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Friday, April 28, 2017

    WHAT'S ON THE POLICE CHIEF'S CELL PHONE? The mystery surrounding former Baton Rouge Police Chief Dewayne White's cell phone just took another turn, with the release of the police report relating to its disappearance to the local news media.  White, who has said he did not have a city-parish cell phone, then said he had one but it was lost or stolen, finally turned it over to his attorney last week.  You can read more about who the chief was talking to and what police say the phone was being used for at the link below.  

    Written on Wednesday, 10 April 2013
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The Director of the UL-Lafayette Parking and Transit Office apparently committed suicide in a Baton Rouge hotel one day after being fired from his job.  The state's legislative auditor and the university are investigating a complaint of theft of an undisclosed sum of money in the office which the victim, Simon Broussard, led.  Broussard's death follows the arrest and firing of two previous employees in the same office for the theft of large sums of money. 

About once a year, New Orleans District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro personally prosecutes a criminal case, most recently a death penalty trial for the  murder of a woman.  However, Criminal Court Judge  Karen Herman immediately recused herself because of Cannizzaro's ongoing criticism of the Judges for their use of a Judicial Expense Fund.  In August, Cannizzaro suggested to the State Attorney General that the Judges are guilty of malfeasance and gross misconduct in office.  Now, the Judges are recusing themselves any time the D.A. comes personally before them on a case. Read more at the link below.
Halloween night shootings that left two dead and 14 injured in New Orleans have left residents reeling and the city's tourism industry scrambling to save business.  Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Police Chief Ronal Serpas, shown here, held a morning press conference in an attempt to reassure citizens with little affect as tourism officials rushed out talking points to hotels and convention agents and national news outlets reported on the mayhem.  Read more at the link below. 

The Chairman of the Shreveport Chamber of Commerce wrote an open letter criticizing Mayor Cedric Glover for his proposal to use an increased utility franchise fee to support issuing $94 million in new bond for street improvements.  It wasn't long before Glover responded with his own letter in the Shreveport Times saying he was both "alarmed and concerned" that the Chamber portrayed the city's financial position in a "less than truthway way."  Read Glover's rebuttal at the link below. 

Details of the FBI's nine year investigation of the Jefferson Parish Courthouse that sent two judges to prison and one to impeachment are finally being released as a result of the Times-Picayune's four year public information request.  Stories of a bail bond company that paid for vacations like the fishing trip at left and gambling debts for judges, and food and drink for Sheriff's deputies started with one tip for a disguntled bail bonding competitor.  Read the details at the link below.
Lafayette voters overwhelmingly chose to remain a consolidated form of government with over 63% rejecting a proposal to deconsolidate.  Mayors in the communities outside the City of Lafayette opposed the move, seeing little incentive to leave the consolidated government.  For people favoring deconsolidation, the issue boiled down to giving the city of Lafayette control of its own destiny and taking away the ability of representatives from the parish to control issues exclusive to city.  Read more about this debate at the link below. 

In his fourth run for a legislative seat, Shreveport businessman Barrow Peacock defeated Rep. Jane Smith, for Senate to represent Caddo and Bossier Parishes.  Governor Jindal heavily supported Smith in the contentious race, and late mailers attempted to portray Peacock as "open minded" on abortion and gay marriage, but Peacock won easily with over 55% of the vote. 

With a strong vote from East Baton Rouge Parish, Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne won re-election against Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser with a 53-47 margin of victory.  As expected, Nungesser carried Orleans and Jefferson Parishes, while Dardenne cruised to a big win in North Louisiana. 
With a resounding win over a field of unknown candidates, Governor Bobby Jindal can claim a mandate.  But for what?  His campaign focused on accomplishments in the first term, Louisiana's lower than the national average unemployment and his landing of the Nukor plant near Convent.  His campaign spent $100,000 a day touting those successes, but was largely silent on plans for the next term.  Has Jindal tipped his hand over what those priorities will be?  Times Picayune political columnist Stephanie Grace weighs in on what that might be at the link below. 
The race for Lieutenant Governor has a little bit of everything you find in negative campaigns -- charges of sexual harassment, extramarital affairs, drug use and prostitutes.  What it doesn't have is much talk about what the office actually does.  Jeremy Alford provides all of the dirt you have heard whispered about in this campaign and his take on where this race is going in Gambit at the link below. 
Incumbent Secretary of State Tom Schedler and Speaker of the House Jim Tucker, once close allies, are going after each other's records with a pair of cartoon TV commercials that are two of the worst spots of the campaign season.  Schedler's spot on the Tucker supported legislative pay raise has a cartoon Bobby Jindal delivering a knockout punch in the form of a veto; while Tucker's spot against Schedler pastes his head on a zombie while saying, "old politicians never die."  Read more at the link below. 
Louisiana has the highest automobile and homeowners' insurance rates in the country, but incumbent Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon almost got away without an opponent until a young Baton Rouge attorney named Donald Hodge stepped up.  Donelon led the successful effort to eliminate the Insurance Rating Commission to give him the authority to approve rate increases by companies.  Hodge points out that Donelon's campaign is largely financed by Insurance companies and says Louisiana's rate structure won't improve until we elect someone who doesn't accept money from those he regulates.  Read more at the link below. 
"You're a liar!"  "You're a liar!"

That pretty much sums up the debate between Jay Dardenne and Billy Nungesser that took place Thursday night at the Baton Rouge Tea Party candidates forum.    Both candidates accused each other of wasting money, benefitting personally from the offices they hold and distorting the other's record.  Read more about the war of words for the state's second highest job at the link below. 

The Pelican Republic debuts as a compilation of diverse viewpoints from different places and ideologies.  You may find that The Boiling Frog frets over societal values while The Purple Veil delves into personalities; Politique Deux Centimes digs around Acadiana while Anonymous Rex keeps Louisiana in the DC picture and The Lively Pelican weighs in with more blabber from the Crescent City region. 

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