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Bobby Jindal to unveil national energy policy proposal

Gov. Bobby  Jindal is expected to release a national energy policy proposal dubbed “Organizing Around Abundance – Making America an Energy Superpower” this week through his non-profit America Next organization, the same outfit he has used to push a health care reform plan.

Jindal’s office on Monday announced the governor is heading to WashingtonD.C., where he will participate in a Christian Science Monitor breakfast and then give a speech on jobs at the Heritage Foundation.

Jindal will travel to Houston on Wednesday before returning to Baton Rouge. This week’s trips are among the latest — he’s been to Iowa, New Hampshire, Arizona and Florida in recent weeks — as he considers a run for president in 2016.

La. ranks poorly in tax fairness survey

Louisiana ranks near the bottom of a WalletHub list ranking the fairness of its tax system among 50 states.

The WalletHub survey released Monday puts Louisiana among the states with the least fair tax system with a ranking of  39 out of 50. The least fair – Washington.

To rank the states, WalletHub conducted a nationally representative online survey of 1,050 individuals to assess what Americans think a fair state and local tax system looks like. Its analysts then compared what Americans think is fair to data on the real structure of tax systems in all 50 states.

Based on the survey, Louisiana also ranks among the top 10 states where the middle class are the most overtaxed.

The most overtaxed middle class live in Arkansas and Louisiana ranks tenth based on the survey  by the personal finance social network.

Montana has the most fair tax system followed by Oregon and South Carolina, according to the survey.

The survey may be found at http://wallethub.com/edu/most-least-fair-tax-systems/6598/

 

GOP plans event to woo Vietnamese-American voters

The Republican National Committee and Louisiana Republican Party will host a town hall meeting this week in Jefferson Parish on Vietnamese-American engagement.

The event will feature former Congressman Joseph Cao, R-New Orleans. Cao, a Vietnamese American, held Louisiana’s 2nd District seat for two years before losing a 2011 re-election bid to Democrat Cedric Richmond.

The most recent Census figures show Jefferson Parish has the highest concentration of people who self-identify as Asian in Louisiana. Orleans Parish also is among the top parishes for Asian population.

According to a news release, the event will emphasize “get out the vote” efforts,  Asian Pacific American engagement and issues of importance to the Vietnamese-American community.

The event is scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday Tại Nhà Hàng August Moon, Harvey.

Bill Cassidy gets NRA endorsement in Senate race

The National Riffle Association is backing Congressman Bill Cassidy to back in Louisiana’s heated U.S. Senate race.

“Throughout your career, you have consistently opposed all attempts to ban lawfully-owned firearms and magazines, and have stood strong against President Obama and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s gun control agenda,” the NRA’s Political Victory Fund wrote in a letter to Cassidy announcing the endorsement this week.

Cassidy faces incumbent Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu and tea party-backed Republican Rob Maness in the Nov. 4 election.

Maness has been endorsed by the National Association for Gun Rights, Gun Owners of America and Gun Rights Across America.

Meanwhile Landrieu recently announced that she has secured endorsements from 500 local elected officials across the state.

David Vitter called ‘gold standard’ for surviving scandal

The Washington, D.C.-based National Journal identifies Republican U.S. Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana as the apparent “gold standard for surviving a political scandal” in an article this week on how politicians have weathered public embarrassments.

“Vitter may well be the Teflon Don of political sex scandals,” the DC-insider publication writes of Louisiana’s GOP front-runner for governor in 2015.

Vitter, who’s in his second term in the U.S. Senate, formally announced his plans to run for governor earlier this year.

He dropped a 2002 bid for governor, citing marital problems.

In 2007, he admitted to involvement with prostitutes after his number appeared among the phone list and records of the “D.C. Madam.”

He has been noted for laying low after the announcement and coming back to win re-election to the Senate in 2010.

“The evidence suggests that, if you can trudge through the first few weeks of bad press and public outcry, voters will eventually leave you alone—or better yet, forget all about you,” the National Journal writes.

Read the full article on “What does it take to get voted out of Congress?” here.

Robertson talks about McAllister

Duck Commander Phil Robertson, who heads the Duck Dynasty family, told a meeting in Bossier City that U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister should have listened to his sermons, according to a report by KATV in Monroe.

The Robertson family backed McAllister in his run for Congress last fall. McAllister ran as Christian who would bring family values to Washington. Within weeks of his election, a security camera caught him kissing the wife of his friend.

McAllister said he and his wife worked out their difficulties. The Robertsons had kept their mouths shut about the Swartz Republican’s straying for martial promises.

But the family gave about $50,000 to start the campaign of family member Zach Dasher to challenge McAllister’s reelection for the 5th District congressional seat.

Dasher came from “the loins” of his sister, Robertson said.  So, the Robertson family backed Dasher as kin who they knew for sure was a Christian.

Robertson said at the annual Outdoor Extravaganza in Bossier City that he didn’t officially endorse McAllister in 2013, but agreed to speak at an event for McAllister. He said he went to the rally to preach the Gospel.

“The only thing I can say about that guy is he should have listened to my sermon that day,” Robertson said..

