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Jay Dardenne strikes at David Vitter for skipping Senate budget vote

Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne is taking aim at gubernatorial rival U.S. Sen. David Vitter because he skipped a nonbinding Senate vote this week and held a campaign event with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in Baton Rouge.

In a statement released by his campaign, Dardenne noted that Vitter was the only senator who didn’t vote on a Republican-backed budget plan Tuesday night.

david vitter jay dardenne

David Vitter (left)
Jay Dardenne (right)

“Instead of putting his constituents first, he was seen sipping on a microbrew with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in Louisiana for his gubernatorial bid,” Dardenne said. ” Louisiana is in desperate need of real leadership and unfortunately it already seem like Senator Vitter is ready to give us more of the same in Louisiana, putting his own personal ambitions ahead of the needs of the people.”

According to the Associated Press, the Senate passed the nonbinding measure by a nearly party-line 51-48 vote, and the House adopted it last week. (Read more about what the legislation means here.)

Dardenne and Vitter, both Republicans, also face Democratic state Rep. John Bel Edwards and Republican Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle in the Oct. 24 election. If no candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote, a Nov. 21 runoff will be held between the top two vote-getters.

Bobby Jindal provides new details on his forthcoming book

News came out this week on Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s latest book, due out in the fall.

Here are some additional details the governor provided to The Advocate on what the book will cover and how it relates to his time leading Louisiana:

Bobby Jindal American Will

“As governor, I’ve come to realize how important every day is, and every decision is.  Any student of American history will draw the same conclusion — leadership matters.  Working every day to aggressively recruit companies to grow our economy in Louisiana has paid off, but only because we made a decision to focus on it relentlessly.  The same could be said for reforming our education system in New Orleans after the hurricanes, you have to make a decision and then have the determination to see it through.   I’m a bit of a history buff, and this book will focus on the crucial decisions, some of which are little known, that have shaped our nation’s history.”

The 320-page  American Will: The Forgotten Choices That Changed Our Republic, is scheduled for an October release. Jindal previously penned a book called Leadership and Crisis that was released in in 2010.

Publisher Threshold Editions, an imprint of Simon & Schuster that specializes in conservative non-fiction, has said American Will will include “dramatic tales that demonstrate the courage, faith, and vision that we need in 2016″ — a nod to the presidential race.

Jindal, a Republican who can’t seek re-election because of a term-limit, has been considering a run for president in 2016. He’s expected to make a formal announcement after the legislative session ends next month.

Religious liberty bill sponsor launches video, website to defend it

Louisiana state Rep. Mike Johnson has launched a new website and four-minute web video in defense of his proposed “Marriage and Conscience Act,” which has faced a stinging backlash from same-sex marriage supporters.

The legislation, House Bill 707,  seeks to carve out protections for people who oppose same-sex marriage. It has been linked to controversial “religious freedom” measures in Indiana and Arkansas.

Despite strong backing from Gov. Bobby Jindal, Johnson’s bill has yet to be heard in committee. Johnson told The Advocate he has been working to build support from individual members before it moves ahead, and he expects a committee hearing next week or the following week.

In the video, which was paid for by Johnson’s campaign fund, Johnson sets out to defend the measure as an issue of protecting religious beliefs and necessary as the U.S. Supreme Court weighs whether same-sex marriage should be legal across the country. Currently, 37 states allow same-sex couples to wed. Louisiana voters in 2004 adopted a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage here, but the state has seen growing support for since.

Johnson’s legislation would bar the state from revoking the licenses of or refusing to contract with businesses or people because they oppose same-sex marriage. It also would protect tax statuses of groups that only support marriage between a man and a woman.

Critics argue the bill could encourage discrimination against gay people and lesbians. Equality Louisiana and other groups in support of gay rights have launched a “Not My Louisiana” campaign against  the proposal.

The legislation was the only bill Jindal individually referenced during his State of the State speech opening the legislative session last month.

“This idea that all men should have the freedom of belief and the free exercise of religion has been a central principle of our republic since the time of its founding,” Johnson, a Bossier City Republican, says in the new video as ominous music plays in the background. “The founders understood that this right of conscience and belief is the most basic inalienable right that we have.”

According to a finance report filed in January, Johnson’s campaign fund had about $21,000 in the bank.

The Rundown: May 6, 2015

Louisiana Legislature Bobby Jindal The Advocate

Welcome to The Rundown, your guide to what’s happening in the Louisiana Legislature and go-to source for news about Louisiana politics and Gov. Bobby Jindal, brought to you by The Advocate.

Get The Rundown in your inbox by filling out the form here.

Countdown…
Days until session ends: 36
Days until the 2015 primary election day: 171
Days until the runoff (as needed): 200

Where in the world is Gov. Bobby Jindal? The governor did not have out-of-state events slated for today.

The News

  Continue reading

Louisiana leaders work on Common Core compromise

Whether any Common Core compromise is  possible this year may be clear by the end of the week.

Key House members have met behind closed doors in advance of a hearing on Tuesday in the House Education Committee.

