Following East Cleveland, Ohio
State Treasurer John Kennedy expressed dismay Friday after learning that East Cleveland, Ohio, initiated collections efforts against motorists who failed to pay their tickets for running red lights. The town counted about 18,000 in the 2010 U.S. Census and was the first suburb of Cleveland.
In Louisiana, state government is debating how to collect on more than $1 billion in outstanding bills.
“We’re behind East Cleveland?” Kennedy lamented.
Closing of prison surprises some
Southwest Louisiana legislators say they were caught by surprise late Friday when the Jindal administration announced its decision to close C. Paul Phelps Correctional Center in DeQuincy.
“I believe the legislators deserve more respect than this and should be included in discussions on issues of this importance,” said state Rep. Brett Geymann, R-Lake Charles.
State Rep. James K. Armes III, D-Leesville, said legislators whose districts were impacted by the decision should have been given “the common courtesy of being contacted.” Armes said in a prepared statement that the decision to shift 970 inmates from the facility in DeQuincy to the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, will cost 270 people their jobs.
The Jindal administration contends the closure will save $2.6 million in the current fiscal year that ends June 30. Inmates will move to other state prisons. More than 100 jobs could be lost.
Dardenne promotes La. food in Dallas
Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne traveled to Dallas last week to promote Louisiana Culinary trails. The trip came through a partnership with the Louisiana Travel Promotion Association and Texas Monthly.
Texas Monthly magazine co-hosted an event for news media and food writers highlighting Louisiana fare with cooking demonstrations and Cajun and Creole hors d’oeuvres.
Dardenne also met with Dallas media to launch the new retirement brand and website for Louisiana—Retire Louisiana Style and www.RetireLouisianaStyle.com. For more information on Louisiana’s culinary trails, visit www.LouisianaCulinaryTrails.com.
Schedler speeds home from Mideast
Secretary of State Tom Schedler got caught up in last week’s unrest in the Middle East.
Schedler was part of a team educating and assisting servicemen, women and their families about military and oversees absentee voting in places such as Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain.
But the trip was cut short after U.S. embassies in three Middle East countries came under attack by protesters angered by an anti-Islam film. Trailers of the film, made by a Californian, shown on YouTube prompted attacks on American consulates. U.S. diplomat Chris Stevens and three other Americans died in an attack on the Libyan consulate.
“U.S. officials are currently assessing the situation, and immediate action to return to the states was necessary,” according to a news release from Schedler’s office.
Schedler was among five other secretaries of state invited by the National Association of Secretaries of State to go on the trip which was paid for by the Department of Defense. He was scheduled to return Monday but instead left the previous Thursday.
Ex-ag commissioner honored in Zachary
The Zachary City Council on Sept. 11 presented former Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Bob Odom with a plaque commemorating his service and a key to the city.
“This city is built on people like Mr. Bob, who give back to the community,” Mayor David Amrhein said.
Entergy Mohl mauled
and also praised
Shortly before blasting Bill Mohl, Entergy Louisiana’s head, state Public Service Commission members took turns praising him and lamenting a promotion that will send him off to New York.
“I hope it comes with a big raise,” said PSC Commissioner Eric Skrmetta, of Metairie. His smile immediately faded and Skrmetta demanded that his fellow utility regulators immediately hire an outside lawyer and convene a special investigation into Entergy’s efforts to restore power after Hurricane Isaac.
As president and chief executive officer of Entergy Gulf States Louisiana LLP and Entergy Louisiana LLC, Mohl is in charge of the electricity sold to roughly half the state’s customers of regulated utility companies. Mohl was named Entergy Wholesale Commodities President and will be moving to White Plains, N.Y.
“It’s been a pleasure working with you,” said PSC Chairman Foster Campbell, of Bossier Parish, before throwing his support behind Skrmetta’s motion.
Romney seeks Louisiana lawyers
The Romney-Ryan campaign is looking for volunteer lawyers to serve in the run-up to the presidential election.
The lawyers would perform tasks such as assisting State Strategy Room Operators and Advisors, members of Rapid Response Teams, liaisons to local election officials, and preparing for the post-election canvass.
Interested lawyers are asked to contact Bryan Jeansonne in the Baton Rouge office of Christensen Doré Jeansonne & Shahla PLC, law firm.
LaFleur resigns from
Baton Rouge lawyer Vanessa LaFleur resigned from the Louisiana Board of Ethics.
