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Numbers of African-American voters increase

The Louisiana Secretary of State hasn’t finished with the tallies but the Democratic Party has and announced Saturday that voter registration numbers for African Americans increased.

Democratic calculations show that 918,929 blacks have registered and can vote in the Nov. 4 election. That’s up from 912,764 in October. There were 917,576 African Americans were registered to vote in the November 2012 presidential election, when presumably voters show more interest in the electoral politics.

White voters increased their registration from 1,869,611 in October to 1,874,877 for the election, according to the Democrats. But their numbers dropped from 1,908,859 for the 2012 presidential election.

Actually, the numbers of voters who registered as Democrats or Republicans dropped since 2012, but rose modestly from October to November, if the Democrats calculations of the Secretary of State’s records are correct. But voters registering without major party affiliation increased from 718,157 to about 747,000.

Bill Clinton to visit Baton Rouge

Former President Bill Clinton will join U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu Monday in Baton Rouge  to rally support  a day before early voting begins in Louisiana.

The event begins at 2 p.m. Monday at the Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center, 201 Lafayette Street, Baton Rouge. The event is open to the public with an RSVP at

Early voting begins Tuesday and runs through October 28.

This is President Clinton’s second visit to Louisiana for Senator Landrieu during this election cycle.

Steve Scalise, David Vitter top DC staffers’ lists

If you ask Congressional aides (anonymously), Republican Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise is a rising star, surprise standout and a workhorse. Meanwhile, the group says Republican U.S. Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana is among the Senate’s top “party animals.”

The Washingtonian posted its Best and Worst of Congress 2014 earlier this month, identifying the members of Congress who DC staffers say are the nicest, most partisan, hottest and meanest, among other categories.

Scalise and Vitter, who is running for governor next year, were the only two to make the list from Louisiana’s delegation.

Vitter was voted No. 2 “party animal” in the Senate in a tie with West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin — coming in behind North Carolina Republican Richard Burr, who was voted No. 1.

Scalise, who recently rose to the level of House Majority Whip was identified as the House’s No. 1 “rising star” and came in at No. 2 in two categories: “workhorse” and “surprise standout.”

The publication explains the survey, its 15th biennial, as a chance to give some insight into the people who are elected to serve the country.

“Since 1986, Washingtonian has sought the help of congressional aides in understanding their bosses,” the article explains. “Every two years, before lawmakers and their staffs head off for August recess to start the election season in earnest, we send an extensive survey asking for the best and worst performers in a host of categories designed to get past the headlines and TV-news zingers to capture the true culture of Capitol Hill.”

You can check out who made topped all of the staffers’ lists — including Best Dressed, Best Cook and Most Likely To Be Seen In A TV Cameo — here.

Family Research Council backs two Republicans in congressional campaigns

State Rep. Lenar Whitney, whose diatribe against global warming caught international attention, and Zach Dasher, the “Duck Dynasty” relative, were endorsed Wednesday in their respective congressional races by the Family Research Council’s political action arm.

The conservative group lobbies state and federal government on socially conservative policies it calls traditional family values. The Family Research Council was founded by Christian evangelical theologian James Dobson,  and is headed by Tony Perkins, a former Baton Rouge state representative.

In backing Houma’s Whitney, one of Louisiana’s representatives to the Republican National Committee, Perkins wrote, “We are looking for a leader who will unabashedly challenge the Left’s notion that government knows best. We are looking for a leader who will challenge the moderates within the Republican Party who are content to babysit America’s decline.”

She is one of 11 candidates in the race to replace U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy in Louisiana’s 6th Congressional District. Early on Perkins was widely discussed as a possible candidate for the 6th district race.

Perkins hosted a fundraiser in Washington, D.C. on her behalf.

Dasher is the nephew of Duck Commander Phil Robertson, who has been a guest on Perkins’ national radio program, and is the head of the family featured in a reality television program.

“The vast majority of families in Louisiana are looking for leaders of integrity who will go to Washington and challenge the Left’s notion that government knows best,” Perkins wrote. “Having watched him during this campaign, I feel confident that he is the conservative candidate in this race who can not only win this race, but provide the type of leadership needed in WashingtonD.C.”

The Family Research Council opposes abortion, gay marriage and embryonic stem-cell research among its conservative social positions.


Details on the next Mary Landrieu, Bill Cassidy debate

Later this month, LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication will host the second, and final, debate between the two leading candidates in Louisiana’s U.S. Senate race in the lead-up to the Nov. 4 election.

Incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu and her leading Republican opponent, Congressman Bill Cassidy, went head-to-head this week in Shreveport for the first time in a televised debate. [Read that story here. ]

Republican Rob Maness also participated.

According to LSU, the Oct. 29 debate also will include any candidate who gets at least a 5 percent showing in a Raycom Media poll in the next two weeks. Recent polls have shown Maness pulling more than that, so he’s expected to also participate.

This week’s debate, hosted by the Council for A Better Louisiana and Louisiana Public Broadcasting, aired on C-SPAN and Louisiana Public Broadcasting stations across the state.

