Politics Column for Jan 27, 2013

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Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne

Magazine: Jindal a ‘tough-talking nerd’

For The National Journal, the biggest question to arise from Gov. Bobby Jindal’s speech at the Republican National Committee’s winter meeting was whether the “tough-talking nerd” could be elected president.

The weekly political magazine characterized Jindal’s delivery as “that of a nervous student rushing through an oral recitation of a term paper.”

However, The National Journal noted that Republicans are taking Jindal seriously even if they seemed distracted during his fast-talking speech.

Dems await arrival of Bill Maher

The Louisiana Democratic Party promoted among its members the visit of political comedian Bill Maher, who calls himself a proud liberal and who appears at the Baton Rouge River Center Theater on Sunday night.

“We just have a lot of people in the party who watch his show from what we hear,” said Mike Stagg, communications director for the party.

Stagg said the party purchased a bloc of tickets to sell to party patrons and package deals that include a reception.

Judge to hear case against revamp

Judge Michael Caldwell, of the 19th Judicial District Court in Baton Rouge, agreed last week to rehear arguments that one of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s education revamp laws violated a constitutional ban on bundling multiple objectives in a single bill.

Caldwell set a 9:30 a.m. Feb. 25 hearing date to determine whether he will grant a new trial in the lawsuit filed by the Louisiana Federation of Teachers, or LFT.

Caldwell last month said parts of the education revamp violated the prohibition but other sections were constitutional, such as those dealing with teacher tenure and salary because they conformed with the title given the act.

LFT lawyer Larry Samuel said the title that Caldwell referred to was actually its “summary” or “one-liner,” not the bill’s official title.

“Neither the bill nor its act contains one general object or purpose,” Samuel wrote.

Dardenne, ‘Swamp People’ join

Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne will join “Swamp People” stars Troy Landry and Bruce Mitchell in New Orleans in pre-Super Bowl events promoting Louisiana and its tourism and the popular show.

Dardenne said the group will be around the media center Friday and on Super Bowl Boulevard talking up the state to the myriads of visitors coming for Sunday’s game between the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens.

Dardenne said he’ll also be in the media center earlier in the week and various convention and visitors bureaus will have booths.

Harris says 1st visit to Capitol not great

State Rep. Lance Harris, R-Alexandria, told the Chamber of Commerce of East Baton Rouge Parish that, until he arrived at the State Capitol for orientation, the only time he had visited was when he was in the fifth grade.

That visit did not go well.

Harris said he had to stay on the school bus because of behavior problems.

Gallot baby
due March

State Sen. Rick Gallot, D-Ruston, might be a little sleep deprived during the upcoming legislative session.

Gallot and his wife, Christy, expect to welcome a baby boy in March, just weeks ahead of the session.

They plan to name the baby Joseph.

“We’re still in negotiation on the middle name. But we have agreed on the first name,” Gallot said.

The baby will be the fourth child in a blended family.

Gallot has a 20-year-old son from his first marriage. His wife has a 7-year-old.

Together, they have a 1-year-old.

Women’s group releases PSAs

The Louisiana Legislative Women’s Caucus launched three new public service announcements geared to women and their roles in society.

Two PSAs encourage women to run for public office and pursue degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM area. The third expresses gratitude to Louisiana women veterans and those current serving in the armed forces.

The short spots are a result of a partnership between the caucus’ foundation and Cox Louisiana.

The women’s caucus created the PSAs to respond to its findings that although women earn more college degrees, men earned more in the STEM fields and that although women comprise 51 percent of Louisiana population, only 25 percent of elected public service positions were held by women.

Guide to Louisiana Legislature on sale

The Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana is accepting orders for its 2013 guide to the Louisiana Legislature.

The pocket-size booklet is filled with biographical information and photographs of legislators, statewide elected officials and the state’s congressional delegation. It includes contact information for the state’s elected officials as well as their committee assignments.

PAR also will be selling apps for iPhones, iPads and Android devices. The apps will be available in the next few weeks in the Apple Store and Google Play.

The PAR guides are $10 each plus tax and shipping. For information, visit PAR’s website at parlouisiana.org.

Dismukes to speak
at Press Club

David Dismukes, director of policy analysis at the LSU Center for Energy Studies, will address the Press Club of Baton Rouge on Monday.

Dismukes will discuss Louisiana manufacturing development and natural gas production based on a recent study.

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.

Education progress policy forum set

Louisiana Progress will host Tuesday an education policy forum from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the First Methodist Church in Hammond.

The focus of the forum is “How do we improve education for all children?” and will be moderated by Christopher Tyson, a professor at LSU Law School.

The confirmed panelists include Ashley Walker, principal of Westside Middle School; Barbara Forrest, a professor at Southeastern Louisiana University; Karen Bell, a teacher; Kevin Crovetto, a teacher; Hammond City Councilman Lemar Marshall; Lottie Beebe, a member of the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education; state Rep. John Bel Edwards, D-Amite and a member of the Louisiana House Education Committee; state Rep. Chris Broadwater, R-Hammond; and Theresa Hamilton, chief administrative officer of the Tangipahoa School System.

VP to discuss national security

Christopher Holton, vice president with the Center for Security Policy, a Washington DC-based national security think tank, will be the speaker at Thursday’s meeting of the Pachyderms of Greater Baton Rouge.

The 6:30 p.m. meeting will be at the Great Wall Chinese Restaurant, 3084 College Drive, in Baton Rouge.

Holton’s talk will focus on the Muslim Brotherhood and the global Islamic insurgency.

Cost for the buffet is $13. Pachyderm meetings are open to the public and guests are welcome. Reservations are requested. RSVP: (225) 644-5728 or email: info@pachydermsofgbr.org

Compiled by The Advocate’s Capitol news bureau. Contact email address is cnb@theadvocate.com.