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 The Stelly Plan, enacted six years ago and repealed in 2008 when oil prices were high and the state was still flush with hurricane-recovery cash, raised state income taxes for middle- and higher-income filers in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.
Artificial sweeteners eyed; Scottish independence vote begins; Ford has cancer and more national and international news for Thursday, September 18, 2014.
Thursday's Blogs from the Bog!
Seriously, dude, we do. And since you’re ailing we thought we’d throw you a get-better-soon party.
Boho alive and well in every shape
Three bedroom River Oaks traditional or three bedroom Country Estates traditional home
The feds converge on your office, seizing records on several employees as part of a pay-for-plea investigation. WWYD? If you’re Mike Harson, you give yourself a $12k raise.
Attorney General Buddy Caldwell says he won't approve a Cameron Parish Police Jury resolution to hire outside attorneys for such a lawsuit until the resolution is amended. Caldwell's Sept. 15 letter says the resolution must make clear that those attorneys will represent the parish alone — not the state.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
It’s football season and after back-to-back winless weekends for the Saints and the Cajuns many citizens are finding it difficult to be civil much less happy. Well, chew on this.
Considering his repeated stays in the local penal system, David Narcisse Jr. should have known that having a semiautomatic shotgun, even one given to him by a friend, wasn’t the brightest of ideas.
A state district judge on Tuesday threw out a last-minute retirement hike lawmakers gave to the state police superintendent, ending a political firestorm over a pension boost passed without public scrutiny on the last day of the legislative session.
The House has passed a bill to increase oversight of veterans' hospitals under construction, following a report that some medical centers take three years longer to complete than estimated and cost an extra $366 million per project.
Michelle D. Lavergne, who worked for the Lafayette law office of L. Clayton Burgess for 13 years, faces up to 10 years in prison.
Sonnier, former media buyer and account exec at Sides, joins Acadian companies as marketing specialist; Maggard, who most recently worked for Potenza, joins Russo as director of media and PR.
New recreation/fitness trend taking over old Crazy Charlie’s on Ambassador Caffery Parkway.
An obvious follow-up question for any Republican politician who accuses Democrats of being science deniers is one about science, to which Jindal bobbed and weaved like a welterweight champ.
The Lafayette City-Parish Council is expected to decide tonight (Tuesday) whether to go along with a proposal City-Parish President Joey Durel made in February’s State of the Parish Address and consolidate taxes for mosquito control and the parish health units into a broader tax program that would also cover animal control.
Jeff Gremillion delivers a touching eulogy, capturing the essence of his longtime friend.
U.S. District Judge Richard Haik has dismissed Greg Davis’ lawsuit against the LPSB, yet in his ruling, the federal judge doesn’t bite his tongue in pointing out the "threat" being posed by certain board members.
Everybody, every style
Four bedroom Broussard Acadian or four bedroom Lafayette French home
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Of all the political offices being contested throughout Lafayette Parish, the race for Broussard’s top police post has literally become one of the most heated.
A state district judge is deciding whether to issue an injunction against the enforcement of a last-minute retirement hike that lawmakers gave to the state police superintendent.
A new website is up for Louisiana's state government employees and retirees to choose their health insurance plans for next year, a choice they must make by October.
That fact that New Orleans led both games in the final 10 seconds of regulation, and lost each by a field goal or less, is of little solace.
The superintendent will make another go at getting a budget passed for the already commenced fiscal year as the LPSB is slated to meet tonight on the eve of the state’s budget adoption deadline.
A person familiar with the situation says New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram has a broken hand.
It seeks an investigation into a $100,000 fund transfer from Vitter's federal campaign account to an independent PAC supporting Vitter's 2015 candidacy for governor.
Landrieu has acknowledged that she improperly billed her Senate office for nearly $43,000 in charter costs that should have been paid from her campaign account.