The state House and Senate signed off on a congressional redistricting plan Wednesday afternoon — just hours before the scheduled close of the special session — that largely preserves the power bases of the five incumbent congressmen and leaves freshman U.S. Rep. Jeff Landry, R-New Iberia, on the outside looking in.
The plan (see map below), which must be approved by Gov. Bobby Jindal as well as the U.S. Department of Justice, also makes strange bedfellows among far-flung communities with little in common culturally. Assuming the map is approved, residents in Opelousas will have to turn to Rep. Rodney Alexander in Monroe when they need help from their congressman. And residents in Ville Platte will be calling on Rep. John Fleming in Shreveport.
The biggest loser, however, appears to be Landry, who won a seat in the U.S. House representing what is currently the 3rd Congressional District. That district will more or less be absorbed into the districts currently represented by Rep. Charles Boustany, R-Lafayette, and Rep. Steve Scalise, R-Metairie. The former’s southwest Louisiana district will remain largely intact, spreading eastward to take in Landry’s home parish of Iberia as well as St. Mary, which are now in Landry's 3rd Congressional District. Currently the 7th District, Boustany’s new district will become the 3rd District next year. Scalise’s 1st District spreads south and west to take in Lafourche and Terrebonne parishes, where Landry campaigned heavily in his win last fall over former state House Speaker Hunt Downer.
The short of it is, if Landry wants to run in the new 3rd Congressional District against Boustany next year, assuming Boustany seeks re-election, the freshman congressman have to campaign in unfamiliar territory. Boustany is in his fourth term, having faced no opponents in the last election.
Politico echoed the sentiment that the map favors Boustany:
The final plan, which Jindal said Wednesday he will sign into law, is viewed as a win for Boustany, who will keep his Lake Charles and Lafayette population centers. Landry, a tea party backed freshman, will find himself in largely new territory and without a significant portion of his current district, No longer in Landry’s district are Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes.
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NOV 24 Because of a town ordinance, the police will come to a disabled girl's home this week to take away her service dog and kill him. Sound like a bad Lifetime movie? Nope - it's real life in Moreauville, blogger Lamar White Jr. tells us in this post. The dog's crime? Being born a pit bull. What's the reason for this ordinance? Well, the town fathers are a little vague on that one. Maybe Obama?
NOV 24 Columnist Stephanie Grace is writing about Bobby Jindal's continuing refusal to accept federal funding for the expansion of Medicaid. It's purely an attempt to benefit him politically, meaning the decision is "cruel, short-sighted and remarkably self-centered." Well, yeah. Have you met him?
NOV 24 The New York Times editorial board is writing about the 40 years that Albert Woodfox has spent in solitary confinement in this post, calling it "barbaric beyond measure." Since Richard Nixon was president, the man has been in solitary in Angola Plantation Penitentiary. How is that OK with us?
NOV 24 The GOP has a boogie-man for anybody thinking about voting for Mary Landrieu: President Obama. But the Dems have one for Bill Cassidy, too, Melinda Deslatte writes in this AP post on The Reading Eagle -- and his name is Governor Jindal.
NOV 24 Blogger Bob Mann is blogging about race and the Senate campaign in this post. Sure, everybody knows that Mary Landrieu doesn't do too well with white folks, but how come the GOP can't get arrested in the black community? Bob is asking.
NOV 24 Early voting for the December election began Saturday, and this post on NOLA Defender tells us what Mary and Bill were up to. The polls and the pundits have their opinions, but none of that can replace actual voting, NODEF says.
NOV 24 Blogger Tom Aswell tells us about Bruce Greenstein's grand jury testimony in this post. The former state health secretary testified in an investigation into the lucrative contract Louisiana awarded to his former employer. Apparently, Mr. Greenstein has a bit of the C.R.S. disease.
NOV 24 Last week, an SUV carrying a blended Texas family overturned on the Interstate near Shreveport, killing the parents and three of their kids, and seriously injuring two other kids. According to this story in the Dallas Morning News, the DA has exercised some compassion and dismissed the ticket given to the teen who was driving.
NOV 21 One (possible) positive from Hurricane Katrina is a comprehensive zoning ordinance for New Orleans. Nine years later, we're getting closer to that being finalized, but the current version has some problems. Here's the latest in a series of posts on The Lens in which residents give their views of the draft; this one is more amusing than most.
NOV 21 The end of the term has come for the grand jury investigating a lucrative Medicaid contract and a former state health official's ties to the company that won it, the Advocate reports here, but that doesn't mean the investigation into this stinkiness is over. There are still some things to look into, the lead prosecutor says.
NOV 21 Bobby Jindal is headed to Iowa again, the Des Moines Register reports here. The paper outlines what's going on with Bobby's non-campaign for president, and there's a lot of stuff here -- too bad none of it sounds like somebody running Louisiana. Hey, wasn't that the job he wanted?
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