BOUSTANY POSTS BIG FUNDRAISING ADVANTAGE OVER CRAVINS Having entered the 7th District Congressional race relatively late, state Sen. Don Cravins Jr. has a lot of catching up to do in the fundraising department. Both Cravins and incumbent Congressman Charles Boustany posted their July quarterly campaign finance reports last week, and Boustany has a significant financial edge. Boustany reported raising $320,812.27 in the period from April 1 to June 30, with a total cash on hand war chest of $669,519.39. Cravins, who only began raising money in the latter part of June, reported raising $107,072.77, with $104,840.35 cash on hand.
Of Cravins’ early haul, $59,250 came from political committees, largely through the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Cravins received $21,000 directly from the DCCC, as well as more than $20,000 in DCCC directed funds from PACs and from committees for national party leaders including Charlie Rangel and Nancy Pelosi. Boustany’s take included $132,623.32 from PACs, including several national committees representing the medical, timber and petrochemical industries.
VETO SESSION DEAD Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal owes one to the Senate. As of last weekend, 36 out of the state’s 38 senators mailed in ballots voting to cancel the scheduled veto override session. For Jindal, that’s all it takes to avoid yet another conflict, since only one body of the Legislature needs to disagree to call off the show.
The Senate acted so quickly, however, that it’s difficult to gauge how votes in the House were shaping up. According to staffers in the offices of the House clerk and speaker, barely any ballots from the Lower Chamber had been mailed back as of this past weekend. As House Speaker Jim Tucker points out, it’s now a moot point.
“But I imagine by the time it’s all said and done, we will receive a majority of ballots” against the override session, says Tucker, a Republican from Algiers. “A lot of (House) members were on vacation this past week, and many are just now getting back to work.”
Tucker says that Senate President Joel Chaisson II, a Democrat from Destrehan, also had an easier task of contacting his membership — compared to the House’s 105 members — and urging them to act quickly.
MELANCON AND BOUSTANY STICK IT TO PRESIDENT BUSH As Jindal staved off a veto override session, President Bush was reeling from Congress’ decision to reverse one of his vetoes last week. The Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 became law when both the House and Senate voted overwhelmingly to override Bush’s veto.
As a result, Medicare patients in need of mental health services will pay lower insurance payments and enjoy what should be improved access to certain prescription medicines. The act also protects senior citizens in rural areas by allowing them to continue seeing the same physician. It also prevents the pending 10 percent payment reduction for physicians in Medicare — meaning docs will not be losing any money.
The House voted 383-41 to stand against Bush. Aside from the minimal press coverage the vote received last week, among the biggest stunners locally was the shared aye votes of Acadiana’s two congressmen. Both Charlie Melancon, a Democrat from Napoleonville, and Charles Boustany, a Republican from Lafayette, stood against President Bush.
Melancon, for his part, was toeing the party line. Boustany, meanwhile, no doubt pulled from his experience as a physician to make his own decision. Reps. Rodney Alexander, a Quitman Republican; Bill Jefferson, a New Orleans Democrat; and Don Cazayoux, a Democrat from Baton Rouge, also voted in favor of the override. The lone nay votes belonged to freshman Rep. Steve Scalise of Metairie and retiring Rep. Jim McCrery. Both are Republicans.
NEUNER AND HANEY NAMED TO DRUG POLICY BOARD Gov. Bobby Jindal has made a dozen appointments to the Drug Policy Board, which implements drug control policies to combat illegal drug and alcohol abuse, and two locals made the cut. Lafayette attorney Frank Neuner is the chair of the Public Defender Board and will represent the indigent defender system; 16th Judicial District Attorney Phil Haney will serve as a representative of the District Attorneys Association. The appointments are subject to a Senate confirmation.
Contributors: Nathan Stubbs, R. Reese Fuller and Jeremy Alford
Local and state agents Thursday night raided The Keg, the popular college bar located in the area known as The Strip, leading to the (at least) temporary closure of the venue.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, April 18, 2014:
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Time and time again, the Lafayette Parish School Board shows an overwhelming tendency toward idiocy, but Wednesday night’s contentious discussion over Northside High School’s teen mother program tops the list of dumb discussions.
“The accomplishment of this goal within the next ten years is not only critical for the region to effectively compete with other regions for residents and businesses, but also to provide an amenity for everyone in Acadiana to enjoy.”
Education Superintendent John White says a continued push to try to keep Louisiana from using tests associated with the Common Core education standards are creating "a state of chaos" for public school teachers.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's plan to use $210 million in surplus and one-time money to help balance next year's budget received the backing Thursday of the State Bond Commission, support that was needed for the maneuver to work.
State wildlife and fisheries agents have arrested a 39-year-old man accused of stealing crawfish.
An East Feliciana Parish lawmaker has jettisoned his proposal to make it harder for a condemned prisoner to appeal a death sentence.
Senators advanced a proposal Wednesday that would let the governor remove New Orleans-area levee board members for violating what he considers to be public policy, despite concerns it would introduce political meddling into state flood protection.
The Lafayette City-Parish Council on Tuesday will vote on a resolution that if approved would clear the way for a December ballot proposition asking voters to approve a 1-cent sales tax parishwide to help fund the construction of a new terminal at Lafayette Regional Airport.
Just days before the fourth anniversary of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster and oil spill, the Coast Guard has moved cleanup of Louisiana's coast to a new phase, allowing BP to end its "active" efforts in the area.
Legislators still must leave their guns at the door of the Louisiana Capitol.
Sen. Fred Mills may have an "R" behind his name, but his actions in the Louisiana Legislature transcend the established boundaries of his party.
The Louisiana House overwhelmingly rejected a repeal of the state's unconstitutional anti-sodomy law Tuesday.
The Louisiana Senate sided with Gov. Bobby Jindal and the oil industry Tuesday, agreeing to void a lawsuit that a south Louisiana flood board filed against more than 90 oil and gas companies for coastal damage.
Acadian rep notifies would-be supporters that an April 25 fundraiser for the embattled U.S. rep won’t go on as planned.
While it isn’t all too unusual for public bodies to have hired security present during meetings, the LPSB’s push to do so is arguably a response to the antics of one board member.
“I’m running. Why would I be raising all this money? Just to have to return it to people?”
With incumbent U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu watching from afar, and with a united Democratic Party in her corner, the fight to get the GOP officially behind Congressman Bill Cassidy is gaining just as much momentum as it is hushed controversy.
15th Judicial District Judge Durwood Conque has announced that he will not seek re-election after 27 years on the bench.
The controversial standardized tests are set to be used in third-grade through eighth-grade public school classrooms next year.
The Louisiana Senate has agreed to prohibit unmanned aircraft from flying over chemical plants, water treatment systems, telecommunications networks and other items considered "critical infrastructure" in Louisiana.
It didn’t take long for KATC TV 3 to jump all over the news of a dead body found in Girard Park, but in its rush to produce headlines, the local TV station got sloppy.
An unholy trinity of civil-society upheavalers whose first names are not Conner, Tanner or Logan are facing charges in Eunice.