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Bobby Jindal to talk Katrina anniversary on two Sunday news shows

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is scheduled to appear on ABC’s This Week and CBS’ Face the Nation Sunday morning.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu also is slated to appear on Face the Nation.

Jindal, who is running for president but has taken a break from the campaign trail this week to mark the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, appeared on both MSNBC’s Morning Joe and Fox News’ America’s Newsroom on Thursday.

“We’re honored to come back today and not only mourn the loss of those who aren’t with us anymore, but to also celebrate the future of those who are building a better New Orleans and a better Louisiana,” he said on MSNBC, praising aid that poured in from around the country in Katrina’s wake.

Jindal, a congressman when Katrina struck, took over as governor just three years after the hurricane caused catastrophic damage and wide-spread flooding in New Orleans.

Jindal is slated to return to the campaign trail with an appearance at the Harrison County GOP Fundraiser in Logan, Iowa, Sunday evening.

On Friday, he called a meeting of the state’s Unified Command Group at the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness to discuss preparations for Tropical Storm Erika.

“As with every storm, we always hope for the best and prepare for the worst,” Jindal said in a news release urging residents to have a storm game plan in place.

Business groups to hold forum for governor candidates next week

Gubernatorial candidates (L to R): David Vitter, Jay Dardenne, Scott Angelle and John Bel Edwards.

Gubernatorial candidates (L to R): David Vitter, Jay Dardenne, Scott Angelle and John Bel Edwards.

The four leading candidates for Louisiana governor will participate in another forum in New Orleans next week organized by the region’s leading business organizations.

Democrat John Bel Edwards and Republicans Scott Angelle, Jay Dardenne and David Vitter are slated to take part in the Southeast Super Region Committee-sponsored event at 2 p.m. next Friday at the Peoples Health New Orleans Jazz Market.

According to organizers, the program will be led by Greater New Orleans Inc. Chairman Bill Hoffman, Baton Rouge Area Chamber Board Chair Van Mayhall and South Louisiana Economic Council Board Chair Scott Melancon.

Baton Rouge Area Foundation Executive VP John Spain will serve as moderator.

“This forum will be an important opportunity to highlight each candidate’s plan for economic growth and development in Louisiana. We know that the super region is a critical piece of the economic fabric in our state and want to bring our work to the forefront of the gubernatorial election,” Spain said in a news release.

The event will be open to over 300 members of the Super Region business community and major media outlets. A networking reception for all participants will immediately follow the forum.

Insurance Commissioner Donelon attracts another opponent

Baton Rouge attorney Charlotte McDaniel McGehee announced Wednesday she will run for Louisiana Commissioner of Insurance.

McGehee becomes the second candidate trying to unseat incumbent Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon in fall elections.

Another political newcomer Matt Parker, a businessman from West Monroe, previously said he would run.

McGehee is a Democrat. Donelon and Parker are Republicans.

Candidate sign-up is Sept. 8-10. The primary election is Oct. 24.

McGehee’s law practice deals with employment litigation and family law. A graduate of Ascension Catholic High School and Southeastern Louisiana University, she studied law at the Southern University Law Center. She has been a practicing attorney since 1999, working in Jonesboro for her first year after passing the bar before returning home to Baton Rouge.

“Louisiana families deserve a Commissioner of Insurance who will work for them to put Louisiana first, and get our state back to basics,” McGehee said in an announcement statement. “I’ve been a business owner and an entrepreneur, and a working mother to three young children. I know the challenges our families face, and I’m committed to fighting for them every day.”

McGehee lives in Ascension Parish with her husband, Troy, and their three children.


Bobby Jindal pens letter to Obama: ‘Don’t politicize Katrina’

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has penned a letter to President Barack Obama in advance of Obama’s trip to New Orleans for the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

In the letter, Jindal says he’s happy to welcome Obama to Louisiana, but he’s “disappointed” that the Democratic president has made the trip part of what Jindal calls “a tour for (Obama’s) climate change agenda.” Jindal is currently seeking the Republican nomination for president, and has been an outspoken critic of Obama’s policies and positions.

