Just because Gov. John Bel Edwards won’t
admit that he follows the past practice of governors in weaponizing capital
outlay requests doesn’t mean he doesn’t do it, as a review of the fiscal year
2018 spending decisions reveals.
of the Second Extraordinary Session with three dozen
line item vetoes. While a few seemed appropriate, such as excising a
request for a medical facility in north Baton Rouge that appeared duplicative
of existing resources, many looked entirely random outside any political
For example, in the district of Republican state
Leopold, who typically votes against Edwards’ agenda, the Democrat took two
swipes, vetoing a $1 million project to build a gymnasium and spending $120,000
on a park. Yet he kept on a $4,165,000 request to build a state-of-the-art
athletic complex at Carver Collegiate Academy in New Orleans East located in House
and Senate districts of two steadfast allies – bumping up the request by $2
million in a last second move at the end of the regular session that added
a number of projects requested by Democrats. In the same move, Democrat
state Rep. Robbie
Carter, whose terms in office wrap around this seat Edwards once held, got
$200,000 for the police station in his hometown of Amite. Meanwhile, after the
bill came back from Edwards frequent education policy opponent of his
Republican state Rep. Nancy Landry
found Maurice lost out on $720,000 to build a new village hall.
Contrary to what Bossier City Mayor Lo Walker
asserts, that municipality desperately needs term limits.
Asked a question at his inauguration for his
fourth term about the value of this, Walker
declared himself opposed to the concept at the local level of government. He
argued that having people serve potentially lengthy periods in office led to a
knowledgeable continuity in city government.
Bossier City could stand as the poster child for
little refreshment in government. The current lineup of him and the seven-member
City Council boasts 108 years of collective service – not including the 16
years Walker spent as chief administrative officer prior to his first election.
City incumbents who served a full term have not lost a regular election in 16
years. In fact, they don’t see much of a way in challenges; from 2005, just 41
candidates ran for 32 available slots, only about two contested races of eight
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Two-time U.S. Senate candidate Republican Rob Maness hopes the third time is the
charm in his quest to fill his retirement years, with an announced
run for the Louisiana House of Representatives in an upcoming special
With the stepping down of former state Rep. John Schroder to concentrate on a bid
for state Treasurer to fill the post vacated by Maness’ vanquisher in the
Senate contest GOP Sen. John Kennedy, his
slot opened for which Maness has thrown his hat in the ring. With his pair of
nontrivial Senate pursuits behind him, Maness has become a seasoned campaigner
who knows how to raise money and his chances appear far better to win this time
This race suits him much better. When Maness
parachuted into Louisiana at his retirement from the Air Force and only months
later declared his candidacy for the 2014 contest, he appeared clumsy and
forcing himself on the state. Having hardly resided in Louisiana long enough to
meet the residency requirement by the time qualification rolled around, he
informed anyone who would listen that U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy –
possessor then of legislative scorecard numbers indicating he voted as least as
conservatively, if not more so, as any GOP member of Congress – was
too liberal and only political newcomer Maness could save Louisiana.