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Rep. Steve Carter gets re-election opponent

Communications business owner Robert Cade Cipriano announced Thursday he will challenge state Rep. Steve Carter’s re-election to the Baton Rouge-based House District 68 seat.

Carter is chairman of the House Education Committee. He is seeking a third term in the House in fall elections.

Cipriano cited the disconnect between many elected officials and their constituents on issues such as Common Core education standards and the recently-adopted $700 million in tax increases  as his “motivation for entering the race.”

“… our current representative has time and again chosen to prop up the political status quo, pursuing policies his constituents reject and pushing a reckless tax and spend approach that undermines economic growth and threatens the future of our state,” Cipriano wrote about Carter.

Cipriano, like Carter, is a Republican.

A native of Baton Rouge, the 28-year-old Cipriano is making his first run for public office. But he said he has been involved in politics in the past as digital communications director and then deputy campaign manager for former U.S. Rep. Joseph Cao of New Orleans.

Cipriano has a B.A. in political science from Loyola University New Orleans and a master’s of mass communications from LSU.


Bobby Jindal’s campaign plugs ‘Excellent Adventure’ with latest poll

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s campaign for president has been plugging non-stop its internal poll that shows Jindal’s support in Iowa on the rise. But in an email to reporters Thursday, Team Jindal made an unexpected reference, linking to a 7-second clip from Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.

“A week ago, I wrote to y’all noting that something was afoot in Iowa because of the large and enthusiastic crowd sizes greeting Governor Jindal across the state,” Jindal campaign communications director Kyle Plotkin wrote. “Or as Ted ‘Theodore’ Logan put it best in the great American classic, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, ‘Strange things are afoot at the Circle-K.‘”

For those unfamiliar, the 1989 film (starring Keanu Reeves) is about two slacker teens from California who travel through the past in a payphone booth-turned-time-machine, picking up historical figures to help out with the duo’s high school presentation.

The internal Iowa poll touted by Team Jindal put him in a tie for fourth among the crowded field of Republican hopefuls. Jindal’s best performance in an independent poll is 4 percent in Monmouth University’s survey that was conducted July 16-19.

Bobby Jindal attacks religious liberty for legal immigrants seeking citizenship

Despite his fervent and oft-repeated defense of religious liberty in his campaign for president, Gov. Bobby Jindal has attacked a proposal to extend the principle to legal immigrants seeking citizenship.

In a petition posted on his campaign web site, Jindal calls for President Barack Obama to fire the director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services because the agency has recently proposed modifying the Oath of Allegiance required of immigrants applying for naturalization as citizens.

The proposal would allow immigrants to delete the oath’s pledge to “bear arms on behalf of the United States”  if their objection is rooted in “religious training and belief, or conscientious objection arising from a deeply held moral or ethical code.” An immigrant could submit an attestation from a church or other entity in support of the objection, but would not be required to do so

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How does Facebook’s reaction to Bobby Jindal’s announcement stack up against other presidential hopefuls?

On the day he announced that he was running for president, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal generated more than half a million mentions on Facebook from hundreds of thousands of users.

How does that stack up in the sizable field of 2016 hopefuls? Based on data that Facebook has provided to The Advocate: Not so great.

Jindal’s totals put him at about 13th out of the 20 Republicans and Democrats who have made their campaign announcements thus far.

Facebook has tracked posts, comments and shares of each of the major candidates on the day that they have made their big announcements. Note that interest doesn’t necessarily reflect overall support, as the figures rely on mentions — and not just the positive ones.

For Jindal, the social media giant analyzed the 24 hours that started with midnight June 24 — the day he formally launched his campaign with a rally at the Ponchartrain Center in Kenner and a viral video of his family. During that time, he generated 542,000 “interactions” from 316,000 people on Facebook.

The numbers put interest in Jindal just a bit higher than former HP CEO Carly Fiorina’s run and slightly trailing former Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s. Both Fiorina and Perry are also Republicans.

bobby jindal facebook

Gov. Bobby Jindal

It pales in comparison to interest displayed in Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, who generated more than 10 million interactions from 4.7 million Facebook users.

Meanwhile, Republicans Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas also had millions talking and managed to generate more than 5 million interactions apiece.

But the silver lining for Jindal, who has consistently trailed in most polls on the crowded Republican slate, is that it could have been much worse. U.S. Sen. Lindsay Graham of South Carolina, for example, only managed to get about 84,000 people talking, generating 142,000 interactions, on the day of his own announcement.

See the full chart showing all candidates below

According to Facebook’s analysis, the top places chattering about Jindal were Louisiana, Mississippi, the District of Columbia, Arkansas and Texas.

In the week leading up to Jindal’s announcement, the top topics Facebook users associated with Jindal were foreign policy and international relations and gun regulation.

In the 90 day run-up to his announcement, conversation about Jindal was generated by an average of about 20,000 unique people per day.

Chart based on Facebook tallies provided to The Advocate

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Onetime heavy-metal bass player from Larose named “soldier of the year”

Washington — A drill sergeant from Larose has been named “soldier of the year” by Army Times newspaper.

The award winner, Staff Sgt. Joseph Fontenot, left a career as a heavy-metal bass player with bands such as Acid Bath and Jacknife to join the Army at 31, about 10 years ago.

A decorated veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, he is currently stationed with the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, in Kentucky.