“I would ask you to respect this important time of remembrance by not inserting the divisive political agenda of liberal environmental activism,” Jindal writes. “A lecture on climate change would do nothing to improve upon what we are already doing.”

In the two-page letter, Jindal plugs the state’s Coastal Master Plan as a “pragmatic and bipartisan approach to preventing and mitigating the damage of future weather systems.”

“Partisan politics from Washington, DC are unwelcome in Louisiana at the best of times,” he writes. “This week it would be met with nothing but derision.”

Obama is slated to travel to New Orleans on Thursday “to meet with residents who have rebuilt their lives over the past 10 years since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina,” per the White House.

“While in the city, the President will deliver remarks on the region’s rebirth and what’s possible when citizens, city and corporate leaders all work together to lift up their communities and build back in ways that make them more innovative and positioned for economic growth,” a news advisory states. It doesn’t mention climate change, though Obama has plugged his newly-unveiled climate change plan during recent appearances.

Obama’s New Orleans speech will be streamed live at

Read Jindal’s full letter here (PDF).

Bobby Jindal adds to presidential campaign team

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has named Heather O’Donnell deputy campaign manager and director of advertising for his presidential campaign.

O’Donnell had been part of Jindal’s Baton Rouge-based campaign advisory team since 2013. She previously spent seven years at OnMessage, Inc. — Jindal’s Virginia-based campaign consultant.

According to Jindal’s presidential campaign, O’Donnell has made award-winning ads for the National Republican Congressional Committee, National Republican Senatorial Committee, the National Rifle Association and the Republican National Committee and has worked on races across the country at every level of elected office.

O’Donnell is the latest addition to Jindal’s “lean” campaign focused on Iowa. Earlier this year, Jindal shifted several staffers from the governor’s office to his campaign.

O’Donnell’s hire also signals that, despite low polling in the crowded field for the GOP nomination and other campaigns being put on “death watch,” Jindal’s serious about staying in the race. His campaign has been promoting its growing crowds at events in Iowa. (While following the campaign in Iowa last week, the response was overwhelmingly positive.)

David Duke backs Donald Trump’s run for president

Former Klansman and ex-Louisiana legislator David Duke has come out in support of businessman Donald Trump’s run for president.

In a radio segment first noted by Buzzfeed, Duke said Trump “understands the real sentiment of America” and praised his hard-line talking points on immigration.

“He has really said some incredibly great things recently. Whatever his motivation, I don’t give a damn,” Duke said on his radio show. “I really like the fact that he’s speaking out on this greatest immediate threat to the American people.”

He continues: “So although we can’t trust him to do what he says, the other Republican candidates won’t even say what he says. So he’s certainly the best of the lot. And he’s certainly somebody that we should get behind in terms, you know, raising the image of this thing.”

Duke, a former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, served one term in the Louisiana House and has run unsuccessful campaigns for president and Louisiana governor, notably losing to Edwin Edwards in 1991.

Listen to the full program in which he discusses Trump here, via Buzzfeed.


Mike Huckabee’s wife heading to Louisiana to campaign for him

Mike Huckabee 2016 campaign Louisiana

Republican presidential candidate, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and his wife Janet watch while pork chops are grilled at the Iowa Port Tent at the Iowa State Fair, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015, in Des Moines. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Janet Huckabee, wife of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, will be in Louisiana this week to stump for her husband’s campaign for the Republican presidential nomination.

According to Mike Huckabee’s campaign team, the former Arkansas First Lady will make appearances in Greenwell Springs, Denham Springs and Lafayette on Tuesday. On Wednesday, she’ll head to Pineville, Natchitoches and Bossier City.

Louisiana’s presidential primary will take place March 5. Gov. Bobby Jindal also is seeking the GOP nomination.

Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign announced last week that she’ll be in Baton Rouge on Sept. 21.

Bernie Sanders, who is also seeking the Democratic nomination, made stops in Baton Rouge and New Orleans earlier this month.

