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VETO!!!

Oh my goodness…I just heard Jindal VETOED the Pay Raise!  We should all be very happy that the Governor has finally aquiesced to the will of the people.  Story developing, but see the following links for now, and check back regularly for updates:

http://www.thedeadpelican.com/2008/JUNE/VETOPAY.HTM

http://www.wafb.com/Global/story.asp?S=8578662&Call=Email&Format=HTML

 

11 days…

…and the uproar about the legislative pay raise is still not dying down.  The results from a survey conducted by John Roberts (a resident of the West bank and of Jim ‘Payraise’ Tucker’s House District) were released yesterday, and they show that 82.77% of voters in the district disapprove of the pay raise, and that 58.76% of voters are willing to sign a petition to recall Tucker.  Recall efforts have now also been started for Joe Lopinto of House District 80, Steve Pugh of House District 73, and Franklin Foil of House District 70, as well as the already afoot recall petitions for Tucker and Michot.

OH!  THIS JUST IN: An official recall petition has been filed with the Secretary of State’s office against Governor Bobby Jindal…the SOS did not release the name of the individual who applied for the petition.  This nearly impossibly effort would require over 900,000 registered voters’ signatures.  Developing…

I also found it interesting how ‘Payraise’ Tucker suddenly decided to kinda let everyone know that he’d be cool with Jindal vetoing (or not vetoing…or whatever) SB 672…it was almost like he hadn’t threatened to pull all of Bobby’s projects or kill all of the Administration’s bills as soon as the hit the floor.  Hm.  Funny how that works out…or doesn’t.

However, Governor PBJ doesn’t really seem to believe anything that Tucker says.  And I don’t really blame him.  In response to Tucker’s statement, the Governor had this to say:

“The legislative leaders have publicly said that the wheels would come off if I stopped this raise and warned us to stay out of the Legislature’s internal affairs.  Nothing has changed, and we won’t let our reforms and progress be held hostage by giving the Legislature an excuse to stop them.  Politically, the easiest thing for me to do would be to veto the bill, but I’m not going to do anything to stop the process of moving us forward.”

K, thanks, Bobby.  We heard you the first time you sang that pre-written and quite well-rehearsed song.

Ready for the 8th to roll around,

-Your friendly neighborhood blogger

13 days…

…and yes, we plan on dragging this out until July 8!  Governor PBJ (my new favorite nick name…get it?  Piyush Bobby Jindal!) had a nice little press conference yesterday from which we can gather the following gems:

“I would probably be the most popular person in modern polling history if I did that (veto the bill), but I don’t want to give the Legislature any excuse to slow down our reforms.”

-Governor Bobby Jindal

Now, every sane person who heard/read this should say the same thing: Huh?  Note to Melissa Sellers: if you want Bobby to keep copping out of the veto, fine…but for goodness’ sake, please re-write his responses.  They make less and less sense as the days go by…

Bobby also made a trip up to Shreveport for the ceremonial signing of SB 87, which is the bill everyone should be really happy about but we’re all just too pissed off about the pay raise to care.  Thanks to Moon Griffon, about 15-20 protestors showed up holding signs that read “VETO PAY RAISE…YOU PROMISED” and “VETO, and represent the people who cast their vote for you”  (Check out the Shreveport Times pics).  But the picture below is my absolute favorite:

 

Now THAT is classic.

Moving on to other news, State Representative Regina Ashford Barrow has been making news…or rather, her son has.  James Barrow, the 21-year-old son of the Representative, was arrested last week in connection with the fatal shooting of Brent Cole, a church musician from DeQuincy.  One of Mr. Barrow’s friends was arrested too…Michael Smith, Jr., 20-years-old.

 

James Barrow

 

Michael Smith, Jr.

Brent Cole

The wonderful thing about this story, though, is that Barrow’s bond was set, at the request of James Barrow’s family (aka, Representative Barrow and company…) at $100K, while his friend Mr. Smith’s bond was set at $250K.  Hm.  Too bad for Smith that his mommy isn’t a legislator too.  Then, on Friday, Barrow gets released from prison and put under house arrest under certain conditions; one of those being that he has to submit to random drug tests.  Well, he flunked.  Yesterday, in fact.  So now they’re both back in prison.  Story developing…

Legislative Pay Raise Rally!

It’s finally been confirmed.  The permit is approved and everything.  The rally will be held on July 7 on the steps of the Capitol, from 2-4pm.  I’ll be there, and I strongly encourage you to attend.  For more info and to sign up, check out www.legewatch.com.

Psyched,

-Your friendly neighborhood blogger

14 days…

We’re at the 2-week mark in the countdown to the Legislative Pay Raise being passed into law without the Governor’s signature.  But now that Sine Die has come around, I’ll try to outline some of the key pieces of legislation that have come and gone in the 2008 Regular Legislative Session.

The first fuss of the session was over SB 6, by Senator Edwin Murray, which proposed an official state cocktail.  Not only that, but it was a crappy cocktail that no one had ever heard of!  I mean, sheesh…could’ve at least been the Hurricane or something 😉  So anywho, SB 6 actually passed but was slightly altered.  See, now, the Sazerac is just the official cocktail of New Orleans, not the whole state.  Fantastic.

