The latest round of poll numbers for Gov. Kathleen Blanco doesn't bode well for the Fourth Floor.
In a poll conducted over 10 days in early November by the Alabama-based Southern Media and Opinion Research Group, a mere 19.3 percent of the 600 Louisiana voters questioned would "definitely vote to re-elect" Blanco. In New Orleans, the number hovered around 9.8 percent. Meanwhile in Blanco's home base of Acadiana, only 19.4 percent said they would back Blanco again.
The same scenario plays out in the latest poll by SurveyUSA, which is funded by a consortium of media organizations. From the 600 samples taken on Nov. 14, the governor yielded a 34 percent approval rating ' compared to a 55 percent approval rating in May.
The Louisiana Republican Party is throwing gasoline on the fire by distributing freshly made bumper stickers that read, "Don't blame me. I voted for Jindal."Â ' Jeremy Alford
CRAWFISHING ON TARIFFS
The federal tool that allows crawfish processors to collect money from tariffs on foreign competitors could be repealed by year's end.
In an effort to cut spending, the U.S. House of Representatives has voted to repeal the Byrd Amendment, which is the mechanism that triggers payments from importers of Chinese crawfish, among other goods. Since the Byrd Amendment was enacted in 2001, Louisiana's crawfish industry has received $25.4 million. If the repeal passes, that same money would go to the U.S. Treasury in coming years.
Chinese tail meat was so inexpensive during the mid-90s that dozens of Louisiana processors ' many in Acadiana ' were forced to shut down. When the Department of Commerce initiated tariffs on their foreign competitors, the move brought some relief to domestic interests.
Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry Bob Odom, who partly oversaw the tariff initiative, says he hopes Congress will preserve not only the current Byrd Amendment, but even consider expanding it to include crawfish farmers, not just processors. "We fought long and hard to get the tariffs in place, and the money collected rightfully belongs to the industry," Odom says. ' Jeremy Alford
MICHOT EYEING SECRETARY OF STATE POSITION
Last week, Lafayette Republican Sen. Mike Michot confirmed his interest in running for late Secretary of State Fox McKeithen's position next year. "I think it would be a good job to have," Michot told WAFB. Michot hopes to formally announce his intentions soon; New Orleans Democratic Sen. Francis Heitmeier is also mulling a run for the post. ' Scott Jordan
DEATH COUNTS DIFFER
Bob Johannessen, a spokesperson with the Department of Health and Hospitals, says deaths resulting from Hurricane Rita are not being compiled on a statewide level yet and the dissemination of such information is being left to parish coroners.
Numerous reports, however, have quoted state officials in recent weeks and months as saying there have been no deaths attributed to Rita, which made landfall around Cameron Parish.
But there has been at least one. According to his death certificate, Lawrence Blanchard of Chauvin died on Oct. 26 from an infection he contracted after entering floodwaters caused by Rita.
For the time being, Johannessen says the state will only continue to update related fatalities from Hurricane Katrina. "We're only putting out the Katrina numbers because of its sheer size and scope," he says. ' Jeremy Alford
HOME SALE INVALID?
The state Ethics Board will decide this month whether an employee of the Lafayette Parish School System can buy a home from a vendor she does business with on a daily basis.
Donna R. Denny, the technology director for the school system, wants to purchase the home of a Dell Computers sales representative in Lafayette, but state law prohibits public employees from receiving anything of economic value from people they do business with. An item of economic value can be anything from a free t-shirt to a discounted price on goods, according to the law. It was enough of a grey area for Denny to request a hearing.
"Before I do anything here, or make an offer, I definitely want to make sure this is possible because we do have business together," she says. Denny says she was approached about buying the home by the sales rep, and both parties are still waiting for an appraisal. ' Jeremy Alford
UL LAFAYETTE TO OVERSEE BUILDING GRANT
The UL Lafayette School of Architecture, in concert with Tulane University in New Orleans, will be coordinating a $100,000 grant project from the federal government to incorporate energy-efficient and sustainable design practices into Louisiana's rebuilding efforts.