Report: Rick Perry’s Iowa chairman quits, eyes other presidential campaigns

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s Iowa chairman has reportedly quit, after the cash-strapped presidential campaign stopped paying its staffers.

Sam Clovis, who has sought elected office in Iowa, told The Washington Post that he has fielded offers from several campaigns and expects to sign on with a new candidate in the coming days.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal was previously among the finalists that Clovis had considered backing.

Jindal has helped campaign for Clovis in the past, even going so far as to voice radio ads in support of his run for Iowa state treasurer.

Clovis, Perry and Jindal are all slated to speak at a Sept. 1 event in Iowa.

A big showing in Iowa is key to Jindal’s campaign strategy, and picking up someone like Clovis could be seen as a boost to his bid for the GOP’s presidential nomination.

The Post reports that Clovis shared some concerns about lower-tier candidates and their futures in the race, though. He predicted that next month’s nationally-televised debate would set off a winnowing process for candidates who poll outside the top 10 and do not make it onto the main debate stage.

Read the Washington Post’s article here.

Notebook: Bobby Jindal and the Iowa State Fair

‘Fair’-well to Iowa

DES MOINES AIRPORT — It’s been a busy week in Iowa, as we’ve looked at why Gov. Bobby Jindal thinks he has a chance in the presidential race, what Team Jindal looks like here on the ground, and of course, Jindal’s appearance at the Iowa State Fair, just to name a few.

But, sometimes, things just don’t make it into the story.

Here are a few tidbits leftover from the past week in Iowa.

Deez Nuts

Gov. Jindal was asked for his response to “Deez Nuts” — the presidential candidate created by a 15-year-old Iowa farm boy and who rose to prominence this week after polls found the independent candidate polling surprisingly well in hypothetical general election match-ups. (If you haven’t read about him, here are some good intros via The Daily Beast and the New York Times.)

Jindal was somewhat familiar with Nuts, it seemed. Asked his opinion, Jindal joked about being asked to comment on a candidate who doesn’t exist.

“I think there’s a lot of frustration,” Jindal said of the national electorate’s attitude toward politics today. “The voters aren’t just mad at Obama and the Democrats … They are mad at the Republican leadership too.”

He went on to slam Republicans in Congress — without naming those of them who rival him for the GOP nomination — as being ineffective at standing up against President Barack Obama on issues from immigration to the federal Affordable Care Act.

LGBT Issues

Jindal took just a handful of questions from the crowd after his State Fair speech. One young woman asked him about his thoughts on gay rights and discrimination.

“I think the discrimination that is happening today is against Christian business owners,” Jindal said. He pointed to his executive order as a demonstration of his commitment to “religious liberty” amid a growing national push for protections for gay people.

Young voters

Another member of the Fair crowd asked Jindal how the GOP can attract younger voters.

Jindal said he thinks the argument should be about making people’s lives “better off.”

“Who’s smarter, ‘You or the federal government?'” Jindal said Republicans should stress to people.

Anchor babies

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I-10 traffic hearings start Aug. 31

How to ease traffic problems between the Interstate 10 bridge and the I-10/12 split will be the subject of three public hearings by the state Department of Transportation and Development.

The first will be on Aug. 31 from 6 p.m.-8 p.m. at the Baton Rouge River Center.

Another will be held on Sept. 1 at the Port Allen Community Center, also from 6 p.m.-8 p.m.

The final session, at the same time, will be on Sept. 3 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.

DOTD will make presentations at all three sessions.

One of the options is to rework the Washington Street exit, which is the site of near-daily traffic  backups for  eastbound I-10 traffic leaving the bridge.

About 102,000 cars and trucks cross the bridge daily.

Carving out a new  eastbound lane between the bridge and the Washington Street exit has been suggested by DOTD officials and Sixth District Congressman Garret Graves, R-Baton Rouge.

How to improve traffic in the area has sparked controversy for years.

Possible solutions often pit motorists who favor smoother travel against local residents concerned that the changes will damage their neighborhoods.

The three hearings are part  of a $2 million state study.