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Misrepresenting group exists only to spend tax dollars

In the wake of Treasurer John Kennedy’s announcement that his office would demand compliance about reporting requirements for nongovernmental organizations that receive state money, the one of the three dozen cited that has received the most attention as it is connected to a state senator he may have trouble in getting accurate information from it any time soon – because it appears that group for nearly a decade has been in violation of Internal Revenue Service rules and misrepresenting itself to the public while existing only to spent nearly $1 million taxpayer dollars

While state Sen. Yvonne Dorsey-Colomb frets that The Colomb Foundation, founded by her husband, surely should not be on this list, blaming a lack of documentation provided – that was first requested 18 months prior – on “office moves,” in fact the organization has a history of failure to provide proper legal documentation regarding what it holds itself out to be. According to its corporate filing with the state, it began in 2004, predating her marriage to him, and currently is in good standing with the state.

But the problem is, if we take it at its word, it never has been in good standing with the Internal Revenue Service. The group solicits donations and on its website at the appropriate page states, “We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit, meaning that your contribution of time or money will be tax deductible.” In order to achieve this, a group must secure from the IRS a letter of determination, and then to stay in good standing must follow a regular schedule of reporting.


Riser appears set for long Fifth District stay

Louisiana and the Fifth District, welcome to your likely new U.S. House member for probably as long as he’ll want it, state Sen. Neil Riser.

As previously noted, the statement by Republican U.S. Rep. Rodney Alexander yesterday that he would not run for reelection vaulted the likes of Republicans Riser, fellow state Sen. Mike Walsworth, and state Rep. Jim Fannin into contention for taking over from him. It also presented a bit of a quandary for Gov. Bobby Jindal, for whom Fannin had been a loyal soldier in assisting Jindal budgets into being as the chairman of the state House Appropriations Committee and that Walsworth has been probably his closest legislative ally, in terms of whether he should or could support either of them for this promotion.

Instead, discretion may have been the better part of valor for Jindal by setting up a situation where didn’t have to make or to pass on a commitment at all. By naming Alexander to the vacant state Department of Veterans’ Affairs secretary’s job with his leaving Congress within two months, it helped to set up a situation where he did not have to turn off potential supporters for a future office from the state by having to back either because Riser, who has been one of Jindal’s biggest legislative allies, has clear advantages over the other two with a contest looming in less than two months, with qualifying occurring in just about two weeks.


Replacing Alexander with solid conservative better for LA

Fairly by surprise, U.S. Rep. Rodney Alexander announced he would not seek reelection to a seventh term, mooting half of one observer’s thesis but setting the table for a whole lot of speculation as to what happens next for the district and Louisiana. And that might have to do with a recent trifecta of party switches among state legislators.

While Alexander is the most senior of its House members, the state loses little clout with his departure. Rep. Steve Scalise already has eclipsed him terms of power wielded by his leadership of the Republican Study Group, the most influential policy-making organization of the party and therefore in the House. Seats on the Appropriations Committee such as Alexander enjoys are few, but Scalise is in a position to get on it and to get like-minded delegation colleagues on other important committees, such as Energy and Commerce that he would have to give up if he made that move. And by next term he and Reps. Charles Boustany (who is in line to be the delegation’s most senior member and already sits on the even more prestigious Ways and Means Committee) and John Fleming will be in the upper half of both chamber and party seniority. Plus, the reason he gave for his departure shows he didn’t promise to have much influence even within his own party going forward.

The Republican said he was hanging it up because “partisan posturing has created a legislative standstill” that was preventing “producing tangible solutions to better this nation.” Translation: he lacked confidence that the principles of conservatism reflect superior understanding of the human condition and thereby was willing to sacrifice some of them for government to do something, but majorities in his chamber’s party would not go so far.

LA to benefit from continued Common Core implementation

Gov. Bobby Jindal made a small stir at the prominent conservative RedState gathering in New Orleans last week when he criticized a basic concept of the Common Core State Standards. But he didn’t repudiate the entire idea, demonstrating the conflict many conservatives feel over an effort that should prove largely positive.

The CCSS comes from collaboration among states and the federal government, to lay down a basic set of educational standards and the infrastructure for evaluating their delivery. It allows for increased federal grants to those states that adopt them, but opting out of it does not disqualify them for these grants as long as they have a standards-based regime comparable to it.

To date, 45 states have signed on totally to the effort, scheduled to commence next school year. One has done so partially, while four plan to sit it out. Louisiana was one of the 22 originating states that helped formulate the idea, but that hasn’t stopped some policy-makers from wanting to reject participation. A resolution in the state Senate to this session to withdraw from the CCSS was withdrawn.


"Hate crime" laws disrespect free speech, invite abuse

That there was any media coverage at all of an act of vandalism in downtown New Orleans provides more demonstration about how the concept of “hate crimes,” besides potentially encouraging more crime, puts us on a slippery slope to deprivation of liberty.

This past weekend, a pair of homeowners in the Warehouse District awoke to find spayed onto a painted shutter a term some find derogatory in reference to those who practice homosexuality, and stolen a flag symbolizing the same, some of which was caught on video recordings. Both are visible advocates for increased legitimizing by government of homosexual lifestyles, one having recently written an opinion piece in the local media decrying alleged civil rights violations in state public policy. No doubt because of that visibility, and perhaps because one owner for decades was a fixture in the state’s media who now heads an advocacy group, local media covered the very minor crime where others of the same kind almost always draw a yawn.

But that it provided extensive coverage of the event – much more than for most far more serious crimes – may have been the lure that it constituted a “hate crime.” New Orleans defines that as “an act or omission defined as an offense by city ordinance other than this section, or by state or federal law, a motive for the commission of which is the actual or perceived race, age, religion, color, creed, disability, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, or ancestry of that person or the owner or occupant of that property.” It is a secondary offense ties to another where the penalty recommended is the maximum of the primary offense and includes mandatory behavioral counseling.


Landrieu excretes label toxicity that caused Ward's jump

So apparently my advice for one potential candidate to make a try for the Sixth Congressional District did not elicit an immediate response from him for pursuit of that hypothetical endeavor. Instead, somebody else jumped in although the move was heavily telegraphed by the same dynamic that steadily is pushing Sen. Mary Landrieu into a corner.

State Sen. Rick Ward, having lived barely any life as a Republican, announced for the post being surrendered by Landrieu’s major declared opponent, Rep. Bill Cassidy. A couple of weeks ago Ward switched his Democrat affiliation in what has turned out to be a prelude to his seeking higher office.

Ward said in that office the state needs a “young conservative,” and said despite his service in the Legislature to date as a Democrat he met that definition. Well, in reality he has trouble on that account, according to his voting record compiled by the Louisiana Legislature Log. This weighted index assesses legislator voting on a continuum of liberal/populist to conservative/reform, where the higher the score, the more conservative/reform is the record.