Posts Tagged 'Ann Duplessis'

We’re just sayin’…

So, this little pay raise issue should be dead by now.  I mean, we all went through 3 weeks of hell over this, and then Jindal vetoed, and everything should be puppies and rainbows now.  But noooo…

We’re really not trying to beat a dead horse here, but with legislators like Senator Ann ‘Mercedes’ Duplessis trying to play us all for fools, we feel compelled to comment.  This newest piece of entertainment from Duplessis was found in the political section of the Advocate yesterday:

Duplessis: Photos of her car misleading

State Sen. Ann Duplessis said the legislative pay raise issue was skewed by those who do not believe elected officials are credible.

As an example, she pointed to the photo of her Mercedes that popped up on the Internet before the governor vetoed the pay raise.

Duplessis, D-New Orleans, said the car is part of her compensation package as a banker.

“It’s a 10-year-old, broken down vehicle,” she said.

Uhm, excuse me?  Senator Duplessis, really.  Thanks to good-government organizations like the Louisiana Action Council, we all saw the pictures of your pretty little Benz, and it’s quite obvious to anyone with at least one functioning eye that you don’t drive a “10-year-old, broken down vehicle”.  How stupid do you think we are?  But just to prove how very right we are, observe the following.

This…is Senator Duplessis’ Mercedes Benz, S-500:

And this is what a very nice ’98-99 Mercedes Benz S-class looks like:

Now, I’m no car expert, but it only took about 30 seconds of glancing at both of these pictures to figure out that they’re not the same car, and the first one is obviously a newer model than the latter.  Shocker.

Something else I found humorous was that over the weekend, the 2007 disclosure forms from every member of the legislature were released.  And guess what?  Senator Ann ‘Mercedes’ Duplessis’ husband reported being paid $43,500 by Churchill Downs Louisiana Horse Racing Co.  Huh.  That’s weird.

Again, we’re not really trying to keep this issue alive.  I mean, I’d much rather look at other things besides pictures of old S-class models all morning.  But just FYI, Senator Duplessis: If you keep this going, we don’t at all mind clarifying the pile of lies and other assorted deceit you insist on attempting to feed to the general public.

 

Rather amused,

-Your friendly neighborhood blogger

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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

More SB 672 developments

The following list has been released of the legislators refusing to accept the pay raise.  What’s particularly interesting is that out of the 19 legislators (excluding Tucker…we’ll talk about him later) who are refusing to accept the additional pay, 5 of them originally voted for the bill.  Now, I don’t know if these legislators had a change of heart, or if they just thought refusing the pay raise would make them look cool?  Well, it doesn’t.  In my own opinion, it makes them look wishy-washy and stupid to have such quick changes of opinion on a single, rather simple, topic. 

 

Representatives refusing additional pay:

Voted FOR:
Patrick Connick (R-Harvey)
Walt Leger, III (D-New Orleans)
John Schroder (R-Covington)
Ricky Templet (R-Gretna)

Voted AGAINST:
Chris Hazel (R-Ball)
Tony Ligi (R-Metairie)
Nicholas Lorusso (R-New Orleans)
Dee Richard (I-Thibodaux)
Clif Richardson (R-Greenwell Springs)
Karen St. Germain (D-Pierre Part)
Kirk Talbot (R-River Ridge)
Donald Trahan (R-Lafayette)

Absent for vote:
Kevin Pearson (R-Slidell)

Senators refusing additional pay:

Voted FOR:
Danny Martiny (R-Kenner)

Voted AGAINST:
Jody Amedee (D-Gonzales)
Bill Cassidy (R-Baton Rouge)
Donald Cravins, Jr. (D-Opelousas)
A.G. Crowe (R-Slidell)
Neil Riser (R-Columbia)

 

