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Mary Landrieu endorsed by women business owners

The National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) has endorsed veteran Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu for re-election.

NAWBO represents businesses across all industries and helps women entrepreneurs navigate the various channels of business growth.

“It is exciting to be able to lend our endorsement to Senator Landrieu who has been leading the fight for small businesses through her work and previous chairmanship of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee,” said Darla Beggs, NAWBO National Board Chair.

“Senator Landrieu has been a tireless advocate for small businesses and we look forward to seeing her continue her efforts on behalf of small business owners,” Beggs said in a news release.

Landrieu is being challenged by Republicans U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy and retired Air Force Col. Rob Maness, among others, in November statewide balloting.

Bill Cassidy gets nod from small business group

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESU.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy will receive help from the National Federation of Independent Business in his bid for U.S. Senate.

The state and nation’s leading small-business association announced its endorsement of the Baton Rouge Republican at a Wednesday morning news conference.

The business group also said it would run radio and on-line ads asking voters to support Cassidy as he tries to oust veteran Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu this fall.

“Our members support the candidates who support small business, and Congressman Cassidy’s record speaks for itself,” said Lisa Goeas, NFIB vice president for Political and Grassroots.

Cassidy has a 97-percent lifetime NFIB voting record in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The effort is part of the NFIB’s Vote for Main Street campaign.  Click here to listen to the radio ad.

NFIB also released a Bill Cassidy candidate webpage on its National Election Center website, where voters can go to find tools that make it easy to volunteer, donate and support Rep. Cassidy. The website also features a video of a Louisiana small business owner, who explains how Washington is making things harder for Main Street and why Bill Cassidy is his choice for U.S. Senate.

NFIB has over 4,200 dues-paying members in Louisiana representing a cross section of the state’s economy.

He also told the Associated Press Wednesday morning that Landrieu, his opponent, should not have helped  an LSU fan drink upside-down from a beer keg at a recent football pregame tailgate.

The widely-circulated photo showed Landrieu holding a spigot to pour beer into a man’s mouth while he did a handstand on a beer keg.

Citing his work as a doctor and his role as a parent, the GOP congressman Wednesday said “keg stands” and other binge-drinking activities should be discouraged. He said: “It’s not something to celebrate.”

Clark suspends candidacy, backs Claitor

Norm Clark, a Republican candidate in the 6th congressional district race, suspended his campaign and backed the candidacy of state Sen. Dan Claitor, according to a Tuesday press release.
“Having had the opportunity to meet every candidate in this race,” Clark said in the prepared statement released by Claitor’s campaign. “It has become clear that there is only one front runner worth supporting, and that is Senator Dan Claitor. I have been impressed not only with his stances on the issues, but also on his genuineness and heart to serve the people.”
Clark is a U.S. Navy veteran, retired law enforcement officer and American Legion post commander from Denham Springs. He ran on the slogan: “We need a new norm in Washington.”
Though he is suspending his campaign, Clark’s name will remain on the Nov. 4th ballot.
“While other candidates are running on their last name or money from kick-backs,” Clark said, “Sen. Claitor is a principled conservative leader with a record of standing tall for the people of Louisiana. I hereby suspend my campaign and give my full support to the Claitor for Congress campaign.”
The crowded race is to fill the seat currently held by Republican U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy, of Baton Rouge. Cassidy is running for U.S. Senate.
Other Republicans in the race are Robert Bell, a retired U.S. Navy Reserve officer and Tea Party of Louisiana columnist who calls himself Captain Bob, business owner Paul Dietzel II, tax lawyer Cassie Felder, former Jindal adviser Garret Graves, business owner Craig McCulloch, educator Charles “Trey” Thomas, and state Rep. Lenar Whitney,
The Democratic candidates are former Gov. Edwin W. Edwards, Dean Lieberman, a LaPlace real estate broker, and Peter Williams, of Lettsworth.
Also seeking the seat is Libertarian lawyer Rufus Craig.
A runoff, if needed, will be Dec. 6.
Louisiana legislators changed the district lines in 2011, removing many of the minority neighborhoods around Baton Rouge. It now stretches from southeast Baton Rouge down to pick up some of the far western New Orleans suburbs, along with parts of Thibodeaux and Houma.
Seventy-four percent of the 486,421 registered voters in the 6th district are white and a third is registered as Republicans, according to the Secretary of State.

