State Republican Party won’t endorse
Don’t look for the state Republican Party’s endorsement in any races this election cycle featuring multiple Republican candidates, according to party chairman Roger Villere.
That includes the congressional race featuring Republican U.S. Reps. Charles Boustany, of Lafayette, and Jeff Landry, of New Iberia — thrown into the same district by reapportionment — and the Louisiana State Supreme Court election in an eight-parish area with several GOP contenders.
“We are staying out of it,” Villere said.
Villere said there are “so many qualified Republican candidates” in the Louisiana Supreme Court race to replace retiring Chief Justice Kitty Kimball, a Democrat.
The party will get active if there ends up being a Republican-Democrat runoff in the Supreme Court race, he said.
Ex-Rep. Nowlin in Natchitoches race
Former state Rep. Rick Nowlin, R-Natchitoches, said he can’t get politics and public service out of his system.
Nowlin lost a 2011 re-election bid after a legislative remap based on the 2010 census changed his northwest Louisiana district to majority black.
Nowlin said he’s missed being in the Legislature, but that’s not on the horizon.
So, Nowlin said he’s a candidate for president of Natchitoches Parish, now that voters got rid of the police jury system there.
Longtime Capitol snack seller to move
After nearly 18 years at the State Capitol, snack stand operator Troy Chaney is leaving his posts underneath the front steps and across the street at the annex.
Beginning Aug. 27, Chaney will start operating the snack shop in the downtown Governmental Building.
“It’s a better opportunity for me,” he said.
Chaney, who is legally blind, will have a staff of four to help him serve lunches.
He said he will continue to operate the Capitol concession machines and the annex coffee shop until a replacement is found for him.
Attorney General OK’d to buy vehicle
Legislators swiftly agreed to state Attorney General Buddy Caldwell’s request for a new car Tuesday.
Caldwell wants to spend roughly $26,000 to replace his 4-year-old Ford Expedition with a 2013 model of the same vehicle.
State law requires him to get the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget’s approval before making the purchase.
Caldwell’s spokeswoman, Laura Gerdes Colligan, said her boss’s current vehicle has roughly 119,000 miles.
In December, state Treasurer John Kennedy bought a pre-owned 2011 GMC Yukon XL for $39,325 after receiving the committee’s permission to replace his 2002 Yukon, which had 335,140 miles on it.
Ex-Assistant AG aims for state AG position
The race is three years away, but former state Assistant Attorney General Burton Guidry already is expressing interest in running for the job of the state’s top legal adviser.
“Since becoming an attorney in 1980 I have always been interested in seeking the office of Attorney General for the State of Louisiana,” Guidry wrote in letter last week to friends and fellow citizens.
Guidry said he wants to start a dialogue on a number of issues, including how to make the office more professional than political.
“This may be my only shot at my dream job, and I will seek a consensus of opinions,” he wrote.
Wildlife Department building flooded
Work on the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ sprinkler and fire alarm system resulted in a flood at the agency’s Quail Drive headquarters.
The agency’s secretary, Robert Barham, said a gasket blew out, leading to 20 inches of water in the computer system and a foot of water on the remainder of the first floor.
“My feet are dry, but we had lots of water,” he said.
Barham said he would not be surprised if the damage exceeds $1 million.
The expense, he said, should be covered by insurance.
DHH memo prompts eyesight comments
Squinting to read a handout by the state Department of Health and Hospitals onTuesday, state Rep. John Schroder blamed ulterior motives for his vision problems.
“If this were any smaller, I couldn’t read it. I guess that’s by design,” Schroder, R-Covington, complained.
State Sen. Jack Donahue, R-Mandeville, politely suggested another culprit.
“You need glasses,” he told Schroder.
Schroder conceded the point.
“It’s old age, I guess,” he said.
Ag Commissioner Strain at Press Club
Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain will address the Press Club at noon Monday.
Strain will discuss the state of the agriculture industry in Louisiana, H3N2v virus (swine flu) and the need for river dredging as a result of the drought.
Press Club meets on Mondays at De La Ronde Hall in downtown Baton Rouge at 320 Third Street.
Lunch, which is served at 11:30 a.m., is $12 for members and $15 for nonmembers.
The public is invited.
La. Senate Chief of Staff Guillot awarded
State Senate Chief of Staff Jerry Guillot recently received the LMA President’s Award from the Louisiana Municipal Association.
Outgoing LMA President Glenn L. Brasseaux, mayor of Carencro, praised Guillot “for his dedication to municipal government and indispensable service to the Association.”
Guillot is a longstanding attorney for the village of Rosedale in Iberville Parish.
La. retirement head heads national board
Louisiana State Employees’ Retirement System Executive Director Cindy Rougeou now is the first vice president of the National Association of State Retirement Administrators’ executive board.
NASRA is a non profit association whose members are the directors of the nation’s state, territorial and largest statewide public retirement systems.
“I am proud to be associated with this organization,” Rougeou said.
Sen. Guillory given Legis-Gator award
State Sen. Elbert Guillory, D-Opelousas, received this year’s Legis-Gator of the Year award at the seventh annual Chamber SWLA Legis-Gator Luncheon.
Also picking up an award was House Speaker Chuck Kleckley, R-Lake Charles. Kleckley received the Chair’s Award for being a leader during a difficult legislative session.
Former Gov. Buddy Roemer gave the keynote address.
CODOFIL fundraiser Aug. 26 at restaurant
A group of volunteer organizers has announced plans for an Aug. 26 benefit concert to raise funds for the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana.
Lache Pas is billed as a volunteer-driven celebration of Cajun and Creole music and food. It will be held at Cochon Restaurant from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
The event comes in the wake of Gov. Bobby Jindal removing funds from the state budget for the group charged with French language educational, cultural and economic development initiatives in Louisiana.
Among the featured performers are Zachary Richard, Corey Ledet & His Zydeco Band, Yvette Landry, Louis Michot, Ray Abshire and the Red Stick Ramblers.
Tickets are $20 per person, $10 for students and free for children under age 12. All the proceeds go to CODOFIL.
Prior to the evening event, there will be a VIP brunch at the restaurant from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. featuring the Magnolia Sisters. Tickets are $100 per person.
For reservations call (337) 993-9935.
Compiled by The Advocate Capitol news bureau. Contact email address is