That the cause
of elections integrity has suffered setbacks in some states in recent weeks
does not mean that Louisiana should not do more to strengthen its semi-lax laws
Of course, recent judicial interventions
overturning state laws requiring forms of photo identification to vote, done largely
at the hands of appointees of White House Democrats and who tend to liberal
jurisprudence, represent a political strategy. By hoping to push these cases
into the Supreme Court next year, now equally balanced between justices who
make decisions on the bases of activism and of constructionism, in counting
upon a leftist jurist to replace the vacancy of the late Assoc. Justice Antonin
Scalia they hope to find a way to create a court to invalidate such
requirements. The left believes by degrading elections integrity it will gain
an electoral advantage as non-citizens and less-informed citizens who would be
less likely to make the effort to acquire photo identification typically are
more manipulable and more
prone to identifying as Democrats.
Scalia, probably the most brilliant member of the
Court over the past several decades, probably would have applauded the dissent
in the highest profile of these cases, Veasey V.
Abbott heard by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which pointed out
the majority’s politicized assumption that strict identification laws
automatically connoted discriminatory intent. The problem is activist judges
routinely commit such errors in pursuit of a political agenda, and his
replacement if of that sentiment likely would send the entire Court in that
direction on this and many other issues.
That giant sucking sound you heard came from film
industry locusts extracting money from Louisiana’s taxpayers. But after that
happened, a model for the future of the state’s Motion Picture Investor Film
its debut recently in Shreveport.
In less than a month from the Jul. 1 reinstitution
of the state’s buying back of these tax credits, the amount eligible, $239
million, got vacuumed up by largely nonresidents. Program reforms put a
moratorium on the state’s repurchase, 85 cents on the buck, for the previous
fiscal year. Relatively low demand for this break’s use against state income
taxes meant only $121 million got applied against each fiscal year’s $180
million cap, so that amount left over rolled into this year’s.
This starkly reveals the program’s past use: as a
tool to siphon taxpayer dollars into financing the making of movies in a
one-off fashion, contrary to policy-makers’ intent that it serve as an
incentive to develop a homegrown filmmaking infrastructure. Otherwise, more use
against taxes and less as transfer payments would occur.
The hair-splitting in Louisiana’s U.S. Senate
its exponential growth, providing a clear indicator of all but one
candidate’s insecurities in making it to the inevitable general election
With two dozen candidates on offer and perhaps
with 10 who actually can affect the outcome of the race, the scramble to get in
the runoff has all but one of them desperately searching for issues by which to
differentiate themselves positively to voters. Only Republican state Treas. John Kennedy, universally indicated in
polls as having a hefty lead over all comers, had abjured from this approach.
It began almost three months ago when Republican
Rep. John Fleming sent
out a press release accusing fellow GOP House member Charles Boustany of promoting higher
taxes and insufficient zeal against social engineering supported by Democrat Pres.
Focusing on one bill, H.R.
5055, Fleming contrasted his votes concerning it with Boustany’s.
As Louisiana looks to create a more fiscally-sound
budget, a welcome review of the scope and role of state parks should bring focus
to policy options that fulfill appropriately the function of government yet do
not forget the public service aspect.
With state revenues having difficulty in keeping
up with spending, Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser
and officials dealing with parks, part of his portfolio as the state’s
second-ranked executive, have investigated
a number of ideas to draw in more and more stable receipts to fund
Louisiana’s 32 parks and historic sites. Among others things, hikes in entry
fees and rentals and awarding naming rights have come under study.
To save money, Nungesser’s predecessor, now
Commissioner of Administration, Jay Dardenne removed
personnel from lightly-visited historical sites, mostly war-related, but no
parks have closed for fiscal reasons. In fact, from fiscal year 2008, parks
have seen their budget increase from $33 million
million, so the expenditure side has driven the monetary pinch that parks