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
Despite sweeping changes enacted by Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration, the health insurance program for state workers and public school employees will have to use $88 million from its reserve fund to cover its costs this year.
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Lawmakers say they've received complaints that waits have spiked, with people being forced to wait in line for more than an hour — and sometimes three hours — to handle routine tasks.
The campaign announced that Rep. Stuart Bishop of District 43 and Nancy Landry, District 31, have thrown their support behind the Naval Academy graduate and entrepreneur in his bid to unseat current Hunter Beasley in District 8.
A Lafayette man with an alleged taste for child porn was busted Thursday evening during a cyber crime sting launched by the Attorney General’s Office.
U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister says his chief of staff is on temporary leave after being booked with drunken driving.
It was a rare moment in Congress this week as Republicans briefly put aside partisanship in support of President Barack Obama's request to train and arm Syrian rebels, and while a number of Democrats opposed the measure, Louisiana's Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu found herself on the same side of the issue as her Republican challenger Rep. Bill Cassidy.
Home Depot breach bigger than Target; Alibaba IPO could be big; Rivers' last project and more national and international news for Friday, September 19, 2014.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
City-Parish President Joey Durel is asking the council to sign off on a resolution approving a pair of deals that would lead to razing the seedy Lesspay Motel at Four Corners to build a new police substation as well as transforming nearly a block Downtown where the old federal courthouse building now molders into a mixed-use development.
In 2013, the IRS — already the least popular governmental agency in the country — became the target of intense investigations after it was revealed that they had specifically and improperly scrutinized applications for tax-exempt status from organizations associated with the nascent Tea Party movement.
Improving the running game was "a point of emphasis" during the offseason and the results have manifested themselves in the form of substantially greater production.
Louisiana's health department said Wednesday that its evaluation of the state's Medicaid privatization was on target, despite criticism from the legislative auditor that it lacked key data and contained inconsistencies.
The feds converge on your office, seizing records on several employees as part of a pay-for-plea investigation. WWYD? If you’re Mike Harson, you give yourself a $12k raise.
It’s football season and after back-to-back winless weekends for the Saints and the Cajuns many citizens are finding it difficult to be civil much less happy. Well, chew on this.
Considering his repeated stays in the local penal system, David Narcisse Jr. should have known that having a semiautomatic shotgun, even one given to him by a friend, wasn’t the brightest of ideas.
A state district judge on Tuesday threw out a last-minute retirement hike lawmakers gave to the state police superintendent, ending a political firestorm over a pension boost passed without public scrutiny on the last day of the legislative session.
The House has passed a bill to increase oversight of veterans' hospitals under construction, following a report that some medical centers take three years longer to complete than estimated and cost an extra $366 million per project.
An obvious follow-up question for any Republican politician who accuses Democrats of being science deniers is one about science, to which Jindal bobbed and weaved like a welterweight champ.
The Lafayette City-Parish Council is expected to decide tonight (Tuesday) whether to go along with a proposal City-Parish President Joey Durel made in February’s State of the Parish Address and consolidate taxes for mosquito control and the parish health units into a broader tax program that would also cover animal control.
U.S. District Judge Richard Haik has dismissed Greg Davis’ lawsuit against the LPSB, yet in his ruling, the federal judge doesn’t bite his tongue in pointing out the "threat" being posed by certain board members.
Of all the political offices being contested throughout Lafayette Parish, the race for Broussard’s top police post has literally become one of the most heated.
A state district judge is deciding whether to issue an injunction against the enforcement of a last-minute retirement hike that lawmakers gave to the state police superintendent.
A new website is up for Louisiana's state government employees and retirees to choose their health insurance plans for next year, a choice they must make by October.
That fact that New Orleans led both games in the final 10 seconds of regulation, and lost each by a field goal or less, is of little solace.