Democratic Louisiana flag
Volume 1, Number 6
By Democrats For Democrats
April 25, 2010
Welcome to D-LA!

Welcome to the Sunday edition of Democratic Louisiana! Thank you for your patience as we try to figure out a workable publication schedule. Sunday editions work and will be part of the regular rotation. Looks like Wednesdays will be the second day for publication each week.

There is now an archive page available to afford access to earlier editions of Democratic Louisiana. Here's the link.

Bobby Jindal is the elected governor, but House Speaker Jim Tucker is making a strong case that he is the guy actually running the show as long as the Legislature is in session.

We take a look at the Speaker, as well as some eye-opening outside assessments of Jindal. Perhaps this will enbolden Louisiana reporters to take a harder look at Jindal's actual record rather than merely repeating the happy talk emanating from the governor's press office. NAH!

See you in the middle of the week.

Mike Stagg, Editor

Democratic Louisiana

Democrats set to enact financial reforms, ending 'too big to fail'

Congressional Democrats are poised to deliver another victory to President Barack Obama as Republican opposition to reform of the rules governing the financial industry has begun to collapse.

Republicans apparently realised that defending the banking industry against tougher regulation was not an argument that would play well out in the rest of the country. It's been good for their campaign coffers, though.

King Tuck:

Equal Opportunity Exasperator

When then Governor-elect Bobby Jindal announced his support for Republican Jim Tucker to be Speaker of the House in late 2007 there were guffaws when Jindal said he was doing so as part of his desire to avoid the kind of intense partisanship that had come to plague Washington, D.C., where Jindal had spent a fair amount of time over the previous decade.

Tucker, after all, had been leader of the House Republican Caucus in the previous term where he had a well-earned reputation for ratcheting up partisanship through his opposition to various initiatives of Democratic Governor Kathleen Blanco.

That Tucker could somehow shed his partisan skin by ascending to leadership of the full House seemed ludicrous to many.

This week, Tucker proved his doubters wrong as he took up the work of unraveling Jindal’s plan to close budget gaps in the current and next fiscal years with the same enthusiasm and tenacity (obstinacy?) as he did in foiling Blanco’s budget moves four years ago.

Jim Tucker is proving himself to be an equal opportunity disrupter of the well-laid plans of Louisiana governors.

Click here to continue reading "King Tuck."

Vitter's Dirty Laundry Money?

Character-compromised Louisiana Republican Senator David Vitter is in more trouble.

The Center for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) and a Louisiana citizen filed an ethics complaint against Vitter this week, allegding that the senator's campaign had accepted illegal campaign contributions from the U.S. Dry Cleaning Corporation.

According to the Times-Picayune, one of four employees of the corporation who contributed to Vitter's campaign says the company reimbursed him for the contribution, which — if true — would constitute a violation of federal election law.

Typically, Vitter's response is to blame someone else.

Here's a link to the CREW press release announcing the complaint. Here's a link to the CREW complaint.

Jindal Named 4th Worse Governor in the Country

As Dick Clark might have labeled him back in the hayday of American Bandstand, Bobby Jindal is "Number 4 with a Bullet" in the Center for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) ranking of the worst governors in the country.

According to CREW, Jindal gets low marks for failure to measure up to his own self-defined ethical 'gold standard'.

CREW says Jindal has:

  • Prevented the public release of government records and has fought legislation to make government more transparent
  • Weakened the authority of the state ethics board
  • Refused to accept federal stimulus funds to expand unemployment insurance and to fund other important programs
  • Rewarded campaign donors with government jobs and contracts
  • Has been fined for ethics violations

Other than that, Bobby's doin' a heck of a job!

Oh, and some in the press noticed the story.

Senator Landrieu Comes Out Swinging in Defense of ACA!

It took Senator Mary Landrieu a while to come around on the issue of healthcare reform, but when push came to shove, she cast one of 60 votes in favor of passage in the Senate and she has not looked back since then.

The Times-Picayune offered some proof this week that the Senator's interest in the legislation did not end with it becoming law. She is now actively working to dispell and clarify distortions about the law, as well as comments she has made regarding it.

The T-P cites one instance where a person the paper identified as a point person for the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI) on the legislation calling the new law a "job crippler." That quote appeared in a newspaper and drew a four-page letter in response from Landrieu.

Greg Hamer Sr., of Morgan City, the owner of 53 Taco Bell and Kentucky Fried Chicken fast-food restaurants in Louisiana and Texas, got the message in a recent face-to-face meeting with Landrieu in her Washington office along with other members of the Louisiana Restaurant Association.

As he recounted in a subsequent e-mail message that went viral, "talking directly to me because of a question I asked her, concerning the fact that we will be forced to shrink our workforce and lay off several hundred employees if Obamacare takes effect, she put me in my place."

Hamer notes in his email that he was not quoting Senator Landrieu. The Senator made clear in her response delivered to the Louisiana Restaurant Association that what Hamer distributed was not even close to paraphrasing what she said.

In her response, Landrieu sites three specific aspects of the Affordable Care Act that will help Louisiana small business owners:

  • Tax credits: I authored amendments to make the small business tax credit for health care coverage both more generous and available sooner - so small businesses could take it beginning this year. Today, you can go to the IRS website (www.irs.gov) to see if you qualify for this credit this year.
  • Waiting periods: At the request of restaurant owners, I authored a provision that gives small businesses more time to insure new employees without facing penalties. Under the original bill, businesses that did not enroll their employees in health insurance within 30 days would have paid a fine. My amendment extended the waiting period to 90 days with no penalty.
  • No Business Mandate: Perhaps most important to all Louisiana business owners, the new law does not impose a mandate for businesses to provide health insurance.

Landrieu also cited recognition she recieved from the National Restaurant Association for her work on the law.

Opponents of the Affordable Care Act continue to rely on distortions, fabrications and lies to describe the impact of this law. It's great to see Senator Landrieu standing up to set the record straight!

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