Most members of Congress agree that their colleagues should make it their business to vote. It’s what they were elected to do. And it’s why U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany may get the support he needs for his “No Show, No Pay Act.” The Lafayette Republican wants to dock members for missing votes, unless they have a good reason to do so.
Squarely in Boustany’s sights is fellow Rep. Jeff Landry of New Iberia, who has missed more than 10 percent of all roll-call House votes and another four votes Monday and Tuesday — in part because Landry has been out raising money and campaigning against Boustany. The two face off in the newly drawn 3rd Congressional District in November.
“Serving as a member of Congress is not a part-time job,” Boustany said in a statement. “The primary duty of a member of Congress is to advocate on behalf of its constituency by casting important votes. Some of my colleagues take their office for granted and refuse to accept this responsibility. They habitually miss important votes on key policy initiatives and legislation by leaving early or arriving late in order to attend fundraising and campaign events.
“This bill discourages these offenders from dodging their Constitutional duty by holding them accountable to their constituency."
If Boustany's bill passes, a member who misses a single vote would not receive pay for that entire day. He says the legislation will improve transparency and accountability by requiring the House to provide an online list of members who are absent each month. Cumulative deductions for absences of each member will be posted online.
Landry was quick to fire off a response:
“In what could only be a political ploy, Boustany is now claiming — after nearly a decade in Congress — he wants to do something about Congressional pay, tying it to votes in Congress.
I wish Charles had been absent the times he voted to raise the debt ceiling, bail out banks, and allow his salary to increase.
I declined special Congressional healthcare and retirement benefits, while Charles sits back and takes them. I am cosponsoring legislation to permanently strip Congressmen of their pensions. I have cosponsored legislation to deny pay for Members of Congress until we pass a budget. I have never, and will never, vote to increase my pay — even with a procedural vote.
Charles may attempt to distract from the fact he voted to allow his pay to increase and he is accepting special Congressional healthcare and retirement benefits however, when it comes to reform, the voters know who they can trust… me.”
JUNE 17 If anyone ever wonders why Saints fans hate Atlanta with a capital H, here's a good indication. Radio "professionals" at an Atlanta station created an entire segment around making fun of former Saints player Steve Gleason, who is now paralyzed by ALS. Listen, nobody's ever accused DJs of being rocket scientists. But how could someone think it is amusing to pretend to ask a man with a degenerative, fatal disease if he will be alive next week? The DJs have been fired, and are now whining about how gutless their former bosses are. Wow.
JUNE 18 Here's the latest from the Advocate on the fatal hit-and-run accident allegedly involving the president of the Livingston Parish School Board. He's accused by police of hitting a 21-year-old man on a highway early Sunday and driving away. The man died at a hospital later. On Monday, police seized the president's truck and towed it away. But he's available for board meetings: apparently a $500 bond is sufficient for this type of thing over in St. Helena Parish.
JUNE 18 Former broadcast journalist Griffin Scott has posted this plea on his blog for financial assistance from his readers. Scott, who says he was fired after he wrote something fairly innocuous (for Facebook) on his wall, is suing a media giant for his job back. He's framed himself as David going after a bloated media giant, and he's probably not far off.
JUNE 18 Here's a fairly absurd column posted on DIG Magazine about the completely absurd practice of naming killer storms. Tornadoes don't have names. Blizzards don't have names. But hurricanes do, and there's a big process to bestow them, Jacques Cormery writes. He's right about the crazy assemblage of names -- this year, there's everything from Tanya to Humberto -- and his idea that we don't waste good names on killer storms is a good one.
JUNE 17 Political columnist John Maginnis has some advice for Louisiana Republicans: grow up. After the schism that occurred in this past session - fiscal hawks teaming up with Democrats to spank the Republican "majority" and hand Gov. Jindal his, er, aspirations for continued solon control -- they need to figure out how to get along with each other, Maginnis writes.
JUNE 17 Here's the Picayune's obit story for Dorothy 'Miss Dot' Domilise, the lady who made poboys at the uptown restaurant that bears her name. Miss Dot moved to New Orleans during World War II, where she met and married her husband Sam. When she passed away Friday she was 90, and had spent more than 60 of those years working at the restaurant on Annunciation Street.
JUNE 17 This editorial in the Advocate speaks in favor of the consent decrees that have federal judges overseeing police operations and the sheriff's parish prison in New Orleans. Mayor Landrieu and Sheriff Gusman can't get along, so outside forces, like the Inspector General and the judges, are needed to make sure things run right, the editorial opines.
JUNE 18 Here's a post from Manny Schewitz on Forward Progressives that is good for a chuckle. Manny had an epiphany back in November, and is sharing it with us today: he believes that Fox "News" is killing the GOP by pandering to right wing nuts. Now, don't get it twisted: Manny's not broke up about it. He says he enjoys watching the downward spiral with a shot of whiskey and "a schadenfreude chaser."
Frank’s Casing Crew, now doing business as Frank’s International, will make its final appearance on ABiz’s list of the Top 50 Privately Held Companies in Acadiana this year, and once again, it will likely be at the top with more than $1 billion in annual revenues. The 75-year-old company specializing in tubular fabrication and installation services to the oil and gas industry plans to go public this year.
The defeat, or rather highjacking of House Bill 420 in the final days of this year's Legislative Session, say Reps. Vincent Pierre and Terry Landry, is the result of the propaganda spread by one unidentified local media outlet and an unnamed former state Representative, but nothing to do with the original legislation's lack of checks, balances or details.
He’s a singer. A songwriter. A piano man. A family man. He’s even got his own Wikipedia entry. He’s David Egan. And he knows ancient secrets about the monolithic stones of Stonehenge that he’s not willing to share.