Politics Column for Sunday, July 7, 2013

Edwards pleased La. folks on Jindal tour

State Rep. John Bel Edwards said Friday that he is thrilled about Gov. Bobby Jindal’s statewide tour.

Edwards, D-Amite, said he hopes the governor will hold town hall meetings instead of conducting dog and pony shows.

Then Edwards, a frequent critic of the governor, took a dig. He said Jindal’s made himself available to residents in other states so it’s time he visited with Louisiana residents.

Jindal has crisscrossed the country for speaking engagements and fundraisers since taking office in 2008.

Edwards made his remarks on Jim Engster’s WRKF radio talk show.

Jindal spent the Fourth of July in Bossier City, where he addressed a rally. He has said he plans to visit all 64 parishes.

Dardenne sets sight on seafood panel

With the start of July, a number of bills became state law.

The $25.4 billion state spending plan kicked in, providing a funding mechanism for schools, health care and other public services.

Also, Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne now oversees the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board. One of Dardenne’s first tasks is get a little more time for Louisiana to spend $16 million stemming from an oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico.

Edwards having a rough pregnancy

Former Gov. Edwin Edwards’ wife, Trina, is having a rough go of her pregnancy.

The couple expect a boy in a little more than a month.

Trina Edwards said Friday that she is on bed rest and frequently in the hospital because of health problems. She said her husband — who turns 86 in August — now is responsible for the household shopping and caring for her two boys from a prior marriage.

At night, she said, he sleeps on an uncomfortable hospital sofa just to stay beside her.

Trina Edwards said strangers and friends have sent cards and gifts for the new baby.

“I had no idea I would have so much trouble carrying our child, but I am blessed beyond imagine and thank God every day for allowing me this miracle,” she said. “I’ll never be able to possibly repay the all kindness I’ve received, but hope everyone knows just how thankful I am.”

Students attend
La. Family Forum

More than 40 students last week attended a Louisiana Family Forum political seminar “to better understand how to defend their Biblical worldview and truth in the public sphere.”

State Sen. Elbert Guillory, R-Opelousas, state Rep. Barry Ivey, R-Central, Louisiana Supreme Court Justice Jeff Hughes, R-Walker, and Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon, R-Metairie, attended the gathering.

Dan Richey, who represented Ferriday during the late ‘70s and early ‘80s in the Louisiana House and state Senate and now works for the Family Forum in Baton Rouge, is shown in photographs giving the teenagers a tour of the State Capitol, stopping at the site where Huey Long was shot and at photographs of Richey during his legislative years.

The group also visited the Governor’s Mansion.

Jindal vents political items via Twitter

Gov. Bobby Jindal hopped on Twitter last week and let off a little steam.

The governor, who has more than 130,000 followers, tweeted about health care, bureaucrats, the First Amendment and the Fourth of July.

“The simple fact is that these Washington officials want our faith and worship bottled up inside churches where it can’t infect others,” Jindal tweeted at one point.

The governor also weighed in on federal health care, unleashing the Twitter floodgates by tweeting “You know things are bad when you can’t even successfully implement your own bad ideas” in a pointed criticism of the Obama administration.

The governor’s spokesman, Sean Lansing, said Jindal was referring to the Obama administration delaying a mandate that employers provide health insurance or pay a fee.

Responses to the tweet ranged from “BOOM!!” to “Perhaps the money spent to promote a tweet disrespecting POTUS could’ve been better spent towards your poor & uneducated state.”

La. House GOP feels vindicated by stance

The Louisiana House Republican Delegation issued a statement late last week declaring it had been “vindicated” for its opposition to Obamacare.

The vindication the GOP delegation said came when President Barack Obama delayed for a year the mandate on business to provide health insurance for employees or be prepared to pay a penalty to underwrite the coverage.

“The decision ... underscores the growing uncertainty regarding the fiscal impact of the Affordable Care Act,” said delegation chairman state Rep. Lance Harris, R-Alexandria. “It is now clear that not only are most Republicans concerned about what will happen with implementation of the law, but even the Administration is worried that it could be a ‘train wreck’ for the nation.”

Harris said there is “growing concern” among Republicans and Democrats about the impact of the health care law on business.

Sugar cane official
to address Press Club

Jim Simon, manager of the Thibodaux-based American Sugar Cane League, will speak at the Press Club of Baton Rouge on Monday.

Simon will discuss American sugar policy, the Farm Bill and how Congressional actions affect the $3 billion Louisiana sugarcane industry.

The Press Club meets at De La Ronde Hall, 320 Third St. in downtown Baton Rouge. 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 the news media are allowed to ask questions.

Panel to discuss La.’s French connections

Secretary of State Tom Schedler and Louisiana’s Old State Capitol Associates present a lively discussion of “Bastille Day: Our Louisiana French Connection, Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow,” 5 p.m. on Thursday at the Old State Capitol House Chamber.

Guest speakers will include Bill Arceneaux, president of CODOFIL, or the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana; Florent Hardy Jr., director of archival services with the Louisiana State Archives; and Paul West, site manager at SNF Inc.’s newest plant, located in Plaquemine.

There will be a reception prior to discussion with special guest Jean-Claude Brunet, consul general of France.

Admission is free.

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