That panel is set to hear House Bill 672, which is sponsored by House Republican Caucus Chairman Lance Harris of Alexandria and backed by Gov. Bobby Jindal.

It requires the crafting of new standards to replace the reading, writing and math guidelines that Louisiana and other states are using.

However, without a compromise the bill, like similar ones last year, is expected to die in committee.

The problem is finding agreement among backers and opponents of Common Core, and one that would allow both sides to claim victory in the long-running squabble.

The issue pits Jindal against his hand-picked state Superintendent of Education John White, the state’s top advocate of the new benchmarks.

Time is also working against repeal efforts.

The Legislature adjourns on June 11, which means it is nearly halfway finished.

Also, anti-Common Core fervor runs far deeper in the state House than the state Senate.

Senate Education Committee Chairman Conrad Appel, R-Metairie, is a longtime supporter of the academic overhaul.

Appel’s committee would consider any bill that revised the standards that wins House approval.

 

 

 

HoopLA pits Louisiana House against Senate on basketball court

State legislators will play a charity basketball game at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center on LSU’s campus this week.

The Louisiana Legislature’s annual HoopLA game is slated for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, with an “Out of Bounds Bash” food and beverage area on the PMAC floor slated to open at 6 p.m. with a silent auction.

Louisiana HoopLA

HoopLA pits members of the state Senate against the state House to raise money for the Legislators Charity Fund, which helps fund various charity projects including the rehab of a community basketball court that will be announced Wednesday.

Cox cable network will replay the game, along with interviews with legislators and other guests, throughout the month of May — beginning Friday.

Here’s the schedule to catch a replay:

  • Fridays at 6:30 p.m.
  • Saturdays at 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m.
  • Sundays at 9:30 a.m.  and 6:30 p.m.
  • Mondays at 9:30 a.m.
  • Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m.
  • Thursdays at 12:30 p.m.

Bobby Jindal pens another book, scheduled for October release

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has another book due out this fall.

Threshold Editions, an imprint of Simon & Schuster that specializes in conservative non-fiction, announced Tuesday that Jindal is slated to release American Will: The Forgotten Choices That Changed Our Republic in October.

The publisher identifies the list price for the 320-page book as $28. It’s currently available for pre-order on Amazon.com for that price for a hard-cover version or $14.99 for the e-book edition.

Jindal previously penned a book called Leadership and Crisis that was released in in 2010.

Jindal, a Republican who can’t seek re-election as governor because of term limits, has been mulling a run for president in 2016. He has said he will announce his intentions after the state legislative session ends June 11.

According to The Associated Press, Jindal said in a statement via Threshold that his latest book will serve as “a call to arms” for the future as he reviews events ranging from the Louisiana Purchase to the Cold War. The announcement also adds that the book offers “dramatic tales that demonstrate the courage, faith, and vision that we need in 2016″ — a nod to the presidential race.

 

The Rundown: May 5, 2015

Louisiana Legislature Bobby Jindal The Advocate

Welcome to The Rundown, your go-to source for news about Louisiana politics, the Louisiana Legislature and Gov. Bobby Jindal, brought to you by The Advocate.

Get The Rundown in your inbox by filling out the form here.

Countdown…

Days until session ends: 37

Days until the 2015 primary election day: 172
Days until the runoff (as needed): 201

Where in the world is Gov. Bobby Jindal? The governor did not have out-of-state events slated for today.

The News

Continue reading

N.J. Gov. Chris Christie to stump for David Vitter in Baton Rouge

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will be in Baton Rouge Tuesday night to support U.S. Sen. David Vitter’s campaign for governor.

Christie, a Republican who is considering a run for president and former head of the Republican Governors Association, will appear at a “meet and greet” event with Vitter at 4 p.m. According to Vitter’s campaign, Team Vitter will serve crawfish and jambalaya, and attendees who bring 10 friends can get a picture with the Republican duo.

chris christie david vitter

NJ Gov. Chris Christie (AP photo)

According to a release from Christie’s Leadership Matters for America PAC, the New Jersey governor also will appear at a private event benefiting the pro-Vitter Fund for Louisiana’s Future PAC at an undisclosed location in Baton Rouge beginning at 5:30 p.m.

The events are among Christie’s first public appearances since charges were announced Friday against a trio of top Christie allies in a bridge closing scandal.

According to the email from Leadership Matters for America PAC, Christie also will host a meet and greet with Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant earlier on Tuesday, as well as a closed-door event with the Mississippi Republican Party.

Treasurer John Kennedy spends time as substitute teacher

Louisiana Treasurer John Kennedy headed back to the classroom last week.

Kennedy, who serves as a substitute school teacher about three times a year, taught social studies to eighth graders at Andrew Jackson Middle School in Chalmette last week. This week, he’ll substitute teach in Houma, according to a news release from his office.

“It’s tough to be a teacher. Every elected official should spend time in front of a classroom of students,” Kennedy said in a statement. “If you’re shaping education policy, you need to substitute teach in order to fully understand the challenges facing both our teachers and our students.”