Politics Column for Feb. 24, 2013

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Patrick Dennis /
Plotkin

Jindal’s budget sparks Twitter jabs

A Twitter war briefly raged Friday between the governor’s communications director, Kyle Plotkin, and Internet blogger C.B. Forgotston.

The issue was the structure of higher education funding in Gov. Bobby Jindal’s $24.7 billion proposed budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1. The spending plan anticipates colleges raising tuition by $75 million through authority given to them in what is known as the GRAD Act. Basically, they can raise tuition if they meet performance goals.

“Attention LA college students: Per Gov Bobby Jindal your tuition will increase by up to 10% beginning this Fall. Please spread the word,” Forgotston tweeted at one point.

Plotkin insisted through his Twitter account that the budget does not rely on future increases since the authority for the tuition hikes stems from previously passed legislation.

Finally, state Sen. Ed Murray, D-New Orleans, jumped into the Twitter war.

“There is a cut to higher education; PERIOD!!!!!! The institutions are allowed to increase tuition to make up the cut,” Murray tweeted.

Jindal on road again for governors meet

Gov. Bobby Jindal and his wife, Supriya, spent the weekend in Washington, D.C.

Jindal planned to attend Republican Governors’ Association events Friday and Saturday before dining at the White House with his wife on Sunday.

Monday calls for a return trip to Pennsylvania Avenue. The governor’s press office said Jindal will attend a National Governors Association meeting with the president at the White House.

From Washington, Jindal will fly to Chicago, for more RGA events before returning to Baton Rouge Tuesday.

Governor aware
of kitchen routine

In five years, Gov. Bobby Jindal has gotten a handle on the kitchen schedule at the Governor’s Mansion.

Jindal offered chocolate chip cookies to the media Thursday during a press gathering. However, he cautioned they might be a little stale.

“Mondays actually are better than Thursdays. They make them on Mondays,” he said.

Juvenile justice plan near, Jindal says

Gov. Bobby Jindal on Feb. 15 spelled out his plans to expand Louisiana’s drug courts, revamp prison sentencing laws and refocus a key juvenile justice program to help troubled youngsters.

But the governor cautioned reporters beforehand that it would take some time.

“I will warn the press in advance,” he said.

“My remarks are a little bit longer than normal for a press conference,” Jindal said.

“But this is an important topic and I do want to get into some of the details about why we are proposing the legislation that we are going to be proposing this session,” the governor said.

Jindal then spent about 20 minutes reading a statement spelling out details of his plan.

Then 11 speakers went to the podium, including juvenile justice officials, corrections leaders and state lawmakers for the next 20 minutes or so to praise parts of the plan.

Governor reappoints five board members

Gov. Bobby Jindal has reappointed five members to the Louisiana Board of Commissioners of the Stadium and Exposition District.

The seven-member panel has authority over the Mercedes Benz Superdome, the New Orleans Arena, Zephyr Stadium and other operations.

Those renamed to the board are J. E. Brignac of Prairieville; Robert Bruno of New Orleans; Ron Forman of New Orleans; Julio Melara of Baton Rouge and Bill Windham of Bossier City.

Service award goes to former legislator

Richard Land, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, on Sunday will present the 2012 Richard Land Distinguished Service Award to Family Research Council President Tony Perkins at Greenwell Springs Baptist Church.

Perkins, a former Baton Rouge state legislator, was chosen for “boldly proclaiming Judeo-Christian values as a noble Christian spokesman for faith, family, and freedom in the public square as president of the Family Research Council since 2003,” according to a press release. The Family Research Council is a group founded by James Dobson, an evangelical Christian author, that lobbies in Washington, D.C. for conservative social issues.

Ortego to address Press Club of BR

State Rep. Stephen Ortego will be the speaker at the Press Club of Baton Rouge on Monday at 11:30 a.m.

Ortego, D-Carencro, will discuss legislation on LSU hospitals and other issues.

The gathering takes place at De La Ronde Hall, 320 Third St.

Lunch is $12 for members and $15 for non-members.

The speech begins around 12:15 p.m.

LABI to offer details on legislative session

The Louisiana Association of Business and Industry is hosting briefings around the state on the upcoming session of the Louisiana Legislature, which begins on April 8.

Jim Patterson, LABI’s Vice President of Governmental Relations, the Director of the Employee Relations Council, and Workers Compensation and Unemployment Compensation Task Forces, will present LABI’s priorities for the upcoming session, the state’s fiscal outlook, and discuss federal legislation that could affect Louisiana businesses.

Brian Landry, LABI’s Vice President of Political Action will also speak about LABI’s technology initiative for improving member engagement.

There is a cost that varies depending on venue.

The session in Baton Rouge is Tuesday at 7:30 a.m. at LABI offices, 3113 Valley Creek Drive, Baton Rouge. Call LaJean Lala Farmer at (225) 215-6627 or email lajeanl@labi.org for more information.

On Wednesday, the session begins at noon in the Ballroom of the Hilton New Orleans Airport, 901 Airline Drive, Kenner. Call Selva Riemann at (504) 835-3880 ext. 12 or email selva@jeffersonchamber.org.

On Wednesday, March 6, the conference convenes 11:30 a.m. at the Petroleum Club of Lafayette, 111 Heymann Blvd. Call Angelle Theriot (337) 233-2705.

Vinsanau to speak at GOP women’s event

Linda Vinsanau, a member of Metropolitan Republican Women and member of the National Federation’s Americanism Committee, on Wednesday will address the Republican Women of Baton Rouge Wine & Cheese Membership Party.

The event is at the Bluebonnet Highlands HOA Clubhouse, 10557 South Bluebonnet Blvd., Baton Rouge, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Call (225) 937-6430 or (225) 926-8166 or email dinal@performance-br.com

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