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26.5.22

Schroder should extend defense against wokeism

Republican Treas. John Schroder – also a 2023 gubernatorial candidate – should extend his efforts to remove wokeism from the financial services industry, emulating some of his compatriots in this quest, and enticing the Louisiana Legislature to join in.

Already, with many other chief financial officers, Schroder has guided state investment policy to avoid as best possible placing idle state dollars in the hands of entities that practice viewpoint discrimination in their investment and lending choices. The Legislature also looks set to pass laws to do the same for contracting, although it will have to get by the ideology of Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards to enact this into law.

Recently, another matter along these lines has popped up and drew Schroder’s attention. S&P Global, one of the three major credit rating firms, has begun to rate government debt on the basis of ESG factors – environmental, social, and governance. Despite the fact that investing on the basis of things such as degree of “green” or “woke” brings no extra return to shareholders and the reality of the speciousness of this due to high subjectivity of ratings on that basis, under pressure from leftist politicians and cultural elites a growing number of corporations and governments are incorporating ESG considerations into their policy preferences.

25.5.22

Perkins bellyflops with pool management fiasco

Just when it seemed things had quieted down somewhat for Shreveport Democrat Mayor Adrian Perkins in a reelection year, he had to start self-inflicting wounds again.

Perkins endured a rocky first couple of years in office after coming from complete obscurity to win. He defeated the incumbent precisely because with no background in politics and almost none in civilian adult life he could appear as a blank slate onto which he invited voters to write their hopes and aspirations.

Then he began to compile a record fraught with questionable decisions, both ethically and in policy output. That appeared to ease up after an electorally-disastrous bid for the U.S. Senate, but after about a year-and-a-half this spring he began to create himself problems again, starting with hiring a chief financial officer with a thin and controversial background that prompted an equally, if not more-qualified applicant to complain to the state about discrimination in hiring and prompted a Louisiana Legislative Auditor review.

24.5.22

Edwards reveals fig leaf to avoid casting veto

Looks like Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards is preparing to beat a full retreat, then declare victory of sorts.

SB 44 by Republican state Sen. Beth Mizell is set to force him into this mode. The bill, now headed to his desk, mirrors laws enacted in over a dozen states, prohibiting biological males from competing in scholastic and collegiate sports designated for females only. It differs little from a version last year that Edwards vetoed which the Senate, but not the House in a vote essentially echoing party divisions, voted to override.

MacAoidh laid out some pretty good reasons why that won’t happen again in the House, where last year representatives who voted for the bill then turned against it on the override consideration will not replicate that behavior this year if Edwards dares cast a veto, by and large. Add to this that earlier this year Edwards already suffered humiliation with an overturned veto that put the state’s congressional districts in place for the next decade, and it looks less and less likely he will bleed more power as a symbolic sacrifice to his party’s and ideology’s imperative of normalizing transgenderism for all everywhere.

23.5.22

GOP leadership must commit to greater success

If it can do some things right, why can’t the Republican leadership in the Louisiana Legislature get more done?

At least Republican Speaker Clay Schexnayder and GOP Pres. Page Cortez got it together on a few things, as opposed to last year. Then, they had an opportunity to muscle through the operating budget and many bills disliked by Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards well prior to the end of the regular session, but didn’t. It led to a veto session where they brought up some of those bills, but none could gather enough votes to override, and line item vetoes went unchallenged.

This year, at least they got some of it right. Last week saw the budget passed, well in time to bring up any line item vetoes for an override, as opposed to last year when they left no time to attempt any. By doing so, they disempower Edwards from using this threat to sway votes on other pieces of legislation, by ensuring targeted members their items are safe.

22.5.22

Shreveport Republicans must choose vote strategy

The Shreveport mayor’s election this fall edged closer to – or maybe farther from – a Friday Ellis strategy last week when former candidate Republican Caddo Parish Commissioner Jim Taliaferro announced he would drop his bid for the office, in favor of another.

The strategy comes from the 2020 Monroe mayor’s contest, when no party Friday Ellis, backed by Republicans, took down long-time incumbent Democrat Jamie Mayo in a city with five-eighths black voter registration. Mayo had built up two decades of questionable decision-making which accelerated in his final term, but with Ellis not running as a Republican this removed a distraction from some voters who wouldn’t consider a Republican merely because of the label and who wanted Mayo out.