But the really interesting part about all this, is that Speaker of the House Jim Tucker is now saying he won’t keep the pay raise!  That’s right.  After toting around Senator Ann “Mercedes” Duplessis’ bill like it was a gift from Heaven itself, Tucker is now claiming that he’ll accept the pay raise, but he won’t keep it.  See, Tucker’s such saint: he’ll be donating the excess salary to charity.  How…sweet of him.  Now, while I’m sure local charites will be overly grateful for Tucker’s $20,000 + a year, I think the taxpayers of Louisiana would be a bit more grateful for the $28,244,328 that he just cost them over the next five years (check the fiscal note on SB 672 for yourself).  Speaker Tucker’s paradoxical actions on this issue are simply…mind-boggling.  There are no more words…it’s time for action.  Calling Tucker’s office is great…but it obviously doesn’t help.  I think recalling Tucker may be more useful.  Check out the new website…

 

Recall “Payraise” Tucker!

 

Ready for battle,

-Your friendly neighborhood blogger

Louisiana’s New State Bird.

“Louisiana has a new state bird.  Its no longer the pelican, but the middle finger.”

-Moon Griffon, in reference to the Louisiana legislature voting themselves a more than 200% pay raise.

 

We couldn’t have said it any better, Mr. Griffon.  Seems like we’ve been getting that particular bird a lot these days…usually from our elected officials.  First came the finger from legislators like Senator Ann “Mercedes” Duplessis, who proposed a 3x increase in her own (and all the other legislators’) salary.  A certain concerned citizen was so kind as to snap this picture of Senator Duplessis’ lovely new black Mercedes Benz:

 

$75,300

Senator Ann “Mercedes” Duplessis’ shiny black Mercedes Benz.  MSRP: $75,300

Picking up on the idea, another concerned citizen saw our House Speaker Pro Temp Karen Carter Peterson’s beautiful silver Jaguar XJ8, sitting on the street in New Orleans:

 

Speaker Pro Temp Karen Carter Peterson’s pretty silver Jaguar XJ8.  MSRP: $59,995

As Brian McNabb from the Louisiana Action Council noted:

“We do not know the exact percentage of Louisiana drivers who cruise around in a Mercedes Benz but we are guessing that the percentage of Louisiana workers that have the power to triple their own salary is… little to none.”

Next, we get the finger from Speaker of the House, Jim Tucker.  Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought Jim Tucker was a Republican, and a conservative, too.  But, that label apparently changes when his own salary comes into play.  Our good friend Chad Rogers of The Dead Pelican describes Speaker Tucker’s hypocrisy pretty well:

“How  perfect in describing Republican House Speaker Jim Tucker. For he is indeed a man with no apparent conviction, who is trying to  sell a contradiction. The contradiction is that he has  paraded himself as both a fiscal conservative who demands responsible spending, and a man who joyfully praises a left-leaning Democrat for sponsoring a bill that increases legislators’ pay and thereby increases government spending.

Apparently, Tucker is against any increase in government spending that does not suit his own narrow selfish interest.”

And THEN, Speaker Tucker had the gall to call out bloggers who posted pictures (hehe…) of Senator Duplessis’ Mercedes!  Tisk, tisk, Speaker Tucker.  That’s not the behavior of someone who supposedly represents the will of not only the people of his own district, but the people of the entire state of Louisiana.

Since SB 672 passed finally out of the Senate on Monday with a 20-18 vote, it looks like both the House and Senate have decided to completely ignore the will of the people and the thousands of outraged phone calls, letters, and emails that went in to the capitol in the past few weeks, and instead have decided to give us all the finger.  It would seem that our last hope is our reform-minded Governor, Bobby Jindal, who also ran on a platform of strong ethics and conservative fiscal planning.  But he, too, has flipped the people of Louisiana off for the time being, using the outrageous cop-out of letting the legislature “govern themselves”.

These are sad times, folks.  Check up on how your Senator and Representative voted on this horrendous piece of legislation.  Thank the good guys, and don’t re-elect the bad ones.  As for the Governor, I’m still speechless on the topic.  Do what you must, but do NOT forget this when elections come around in 2011.

 

Disappointed and disgusted,

-Your friendly neighborhood blogger