After voting Wednesday, Gov. Bobby Jindal declined to reveal how he marked his early voting ballot in the races for lieutenant governor and secretary of state.
“I’m not here to make any additional endorsements,” Jindal said after casting his ballot last week.
Early voting for the Oct. 22 primary, next Saturday, ended Saturday, Oct. 15.
Both races pit Republicans against Republicans.
Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser is challenging Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne’s re-election bid.
Secretary of State Tom Schedler is facing opposition from House Speaker Jim Tucker, of Terrytown.
Jindal, a Republican himself, publicly has stayed out of the races.
U.S. Sen. David Vitter, R-La., is backing Nungesser and Tucker.
Roemer contributes to BESE challenger
Chas Roemer, of Baton Rouge, who is seeking a second term on BESE, contributed $1,000 to one of his colleague’s key opponents.
Roemer donated to Kira Orange Jones, of New Orleans, who is one of three candidates trying to replace incumbent Louella Givens, also of New Orleans, in District 2.
“She is a much, much stronger candidate in supporting things that will help kids,” Roemer said of Jones.
Roemer is running for re-election in District 6.
Jones says he’s mulling retirement
Assistant Commissioner Jerry Jones with the Division of Administration told legislators Thursday that he is considering leaving the job of overseeing state construction projects.
“I am contemplating retirement,” said Jones, who interacts with legislators on the Jindal administration’s behalf.
Commissioner of Administration Paul Rainwater said he is thinking of ways to persuade Jones to stay, including tying him to his chair.
State Sen. Robert Adley, R-Benton, joked that impending retirement offered Jones a unique opportunity.
“This will be the first time you can tell us the truth straight up,” he said.
La. governors poll puts Jindal on top
Who among Louisiana’s six most recent governors did the best job?
Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal tops the list followed closely by former Democratic Gov. Edwin Edwards, according to a new statewide poll commissioned by WWL-TV.
Thirty-five percent of 602 likely voters surveyed said Jindal, while 30 percent said Edwards.
After the top two on the list, that there’s a sharp drop-off with former governors Mike Foster coming in with 11 percent; Kathleen Blanco, 7 percent; Buddy Roemer, 5 percent; and David Treen at 4 percent.
Another 9 percent were undecided or had no opinion.
Among voters over age 65, Edwards leads with 37 percent.
The telephone poll, done by Washington, D.C.,-based Clarus Research Group, was conducted Oct. 5-7 and had a plus or minus 4 percent margin of error.
Jindal, Kennedy top approval stats
The same Clarus voter survey also asked whether participants approved or disapproved of the job each of 10 highest-profile elected Louisiana officials is doing.
Only four of the officials hit the 50 percent or better approval rating: Gov. Bobby Jindal at 63 percent; state Treasurer John Kennedy, 57 percent; U.S. Sen. David Vitter, 53 percent; and U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, 50 percent.
President Barack Obama registered the lowest approval rating among those polled - 37 percent.
Mansion tests out holiday decorations
Christmas came to the Governor’s Mansion last week.
The mansion, where the governor lives with his family, briefly was lit up with holiday lights and decorated with nutcrackers and a Christmas tree during the work week.
The governor’s press secretary, Kyle Plotkin, said workers were doing a run-through ahead of the holiday season.
Jindal’s volunteers hit streets, phones
Gov. Bobby Jindal’s campaign volunteers have been busy in their quest to see the governor re-elected to a second term.
The governor’s campaign spokesman, Aaron Baer, said volunteers have made more than 2.3 million phone calls and knocked on 742,000 doors.
There are about 2.8 million voters eligible for the Oct. 22 election, which has the lackluster governor’s race topping the ballot.
For the second year in a row, Louisiana legislators’ compensation has gone down.
Legislators’ per diem dropped from $152 to $149 a day, effective Oct. 1.
Legislators get the daily expense payments while attending legislative sessions, interim committee meetings, conferences and on other official state business.
Under state law, the payment is tied to the reimbursement rate federal employees receive while traveling in the Baton Rouge area. That rate went down Oct. 1, triggering the per diem drop.
Before the federal linkage, the legislative per diem rate was $75 a day.
Lawmakers also get 51 cents a mile to travel, unless they live in the same parish where they attend meetings. They also get a salary of $16,800 a year and a $6,000 annual unvouchered expense allowance.
ABC PAC ads criticize Bayard
A group that includes Baton Rouge contractor Lane Grigsby is airing television ads that blast Dale Bayard, of Lake Charles, who is seeking re-election to the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.
The ad, which was launched by the Alliance For Better Classrooms, or ABC PAC, blasted Bayard for opposing some of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s school initiatives, backing weaker school standards and siding with “New Orleans liberals.”
“Meet Dale Bayard,” the ad says. “He’s the reason our schools are broken.”
In an interview, Bayard said he sometimes sides with the Orleans Parish School Board, which he said has done a good job financially and in improving schools under its control.
“I feel good about the positions I take,” he said.
Bayard is being challenged by former teacher Holly Boffy, of Youngsville, for the District 7 seat in southwest Louisiana.
Schedler to talk to Press Club
Secretary of State Tom Schedler is scheduled to address the Press Club at noon Monday.
Schedler and Louisiana House Speaker Jim Tucker face each other on the Oct. 22 primary election ballot. Both are Republicans.
Tucker was invited to attend but declined.
The Press Club meets at De La Ronde Hall, 320 Third St. in downtown Baton Rouge. Lunch is $12 for members and $15 for non-members.
The public is invited, but only members of the Press Club and members of the news media are allowed to ask questions.
Donelon will meet GOP Roundtable
Commissioner of Insurance Jim Donelon will be the featured speaker at the Ascension GOP Roundtable at noon Thursday.
The meeting, sponsored by Ascension Republican Women, will be held at Kamal’s Kafe, 13091 Airline Highway, in Gonzales.
Donelon, who joined the staff of the Department of Insurance in 2001, was elected in 2006 to fill an unexpired term as commissioner. He was then re-elected for a full term in 2007.
Cost for the buffet-style lunch is $13. The Roundtable is open to the public and guests are welcome.
Reservations are requested. Phone (225) 644-5728 or e-mail: ARWrUS@aol.com
Compiled by the Capitol news bureau. Contact email is email@example.com.