The United States Department of Energy award will bring together national experts to share building design concepts at scheduled forums to be held in the hurricane-affected regions of the state starting in January.
"Our goal is to bring together our collective resources, building research and lessons learned from past hurricanes to create safer, stronger, more energy efficient communities," says Douglas L. Faulkner, acting assistant secretary at DOE.
Scheduling dates, locations and possible plan details will be announced in the coming weeks. ' Jeremy Alford
Is Mary fading as Vitter solidifies his lock on the fourth floor?
Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration has renegotiated contracts for six LSU hospital privatization deals, hoping to reach a compromise with federal health officials that will keep Medicaid dollars flowing to the privatized patient services.
Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu is defending her record on gun rights, seeking to rebut sharp criticism from the NRA in a state where the right to bear arms is given special constitutional protection.
Citizens, you have less than a week to register to vote in the Nov. 4 election. Remember, if you don’t vote you can’t complain about the outcome. Well, you can but it’s kind of hypocritical.
After being forced out by its former landlords last year, the community garden has a new location and a 10-year lease.
The party says it has hit a milestone, reaching 10,000 registered voters in the state.
Defensive captain Junior Galette is disgusted by the Saints' sluggish start.
The use of $60 million in Louisiana's public school financing formula to pay for nearly three dozen charter schools violates the state constitution, a statewide teachers' union claimed Monday in a lawsuit.
Security breach at White House; Bejing won't back down from protesters; pressure on third-graders and more national and international news for Tuesday, September 30, 2014.
Tuesday's Blogs from the Bog!
February trial date indicates parties were unable to negotiate a settlement.
Gov. Bobby Jindal has been viewed as a health care policy wonk, and he's tried to build on that image ahead of a likely 2016 presidential campaign, positioning himself as the candidate with substantive ideas.
Jerry Jones watched what he called the best effort he's seen in 25 years as owner of the Dallas Cowboys in the first half, and that was before Tony Romo had the longest scramble of his career and DeMarco Murray finished off yet another 100-yard game.
Two of the most recognizable women in Republican politics, Sarah Palin and Mary Matalin, have been heavily involved in Louisiana’s current election cycle.
Even though the Louisiana Democratic Party has thrown its support behind former Gov. Edwin Edwards’ congressional bid, national Democrats are not expected to follow suit.
“[Mike] is no longer the energetic ADA that his recent ad is trying to portray. I just think Mike needs to get the hell out.” — Kermit Harson, DA Mike Harson’s brother
The New Orleans Saints have listed Jonathan Goodwin as questionable for Sunday night's game in Dallas, raising the prospect that second-year pro Tim Lelito will start at center for the first time.
The endorsements keep coming for District 9 LPSB candidate Jeremy Hidalgo, who picked up his fifth vow of support Thursday, this time from the Chamber’s political action committee.
Republican U.S. Sen. David Vitter will be out knocking on doors this weekend with anti-abortion activists encouraging people to vote against his colleague, Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu.
The ACLU of Louisiana has sued Abbeville's mayor and police chief over a policy barring police from any social media use showing the city in a bad light.
Prospective Republican presidential candidates are expected to promote "religious liberty" at home and abroad at a gathering of religious conservatives Friday, with anti-Obama speeches from the likes of Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.
The American Zombie blog by New Orleans independent journalist Jason Berry has a photograph of U.S. District Court Judge Carl Barbier having dinner with Lafayette attorney Pat Juneau — yeah, that Pat Juneau, the BP claims administrator whose fate Barbier will soon decide.
But retirees and employees who face the higher deductibles and out-of-pocket costs responded angrily, telling lawmakers that they shouldn't be held responsible for what they consider the Jindal administration's mismanagement of the Office of Group Benefits.
Indictment accuses ‘chef’ who claims to work for the needy of stealing from a disabled man in his care.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's top budget adviser says the state employee health insurance program will face a dire financial scenario without the heavily criticized changes planned by the administration.