LaFleur could no longer serve because she accepted a $90,000 a year state job as director of the state Department of Revenue’s Policy Services Division. She was one of two Louisiana House appointees to the 11-member board that oversees state conflict of interest, nepotism, campaign finance, lobbyist reporting and personal financial disclosure laws.
Louisiana House Clerk Butch Speer said it is the House’s intent to have a replacement sworn in by the Ethics Board’s November meeting.
The House has received a list of nominations from the presidents of Louisiana’s private colleges as required by law. The seven nominees will be interviewed by the House and Governmental Affairs Committee with its recommendation going to a mail ballot of the House for election.
Those up for appointment include Theodore Callier of Harvey, an assistant vice president at Dillard University; Christopher Sean Ciocchetti, a professor at Centenary College in Shreveport; James A. Calmont III of Alexandria, a businessman; Julianne Nice of New Orleans, a consultant; Martha M. Orphe of St. Martinville, a minister; Ashley Kennedy Shelton of Baton Rouge, Louisiana director of One Voice; and Liddell Smith of Shreveport, a former assistant district attorney and former assistant U.S. attorney.
Marmillion to discuss Gulf Coast report
Val Marmillion, managing director of America’s Wetland Foundation, will address the Press Club at noon Monday.
Marmillion will discuss the foundation’s new report, “Beyond Unintended Consequences: Adaptation for Gulf Coast Resiliency and Sustainability.” The report offers 30 recommendations for Gulf Coast sustainability based on research and testimony from a series of leadership forums. The forums were held in 11 communities from Texas to Florida during a 14-month period in 2011 and 2012.
The Press Club at the De La Ronde Hall, located at 320 Third St. in downtown Baton Rouge. Lunch, which is served at 11:30 a.m., is $12 for members and $15 for nonmembers.
Democratic chair speaks at Southern
Louisiana Democratic Party Chair Karen Carter Peterson will be the featured speaker on Monday for the Southern University Nelson Mandela School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs series “Activism Through Education.”
The session, which will include the speech, begins at 11 a.m. in the Higgins Hall Lobby on the Southern University campus in Baton Rouge.
Candidate’s wife visits Louisiana
Ann Romney is appearing Wednesday in Shreveport.
She is raising money Romney Victory Inc., which according to the flier, is composed of several organizations, including the campaign committee for her husband Mitt Romney’s presidential bid.
The cost for a “VIP Photo Reception and Luncheon” at The Shreveport Club is $10,000 per couple. The event begins at noon with a general reception following at 12:15 p.m. that costs $2,500 per couple.
Tickets are available by emailing email@example.com or calling (504) 615-2083.
School discipline topic of meeting
Senate President Pro-Tempore Sharon Weston Broome, D-Baton Rouge, is hosting a discussion on education and school discipline Wednesday at 6 p.m. in the North Baton Rouge Clinic.
The event is sponsored by the Council of State Governments Justice Center.
The North Baton Rouge Clinic is at 5445 Airline Highway, Baton Rouge.
League looks at privatization
“The Privatization of Public Services in Louisiana — Is Louisiana for sale to the highest bidder’?” is the topic of this month’s Lunch with the League on Thursday.
Panelists representing key Jindal Administration officials have been invited to provide insight into the fiscal and political rationale for privatization and also panelists, who are the qualified individuals with expertise in the identified governmental areas affected, have been invited.
The Baton Rouge League of Women Voters’ event will be in the Audubon Room at Drusilla Place, 3482 Drusilla Lane, Baton Rouge.
Doors open at 11:15. Lunch will be served at 11:45 and the program will begin promptly at 12:00 noon. Reservations are suggested. Cost of the lunch is $20 for League members and $25 for nonmembers. Reservations may be made and tickets purchased by credit card on the League website at www.lwvbr.org/LWL.html or by calling the League office at (225) 927-2255.
Payment at the door is by cash or check only.
Jason Doré, executive director of the Louisiana Republican Party, will be the guest speaker for Thursday’s noon meeting of the Ascension GOP Roundtable, sponsored by Ascension Republican Women.
Doré will discuss the Electoral College during his noon address at Kamal’s Kafe, 13091 Airline Highway, Gonzales.
Doré was involved in efforts defeat the national popular vote legislation in the past two session of the Louisiana Legislature.
Cost for the buffet-style lunch is $15. The Roundtable is open to the public and guests are welcome. Reservations are requested. Call 225-644-5728 or email: ARWrUS@aol.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Compiled by The Advocate Capitol news bureau. Contact email address is email@example.com.