No, your television set is not broken.

It’s a different kind of commercial this election season.

The 15-second spot contains no audio.

Viewers see a screen with a written message: “Better is a quiet break during this busy political season. Please remember to vote.”

The ad placement by Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center will run through Election Day Tuesday, the hospital’s communications executive, Catherine Harrell, said.

“We were doing some planning on what we were going to be doing for our television placement. When politics are so thick, you can’t compete. So we decided to do this kind of crazy thing and have a moment of silence,” Harrell said.

The hospital will return to regular programming after the election.

Engagement spurs tide of well wishes

Sherri LeBas, state Department of Transportation and Development secretary, is engaged to be married.

House Transportation Committee Chairwoman Karen St. Germain, D-Pierre Part, offered well wishes to LeBas, who was in the audience during a committee meeting last week.

St. Germain’s gesture then set off a wave of good tidings from state lawmakers and others.

LeBas is scheduled to marry Bill Firnberg, who with his brother owns an education supply firm called School Aids.

“We went to elementary school together at Magnolia Wood,” LeBas said. “Then he went to U High and I went to Baton Rouge High, then we reconnected on Facebook.”

Tea Party of La. picks ‘Champions of Liberty’

The Tea Party of Louisiana named five state senators and 11 state representatives “Champions of Liberty” as top supporters of its agenda in the 2014 legislative session, according to the group’s scorecard released last week.

State Sen. Gerald Long, R-Winnfield, was the top-scoring senator with a 90 percent rating, and state Rep. Jay Morris, R-Monroe, led the Louisiana House.

The Tea Party of Louisiana has the largest membership — about 15,000 — of the state’s dozen or so tea party organizations. The organization promotes government policies that adhere philosophically with its conservative interpretation of the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.

All 144 legislators were graded on 11 bills on which the group took a position during the legislative session that ended in June. Those measures included House Bill 953, which would have implemented portions of the Common Core standards in public schools (the tea party opposed); HB907, which would have allowed issuance of Real ID compliant driver’s licenses, (tea party opposed); and Senate Bill 469, which changed state law to block already-filed lawsuits alleging damages to coastal marshes by the oil and gas industry (tea party supported).

Fifty-eight of the 105 House members and 14 of the 39 state senators scored below 56 percent, designating them as “Needs to Remember What it Means to be an American,” the lowest of the five grades.

The survey is available at

Lt. Gov. Dardenne gets in touch with nature

Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne hit the great outdoors recently, exploring Bayou Sorrel and Grand Lake.

Dardenne’s mission was to learn about sedimentation and other environmental issues in the Atchafalaya Basin — the nation’s largest river swamp.

The “familiarization” tour was organized by the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area and the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, in partnership with the U.S. Geological Survey and the LSU School of Renewable Resources.

UNO to name ballroom for late state senator

The University of New Orleans plans to name its University Center Ballroom in honor of former state Sen. Ted Hickey, who championed the establishment of UNO and the university’s eventual renaming under the LSU System in the 1970s.

“As both the president and an alumnus of the University of New Orleans, I am indebted to Sen. Ted Hickey and his longtime advocacy of the university,” UNO President Peter J. Fos said in a news release. “I hope that by honoring him in this way, more members of the UNO community will appreciate what he meant to the university.”

A ceremony will be scheduled to mark the dedication.

Hickey, who died in 1993, served in the Louisiana Legislature for nearly 30 years, representing the district in which UNO is located. He helped draft the legislation that led to the university’s creation.

“He was very proud of the work he did throughout the years on behalf of UNO,” Hickey’s grandson, George Kadair III, said in the university release.

Health officer to speak at Press Club of BR

State health officer Dr. Jimmy Guidry will be the speaker for Monday’s meeting of the Press Club of Baton Rouge.

Guidry will discuss the state’s preparedness for Ebola.

The Press Club meets in the Iberville Room at the Belle of Baton Rouge Hotel, 102 France St. Parking is free in the garage off Mayflower Street. Lunch, which is served at 11:30 a.m., is $12 for members and $15 for nonmembers. The public is invited, but only members of the Press Club and the news media are allowed to ask questions.

Edwards to help launch radio show on WBRP

Former Gov. Edwin W. Edwards will be the first guest to kick off “The Jim Engster Show” on its new station, WBRP 107.3 FM in Baton Rouge.

For more than a decade, Engster’s hourlong interview program on public radio has been an early morning routine for the Baton Rouge political set. The program will continue to be guest oriented and will air from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The four-term former governor, who at 87 is attracting national attention in a bid to win a seat in Congress, is the first guest.

“It is appropriate to lead with the most prominent political figure in our state’s history as we embark on a new chapter,” Engster said. “Edwards was the first governor I interviewed, and his longevity on the state and national scene is remarkable.”

Compiled by The Advocate Capitol news bureau. Send submissions to For more coverage of government and politics, follow our Politics Blog at