State Sen. Elbert Guillory, D-Opelousas, says he takes offense to the “AWOL senator knows a good recipe for lemonade” blog posted last week by The IND.

elbert_guillory2Here’s the senator’s response to last week’s blog:

“ABSENTEE SENATOR” my chocolate muffins!! I am offended by your Feb. 7 internet posting implying that I am not doing my job. Your reporter did get one thing right. I missed a Feb. 2nd Saturday meeting of teachers and faculty in Alexandria.

On Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013, my 103 year old mother was admitted to ICU in a Houston hospital. On Friday I left for Houston as any loving son would. So yes I missed the Alexandria meeting after notifying them that I could not attend. Now to the implication that I am not attending to my job. Let me share my calendar for the last few days:

Sunday 1/27                        LLBC Annual Retreat-New Orleans
Monday 1/28                      Funding Review Panel-Baton Rouge
Tuesday 1/29                       Louisiana Banking Association-Baton Rouge    
Wednesday 1/30                Louisiana Sheriff’s Pension Fund-Baton Rouge
Thursday 1/31                      Senate Administrative Meeting / Governor’s staff-Baton Rouge
Friday 2/1 - Sunday 2/3     Hospital with mom-Houston
Tuesday 2/5                          Louisiana Scholarship Program-Lafayette
Wednesday 2/6                   Louisiana Trustee Education Council Conference-New Orleans

Now that isn’t half-bad for a part-time job, my friends. So you can see why my feelings were hurt by the title “Absentee Senator.” Now maybe you will change that to the “Hardest Working Senator in Louisiana.”
One bit of information missing from Guillory’s email is that the organizers of the Saturday, Feb. 2, event — a joint effort of the Association of Louisiana Faculty Senates and Louisiana State Colleagues Collaborative — were left in the dark until Saturday morning, meaning attendees like librarian Dayne Sherman of Ponchatoula didn’t know the senator’s keynote speech wouldn’t be delivered until after he made the several hour drive to Alexandria. According to Guillory, he’d known of his mother’s illness since the Thursday before the event, giving him all day Friday to notify the event’s organizers so they could then get the word out.

Reacting to Guillory’s absence, Sherman says the group passed a resolution that day to send out a press release notifying the media, because Feb. 2 wasn’t the senator’s first time being a no-show. Sherman’s first go-round with Guillory, or rather lack-thereof, came last year on April 25, when the senator was scheduled to speak at LSU for a meeting of LSUnited and the LSU Faculty Senate.

“We understand that in all human endeavors there are extenuating circumstances,” says Sherman. “But there seems to be a pattern here with Senator Guillory. We doubt that a similar disregard for commitments occurs when donors and lobbyists such as the American Legislative Exchange Council or the Louisiana Family Forum call. Before the legislative session in April, we want to talk to Guillory face-to-face. The 2012 session made flawed bills into law. Now, these hallmark retirement and education laws have all been struck down as unconstitutional.”

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