Dan Malloy calls Bobby Jindal, Chris Christie ‘dynamic duo’ before slam

Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy called Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie a “dynamic duo” this week, but he didn’t mean for it to be taken as a compliment.

CT News Junkie reports that the Democratic governor, who has engaged in high-profile dust-ups with Jindal and Christie before and is locked in a tight gubernatorial race with Republican rival Tom Foley, isn’t bother that Jindal and Christie are heading to Connecticut in the coming weeks to stump for the GOP candidate.

“That’s a dynamic duo right there,” Malloy said, according to the report. “I’m all for it. It reminds people of who Tom Foley hangs out with.”

Jindal is heading to West Hartford on Oct. 19 for a private reception honoring Foley, according to the Hartford Courant. Christie is in Stamford, Conn. today (Sept. 23) at an event with longtime baseball manager Bobby Valentine.

After Malloy’s dis, the CT News Junkie caught up with the chairman of the Connecticut GOP who touted Jindal as a “visionary” trying to eliminate Louisiana’s income tax.

“We are fortunate to have two strong Republican governors willing to visit Connecticut to help us secure this victory,” chairman Jerry Labriola Jr. told the News Junkie.

Jindal’s feud with Malloy includes that time in February when, during a press conference of the bi-partisan National Governor’s Association, Jindal took the mic to criticize President Barack Obama.

Jindal and Christie aren’t generally seen as the closest of friends. The two GOP governors squared off in a testy behind-the-scenes battle to head the Republican Governors Association in 2012 — a fight that Christie ultimately won, as helpfully recounted this summer. Since then, the two potential rivals for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, have taken apparent digs at one another.

Bobby Jindal heads back to New Hampshire

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is heading back to New Hampshire next week, according to local reports.

WMUR reports that Jindal will be in Nashua for a ”Pastors and Pews” event on Thursday.

Jindal, who is weighing a run for president, was in New Hampshire earlier this month for several Republican events. Next week will be at least his fourth to New Hampshire this year.

On his last trip, Jindal helped run a phone bank at the Nashua GOP Victory Office, attended the Strafford County Republican Committee picnic and went to the Seacoast Republican Women’s Annual Chilifest

In addition to that trip to New Hampshire, Jindal has traveled this month to Las Vegas; Atlanta; Houston; Washington, D.C.; Tampa, Fla.; Midland, Texas and Grand Rapids, Michigan.

In DC, Jindal unveiled his second national policy paper through his nonprofit, America Next, further stoking speculation that he’s setting up a run for the GOP nomination for president.

Energy proposal by U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy wins House approval — again

The U.S. House Thursday approved a proposal by Baton Rouge Republican Bill Cassidy that would subject proposed environmental regulations to thoroughgoing review for their effects on jobs and the economy.


Cassidy’s Energy Consumers Relief Act requires that before finalizing a new energy-related regulation that is estimated to have a economic impact of  more than $1 billion, the  federal Environmental Protection Agency must tell Congress the details of its effects on prices and employment. The proposal could be blocked if the effects are judged as too severe.

The measure was included in a Republican-backed umbrella bill that included a dozen measures passed previously by the House. The package was approved 226-191 on a largely party-line vote.  It has almost no chance of winning approval by the Democratic-controlled  Senate before the current Congress winds down at the end of the year.






U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy draws attention to dyslexia at House hearing

In the midst of an under-the-klieg-lights campaign for the U.S. Senate, U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La., took some time Thursday to address an issue that for him is far more personal than political: dyslexia.

In an informational hearing before the U.S. House Science Committee, Cassidy spoke about his experience as a father when he and his wife, Laura, learned a few years ago that their younger daughter was dyslexic.

Cassidy, a Baton Rouge Republican, helped form the Congressional Dyslexia Caucus to raise awareness of the condition and promote programs to help people diagnosed with it. His wife led an effort to start a charter school in Baton Rouge that focuses on students with dyslexia; it opened in 2013.

“I believe we can come together on behalf of the children we love and the nation we serve and work in a bipartisan and bicameral capacity,” Cassidy said, according to  remarks he prepared for the committee. “Greater strides need to be made in ensuring that every dyslexic child and adult has a chance to read, to learn, to demonstrate, and to realize his or her full potential.”