 

NY Times: Bobby Jindal, other GOP hopefuls look for foreign policy cred

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is included in a lengthy New York Times article this week on GOP presidential hopefuls and foreign policy.

The Times concludes foreign policy is a “gap” on Jindal’s political resume — just a week after a conservative columnist for the Washington Examiner identified foreign policy as a potential niche area for Jindal.

The article points out that Jindal has been quick to criticize President Barack Obama on areas of foreign policy, including the ongoing conflict in Syria.

Last week, Jindal released a statement blasting President Obama’s administration shortly after ISIS released a video of a second American journalist beheaded in less than a month.

“Peace through strength is not a slogan. It is a truth,” Jindal said in the statement. “We can have peace through strength, or we can have chaos and war through weakness.”

The Times article has various pundits weighing foreign policy experience versus domestic policy — including the economy.

Read the full New York Times piece here.

Louisiana Democrats endorse Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo in 5th District

The Democratic State Central Committee of Louisiana has endorsed Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo in this fall’s 5th District Congressional race — a mostly unsurprising move given Mayo is the only Democrat seeking to unseat “kissing Congressman” Vance McAllister, R-Swartz.

Seven others also are running, including Republicans Zach Dasher, of Calhoun; Ralph Lee Abraham, of Archibald; Harris Brown, of Monroe; Jeff Guerriero of Monroe; Clyde Holloway of Forest Hill;  and Ed Tarpley of Alexandria. Libertarian Charles Saucier of Ponchatoula and Green Party candidate Eliot Barron of New Orleans also have qualified to be on the ballot.

The state Democratic Party earlier this week announced its endorsement of former Gov. Edwin Edwards in Louisiana’s 6th District Congressional race — a move that some have criticized due to Edwards’ criminal history.

In announcing the vote to endorse Mayo, Louisiana Democratic Party Chair Karen Carter Peterson touted the four-term mayor’s jobs record.

“Mayor Mayo’s experience with creating jobs, balancing budgets and working across the aisle to get things done for the city of Monroe over the past 13 years makes him a strong candidate to tackle the challenges facing this district,” she said. “As the Republicans in this race run to represent the extreme far right, Mayor Mayo is running to represent all of the people in the 5th Congressional District. His pro-jobs agenda is winning over voters that want someone who will put aside partisan politics and work for what’s best for the people of the district.”

Cassidy says Reid runs Senate like a plantation

If Twitter is any indication, U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy’s comments that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid “runs the Senate like a plantation” is attracting a lot of attention.

Rob Maness, a fellow Republican in the race to unseat U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, demanded that Cassidy “immediately apologize” for using a term “that is incredibly offensive to many Americans.”

Cassidy, of Baton Rouge and establishment GOP’s best hope to beat the three-term Democratic incumbent, made his comment in an Environment & Energy profile published Tuesday. Louisiana’s Senate race has been the focus of national attention as one of the half dozen or so seat vulnerable to a party turnover that would give the GOP a majority in the upper chamber as well as the U.S. House.

In the E&E piece, Cassidy linked Landrieu with President Barack Obama, who lost Louisiana to the GOP candidates in 2008 and 2012, and Reid, a Democrat from Nevada.

“So instead of the world’s greatest deliberative body, it is his personal, sort of, ‘It goes if I say it does, if not it stops.’ Senator Landrieu’s first vote for him to be re-elected means that every other wish for a pro-oil and gas jobs bill is dead. Reid will never allow a pro-oil and gas jobs bill,” Cassidy was quoted as saying in explaining his “plantation” comment.

“It’s this type of over-the-top, out-of-bounds ignorance that drives so many people away from the Republican Party,” Maness, who is supported by the tea party wing of the GOP, said in a prepared statement. “We need to be better than that.  We need to be the party of thoughtful ideas and common-sense reforms – not extreme rhetoric and ignorant comments. We all make mistakes and when we do, we should have the fortitude to own up to them.”

Fleming to Scalise: Have a $5 footlong on me

Maybe U.S. Rep. John Fleming should ship his House colleague Steve Scalise a year’s free supply of Subway sandwiches, via UPS.

That might help reduce the disparity in the wealth of the two Louisiana Republicans , as indicated by their required financial disclosure reports. Fleming, a Minden physician who operates franchises for Subway and UPS, ranks as the 42nd-richest member of Congress for 2014, according to a compilation by the Washington political newspaper Roll Call. Scalise, of Jefferson, made the bottom 10 list, although just barely.

The calculations are approximate: Members of Congress report their assets and liabilities in broad ranges, and Roll Call subtracted the minimum possible liabilities from the minimum possible assets for each member to come up with a number for wealth.

Fleming actually fell nine spots in the rankings since 2013, as his wealth, which also includes extensive rental-property interests, contracted by more than 15 percent to $9 million and change, the magazine said. And its report cautioned that Scalise may not be quite as bad off as his minus-$671,000 total suggests, due to the way the disclosure forms handle home-mortgage refinancings.

In any case, Fleming’s wealth can’t buy him one choice bit of real estate that Scalise laid claim to this summer, thanks to his election as House majority whip: an impressive and historic leadership office in the U.S. Capitol.