Marionneaux polls voters on campaign

State Sen. Rob Marionneaux, D-Grosse Tete, said he is conducting a poll that will determine whether he enters the governor’s race.

Marionneaux refused to identify the name of the company that will question 600 voters statewide for two days.

Marionneaux said he is paying for the poll, which he said demonstrates his degree of interest in running against Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal on Oct. 22.

“If I’m willing to conduct a poll and spend considerable money on it, obviously I’m serious,” Marionneaux said.

Jindal’s campaign aide, Timmy Teepell, refused to talk about polls the governor may or may not be conducting.

“We don’t discuss internal polling,” Teepell said by email.

Wooton planning run for sheriff

State Rep. Ernest Wooton, No Party-Belle Chasse, is leaving the Legislature but hopes to remain in public life.

Wooton said he plans to run for sheriff of Plaquemines Parish. He previously held the job from 1984 to 1992.

A longtime Republican who left the party to challenge U.S. Sen. David Vitter, R-La., Wooton said he is unhappy with the job the current sheriff is doing.

House pays D.C. firm for remap help

The Louisiana House of Representatives paid a suburban Washington, D.C., law firm more than $80,000 in the past few months to shepherd its redistricting plan through to U.S. Justice Department approval.

The latest payment to Holtzman Vogel PLLC - for service rendered in June - was $15,235.

Bills covering March 30 through June legal services totaled $80,960, with the largest invoice submitted in April hitting $37,715.

The House got Justice pre-clearance of its plan for redrawing 105 election districts just before the regular legislative session’s June 23 end. The districts will be used in the Oct. 22 primary election.

The Louisiana Senate had no such expenditures, because it handled the Justice Department submission in-house. The Senate also got the Justice Department’s approval for its plan redrawing 39 election districts.

Father prevents identity confusion

State Rep. Walt Leger III, D-New Orleans, skipped Thursday’s meeting of the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget.

His father, Walt Leger Jr., made sure that legislators did not confuse him with his son when he addressed the committee.

“I’m the original Walt Leger,” he told them.

State Rep. Jim Fannin, D-Jonesboro, asked if it was impossible for two Walt Legers to be in the room at the same time.

“He doesn’t want me to show him up,” Leger joked.

Leger later said his son actually was busy earning a living as a lawyer.

Tucker prioritizes Legislature issues

House Speaker Jim Tucker won’t run for the Legislature this fall. He’s term-limited in the Louisiana House and won’t run for state Senate.

The Terrytown Republican is running for Secretary of State.

But Tucker gave the Press Club of Baton Rouge the top three major issues that he thinks the new Legislature would be facing when it takes office in January.

First is the issue of state retirement systems’ debts, which are in the billions, Tucker said.

Second is tax reform, Tucker said. “The tax system is not as business-friendly as I would like it to be,” he said.

Third, and lastly, is the issue of federal mandates from Washington, D.C.; like the new health-care overhaul which could end up costing state taxpayers $700 million more a year, Tucker said.

Schedler: Tucker’s funding may falter

Secretary of State Tom Schedler isn’t mincing any words when it comes to House Speaker Jim Tucker’s decision to run for the secretary of state’s job in the fall elections.

While Tucker said he would run a $1 million campaign, Schedler predicted that Tucker would have trouble raising that kind of money.

“He’s going to find out it’s an extremely difficult position to raise money for,” said Schedler.

Tucker touts $300,000 in a campaign account. Schedler said the money was in Tucker’s legislative account and was not raised for a secretary of state’s office bid.

Schedler had $171,150 in his campaign account as of the latest report filed in July.

Fayard still unsure on secretary’s race

Caroline Fayard said Thursday on WRKF’s “The Jim Engster Show” that she has not decided yet whether to run for secretary of state. Engster asked her intentions several times.

But the Democrat who turns 33 on Monday said the Secretary of State’s Office should be involved in attracting businesses to move facilities here. As third-highest ranking statewide official, the secretary of state handles the registration of businesses in the state and oversees elections.

Fayard on her website quotes “our survey of 700 likely voters in the October 2011 election” that she said shows a 4 percent lead in a head-to-head race with House Speaker Jim Tucker. Fayard’s website did not say who conducted the poll or what questions were asked.

Carencro mayor picked to lead LMA

Carencro Mayor Glenn L. Brasseaux is the new president of the Louisiana Municipal Association.

Brasseaux took over at the LMA’s annual convention held last weekend in Shreveport.

Serving with him as LMA first vice president will be New Iberia Mayor Hilda Daigre Curry.

Slaughter Mayor Bobby Bourgeois begins his sixth term as a district vice president.

Press Club to host entertainment head

Chris Stelly, the new director of Louisiana Entertainment, is the scheduled speaker for Monday’s noon meeting of the Press Club of Baton Rouge.

Stelly’s office promotes Louisiana films, music, theater and digital media industries.

The Press Club meets at De La Ronde Hall, 320 Third St. in downtown Baton Rouge.

The event is free and open to the public. Lunch is $12 for members and $15 for others.

Only members of the Press Club and working media are allowed to ask questions.

Privatization plan focus of luncheon

“Lunch With the League” Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. will focus on the Jindal administration’s efforts to privatize the state Office of Group Benefits.

The agency handles health insurance for about 250,000 state government workers, retirees and their families.

The League of Women’s Voters of Baton Rouge has invited Gov. Bobby Jindal or one of his aides to attend. Nobody from the administration had committed as of Saturday.

Confirmed panelists include state Sen. Butch Gautreaux, the Morgan City Democrat who chairs the Senate Retirement Committee; Tommy Teague, who had led the Office of Group Benefits until replaced by the Jindal administration; Stephen Monahan, president of the Louisiana Federation of Teachers; and Frank Jobert, president of the Retired State Employees of Louisiana Association.

The luncheon begins at 11:30 a.m. at Drusilla Place Catering, 3482 Drusilla Lane, Baton Rouge. The panel discussion begins at noon.

The public is invited. Tickets cost $25, $20 for members.

More information is available on the Internet at or by phone at (225) 927-2255.

GOP candidates featured at meeting

East Baton Rouge Parish Republican Women is hosting a luncheon for GOP candidates on Wednesday.

The event begins at 11 a.m. at Drusilla Seafood Restaurant meeting room, 3482 Drusilla Lane, Baton Rouge.

Lunch costs $25.

More information is available on the website

Senate candidate to address group

State Senate candidate and current state Rep. Bodi White will be the speaker at Thursday’s noon meeting of the East Baton Rouge Republican Roundtable at Sammy’s Grill in Central.

White, R-Central, is running in a newly created Senate district that includes parts of East Baton Rouge, Livingston, St. Helena and Tangipahoa parishes.

Sammy’s is located at 14800 Wax Road.

Cost of the lunch is $20. RSVPs are requested at

Activist to speak at GOP Roundtable

Conservative civil rights activist and political strategist Shannon Reeves will speak Thursday to the Ascension GOP Roundtable, sponsored by Ascension Republican Women.

Reeves is senior adviser to the Louisiana GOP chairman on African-American Affairs. He was the Republican National Committee’s director of state and local development.

The Roundtable begins at noon Aug. 18 at Kamal’s Kafe, 13091 Airline Highway, in Gonzales.

Cost for the buffet style lunch is $13.

The public is welcome but reservations are requested. Phone (225) 644-5728 or email:

Compiled by the Capitol news bureau. Contact email is