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Reaction may signal Boustany going for broke

Rep. Charles Boustany’s campaign for the U.S. Senate slid closer to desperation mode in its reaction to reaction over sketchy claims about the candidate’s personal comportment.

It all began a week ago when advance copies of a book came out about past murders of prostitutes in Jefferson Davis Parish. The story has hung around for nearly three years but the author for the book added new material alleging that Boustany had received services from prostitutes. No credible sources have come forward to substantiate this claim.

Also it seems an aide for Boustany worked at a motel frequented by the prostitutes. The campaign denied prior knowledge of that about the aide and he left his post after the allegations surfaced.


Ignorance, illogic mark new NO gun restrictions

Never forget that politicians seldom win their elections because of intelligence. New Orleans provides us a perfect recent example of enacting do-nothing policy based upon ignorance and lack of logic.

This week Mayor Mitch Landrieu signed into law an ordinance that requires reporting of stolen firearms, bans handguns and other dangerous weapons these from city recreational facilities, and creates a crime of “negligent carrying” of a concealed firearm, triggered when somebody is placed in “reasonable apprehension” of its discharge or is carried in a way that also causes this discomfort by someone else. State law already covers the last and the ban in parks extends current limitations, although questionably given state law regarding preemption. In other words, these provisions do next to nothing relative to what already exists, and would have no impact on crime as criminals will not have legal handguns in the first place and will brandish them anyway in commission of crime.

But it’s the reporting requirement, within 48 hours of discovery of theft, that causes the real head-scratching. The thinking behind it appears to be this prevents unscrupulous owners from selling weapons to criminals and then by asserting past theft of these disclaiming any responsibility for aiding in commission of a crime if the weapons turn up at the scene.


Recovery aid can't erode personal responsibility

Just as natural as Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards wanting to raise taxes, so are complaints about the federal government’s role and response to natural disasters such as the flooding inundating the Baton Rouge region last month. It helps to understand just what obligations it should have in order to gauge what should happen.

As immediate rescue gives way to recovery, some state elected officials have begun lamenting what they see as slow federal government action. Even Democrat Edwards, knowing that any criticism reflects upon a Democrat Pres. Barack Obama administration, has begun cautious chiding of the pace of the Federal Emergency Management Administration and the American Red Cross, contracted with the federal government to provide relief activities. A few others, mostly mayors of affected municipalities, have joined him and voiced trepidation that Congress will not move fast enough nor sufficiently far enough to repair matters.

Herein lies the confusion. Up until the hurricane disasters of 2005, the ethos of government responsibility for acts of nature never included the notion that government should make people whole. Instead, it would provide transitory assistance for individuals and long-term aid to rebuild public infrastructure, but people would have to rely upon their own good sense to live lifestyles that anticipated the odd tragedy here or there and thusly to husband resources to compensate if and when that time came.


More reason emerges to alter or abolish JP system

Maybe I should rename this blog from “Between the Lines” to a phrase out of the James Bond ouevreTomorrow’s News Today.” Because that’s what it suggested around two-and-a-half years ago concerning shenanigans going on within the justice of the peace system in Louisiana.

That piece focused mainly on the activities of Tony Thomassie, former constable for the Jefferson Parish Second Justice Court, who for nearly 30 years racked up enormous fees for apparently doing not a lot of work. But the way the system works, where a constable serves a justice of the peace – Louisiana’s small claims court – a JP has to sign orders and make judgments to generate revenue-raising opportunities for constables, although some parishes like Jefferson additionally pay their JPs and constables a set salary.

In the last years of Thomassie’s reign, who in 2014 was voted out of office after reports of his high take-home pay and frequent sighting in bars in and around Marrero surfaced, Patrick DeJean held the JP office in that district. The two tangoed to produce regularly six-figure-plus annual revenues, even as other districts in urban areas, some with much larger populations, came in with revenues only a fraction of that size.