Inside Politics for Dec. 23, 2012

Capitol news bureau

Major Thibaut of New Roads, House District 18
Major Thibaut of New Roads, House District 18

Rep. Major Thibaut engaged to marry

State Rep. Major Thibaut, D-New Roads, is bidding goodbye to his days as a bachelor.

Thibaut is engaged to Brandi Cline, of Jarreau. He said no wedding date is set.

In addition to serving in the Legislature, Thibaut raises horses and runs an insurance business.

Cline handles farm loans for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Ethics: School chief can serve on BESE

State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education member Lottie Beebe won’t run into any ethics problems if she gets hired as St. Martin Parish’s next school superintendent.

The Louisiana Board of Ethics advised Beebe that state ethics laws would not prohibit her from continuing as a BESE member should she get the superintendent’s job.

Beebe, who sought the ethics opinion, submitted a prior attorney general’s opinion issued in connection with BESE member and recently retired DeSoto Parish School Superintendent Walter Lee’s service which concluded that no problem would exist. Lee served in both capacities for years.

Beebe, of St. Martinville, is the St. Martin school district’s human resources director.

She is one of three finalists for the superintendent’s job. The School Board is scheduled to vote at its Jan. 9 meeting.

Kleckley calls for committee to meet

Louisiana House Speaker Chuck Kleckley, R-Lake Charles, on Friday asked state Rep. John Schroder, R-Covington, to convene a meeting of the House Select Committee on Homeland Security early next year to look at the Newtown, Conn., shootings of elementary school students.

Kleckley said in a news release that he wants Schroder’s committee to evaluate existing Louisiana laws and procedures concerning school safety.

“The committee will discuss if we as a state need to take further action to make sure our children are free to learn, play and grow in peace and safety,” Kleckley stated.

Templet takes home City Park award

State Civil Service director Shannon Templet has received the President’s Award from New Orleans City Park.

The award is presented by the New Orleans City Park Improvement Association, the managing entity of City Park, to individuals who have made significant contributions to the recovery and development of City Park.

4 past governors
to speak on LPB

Louisiana’s four former governors will look back on their time in office and the challenges they faced during a Louisiana Public Broadcasting show airing at 3 p.m. Sunday.

Former Govs. Edwin Edwards, Buddy Roemer, Mike Foster and Kathleen Blanco are featured.

LPB will air the discussion among the governors as they participated in the Council for a Better Louisiana’s 50th anniversary celebration earlier this month in Baton Rouge.

“If you are unable to catch it at that time, don’t worry,” CABL president Barry Erwin said. “It’s available now on the LPB website and you can watch it at your leisure.”

Nominations being accepted for award

The Louisiana Legislative Women’s Caucus Foundation is accepting nominations for the 2013 Women of Excellence Awards.

Nomination forms may be downloaded from the Women’s Caucus website: http://llwc.louisiana.gov.

The deadline to receive nominations is Feb. 8.

The awards categories include Business, College Woman of Excellence, Education and Research, Louisiana Hero of Excellence, Military, High School Woman of Excellence and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

The awards will be given at the sixth annual Women of Excellence Awards & Scholarship Gala in May.

Ethics board affirms fine on Norton

State Rep. Barbara Norton, D-Shreveport, wanted the Louisiana Board of Ethics to reconsider a $1,500 fine it levied for her late filing of a campaign finance report.

Norton was scheduled to make an appearance Friday to make her case, but she didn’t show up — again.

In past months when Norton had scrapped scheduled appearances for one reason or another, the board had rescheduled her.

This time, Norton advised Ethics Board staff that the weather was too bad Thursday for her drive down for the Friday meeting.

It was the last straw for Ethics Board member Julie Blewer, of Shreveport.

“I had to make the same drive from Shreveport yesterday,” Blewer said. “I’m tired of this.”

The board voted to decline to waive the fine. According to ethics records, Norton had 12 prior late filings.

Vacancy on state ethics board

There’s another vacancy on the 11-member Louisiana Board of Ethics.

The new resignation came from Renee Austin Duffin, of Baton Rouge, who was appointed by the Louisiana Senate earlier this year. Duffin had a work conflict that prevented her from attending Thursday executive sessions of the board, during which key decisions are made such as the filing of charges or launching investigations into allegations of impropriety.

Now, the Senate must choose a new member from a list of seven names submitted by the state’s private college presidents.

The nominees include former state Rep. Emile “Peppi” Bruneau, of New Orleans; former state Sen. Sydney Nelson, of Shreveport; former Louisiana Association of Educators executive Lawrence Narcisse, of Baton Rouge; former state health agency legislative liaison Patricia Faxon, of Baton Rouge; attorney Ben Miller, of Baton Rouge; minister Martha M. Orphe, of St. Martinville; and retired military Lincoln Joseph Savoie, of Sunset.

Compiled by the Capitol news bureau. Contact email address is cnb@theadvocate.com.