Inside Politics for Nov. 11, 2012

CAPITOL NEWS BUREAU

Mitt Romney
Mitt Romney

Richard endorses Boustany for House

Ron Richard, the Democrat from Lake Charles who came in third in the southwest Louisiana congressional balloting last week, endorsed Rep. Charles Boustany in the Dec. 8 runoff to choose the new 3rd U.S. Congressional District representative.

“I’ve seen firsthand how deep-rooted his support and organization runs in this district and I am proud to endorse him,” Richard said.

Richard polled 67,069 ballots or 21.5 percent of the 311,392 votes cast Nov. 6, according to the complete, unofficial count by the Secretary of State’s Office.

Boustany, R-Lafayette, came in first in the five-man race with 139,123 votes or 44.7 percent.

His challenger in the runoff is U.S. Rep. Jeff Landry, R-New Iberia, polled 93,527 or 30 percent of the vote.

Both incumbents, Boustany and Landry, were forced to run against each other because of congressional redistricting. Louisiana is losing a U.S. House seat because of a lack of population growth.

State: Romney won 57.8 percent La. vote

Former Gov. Mitt Romney, the Republican Party candidate, easily won Louisiana in the Nov. 6 presidential election with 1,151,846 ballots or 57.8 percent of the 1,992,318 of the votes cast, according to unofficial but complete results released by the Secretary of State’s Office.

President Barack Obama polled 807,856 — still more than Gov. Bobby Jindal tallied in 2007 or 2011 in lower turnout elections — but far fewer than the GOP nominee in 2008 and last Tuesday, the Secretary of State statistics showed.

Obama, however, won East Baton Rouge, Caddo, Orleans, St. Helena and six other parishes, according to figures compiled by GCR Inc., of New Orleans, which is under contract to the Secretary of State.

Suburban parishes of Ascension, Livingston, Jefferson and St. Tammany went heavily for the Republican nominee. Both Cameron and LaSalle parishes gave Romney 87.1 percent of the ballots cast in those parishes.

The results won’t be official until Nov. 15. Military and provisional ballots are still being counted.

EBR casts most votes for Socialist party

Interestingly, East Baton Rouge Parish also cast the most votes — 130 total — for standard bearers on one of the three Socialist party tickets competing in the presidential race, according to complete but unofficial results released by the Secretary of State’s Office.

Only Jefferson Parish, with 90 votes between the three candidates, and Orleans Parish, with 89 votes, came anywhere close to Baton Rouge in terms of supporting socialist candidates for president.

The presidential candidate for one of the three parties, Peta Lindsay of the Party for Socialism and Liberation, visited Baton Rouge during the campaign.

The Socialist Equality Party and Socialist Workers Party USA were the two other competing political organizations.

La. rep. says he slept through election

Election night was a snooze for state Rep. Chris Broadwater, despite the close presidential race.

Broadwater, R-Hammond, said he accompanied his wife to the polls, cooked dinner for his family, sat down to watch the election coverage and fell asleep in front of the television. He dozed off about 9 p.m. and didn’t wake up until just before dawn.

“It was a good election night,” he said. “I slept through it.”

Jindal backs Hughes for Supreme Court

After remaining silent on his choice in the crowded Louisiana Supreme Court race, Gov. Bobby Jindal is picking a favorite in the runoff.

The governor’s spokeswoman, Shannon Bates, said Jindal supports Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeal Judge Jefferson Davis “Jeff” Hughes III, of Walker. Like Hughes, the governor is a Republican.

Hughes will face off against his colleague, Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeal Judge John Michael Guidry, a Democrat from Baton Rouge, in the Dec. 8 runoff for the District 5 seat on the Louisiana Supreme Court.

Blogger: Gov. Jindal eyeing presidency

One of Gov. Kathleen Blanco’s former advisors thinks her successor is plotting a path to the White House.

“Bobby Jindal is running for president,” Bob Mann wrote in a blog. “That will be his passion for the foreseeable future. He won’t be running the state of Louisiana, except in the most cursory way.”

Mann is director of LSU’s Reilly Center for Media and Public Affairs.

On election night, a number of political analysts tapped Jindal as one of the emerging future leaders of the national Republican Party.

Mann said Jindal likely will delegate the running of state government to aides while he focuses on his ambitions.

