Gov. Bobby Jindal’s incursion in the world of Ebola politics brought him some ink in the latest edition of The New Yorker magazine.
The article, by Michael Specter, is titled “The Fear Equation” and Jindal is the example used for fueling public fears.
“Actually, all it takes to discombobulate a city is a few irrational decisions and some irresponsible statements. Several politicians, like Gov. Bobby Jindal, of Louisiana, have turned the epidemic into fodder for their campaign to halt immigration,” Specter writes. “Jindal, and others, have suggested that we ought to simply close our borders to people coming from West Africa.”
Specter writes that on the other hand, Bruce Aylward, the assistant director general of the World Health Organization, said recently that travel bans make the world sicker, not safer. “The more difficulty you have with travel and trade, the harder it is to have an appropriate response … which means this disease is getting more and more ahead of us.”
More negative U.S. Senate ads being run
If you think you have been seeing a lot of negative ads in the U.S. Senate race, a recent survey reported by FactCheck.org confirms that.
“Over the last two weeks, the Wesleyan Media Project found just 18 percent of the ads in the Louisiana Senate race were positive, with the rest split almost evenly between contrast and negative ads. In the prior two-week period, there wasn’t a single positive ad aired in the race,” FactCheck noted.
There’s a never-ending stream of TV ads from the campaigns of Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu and Republican U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy and their supporters and detractors.
Havard to continue push for transparency
State Rep. Kenny Havard isn’t giving up on getting some transparency into Gov. Bobby Jindal’s privatization efforts.
The Jackson Republican said he’ll be back in the 2015 legislative session pushing a bill requiring legislative oversight and approval of certain privatization contracts.
Havard’s target is contracts valued at $5 million or more annually that call for services “substantially similar to and in lieu of” those previously provided by state employees.
“We are responsible for the budget but we have no insight into any of these contracts,” said Havard, whose district includes state health and prison facilities.
The measure previously cleared the Louisiana House but died in the Senate amid Jindal opposition.
“This administration has pushed for transparency and accountability and all of those things, but when it comes to them, not so much,” Havard said.
“If the contracts had been property vetted up front, we wouldn’t be having all these problems,” he said, noting in particular LSU hospital privatizations and some handling of the state health insurance program.
Retired teachers gear up for their fall meeting
State Group Benefits and retirement system changes are among the topics on tap for the Louisiana Retired Teachers’ Association’s fall meeting Oct. 27-29 in Baton Rouge.
The sessions will be held at the Embassy Suites.
Among featured presenters will be Patrice Pujol, past president of the Louisiana Association of School Superintendents; House Appropriations Committee chairman Rep. Jim Fannin, R-Jonesboro; chairmen of the Legislature’s retirement committees — state Sen. Elbert Guillory, R-Opelousas, and state Rep. Kevin Pearson, R-Slidell; and governor’s candidate state Rep. John Bel Edwards, D-Amite.
Presentations also will be made by state Office of Group Benefits CEO Susan West and Teachers’ Retirement System of Louisiana Executive Director Maureen Westgard.
LSU Lady Tigers basketball coach Nikki Caldwell will be guest speaker for the group’s Oct. 28 banquet.
Scalise, Vitter noted in Washingtonian list
If you ask congressional aides (anonymously), Republican Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise is a rising star, surprise standout and a workhorse. Meanwhile, the group says Republican U.S. Sen. David Vitter, of Louisiana, is among the Senate’s top “party animals.”
The Washingtonian posted its Best and Worst of Congress 2014 earlier this month, identifying the members of Congress who D.C. staffers say are the nicest, most partisan, hottest and meanest, among other categories.
Scalise and Vitter, who is running for governor next year, were the only two to make the list from Louisiana’s delegation.
Vitter was voted No. 2 “party animal” in the Senate in a tie with West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin — coming in behind North Carolina Republican Richard Burr, who was voted No. 1.
Scalise, who recently rose to the level of House majority whip, was identified as the House’s No. 1 “rising star” and came in at No. 2 in two categories: “workhorse” and “surprise standout.”
Scotland and the plight of the crawfish
This week, news surfaced about crawfish in Scotland being considered an invasive species and being stomped to death.
Many Louisianians offered to welcome the crawfish to Louisiana where they could die a more traditional death.
Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne lamented the plight of the poor crawfish and then, ever the punster, Dardenne suggested a headline for the story: “Scottish crawfish kilt by stomping.”
Tripeaux temporarily serving as BESE head
Kimberly Tripeaux is serving as interim executive director for the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Chas Roemer, who is president of the panel, earlier said he hoped the job would be filled during last week’s meeting.
But he said on Wednesday that interviews continue and the plan is to fill the position at BESE’s December gathering.
Roemer said Tripeaux will get a pay boost during her time in the post.
Former Executive Director Heather Cope, who served for two years, recently left to take an education job in New Jersey.
BESE sets policies for about 700,000 public school students statewide.
Southern voters’ rally features John Lewis
Civil rights icon John Lewis is holding a voters’ rally Wednesday at Southern University.
A congressman representing Atlanta since 1987, Lewis was the chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, better known as SNCC, during the civil rights movement in the 1960s. As such, he was considered one of the “Big Six,” the leaders of the most prominent civil rights organizations, which included Martin Luther King Jr. and James Farmer.
The “Get on the Bus with John Lewis” voter rally begins at noon Wednesday at Higgins Hall on the Southern University-Baton Rouge campus.
Early voting begins Tuesday for the Nov. 4 election.
Laura Cassidy to speak to Pachyderm Club
Dr. Laura Cassidy, wife of Republican U.S. Senate candidate Bill Cassidy, will speak Tuesday to the Pelican State Pachyderm Club in Kenner.
She will discuss the issues and strategies in the 2014 campaign.
The meeting begins at 6:15 p.m. at the DoubleTree Hotel, 2150 Veterans Boulevard near Williams, in Kenner.
The cost is $25. RSVP to email@example.com.
Compiled by The Advocate capitol news bureau