Wednesday, October 27, 2010Written by The Independent Staff
When Sen. Ben Nevers told the Baton Rouge Press Club last week that he favored temporarily reinstating the Stelly Plan to fill persistent holes in the state budget, many across Louisiana had a singular response based on his name: Never! The Stelly Plan, enacted six years ago and repealed in 2008 when oil prices were high and the state was still flush with hurricane-recovery cash, raised state income taxes for middle- and higher-income filers in exchange for getting rid of state sales taxes on food and utilities. We know what happened after its repeal: The national economy went in the crapper and the price of oil plummeted. And because the sales tax cuts remained in place after repeal, Louisiana has been left with an annual $300 million budget gap. With another $1 billion to $2 billion shortfall expected next year and no federal stimulus money to lean on — lawmakers used $3 billion in stimulus cash to fill gaps in 2009 and 2010 — Louisiana is facing some excruciating choices. Kudos to Nevers, a Bogalusa Democrat, for at least floating the idea and keeping our statewide civic conversation directed toward our dire straits. Cutting education and health care can only go so far. Eventually, “revenue enhancement” will have to be discussed.
City-Parish President Joey Durel is in the lavatory. He’s washing his hands and applying cologne, masking the funky aroma of Louisiana’s junior senator — necessary ablutions after recording a robo-call on behalf of Sen. David Vitter, our famously lascivious, extravagantly hypocritical “family-values” rep in Washington. Durel’s automated message urging voters to support Vitter has gone out to presumably thousands of phones, both mobile and land line, in Lafayette. One constituent, LSU medical student and native son Andrew Suire, was so incensed he fired off an email to Durel complaining about it. Durel’s response — “Obama and Melancon want to undo what many generations have worked hard to accomplish, many giving their lives for it. Considering the fact that Senator Vitter represents the views of a large majority of the people in Louisiana, I will support his candidacy with everything I’ve got.” — was pure tea party pablum. We get it: Vitter is anti-Obama. Obama is bad. Socialism. Death panels. Yada yada. Even Gov. Bobby Jindal, who has been jetting around the country for other GOP candidates (and, of course, for himself), refuses to endorse Vitter, realizing Vitter’s a shoo in and the governor’s endorsement will do nothing but sully Jindal’s squeaky clean image. Our city-parish president should have done the same.
What is he smoking? Dr. James R. Stoner Jr., the Harvard-educated chair of the political science department at LSU, has been moonlighting on another decidedly less prestigious faculty — at Beck University. We’re not making this up. The tea party’s chief cheerleader and weeping, paranoid man-child, Glenn Beck has started his own on-line center of learning about “real American history.” For a fee, one can view seminars on “Charity,” “Faith,” “Hope,” “Presidents You Should Hate” (Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson) and other topics from “Professor” Beck and his three-man faculty, which comprises Stoner along with the head of a management consulting firm and the founder of a family-values group. Stoner’s curriculum vitae is spot on: an Ivy League education, publication in prestigious journals, a term on the National Council on the Humanities. By getting mixed up with the Goldline huckster and Fox News provocateur, Stoner can add “couillon” to his impressive CV.
School board members Mark Babineaux, Hunter Beasley and Tehmi Chassion can vote to fire Cooper — because we all know that’s exactly what they’ll do.
District 2 school board candidate Simon Mahan is hoping to unseat first-term incumbent and former Carencro Mayor Tommy Angelle in the Nov. 4 election.
District Attorney Mike Harson is showing his desperation by falsely attributing quotes to his opponent and blocking journalists from his social media.
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The governor is traveling the country laying the groundwork for a possible 2016 presidential campaign, but his approval ratings at home hover well below 50 percent.
State District Judge Bob Downing extended the order and delayed a planned Wednesday hearing about a permanent injunction while negotiations continue between Attorney General Buddy Caldwell and the waste disposal site operator.
New Louisiana higher education commissioner Joseph Rallo will be paid more than his predecessor.
The recently established Downtown Lafayette Restaurant & Bar Association will host a special viewing of the upcoming New Orleans Saints taking on the Carolina Panthers in the open air of Parc Sans Souci on Thursday, Oct. 30.
Belief in a national outbreak of the Ebola zombie virus is becoming more of a threat every day, and The Hayride — Louisiana’s one true bastion for unrelentingly conservative political commentaries — thought it wise to share a certain special someone's “important message” with readers Tuesday on what to do when, not if, it comes.
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Elijah McGuire and Alonzo Harris each had four rushing touchdowns, and Louisiana-Lafayette rolled to 419 yards on the ground in a 55-40 victory over Arkansas State on Tuesday night.
Bill and Hillary Clinton are the validators-in-chief for Democrats struggling through a bleak campaign season in states where President Barack Obama is deeply unpopular.
JPMorgan Chase is giving $1 million to Louisiana's community and technical colleges, to help with workforce training efforts to match students to available jobs.
President Barack Obama is turning to black radio listeners to plead for midterm votes, a targeted approach to drum up Democratic support at a time when many candidates don't want him around in person.
WaPo Watergate editor Ben Bradlee dies; Clintons stump for Dems; Liberians stranded and more national and international news for Wednesday, October 22, 2014.
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Law firm unveils newly renovated 200-year-old building.
UL grad named web developer at BBR Creative
Lafayette-based emergency department staffing and management company raises $120 million in senior credit facilities through GE Capital, Healthcare Financial Services.
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A common thread runs through many of those we oppose: Enshrining in the Constitution protections on programs and their funding sources has had a disastrous effect on Louisiana’s most important economic development engine.
"I am extremely disheartened by the political machines that are attempting to hijack my efforts along with others that advocate for children."
Landrieu, who is fighting to keep her seat for a fourth term, said that Ebola is serious and precautions should be taken, but she accused Republicans of using the virus outbreak in West Africa to "create fear" here at home.
The number of Louisianans with jobs continued to set records in September, but the state's unemployment rate kept rising.
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Louisiana is drowning, quickly.
Law enforcement agencies are participating in a "Louisiana Heroin Summit," designed to address the recent rise in heroin use and drug-related deaths around the state.