The Advocate Blog Network

Banner image

Scott Angelle comes to the rescue

While Friday’s gubernatorial forum at the Cajundome was fairly exciting, for Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle, it paled in comparison to the ride home.

His opponents headed off to the campaign trail after the Louisiana Municipal Association forum. But, Angelle ended up jumping up on the running board of an out-of-control pickup, stopping it before the vehicle crashed, then accompanied the unconscious driver to the hospital.

Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle, R-Breaux Bridge and who is running for governor, spoke Tuesday in Central at a campaign event.

Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle, R-Breaux Bridge and who is running for governor, spoke Tuesday in Central at a campaign event.

While waiting for the light at the corner of West Congress Street and West University Avenue in Lafayette, Angelle saw a Chevrolet pickup truck driving erratically. The driver lucked out; catching the green light and slowly proceeding through one the city’s busiest intersections then into people’s yards.

Angelle said he saw the driver’s head bob and realized something was wrong.

He and other motorists jumped out of their vehicles, ran down the pickup. Angelle said he reached in through the driver’s window and put the gear in neutral. The truck rolled to a stop.

“For a non-trained person like me it was kind of scary,” Angelle said. “I didn’t know if he was having a stroke or a seizure or what.”

The gathering of good Samaritans tried to give water to the passed-out young man. ( Angelle didn’t want to identify the driver in his mid-20s without permission.)

The ambulance showed up and Angelle, a father of five, went along with the unconscious driver to the Lafayette General Medical Center.

The young man came to long enough to give Angelle the cell phone number of a family member. The young driver didn’t know who Angelle was at first, but the nurses at the hospital recognized the Breaux Bridge Republican.

The whole incident took about 90 minutes from the beginning until the young man’s father arrived from Crowley.

“He had a headache and was smiling when I left,” Angelle said. “They were running tests on him.”

Poll backs up Bobby Jindal’s claims of Iowa surge

Bobby Jindal Iowa Poll

Graphic that Bobby Jindal’s presidential campaign sent out Friday.

A new poll of likely Iowa caucus-goers appears to back up Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s presidential campaign’s claims that he’s gaining momentum there.

Gravis Marketing surveyed 227 Republican Caucus participants and found Jindal in fourth place, at 7.2 percent and trailing former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (10%), Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (15.4%) and Donald Trump (30.9%). The poll, released Friday, largely  mirrors an internal Jindal campaign poll released to the media last week, which also showed him in fourth place behind the same three candidates and polling at 8 percent.

Jindal has made Iowa a cornerstone of his effort to break through the crowded Republican presidential field.

He has spent extensive time there and is scheduled to return next week.

The Gravis poll was conducted July 29 for the conservative cable news station One American News Network. The poll’s margin of error is 6.5  percent for the GOP caucus question.

Jindal’s in-house poll was conducted July 19-21 by OnMessage Inc., Jindal’s Virginia-based political consulting firm. OnMessage had contacted 600 Republicans by telephone for live interviews, and the poll’s margin of error was 4 percent.

Sen. Rick Gallot won’t run for re-election

Democratic state Sen. Rick Gallot has decided not to run for re-election this fall, saying he wants to spend more time with his family.

“While my energy and passion for serving the State of Louisiana and Senate District 29 remains strong, I know that I have an even greater responsibility to my family,” Gallot, a lawyer from Ruston said.

Gallot, who had no announced opposition, represents a sprawling district that includes Bienville, Grant, Jackson, Lincoln, Natchitoches, Rapides and Winn parishes.

Gallot is married and has four sons.
“I know there will be many questions surrounding my decision to walk away from an uncontested re-election. I am at peace with my God and in my spirit in making this decision and know that it is the right thing to do,” Gallot said in a statement.

He left the door open to elected office again later but closer to home.

“There may be an opportunity to serve the public again in the future that will not involve my being 222 miles from home. I will continue to put God and my family into any such decision on seeking public office in the future.”

$1 million donation from Louisiana boatbuilder Gary Chouest boosts Gov. Bobby Jindal’s presidential run

Washington — Louisiana boatbuilder Gary Chouest  contributed $1 million to an outside group backing Gov. Bobby Jindal’s campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, a federal fundraising report filed Friday shows.

That helped boost the total received by the Believe Again political action committee, a single-candidate super PAC, to nearly $3.7 million in the first half of the year.