Somewhat of a similar situation presents itself with Shreveport’s Democrat Mayor Adrian Perkins. While only in his first term, Perkins has made a number of questionable calls that has brought about charges of favoritism and power politics at the expense of taxpayers. This has opened the possibility that a substantial number of voters will gravitate to a quality anybody-but-Perkins alternative.

19.5.22

LA GOP leadership not pursuing popular bills

Louisiana’s legislative Republicans can deal a huge blow to the woke left. Why aren’t they?

A number of bills remain in various stages of viability in this year’s legislative session that could do the job. SB 44 by Republican state Sen. Beth Mizell that would prohibit biological males from competing in single-sex scholastic and collegiate sports for females has moved along best, which looks to expected Senate concurrence and a trip to Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards. Last year, Edwards vetoed something very similar that the Senate voted to overturn, but with all but one Democrat in the House of Representatives sticking with Edwards, an override fell just short.

Which meant Edwards and legislative Democrats thwarted the will of two-thirds of the population, according to polling. It’s a winning issue for Republicans, and they should dare Edwards to try again.

18.5.22

Toothless bill privileges electric vehicles

Given a chance to pass legislation bringing more sense to electric vehicle policy, the Louisiana Legislature is whiffing big time.

Recent federal government policy has diverted billions of dollars towards putting these vehicles on the road, both with tax write-offs and direct spending on infrastructure to support their use such as throwing money at states to build charging stations. But it has left states high and dry when it comes to EV roads use, because both states and it charge a per gallon retail gasoline excise tax for roads building and maintenance, but EVs avoid contributing to that even as these use the same byways.

So, states have started turning to special per vehicle excise taxes for both EVs and hybrid vehicles. The majority, 30, now have these for EVs, while 14 also include lesser fees on hybrids. Louisiana neighbors Arkansas, $200 annually for EVs and $100 for hybrids, and Mississippi, $150 annually for EVs and $100 for hybrids and indexed for inflation starting last year, are among those with both.

17.5.22

GOP LA Senate augments graveyard reputation

The problem in the Louisiana Senate goes farther than leadership inability to implement an agenda, even a popular and sensible one.

Last week, the Senate Health and Welfare Committee essentially torpedoed a resolution that would have removed Louisiana from outlier status in forcing Wuhan coronavirus vaccinations on school attendees, which no other state will do next year, unless parents affirmatively declare opposition on behalf of their children. It failed because Republican Senate Pres. Page Cortez, despite a better than two to one GOP advantage in the chamber, in making his appointments to it left the committee with just a margin of one more Republican vote, and GOP Sen. Rogers Pope – who didn’t take a leave of absence that day – couldn’t be bothered to show up for the debate.

But this week, numbers and solidarity in opposition among Democrats weren’t to blame when the Senate Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Committee showed the door to HB 438 by Republican state Rep. Tony Bacala. The bill would have started in fiscal year 2024 dropping the 0.45 percent sales tax hike extended from 2018 by a third, then half, in anticipation of its demise by FY 2026.

16.5.22

Edwards blows tax bucks on looking ignorant

It seems that to show the world what a climate alarmist/ignoramus its governor is Louisianans spent $42,000 in taxpayer funds.

A review of public records reveals that the trip that Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards took last fall to the United Nations’ Climate Change Conference in Glasgow cost nearly $19,000 for his personal entourage over a nearly two week span, with over $23,000 used to divert Louisiana State Police forces to provide protection.

It turns out he spent the most high-profile part of this time sounding like an idiot. After the panel on which he participated sponsored by the climate alarmist and very leftist Environmental Defense Fund he had the group interview him. In it, he cited climate alarmism canards, such as rising seas and more frequent and severe weather events, that he attributed to climate change and this came about to a significant degree because of man’s activities.

15.5.22

Buses to south BC on cloak and dagger agenda

The strange saga of Shreveport’s SporTran bus service extension into south Bossier City continues with an apparent effort to endorse it and a mysteriously on-and-off again agenda.

On May 12, at 2:38 PM the City Council clerk’s office sent notice the agenda for its May 17 meeting was disseminated. Three minutes later, it sent another message about posting a modified agenda. An item that appeared on the second version, visible at least into May 13, would have granted Council approval to adding the route.

But into the afternoon of May 15, the site for agendas had no listing of the meeting and its modified agenda (originally here), with no explanation for its removal. Legally, an agenda must be posted at least 24 hours prior to the meeting, giving the city until 3 PM May 16 to post one or to postpone the meeting.