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The Advocate column, Jul. 9, 2017

Medicaid fact check ... what's really going on with Senate bill?



Edwards violates code with false veto explaning

Just because Gov. John Bel Edwards won’t admit that he follows the past practice of governors in weaponizing capital outlay requests doesn’t mean he doesn’t do it, as a review of the fiscal year 2018 spending decisions reveals.

Edwards returned Act 4 of the Second Extraordinary Session with three dozen line item vetoes. While a few seemed appropriate, such as excising a request for a medical facility in north Baton Rouge that appeared duplicative of existing resources, many looked entirely random outside any political context.

For example, in the district of Republican state Rep. Chris Leopold, who typically votes against Edwards’ agenda, the Democrat took two swipes, vetoing a $1 million project to build a gymnasium and spending $120,000 on a park. Yet he kept on a $4,165,000 request to build a state-of-the-art athletic complex at Carver Collegiate Academy in New Orleans East located in House and Senate districts of two steadfast allies – bumping up the request by $2 million in a last second move at the end of the regular session that added a number of projects requested by Democrats. In the same move, Democrat state Rep. Robbie Carter, whose terms in office wrap around this seat Edwards once held, got $200,000 for the police station in his hometown of Amite. Meanwhile, after the bill came back from Edwards frequent education policy opponent of his Republican state Rep. Nancy Landry found Maurice lost out on $720,000 to build a new village hall.


Bossier City squanders without term limits

Contrary to what Bossier City Mayor Lo Walker asserts, that municipality desperately needs term limits.

Asked a question at his inauguration for his fourth term about the value of this, Walker declared himself opposed to the concept at the local level of government. He argued that having people serve potentially lengthy periods in office led to a knowledgeable continuity in city government.

Bossier City could stand as the poster child for little refreshment in government. The current lineup of him and the seven-member City Council boasts 108 years of collective service – not including the 16 years Walker spent as chief administrative officer prior to his first election. City incumbents who served a full term have not lost a regular election in 16 years. In fact, they don’t see much of a way in challenges; from 2005, just 41 candidates ran for 32 available slots, only about two contested races of eight each cycle.


Independence Day, 2017

This column publishes every Sunday through Thursday around noon U.S. Central Time (maybe even after sundown on busy days, or maybe before noon if things work out, or even sometimes on the weekend if there's big news) except whenever a significant national holiday falls on the Monday through Friday associated with the otherwise-usual publication on the previous day (unless it is Thanksgiving Day, Independence Day, Christmas, or New Year's Day when it is the day on which the holiday is observed by the U.S. government). In my opinion, in addition to these are also Easter Sunday, Memorial Day and Veterans' Day.

With Tuesday, Jul. 4 being Independence Day, I invite you to explore the links connected to this page.


Maness tries again, warranting voter scrutiny

Two-time U.S. Senate candidate Republican Rob Maness hopes the third time is the charm in his quest to fill his retirement years, with an announced run for the Louisiana House of Representatives in an upcoming special election.

With the stepping down of former state Rep. John Schroder to concentrate on a bid for state Treasurer to fill the post vacated by Maness’ vanquisher in the Senate contest GOP Sen. John Kennedy, his slot opened for which Maness has thrown his hat in the ring. With his pair of nontrivial Senate pursuits behind him, Maness has become a seasoned campaigner who knows how to raise money and his chances appear far better to win this time out.

This race suits him much better. When Maness parachuted into Louisiana at his retirement from the Air Force and only months later declared his candidacy for the 2014 contest, he appeared clumsy and forcing himself on the state. Having hardly resided in Louisiana long enough to meet the residency requirement by the time qualification rolled around, he informed anyone who would listen that U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy – possessor then of legislative scorecard numbers indicating he voted as least as conservatively, if not more so, as any GOP member of Congress – was too liberal and only political newcomer Maness could save Louisiana.