Although easily the largest single donation to the super PAC, the Chouest contribution is dwarfed by individual donations to other Republican candidates, as the Believe Again total is easily outstripped by amounts raised by super PACs dedicated to Jindal’s rivals. Jindal consistently ranks in the low single digits in national polls, near the back of the pack of 17 significant Republican contenders.

Continue reading

Bobby Jindal returns to Louisiana, heads to New Hampshire this weekend

After a media blitz in New York this week, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has returned to his home state but will be heading back on the road with a trip to New Hampshire on Sunday.

Jindal has a busy travel scheduled laid out that will have him outside Louisiana for much of August. He is slated to make stops in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Iowa — where he’s been focusing much of his campaign for the GOP presidential nomination. During a recent appearance on CBS This Morning, Jindal discussed his strategy of focusing on early-voting states. New Hampshire, South Carolina and Iowa all fit that bill.

Jindal is slated to participate in the Voters First Forum, featuring several Republican candidates, at St. Anselm College in New Hampshire on Monday.

Based on Fox News’ polling-based selection process, he likely won’t make it into the first major televised GOP debate, slated to take place in Cleveland, Ohio, on Thursday, Aug. 6, but he would still be invited to participate in a second-tier forum also in Cleveland that day.

Jindal is scheduled to address the RedState Gathering in Atlanta at some point next week. A specific time hasn’t been identified on RedState’s agenda, but the gathering takes place Aug. 6-8.

Jindal will head back to Iowa, where he has been focusing his campaign efforts, on Saturday, Aug. 8. The Cerro Gordo County GOP will host rootbeer floats with Jindal, before he heads to the  Hardin County GOP Sweetcorn and Gourmet Burger Feed that day.

The following week, pro-Jindal Believe Again has scheduled town hall events featuring Jindal in Marion (Aug. 10) and Iowa City (Aug. 11).

Jindal is scheduled to speak at the Iowa State Fair at noon on Saturday, Aug. 22.

He will take part in a South Carolina town hall meeting on Aug. 20, and he’s slated to also appear at town halls in Souix City, Council Bluffs and Marshalltown, Iowa, in the last two weeks of August.

President signs Steve Gleason Act into law to help ALS patients

Washington – A bill by U.S. Sen. David Vitter, R-La.,  that liberalizes federal funding for speech-generating devices for the disabled was signed into law Thursday by President Barack Obama. The measure is known as the Steve Gleason Act.

In January 2011, Gleason, a former football player for the New Orleans Saints,  was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, a degenerative nerve condition also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease for the New York Yankees baseball star of the 1920s and 1930s who contracted it. Confined to a wheelchair and unable to speak, Gleason relies for communication on the devices covered by the bill, including eye-tracking technology. Changes to federal regulations in 2014 limited the availability of the devices for patients.



LABI makes legislative, BESE endorsements

The state’s major business lobby on Thursday endorsed the re-election bids of 51 legislators  as well as the candidacy of two challengers over incumbents.

The Louisiana Association of Business and Industry’s political action arm  also threw its support to Baton Rouge Democratic state Rep. Dalton Honore in his run for the seat held by term-limited state Sen. Sharon Broome. Also in the race is state Rep. Regina Barrow, another Baton Rouge Democrat.

In a news release announcing the legislative picks, LABI  PACs also supported the re-election of state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education members Holly Boffy of Youngsville, Jim Garvey of Metairie and Kira Orange Jones of New Orleans. Its EastPAC picked Jada Lewis, assistant dean of LSU’s College of Engineering, over incumbent Carolyn Hill of Baton Rouge.

Legislators rating on LABI’s 2012-2015 cumulative scorecard as well as their commitment to working with the business community came into play as endorsements were made, the group said.

This  year, 94 state legislators got Fs from LABI largely because they voted for tax increases on business to help balance the budget. But the bad grade didn’t seem to impact LABI endorsements. Among those getting the LABI seal of approval were leaders in the effort including Senate President John Alario, R-Westwego and Senate Finance chairman Jack Donahue, R-Mandeville.

Most of the endorsements went to business-friendly Republicans, but there were a few Democrats getting the nod too, such as Reps. Major Thibaut of New Roads, Neil Abramson of New Orleans, and Sam Jones of Franklin, and state Sens. Francis Thompson of Delhi and Greg Tarver of Shreveport.