Jindal: Obama should call ‘a spade a spade’ on radical Islam

Democratic President Barack Obama should, for once, “lead from behind” and follow the example of British Prime Minster David Cameron in “calling a spade a spade” by explicitly identifying radical Islam as the enemy of the United States, Gov. Bobby Jindal says in an opinion piece published by Conservative Review.

Obama’s failure to invoke the phrase endangers U.S. security, Jindal wrote. Obama has said he avoids associating jihadist terrorists with Islam because he doesn’t want to confer religious legitimacy on them.

The charge is nothing new for Jindal. Nor is his call in the piece for the nation to close its borders to would-be immigrants who refuse to embrace American values.

Conservative Review is a right-leaning media outlet that tabulates ideological scorecards on members of Congress and presidential candidates — including Jindal, who is seeking the 2016 Republican nomination to the White House.


John Bel Edwards campaign holding fundraiser before Louisiana Democrats event

State Rep. John Bell Edwards, the only major Democrat who has launched a gubernatorial campaign,  will hold a fundraiser in New Orleans this weekend in the run up to the Louisiana Democratic Party’s major annual fundraiser.


Both events will take place at the same location — the Sheraton Hotel on Canal Street, with Edwards’ fundraiser slated for 4-6 p.m., and the Democrats’ Jefferson-Jackson dinner starting at 7 p.m.

Louisiana Democratic Party Chair Karen Carter Peterson, a state senator from New Orleans, sent an email urging Democrats to come to the Edwards event before the dinner. Tickets to the Edwards fundraiser are $100.

john bel edwards democrat louisiana

Gubernatorial candidate John Bel Edwards

“I’m excited that everyone has the opportunity to meet with him in person this weekend, ahead of Saturday night’s Jefferson-Jackson event. We’re all coming together to support John Bel at the top of the ticket, and to do everything we can to help him get elected,” Peterson said in the email.

The Democratic Party officially endorsed Edwards earlier this year, while pundits speculated that a second Democrat in the race could lead to two Republicans making it to the Nov. 21 runoff — shutting the Democratic Party out with the Oct. 24 primary.

Republicans running for governor are: U.S. Sen. David Vitter, Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne and Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle. Gov. Bobby Jindal, who is seeking the Republican presidential nomination, is term-limited and cannot seek re-election as governor.

Polls, so far, have shown Vitter and Edwards in the lead and headed for the runoff.

Campaign finance reports due later this month will show exactly how much each campaign has raised, but the last round of reports showed Edwards had taken in the least in contributions earlier this year.

Bernie Sanders coming to Baton Rouge

Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders is coming to Baton Rouge later this week to participate in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s 57th annual convention meeting here.

Sanders, a U.S. senator from Vermont who is challenging front-running Democrat Hillary Clinton, is listed as a special guest speaker at the national civil rights group’s Saturday night dinner and awards gala.

Sanders is also expected to make an appearance later in the evening at the Louisiana Democratic Party’s major fundraiser the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in New Orleans. Sanders will also hold a campaign rally at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner on Sunday.

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference convention runs from Thursday to Sunday. It’s theme is “We’ve Come Too Far to Turn Back Now: The Voting Rights Act – Then and Now.”

The convention’s opening session Thursday evening features New Jersey U.S. Sen. Cory Booker as the guest speaker and Luci Baines Johnson – daughter of the late President Lyndon B. Johnson – who will accept an award. The 7 p.m. ceremonies will be held at the Living Faith Christian Center.

President Johnson signed  into law the Civil Rights Act of 1964 – barring discimination based on race, color, religion, sex and other factors – as well as the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

The convention topics will include “Education is the New Civil Rights,” “Reflections of the Civil Rights Movement,” “The Future of Race Relations in America”, “Voter Education and Mobilization” and “Criminal Justice Reform.”

Convention headquarters is the Hilton Baton Rouge Capital Center.

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference was founded in 1957 by civil rights leader the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King.

Bobby Jindal peppers new White House Twitter account with questions about the Iran deal

The White House this week launched a new Twitter account to field questions about and promote the international nuclear agreement with Iran.  Bobby Jindal white house iran

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a Republican presidential candidate who has come out as a staunch opponent to the Iran deal, quickly took to the social media platform to raise his objections.

Seemingly taking a page out of his own detractors’ social media playbook, Jindal’s official Twitter handle sent out several messages in quick succession peppering the @TheIranDeal account with critical questions. (See below)

Just last month, Jindal supporters asked people to submit questions to the GOP nominee hopeful using the #AskBobby hashtag. Critics quickly pounced, lodging facetious or biting questions at Team Jindal.

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Bobby Jindal to go country on RFD-TV

Maybe it’s the cowboy boots that did it.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal will kick off (no pun intended) the Rural Town Hall series on RFD-TV at 8 p.m. CDT Thursday, the cable network has announced. Jindal will be the first of several candidates for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination expected to appear on the program, which will provide a forum for discussion of issues important to rural America.

Jindal, a fan of cowboy boots and rodeo-champion-style belt buckles, will take questions from a live audience at the  Stine Barn in West Des Moines, Iowa. Rural Radio will simulcast the program on SiriusXM Channel 80.

Iowa is home to the Feb. 1 caucuses that initiate the nomination process, and Jindal has campaigned regularly there since he announced his candidacy June 24.  RFD-TV focuses on agribusiness, equine matters and the rural lifestyle.