Stacie Antin of Gonzales, who has enrolled her son in the Baton Rouge school, told the committee about her son’s struggles with dyslexia, a reading disorder characterized by difficulty decoding words from their written form.

“He’s still not a huge fan of school,” Antin said before testifying. But, she said, “For the first time, he’s held his head a little higher. He didn’t feel ostracized by the other kids because he couldn’t read aloud.”

Cassidy is running to unseat Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu this fall in an election that has drawn national attention because defeating Landrieu is a key to Republican attempts to capture a majority of the Senate.

Felder seeks contempt finding for Graves

A lawsuit involving Republican candidates for the 6th congressional district heated up again when Cassie Felder asked a judge Thursday to hold Garret Graves in contempt of court.

No hearing date has been set.

Graves refused to be questioned under oath in a lawsuit Felder filed against her former campaign strategists, who quit her campaign and joined his.

“During his campaign, congressional candidate Garret Graves has complained about a White House that oversteps its legal authority. But Mr. Graves defied our judicial process by ignoring a court-ordered subpoena to appear for deposition on Monday,” Felder’s Campaign Manager Matt Beeson said in a prepared statement.

Graves’ lawyer, J.R. Whaley, wrote Felder’s lawyer that the subpoena was overbroad and sought “obviously confidential campaign information” and the production information that occurred prior to Graves’ decision to run for Congress.

Felder, of Baton Rouge, claims Scott Hobbs and Jason Hebert of The Political Firm breached confidentiality and noncompete clauses in their contract to run her campaign when they joined Graves’ campaign after quitting hers.

The Political Firm countered that the noncompete clause ended with the termination of the contract and they have kept her information confidential.

Felder’s campaign apparently wants to know when Graves first considered hiring Hebert and Hobbs, and whether any confidential information about her and her campaign was passed along.

Nineteenth Judicial District Judge Tim Kelley refused to issue an injunction forcing Hebert and Hobbs from participating in Graves’ campaign, a decision being appealed, but he left the underlying lawsuit in place.

Felder, Graves and 11 other candidates are vying to replace U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge, who is challenging U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu’s reelection.

A stamped copy of Motion for Contempt with exhibits

LABI issues 2014 legislative scorecard

The Louisiana Association of Business and Industry released its legislative scorecard Thursday highlighting those who routinely voted pro-business during the 2014 legislative session.

Getting a 100 percent score were state Reps. Simone Champagne, R-Jeanerette, Nancy Landry, R-Lafayette, Lenar Whitney, R-Houma, and Richard Buford, R-Stonewall. They will receive special recognition as “LABI’s 2014 Most Valuable Policymakers”.

LABI reported that nearly 21 percent of Louisiana’s 144 legislators received an “A” scoring 90 to 100 percent for supporting the business lobby’s priority issues. Among them are state Sen. Dan Claitor, and state Reps. Steve Carter, Barry Ivey and Erich Ponti, all Republicans from Baton Rouge.

Details for all legislators may be found on-line at

“LABI’s 2014 Legislative Scorecard recognizes legislators who voted in favor of job creation and a stronger economy, and provides voters with valuable information and direction in advance of the upcoming elections,” LABI president Stephen Waguespack said in a statement.

The average score among the 39-member Senate was 68.5 percent while the average score in 105-member House  was 64.5 percent.

LABI represents 2,500 member businesses across the state.

All eight Louisianians in Congress — U.S. Sens. Mary Landrieu and David Vitter, and U.S. Reps. Charles Boustany, Bill Cassidy, John Fleming, Vance McAllister, Cedric Richmond and Steve Scalise — press VA on delayed payments for emergency medical care

All eight Louisianians in Congress — U.S. Sens. Mary Landrieu and David Vitter, and U.S. Reps. Charles Boustany, Bill Cassidy, John Fleming, Vance McAllister, Cedric Richmond and Steve Scalise — are pressing the Dept. of Veterans Affairs to help veterans plagued by delayed payments for emergency medical care.

In a letter to VA secretary Robert McDonald, the senators and representatives cite widespread mishandling of claims from veterans for coverage of emergency care. The inappropriate delays and denials have harmed the credit ratings of hundred of Louisiana veterans, the letter says.

The letter calls on McDonald to fix the claims-processing system and reach out to veterans unfairly harmed by the snafus.