Louisiana's ongoing effort to obtain more offshore oil royalties made its move to the U.S. Senate last week amid feverish debate. The Sierra Club, Greenpeace and a number of other environmental groups placed advertisements in several Beltway publications depicting the Gulf Coast as "Oil's Next Victim" since the proposals being considered would open up the gulf to more drilling activity. The ads warned against everything from oil spills to over-drilling. Sen. Mary Landrieu, a New Orleans Democrat pushing the concept, issued a press release countering the ads ' just days after she issued another attacking a Washington Post editorial that depicted the proposal as "Robbing the Feds." Landrieu, along with Sen. David Vitter, a Metairie Republican, questioned the Post's assertion that "coastal states don't deserve" a share of the oil and gas revenues they generate off their coasts. They point out that the paper failed to mention that 28 other inland states already receive a 50 percent share of similar revenues. Louisiana, meanwhile, helps generate more than $5 billion a year for the federal treasury from offshore drilling, and it gets back only about $39 million a year. ' Jeremy Alford
BAKER STILL CHASING CHAIRMANSHIP
Congressman Richard Baker of Baton Rouge continues to court the favor of colleagues in his quest to become the next chairman of the House Committee on Financial Services, a powerful position in the financing sector. The contest between Baker and fellow Republican Spencer Bachus of Alabama has become "very competitive," according to the Washington newspaper Roll Call. Both men are raising money for the GOP and spreading around personal campaign cash to other incumbents. Although Baker has the seniority and institutional knowledge, an unnamed "leadership aide" gives Bachus the edge. Baker's independent spirit and pointed remarks at President Bush in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina are blamed for his underdog status. Michael DiResto, Baker's press secretary, says the race is still undecided, though, and it would be a "timely opportunity" for the congressman to serve as chair when Louisiana desperately needs help in regards to insurance, capital investment, housing and other financial matters. Â' JA
THE DAILY ADVERTISER'S WEAK SAUCE
The McIlhenny Company's signature hot sauce has been a national icon for more than a century, and its New Iberia headquarters is one of the state's top tourist attractions; Tabasco is such a part of the local landscape that the signature diamond logo-embossed bottles occupy a spot in nearly every restaurant in Louisiana. This development is apparently difficult to grasp for the Daily Advertiser, which misspelled Tabasco twice in a front-page Accent section article last week on McIlhenny Co.'s recent partnership with Zapp's potato chips. ' Scott Jordan
NEW CHAIR GETS CLECO BUSINESS
The state Ethics Board ruled this month that state Rep. T. Taylor Townsend, a Natchitoches Democrat, can buy ownership in a company that plans to purchase property from a public entity. Townsend, who was recently appointed as chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, wanted to know whether he could be a part of Kipco Holdings if the company has a financial transaction with a subsidiary of the Cleco Corporation. Kathleen M. Allen, an attorney for the board, wrote in the ruling that Townsend is legit as long as fair market value is paid for the property and Cleco doesn't provide him with anything of "economic value" to influence his decision over a related piece of legislation. ' JA
DEQ LOOKING FOR GULF GUARDIANS
The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality has just put out its annual call for nominations for "Gulf Guardians." The recognition honors Louisiana residents, companies and organizations "that are taking positive steps to keep the Gulf of Mexico and associated coastal water habitats healthy, beautiful and productive." Entry forms for the 2006 Gulf Guardian Award are available online at www.epa.gov/gmpo/gulfguard.html. Deadline for nominations is Sept. 15; for more info, call (228) 688-7015 or (225) 219-3553. ' SJ
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.