The next debate will be sponsored by the Manship School, Raycom Media, WRKF of Baton Rouge and LSU Student Government.

Here’s where you can watch it at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 29: WYES-News Orleans and/or WVUE depending on Fox’s World Series schedule; WAFB-Baton Rouge; KPLC-Lake Charles and Lafayette; KSLA-Shreveport; KAQY/ABC-Monroe; KALB-Alexandria; and Bounce TV in New Orleans.

Radio stations airing the debate include: WRKF-Baton Rouge, KEDM-Monroe and WWNO-New Orleans.

The Advocate also will be there providing live coverage online and via Twitter.

La. sheriffs support Mary Landrieu

The Louisiana Sheriffs’ Association is backing Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu’s re-election bid.

The endorsement marks the third Senate election in which Landrieu has received the law enforcement group’s support.

“Senator Landrieu’s senior status and her record of continued support for Louisiana’s Sheriffs throughout her career were determining factors in the decision,”  Sheriffs’ Association executive director Michael Ranatza said in a news release.

The organization represents the state’s 65 sheriffs and nearly 14,000 deputy sheriffs.

Landrieu is receiving a major Republican challenge from U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy and retired U.S. Air Force Col. Rob Maness who is tea party-backed.

Oops! U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond forgets to list fellow Louisiana Democrat Mary Landrieu — you know, the one who’s running for re-election to the U.S. Senate — on his sample-ballot handout

Richmond ballot     A sample-ballot handout from the re-election campaign of U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond, of New Orleans, lists his name prominently at the top and the names of eight candidates for judgeships whom Richmond is supporting in the Nov. 4 voting.

But although the handout — which voters can bring into the voting booth as a guide — says, “Please vote the entire Democratic ticket,” the name of one prominent Democrat is left out: U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, who is in a tough fight to win re-election to a fourth term.

Richmond said Wednesday it’s all a mistake — a  printer’s blunder.  The revised sample ballots his campaign will mail out will feature Landrieu, he said. Some of his supporters distributed the misprinted ballots because they were on hand, he said.

Richmond is a representative of the African-American community that Landrieu is counting on to help her buck the Republican tide in the state. Overwhelming support by black voters has been a key to her previous victories.




Landrieu ad features Republican CEOs

Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu is getting some  campaign help from four Louisiana business leaders – three of them Republicans – going into the November election.

A new television spot, titled “Four CEOs”, started airing statewide Monday.

The ad  features Kay Dore of Dore Energy Corp., Ted Falgout, who was the former port director at Port Fourchon, Henry Coaxum of Coaxum Enterprises, and Boysie Bollinger of Bollinger Shipyards who say “I’m with Mary” because of what she’s has done to fight for and deliver jobs for Louisiana.

“We’ve all built companies that employ thousands of Louisianians,” the CEOs say in the ad. “We’re three Republicans and a Democrat, and we’re all supporting Mary Landrieu.”

It’s the second Landrieu ad in which Bollinger – a heavy Republican contributor and party leader – has appeared.

Landrieu is in a tough re-election campaign as Republicans try to oust her as part of a national effort to retake the U.S. Senate. Her chief opponent is  U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy but fellow Republican retired U.S. Air Force Col. Rob Maness is trying to shake things up.

John McCain to help Bill Cassidy

U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy is bringing in  U.S. Sen. John McCain to help in his Republican campaign to defeat Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, his office announced Friday.

McCain, a long-time Arizona senator. military veteran and failed presidential candidate, will travel across Louisiana for a series of veterans’ rallies beginning Sunday, the campaign said.

The events start in Metairie at 5 p.m. Sunday at Cassidy’s Jefferson Parish headquarters, 6824 Veterans Boulevard.

Monday’s schedule is jampacked with meetings:  8 a.m. in Covington at the American Legion Post 16; 11 a.m.,  Baton Rouge at the USS Kidd Veterans Museum; 2 p.m. Lafayette at Fontana Center and 5 p.m. Bossier City at the VFW Post 5951.

Cassidy is not only trying to beat Landrieu but he’s in a battle for votes with fellow Republican Rob Maness, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel.

Louisiana U.S. Sen. David Vitter is joining McCain and Cassidy for all the stops, the campaign said.




U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu busts a move at Southern University tailgate; see the video

First, it was the keg stand. Now, it’s the wobble.

If Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu has demonstrated nothing else in her hard-fought campaign for re-election this fall, she’s shown that she get get down and get funky at football tailgating parties.

A Washington Post blog presents Landrieu on video busting a move at the Southern University tailgate Saturday in Baton Rouge. The dance, we are told, is called the wobble.

Last month, photos of Landrieu at an LSU tailgating party went viral. It showed her assisting at a keg stand performed by a 20something fan.

The keg stand drew criticism from the leading Republican challenger to Landrieu’s re-election, U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy, of Baton Rouge. No word yet from the Cassidy camp on the wobble.