In two races, LABI’s WestPAC went for challengers over incumbents. The group endorsed Republican businesswoman Julie Emerson over Democratic state Rep. Stephen Ortego, both  from Carencro; and Republican Biscuit Smith of Longville over Democratic state Rep. Dorothy Sue Hill of Dry Creek.

Among others getting LABI’s endorsement were:

State Sens. Bodi White, R-Central, Conrad Appel, R-Metairie, Danny Martiny, R-Metairie, and Page Cortez, R-Lafayette; and State Reps. John A. Berthelot, R-Gonzales, Chris Broadwater, R-Hammond, Steve Carter, R-Baton Rouge, Valarie Hodges, R-Denham Springs; Barry Ivey, R-Central, Stephen Pugh, R-Ponchatoula, Clay Schexnayder, R-Sorrento, Greg Cromer, R-Slidell, Raymond Garafalo, R-Chalmette, Cameron Henry, R-Metairie, Paul Hollis, R-Mandeville, Chris Leopold, R-Belle Chase, Joe Lopinto, R-Metairie, Nick Lorusso, R-New Orleans, Kevin Pearson, R-Slidell, John Schroder, R-Covington, Scott Simon, R-Abita Springs; Julie Stokes, R-Metairie, Kirk Talbot, R-River Ridge, Taylor Barras, R-New Iberia, Stuart Bishop, R-Lafayette, Bob Hensgens, R-Abbeville, Mike Huval, R-Breaux Bridge, Nancy Landry, R-Lafayette, and Blake Miguez, R-New Iberia.





Gov. Bobby Jindal: Treat mayors of “sanctuary cities” as accessories to illegal immigrants’ crimes

Gov. Bobby Jindal has called for Congress to pass laws declaring mayors of “sanctuary cities” accessories to crimes committed by undocumented immigrants and to subject municipal officials to civil lawsuits by victims of the crimes.

Jindal is a candidate for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

“My plan will hit these lawless city leaders where it hurts by holding them directly accountable for crimes,” Jindal said in a statement from his campaign. “If on their watch, an illegal immigrant breaks the law, we will count sanctuary city leaders as accessories and force them to pay for these crimes. Sanctuary city leaders are flouting the laws of the United States and that is unacceptable.”

Sanctuary cities have adopted policies to separate local law enforcement from the arrest and prosecution of illegal immigrants for violation of federal immigration laws. The issue has flared up after the murder this summer of a woman in San Francisco by an illegal immigrant.

Oil drilling would expand in Eastern Gulf and Louisiana would get more money from offshore production under legislation by U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., that wins committee approval

Washington – Oil drilling would be expanded in the eastern Gulf of Mexico and more offshore revenue would flow to Louisiana and other Gulf states under a proposal by U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., that won approval by a Senate committee Thursday.

Cassidy’s Offshore Energy and Jobs Act was incorporated into broad legislation that also would open areas off the Atlantic and Alaska coasts to drilling. The overall bill cleared the Energy & Natural Resources on a bipartisan 18-4 vote, advancing the measure for consideration by the full Senate.

Continue reading

A.G. candidate Marty Maley: Endorsements don’t matter

Republican candidate for attorney general Martin “Marty” Maley is downplaying the Louisiana Republican Party’s endorsement of Jeff Landry.

“When the people of Louisiana are deciding on whom they will support for attorney general, they aren’t going to search the record for a candidate’s endorsements, but rather inspect and study the candidate’s qualifications and experience,” Maley said.

Maley said Landry — a former congressman from New Iberia — comes up short.

“Jeff Landry has never served as a prosecutor, yet he wants the job of the state’s top prosecutor.  Jeff Landry has never practiced civil law and has never tried a civil case, yet he wants to the job as the state’s top lawyer,” Maley said.

In a rare move, the state GOP earlier this week opted to endorse Landry over incumbent Republican Attorney General Buddy Caldwell, saying Landry is more conservative and better qualified.

Caldwell, who is seeking his third term, called it “unnerving” that the state Republican Party would endorse someone who has never tried a civil or criminal case in court.

Maley contrasted Landry’s  credentials against his 24-years of law practice. Maley is a felony trial prosecutor in the 18th Judicial District which covers Iberville, Pointe Coupee and West Baton Rouge. He  owns and operates a civil practice law firm with offices in Baton Rouge, Port Allen and Napoleonville.

Maley is a former staff attorney at the Louisiana District Attorneys Association.