Nungesser gets ethics board OK
Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser won’t run afoul of state ethics laws if he enters into business dealings with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers or the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The Louisiana Board of Ethics said no conflict of interest would present itself. However, the board advised that Nungesser must disclose the dealings within 30 days of entering into the contract or agreement.
Nungesser asked about the propriety of providing the Cor ps an access road through property he owns to the Ollie Pump Station in Plaquemines. He also asked whether he could enter into an agreement with FEMA to place trailers at a trailer park he owns.
The board signed off on an advisory opinion that concluded that Nungesser would not be entering into a transaction under the supervision or jurisdiction of his agency, which is Plaquemines Parish —
the prohibition in state law.
Catholic schools chief backs vouchers
Melanie Verges, superintendent of schools for the Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge, told state Superintendent of Education John White last Wednesday that she hopes her schools have more room for vouchers students during the 2013-14 school year.
In a meeting with White and principals, Verges said she “will urge them to take more students, if they have capacity.”
The diocese accepted 423 students after getting about 1,500 applications.
Nearly 5,000 students qualified statewide.
The aid applies to students who attended public schools rated C, D and F and whose families meet income rules.
“We expect more next year,” Verges said of voucher enrollment.
Obama fundraiser surprises party chair
State Democratic Party Chairwoman Karen Carter Peterson found a roomful of “rarities” Thursday night in Baton Rouge.
“I wish the media were here tonight. Sometimes I think they don’t believe Democrats like you exist,” Peterson told a group of about 125 gathered in a downtown restaurant for a fundraising party for President Barack Obama.
A group of women, novices to political fundraising, organized the event on their own without help from the party, Peterson said.
“I met them just 15 minutes ago,” she said.
The party — complete with music from Baton Rouge bluesman Chris Thomas King and New Orleans singer Charmaine Neville — raised more than $12,000 for the Obama campaign.
“Can you do this three or four more times? There’s still 40 days until the election,” Peterson said.
ULM upset win
State Rep. Frank Hoffmann, R-West Monroe, does radio play-by-play for the University of Louisiana at Monroe.
ULM scored a huge upset earlier this month when the school defeated the University of Arkansas, which was then rated No. 8 in the nation.
The outcome of the game generated national headlines, and marks one of the biggest wins in the school’s football history.
Hoffmann sent legislative colleagues audio copies of his call of the final play in overtime to seal the win.
His game-deciding call also was aired the day after the game on ESPN Radio.
The Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana released its “Guide to the 2012 Constitutional Amendments” that will be up for voter approval Nov. 6.
The guide explains the potential impact of the nine constitutional amendments that will be on the ballot, as well as the local option vote on term limits for School Board members. The analysis is designed to help voters understand the issues and the potential changes, so they can develop their own positions on each proposition.
The propositions on the ballot address such issues as the Medicaid Trust Fund for the Elderly, individual gun rights, forfeiture of retirement benefits for convicted public servants and a new property tax exemption aimed at certain targeted non-manufacturing businesses.
The guide gives background for each amendment, describes the current situation regarding the issues, offers commentary on each proposed change and provides the arguments for and against the proposals.
Since its implementation in 1974, the Louisiana Constitution has been amended 167 times.
The “Guide to the Constitutional Amendments” is available on PAR’s website, www.parlouisiana.org. The website also has links to the actual bills that set up each proposed amendment, as well as a complete list with explanations of all amendments that have been proposed and adopted since 1974.
PAR is a private, nonprofit public policy research group.
Naval War Memorial re-appointments
Gov. Bobby Jindal has reappointed Kyle Kennedy, of Baton Rouge, and Sherry Gomez, of Greenwell Springs, to the Louisiana Naval War Memorial Commission.
Kennedy is a self-employed dentist. Gomez is self-employed in hospitality sales consulting and association management.
The 17-member commission serves to control, maintain and exhibit the destroyer U.S.S. Kidd on the Mississippi River in downtown Baton Rouge.
Jindal names three
to N.O. Center board
Gov. Bobby Jindal has made three new appointments to the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts Board of Directors.
Appointments include Adrienne Altman, a homemaker who leads fundraising efforts for The Edible School Yard; Lee Randall, vice president and general auditor for Entergy Corporation; and Nan Wallis Galloway, president and founder of Innovative Healthcare Solutions. All are from New Orleans.
The New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts Board of Directors serves to maintain a program of professional quality training, coaching and performing for high school sophomores, juniors and seniors who aspire to be artists, performers, and arts technicians.
for retiree group
Former Gov. Edwin Edwards is scheduled to be the keynote speaker for the Retired State Employees’ Association of Louisiana’s fourth annual conference and expo Tuesday in Baton Rouge.
The conference will be held Monday through Wednesday at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.
Edwards’ speech is set for 9 a.m. Tuesday.
Most retirees served under one or more of Edwards’ four terms as governor.
Press Club hosts
The Press Club of Baton Rouge is hosting a debate for Louisiana Public Service Commission District 2 candidates at noon Monday.
Candidates Scott Angelle, R-Breaux Bridge; Sarah Holliday, R-Baton Rouge; Erich Ponti, R-Baton Rouge; Forest Wright, D-New Orleans; and Greg Gaubert, no party-Thibodaux, are scheduled to participate.
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.
“Political Mad Men” will discuss the complex world of political advertising with media consultants from past presidential campaigns.
Between them, they’ve produced spots for seven presidential campaigns, including Jerry Rafshoon, for President Jimmy Carter; Mark McKinnon, for President George W. Bush; Doug Bailey, for President Gerald Ford; and Raymond Strother, for candidate former U.S. Sen. Gary Hart.
The discussion is at 5 p.m. Monday beginning in the LSU Journalism building.
The event is free and open to the public.
‘Won’t Back Down’ movie showing
State lawmakers, East Baton Rouge Parish school board members and others have been invited to a showing of the movie “Won’t Back Down,” which school-choice advocates are touting.
The movie stars Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis.
It is described as the story of a single mother who takes on a troubled public school system, in part by using a “parent trigger” law similar to one passed by the Louisiana Legislature earlier this year.
That law allows 50-percent plus one of parents of children at a school rated D or F by the state — 20 percent of the total — to petition for a state takeover of the school after three years, rather than the current four years.
It is modeled after a 2010 California law promoted by Ben Austin, a veteran of the Clinton White House.
The showing is sponsored by the Black Alliance for Educational Options.
It is set for Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the Rave Theater in the Mall of Louisiana.
State Rep. Alfred C. Williams, D-Baton Rouge, is hosting a community meeting and presidential debate watch party Wednesday night.
The meeting will be held at the Matchbox Cafe, 1424 N. Acadian Thruway W., in Baton Rouge. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m.
Compiled by The Advocate Capitol news bureau. Contact email address is email@example.com.