman Scott Wilson revealed that he is still mad over the legislature killing a bill that would give Central disproportionate representation on parks and library boards.  And Councilman Smokie Bourgeois fumed that LSU will play its first game in Texas rather than at home.  Meanwhile, Baton Rouge is stuck in idle as Mayor Holden says at the link below. 

The owners of a construction and engineering firm say they will spend upwards of $100,000 to unseat Livingston Parish President Mike Grimmer who is seeking a third term of office.  Grimmer, who has struggled to get along with other Livingston Parish elected officials, dismisses the group's efforts and says if anyone wants to know the truth, "They can Facebook me...."  The "Truth About Grimmer" campaign will include billboards and TV spots, as well as a website, www.truthaboutgrimmer.com,  that documents Grimmer's problems in office.  To learn more about why some Livingston Parish voters are ready to turn out Mike Grimmer, you can read more at the link below. 
 Meeting in San Antonio this week, the nations state legislative leaders are facing a financial storm resulting from Washington's inability to cope with America's budgetary crisis.  The National Conference of State Legislatures are featuring innovative mechanisms and creative funding and collaborative initiatives that the states are employing to make ends meet.  The new "buck stops here" seems to have filtered down to the states with fears of federal preemption and unfunded mandates on the horizon that may hinder states' capacity to provide basic services.

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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