$50,000 goes to fight Kleckley recall
The Republican Party of Louisiana’s political arm spent just over $50,000 in one month to combat efforts to recall House Speaker Chuck Kleckley.
The GOP’s political action committee detailed the May expenses in a campaign finance report filed with state ethics officials. And, that’s not all the spending that’s planned, party executive director Jason Dore said.
Kleckley, R-Lake Charles, became the subject of a recall effort organized by veteran Calcasieu Parish teachers upset over his backing of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s education revamp plans. Jindal is subject of a recall effort as well.
Teachers Angie Bonvillain and Brenda Romero argue that public schools are being undermined with the diversion of some low and middle-income students from failing public schools to private and parochial schools at taxpayer expense. Those seeking Kleckley’s ouster have until mid-September to file petitions with sufficient voter signatures to prompt a recall election.
The bulk of the Republican PAC’s spending — $30,650 — came in the purchase of TV spots on two Lake Charles stations.
The $50,000 counts all spending listed in the GOP report as “grassroots expense-Kleckley recall.”
SU for creating job
Southern University’s plans to add a new $40,000 job and fill it with a recent graduate is drawing the ire of state Rep. Dalton Honoré, whose Baton Rouge district includes the campus.
What caught Honoré’s attention was an ethics request made by Demetrius Sumner, who has been the student member on the Southern University System Board of Supervisors. Sumner outlined the special assistant to the associate vice chancellor for student affairs job he was in line for and wondered whether he would violate conflict of interest laws.
“I’m upset about it. Why would Southern be doing this when they have already filed bankruptcy?” asked Honoré. “You are laying off people then they are doing this. ... Enrollment is way down and cuts are still coming and then you go out and create a new position.”
“We are fighting to hold the state budget together,” said Honoré, noting he voted to approve use of rainy day funds to avoid additional cuts.
Southern Chancellor James Llorens did not return calls seeking comment last week.
to start new job
Former House Speaker Joe Salter begins a new job on Monday as undersecretary for management and finance at the Secretary of State’s office.
Salter will be paid $115,000 per year, said Sailor Jackson, spokesman for the office.
Salter just left his previous job as director for governmental relations at the state Department of Education, where he was paid $125,000 annually.
Salter succeeds Tim Palmatier, who was hired in 2010 and paid $61,500 per year.
Miss Louisiana contestants impress
Louisiana might lag in education and other areas, but state Sen. Mike Walsworth said he is convinced the state’s future is bright after spending a week judging the Miss Louisiana pageant.
Walsworth said he was impressed by the “very classy, Southern young belles” competing for the crown.
“It just makes you feel good ... when you listen to a group of young ladies that know where they’re going,” said Walsworth, R-West Monroe.
La. Women’s Caucus
State Rep. Karen St. Germain, D-Pierre Part, is the new chairwoman of the 16-member Louisiana Legislative Women’s Caucus.
Others elected to one-year terms that began July 1 include state Sen. Yvonne Dorsey-Colomb, D-Baton Rouge, Senate vice chairwoman; state Rep. Regina Barrow, D-Baton Rouge, House vice chairwoman; state Rep. Katrina Jackson, D-Monroe, secretary; state Rep. Ledricka Thierry, D-Opelousas, treasurer; state Rep. Nancy Landry, R-Lafayette, parliamentarian; and state Rep. Barbara Norton, D-Shreveport, board member at-large.
Immediate past chairwoman is state Sen. Karen Peterson, D-New Orleans.
award for excellence
Legislative auditor Daryl Purpera received an Excellence in Accountability Award from the National State Auditors Association.
Purpera received the award for a performance audit entitled “Department of Health and Hospitals: Prevention, Detection and Recovery of Improper Medicaid Payments in Home and Community Based Programs.”
The purpose of the audit was to determine if DHH had sufficient processes in place to prevent, detect and recover improper payments to the programs that provide in-home care for the elderly and developmentally disabled. The award was presented at the NSAA’s recent annual conference in Madison, Wis.
Devlin praised for work with BESE
Members of the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education last week heaped praise on Bridget Devlin, policy adviser for BESE.
Devlin is taking a job with the state Department of Education, where she will work for state Superintendent of Education John White.
Walter Lee, a member of the board, jokingly told White that, after consulting with other panel members, it was imperative that Devlin remain on BESE’s staff.
Lee also noted that White was hired, and has a contract, with BESE.
“Either your contract or she stays at BESE,” Lee said in jest.
“Can you give me a minute to think about it?” White asked.
Former LSU pitcher named to board
Former LSU pitcher Gregg Patterson is the newest member of the Louisiana Board of Commissioners of the Stadium and Exposition District.
Gov. Bobby Jindal named Patterson to succeed Mike Polito, who was not reappointed.
Patterson, of Baton Rouge, pitched for LSU in the 1980s. He later worked as a coach. He owns convenience stores and fast food restaurants.
“It’s a great opportunity. My passion is sports,” Patterson said.
The LSED oversees the Superdome, the New Orleans Arena and other buildings.
Moore to address
Press Club of BR
East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore III will address the Press Club of Baton Rouge at noon Monday.
Moore will discuss the Baton Rouge Area Violence Elimination Project, a new violent crime intervention plan aimed at violent offenders as well as drug offenders in the city’s 70805 ZIP code. The plan is modeled after a highly regarded strategy for curbing violence that has worked in cities across the country.
The Press Club meets at De La Ronde Hall in downtown Baton Rouge, 320 Third St. 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 members of the news media are allowed to ask questions.
Landry to speak at
GOP group meeting
Brian Landry, director of the Small Business & Governmental Reform Council and the Technology Advocacy Council for the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, will be the speaker at Thursday’s meeting of the Pachyderms of Greater Baton Rouge.
The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Great Wall Chinese Restaurant, 3084 College Drive, Baton Rouge.
Landry will discuss pension reform as it was presented in the recent legislative session.
Cost for the buffet is $13.
Pachyderm meetings are open to the public. Reservations are requested. RSVP: (225) 644-5728 or email: email@example.com.
Compiled by The Capitol News bureau. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.