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
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has stalled action on a $3.5 billion annual school funding formula due to state lawmakers by March 15.
The New Orleans Saints have yet to make it official as of this writing, but popular wide receiver Lance Moore has reportedly been cut by the team to free up salary-cap space on the roster.
While two medical marijuana bills are slated for the upcoming legislative session, what some Louisianans might not know is that the plant was approved for therapeutic use by state lawmakers in 1991.
The agenda is shaping up to be lighter than in previous years. But Jindal is term-limited, with fewer than two years remaining in office, and he saw his last big initiative — a proposed rewrite of Louisiana tax law — collapse without getting a vote in 2013.
Sharper has been held without bail because of an arrest warrant issued by Louisiana authorities accusing him and another man of raping two women.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, March 07, 2014:
Two Lafayette men have been revealed by police as the infamous duo behind a caper that shook our fair city to its core.
The Lafayette Parish School Board has received a second letter of demand related to last year’s insurance debacle, this time from Key Benefit Administrators claiming it’s owed $93,000 from the school system.
The Louisiana coastline is vanishing faster than mappers can keep track.
A bill that would have overridden local ordinances prohibiting public and private employers from discriminating against lesbian, gay and transgender people has been pulled within less than a week of being filed.
The panel that selects nominees for a controversial New Orleans area flood control board — a board that is suing more than 90 oil, gas and pipeline companies — is set to discuss legislation affecting its independence.
State prison officials cannot keep secret the seller and manufacturer of the two drugs purchased for executions at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
State lawmakers will not appeal a judge's ruling that it was improper to use $3.7 million from a probation and parole officers' retirement fund to balance the state's operating budget.
Conservatives have been losing their minds over this satirical bit on the Colbert Report.
The Lafayette Parish School Board leaves a lot to be desired, but is scrapping the election process in favor of an appointed board the answer?
The House approved legislation Tuesday night to roll back a recently enacted overhaul of the federal flood insurance program, after homeowners in flood-prone areas complained about sharp premium increases.
The NFL has formally designated New Orleans' Jimmy Graham as a tight end for the purposes of his franchise tag value, which is now set at $7.05 million next season unless Graham and the Saints subsequently agree on a long-term deal.
A federal appeals panel ruled Monday that businesses don't have to prove that they were directly harmed by BP's 2010 Gulf Of Mexico oil spill to collect settlement payments.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development has closed Interstate 10 from I-49 in Lafayette to Seigen Lane in Baton Rouge.
Jim Bernhard, who engineered the sale of The Shaw Group for $3 billion, recently has told several people involved in Democratic politics that he intends to run for governor in 2015.
A New Orleans levee board wants to hold the oil and gas industry accountable for decades of damage to our state’s coastline, but the Legislature may be poised to put the kibosh on the suit.
New standards curb elective induction
CVS stops tobacco sales
If an Acadia Parish fiddler misses a note while swatting a fly, will a St. Martinville accordionist learn “Ma ‘Tite Fille”?
(It's good, it's bad and it's just crazy)