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Expectations broaden issues in treasurer's race

Talk of extraneous issues during the special election to fill Sen. John Kennedy’s former Louisiana treasurer position comes because voters see the job as a training ground for higher office.

Republican Kennedy ascended to the U.S. Senate at the beginning of the year, leaving a couple of years left on his term. Into the fray have jumped three major candidates, all Republicans: Angéle Davis, for two years commissioner of administration under former Gov. Bobby Jindal; state Sen. Neil Riser; and former state Rep. John Schroder.

At a recent local Republican Party forum, Davis and Riser found themselves answering a myriad of questions that had really nothing to do with the treasurer’s job, such as their Second Amendment views and religious backgrounds. Schroder could not attend because of a scheduling conflict.


Landrieu bears blame for flood consequences

So maybe anthropogenic global warming isn’t such a great existential threat to New Orleans after all? Instead, maybe it’s the policy and personnel decisions of Mayor Mitch Landrieu?

The Landrieu Administration found itself flatfooted last weekend when parts of the city flooded. While the heavy rains that swept the area obviously set the stage for the semi-disaster, as time went on it became clear failures by the city’s quasi-autonomous Sewerage and Water Board, controlled by Landrieu, bore the major fault.

From the time waters began rising clearly something seemed amiss. For example, an area essentially dry in aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the corner of Dauphine and Esplanade, took on a couple of feet of water. (Looking out my window at that intersection 29 years ago during Tropical Storm Beryl, no water accumulated there.) Over queries prompted by events like these, Administration figures kept insisting collection and drainage mechanisms worked correctly. Then-Executive Director of the SWB, Cedric Grant, hypothesized climate change had caused the flooding.


Wage/race pay gap myths live despite facts

No matter how little factual support they have, you can count on proponents of the gender “wage gap” myth to keep peddling their buncombe. And it gets even more hyperventilated when you can throw race into the mix.

Some Louisiana media outlets regurgitated the breathless proclamation of special interests wishing to perpetuate the myth last week, when the alleged “Equal Pay for Black Women” day occurred. That means in the state that it took this much of 2017 plus 2016 for black women typically to earn as much as white non-Hispanic men did in 2016. By the numbers, the median earnings for that female was 48 percent of that male’s – something to consider as minority females made up a sixth of Louisiana’s civilian labor force in 2014, most of them being black.

Of course, the statistic is bogus from the word “go,” beginning with the fundamental recognition that average earnings differs enormously from average wage. Conceptualized as “wage,” that does not take into account a myriad of factors that affect the average amount of money per year earned by individuals and how they differ by sex and race, including most conspicuously hours worked per year, occupational choices, experience in current jobs, and willingness to work in less desirable locations while travelling more.


Denying gimmickry making Edwards hypocrite

From the governor who said he is “committed to open and honest budgeting that does not rely on the gimmicks of the past,” yet another past budget gimmick he endorsed surfaces.

It turns out that about $28 million used in the fiscal year 2018 budget does not exist yet, and may not before the close of the year. That money depends upon resolution of lawsuits favorably to Louisiana, which an additional about $8 million did come available recently.

Two sources encompass the disputed dollars: money paid in protest by medical device manufacturers over a tax on those items and by businesses contesting a temporary one cent increase in sales taxes on utilities. There is no guarantee that either will be settled in the state’s favor or even that if a settlement occurs to its liking that this would occur before Jun. 30, although the utility tax case appears very probably to end in a victory for the state. But that case has dragged out for more than a year, and those funds originally appeared in the FY 2017 budget only not to become available.


The Advocate column, Aug. 6, 2017

Cities and law enforcement offices can learn from Sid Gautreaux on immigration enforcement