A bill attacking the work the Tulane Environmental Law Clinic takes on in support of the state’s indigent population was shut down by the Senate Commerce Committee Wednesday. Though its target was clearly Tulane, which has the state’s only environmental clinic, the measure would have prevented LSU, Southern University and Loyola University’s law clinics, all of which get state funding, from suing individuals and businesses for damages, taking government agencies to court or — with some exceptions — making constitutional challenges.
On a motion by the committee’s chairwoman, New Orleans Democrat Ann Duplessis, Sen. Robert Adley’s SB549 was deferred without opposition. Adley sponsored the bill at the request of the Louisiana Chemical Association, which has fought with Tulane’s clinic for years.
Adley has been arguing that Tulane receives approximately $45 million in state money annually and uses those funds for a clinic he claims runs jobs out of the state by suing industry and government agencies. Wisely, Tulane University President Scott Cowen, who maintains that state money is not used for the law clinic, seized the opportunity to point out the absurdity of Adley’s bill. The Advocate reports today:
Louisiana is dealing with one of the biggest environmental disasters ever in the Gulf of Mexico oil crisis, Cowen said, “and we’re here arguing about cutting off (legal) access to people.” ...
“This bill gives a black eye — a serious black eye for any industry that supports it,” Cowen added.
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OCT 31 The National Journal posts another story from its visit to NOLA, this one about the struggling Vietnamese shrimpers in the area. The publication has been looking at how the state is recovering from Katrina, nine years later.
OCT 31 The New York Times posts this look at Louisiana politics, and how national issues are forcing out the old-time local politicking. Of course they mention EWE, aptly described as an old-time politician known for "charming one half of the state and mortifying the other."
OCT 31 Here's an AP story on the ABC site about Louisiana's chicken little response to an international medical conference planned in NOLA this weekend. Organizers (who are actual physicians, as opposed to the hand-wringing state officials who issued the edicts) say the orders are "unfortunate" given that a main focus of the meeting was Ebola.
OCT 31 Given the things Bobby Jindal has said and done since he's been governor, it's a pretty safe bet he thinks we're a bunch of dummies. Apparently, he's sure President Obama is one, too. This story on Huff Post quotes Jindal as saying the president - a graduate of Harvard Law - should sue to get his money back. (What should a Brown biology grad who doesn't believe in evolution do?)
OCT 31 Us old folks are used to a two-party system, although most of us aren't sold on its success. But what if that system wasn't in place; what if politics reflected the true level of diversity among voters? That's what an LSU student is dreaming of in this editorial. He sees the two parties' control of our politics as limiting.
OCT 31 And you thought the Senate race was dirty. This post on the Forward Now blog tells the story of a Shreveport mayoral campaign worker who was paid to "infiltrate" and "sabotage" an opponent's campaign. Karma's a beeotch, though, because turns out the guy really liked the "enemy," and now he's supporting her. For real.
OCT 30 The National Journal offers this analysis of Bobby Jindal's willingness to stump in any Senate campaign that's not in Louisiana. Why is that? The Journal asks some GOPers and finds that the answer is one we already know: he's so unpopular here, because he's been so busy running for President, that his support might be "toxic."
OCT 30 Blogger Tom Aswell is still all over the OGB mess - and all by himself, apparently. In this post, he's revealing orders from the Jindal administration to destroy records from the state employee health insurance plan. Those orders (he's heard) have angered the Secretary of State and caused an administration lawyer to quit her job. Wow!
OCT 30 A NOLA lady has alleged she was drugged and raped at a Bywater club that had a clothing-optional policy until recently, and she's now become the victim of a smear campaign, columnist Jarvis DeBerry writes in this post. She chose to reveal her story and her name, and she's being punished for that now, he says.
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