Moving right along, there was some discussion about HB 199 by Representative Ernest Wooton, which would’ve allowed permit holders to carry concealed weapons on college campuses.  But, after some stern words from state college officials and a lot of dissent from Louisiana legislators, nothing became of it.

Trying to stay positive, we come to SB 87, by freshman Senator Buddy Shaw, which effectively repealed the Stelly Tax Plan that everyone pretty much hated.  Three cheers for Buddy Shaw and for the Jindal administration finally deciding to back this $300-million tax break for the people of Louisiana.

More good news, HB 321 by Representative Don Trahan, has also been sent to the Governor and is waiting for his signature.  This is a nice, mild school choice victory that will raise the limitation on charter school proposals from 42 to 70.

Another happy note, HB 715 by Representative Brett Geymann has been sent to the Governor.  This bill, which I’ve absolutely loved all session, will effectively opt the state of Louisiana out of the Real ID Act of 2005.  Real ID is a pretty bad idea, though I don’t think it’s the Apocalypse that it’s been described as.  If you want to read more about it, check out www.realnightmare.org.  Kudos to Representative Geymann for his initiative on this issue.

And now, for the major upset of the session that everyone’s so pissed about, the Legislative Pay Raise.  SB 672, by Senator Ann “Mercedes” Duplessis, has of course been passed and sent to the Governor.  Bobby Jindal continues to refuse to veto the legislation, but also will not sign it.  There’s been such an uproar of negative press towards the Governor that it’s even making national news now.  I would, of course, urge the Governor to veto the bill for the sake of his political future.  However you want to take action (because you undoubtedly do), your options are certainly not limited.  You can check out the plethora of recall petitions and websites that have been formed in response to SB 672:

Oh, and just googling “Louisiana legislative pay raise” is pretty fun, too.  In conclusion, let’s all read these fun quotes (courtesy of AP) from our fun elected officials from this very fun legislative session that we’ve all so enjoyed, and laugh/cry together!

“I’ve never inhaled. I’ve never used any illegal drugs. I’m as clean as they come.”

-Rep. Walker Hines, D-New Orleans, responding to questions about what prompted his bill to toughen restrictions on smoking in cars while children are inside.

 

“This is probably the best committee in the Senate. We don’t have a lawyer on it.”

-Sen. Joe McPherson, D-Woodworth, during a meeting of the Senate Transportation Committee.

 

“I have really learned that you guys are not just friends but family, and when one hurts, everybody hurts. And I just want you to know how much I appreciate your thoughts and prayers. This is going to be, I believe, a very long road for us.”

-Rep. Regina Barrow, D-Baton Rouge, thanking legislators for their support since her son was arrested last week in connection with a fatal shooting in Baton Rouge three months ago.

Okay, these two go together:

“Can we just randomly ignore rules in the House?”

-Rep. Jeff Arnold, D-New Orleans, asking House Speaker Jim Tucker whether the House sidesteps its own rules of order. That suggestion was made by another lawmaker.

“No sir, we’re not the Senate.”

-Tucker, R-Terrytown, replied.

 

 “In my experience, a good bill takes two or three years to pass. The bad ones we seem to pass the first time we see them.”

-Sen. John Alario, D-Westwego.

And my personal favorite:

“I’d challenge this young man to a battle of wits, but I don’t fight unarmed people.”

-Rep. Ernest Wooton, R-Belle Chasse, complaining about a newspaper columnist who wrote in opposition to one of his bills.

 

Rather amused and in a good mood now,

-Your friendly neighborhood blogger

Last day of session (15 days…)

Today (thank God) is the last day of the legislative session.  Most of the heavy pieces of legislation have already been dealt with, but there are 50-something-or-so bills that still need to be handled before the 6:00pm deadline tonight.

The list of bills passed can be seen here, and the list of bills vetoed can be seen here.  Check back with the legislative website tomorrow for the final lists.

There are still some vital bills that are awaiting the Governor’s signature, or final approval by either chamber.  Tomorrow, when all has been finalized, we expect to release a report on what we see as the most important pieces of legislation and their final outcomes.

18 days…

…left until SB 672 (which everyone already knows is the Legislative Pay Raise bill) becomes law without the Governor’s signature.  I watched an interview with Bobby on WWL-TV, which you can see here.  In it, he once more stated his 3-point response to the questions of “Why won’t you veto the bill?”  Except this time he said it like…6 times.  It became rather obvious that he wasn’t going to stray from his nice little minute and 30 seconds of excuses that his staff has obviously worked very hard on.  The three points, which we should all know by heart by now, are:

  1. Bobby Jindal is against the pay raise, and sees it as excessive
  2. Bobby Jindal thinks that, if he was in favor of a pay raise, which he isn’t, then it shouldn’t take effect until next session.
  3. Bobby Jindal will not veto the pay raise, even though he’s very against it in the above two ways.

 

Okay, then.  Thanks for the newsflash, Governor Jindal.  As Bill Wilson of The Daily Grind put it,

“Here’s an idea: If you’re opposed to the pay raise, why not veto it?”

A little confused,

-Your friendly neighborhood blogger