“Sure, he’ll bark some orders to the LSU Board of Supervisors and fire a legislator or two,” Mann wrote. “But most state decisions are now delegated to top aides who seem quite adept at devastating the state’s budget on their own.”

Senator: School Board change is needed

State Sen. Jack Donahue, R-Mandeville, sponsor of a ballot measure to place term limits on local school board members, said change is needed because of the quality of public schools.

“We are fortunate to have some good ones, but for the most part, they are not,” Donahue said.

All 67 school districts that considered the limits approved them.

State Medicaid director retires

Medical director Dr. Rodney Wise of Louisiana Medicaid has retired.

Dr. Rebekah Gee will become the program’s next medical chief, but that won’t happen for a while.

“She will begin her role in January, when she returns from maternity leave,” state health agency spokeswoman Kristen Sunde said.

Gee has been with the state Department of Health and Hospitals for two years as director of the Louisiana Birth Outcomes Initiative.

In the interim, DHH’s Office of Public Health medical director Dr. Takeisha Davis will be working with Medicaid to provide medical guidance.

Advisory group to review tax code

The Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana has formed a tax advisory group to look at potential improvements to the state’s tax code and structure.

Gov. Bobby Jindal has announced he’ll embark on a tax revamp during the 2013 Legislature. Legislators have begun a review of tax laws, including myriads of exemptions.

The PAR advisory group includes former Louisiana commissioners of administration Jerry Luke LeBlanc, Angéle Davis and Mark Drennen; as well as economists, businessmen, accountants, tax attorneys and former state Department of Revenue officials.

Co-chairs will be LSU economist Jim Richardson, a past PAR chairman, and PAR president Robert Travis Scott.

PAR’s website www.parlouisiana.org will provide access research, government reports and information regarding Louisiana taxes and how they compare to other states. Look for the I.Link.Louisiana section and “Tax Policy.”

9-week course offers campaign training

The Manship School’s Academy of Applied Politics is offering a nine-week certificate program offering training in running political and public affairs campaigns.

Classes will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Jan. 30 to March 27, in the Journalism Building on LSU’s campus.

Speakers include former U.S. Rep. Charlie Melancon, D-Napoleonville, and presidential campaign counselor Frank Greer, of Washington, D.C.

The course is open to the public, although enrollment will be capped at 25. The fee is $750. Applications must be submitted by Dec. 17.

For information contact Tara Hammett at (225) 578-7312 or thamme1@lsu.edu.

Congressman to host dyslexia awareness

Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge, is hosting a dyslexia awareness event on Monday and Tuesday as co-chairman of the Congressional Dyslexia Caucus.

Monday, there will be a screening of HBO’s “The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia” from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Shaw Center for the Arts, 100 Lafayette St.

A forum will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday titled “The Past, Present and Future of Dyslexia,” featuring Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity co-directors Drs. Sally and Bennett Shaywitz.

It will be at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, 6400 Perkins Road, Baton Rouge.

Political science chief to speak at Press Club

G. Pearson Cross, head of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s political science department, will be guest speaker for Monday’s meeting of the Press Club of Baton Rouge.

Cross will analyze the results of the Nov. 6 elections for president and Congress in Louisiana.

The Press Club meets at the 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.

Donelon to speak at Pachyderm meeting

State Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon will speak at Tuesday’s meeting of the Pelican State Pachyderm in Kenner.

Donelon is slated to give an update on insurance news.

The event starts at 7 p.m. at the DoubleTree Hotel, 2150 Veterans Blvd. Admission is $25 for members and $35 for guests.

RWC to host justice, JP councilman

Louisiana Supreme Court Associate Justice Greg Guidry and Jefferson Parish Councilman Ben Zahn will speak to the Republican Women’s Club of Jefferson Parish on Thursday.

The event will be held at the Chateau Country Club, 3600 Chateau Blvd., in Kenner at 11:30 a.m.

Lunch is $29.

‘Broken Ballots’ author to give talk

Barbara Simons, co-author of “Broken Ballots: Will Your Vote Count?” is addressing the League of Women Voters Baton Rouge on Thursday.

The luncheon program begins at noon at Drusilla Seafood Restaurant, 3482 Drusilla Lane, Baton Rouge. Doors open at 11:15 a.m.

Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 225-927-2255 or emailing lwvbr@lwvbr.org.

Compiled by The Advocate Capitol news bureau. Contract email address is cnb.theadvocate.com.