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Bad arguments against convention resurface

Here we go again, getting treated to the two worst arguments against revision of the Louisiana Constitution.

These inadequate objections resurfaced during a debate of HCR 56 by Republican state Rep. Franklin Foil by the House and Governmental Affairs Committee. The resolution would create a study commission by which at the beginning of the next Legislature the panel would make recommendations about the necessity and scope of a constitutional convention.

That’s actually a step back from the recent myriad and numerous efforts to rework the state’s basic governing document. During this legislature’s term, ten bills have come forth to initiate a convention without any study, although another four resolutions take the lesser step. That includes Foil’s measure of this year and one by Democrat state Rep. Neil Abramson which appoints a committee only of legislators. All of the previous three years’ have foundered.


Useless LA inspection fee needs jettisoning

A California bicycling race can teach Louisiana a lot about the perils of excessive vehicle fees.

This week, the Amgen Tour of California traipses through that state, with a distaff version starting on Thursday. These are the only such contests on American soil that rate the Union Cycliste Internationale’s highest classification. American Tejay Van Garderen, who has the best finishes by any of his countrymen over the past decade in July’s Tour de France, currently leads and had put himself in a good position to win the general classification.

Between the two sexes, 35 teams will compete to put one of their riders on the top step of the podium by the races’ ends. Stage races require extensive infrastructure, including provision of two cars per team to ride near the cyclists, and other cars for the race organization. For this, organizers gain sponsorships, with Japanese maker Lexus again making well over 100 vehicles available to ATOC. After the race puts on a thousand or so miles to the odometers, Lexus can do with them what they please.


LA legislators miss chance to abolish lt. gov.

You don’t make a useless office relevant by tying it to another, you get rid of it.

Legislators failed in the latter duty as a part of routing HB 113 by Democrat state Rep. Walt Leger. The bill would have amended the Constitution to elect jointly the governor and lieutenant governor although not defining the method, but it received barely half the votes necessary to advance an amendment.

On the floor, Leger pointed out that a majority of states used this method already, although only a couple of southern states do. While he said this pairing would reduce political conflict and rivalry, in eight of these states separate primary elections actually elect each as a party nominee, and in another three, regardless of its gubernatorial candidate’s preference, party conventions make the selection.


Union insults voters with half-baked boycott

Bossier Parish voters have a chance to return in kind the area’s teacher union’s display of three fingers and request of the public to read between the lines.

The sore losers at Red River United sent out a tone-deaf call to boycott some area businesses and individuals related to these. The list contained large donors to campaigning against propositions for property tax hikes that would have sent Bossier City school taxes 40 percent higher and made the district by far the highest property-taxed in the state.

Instead, voters crushed the items at the ballot box by about three to one. About 90 percent of the pair’s avails school leaders had pledged towards salary increases to educators and support staff, with the remainder going towards technology updates.


Reject bad N.O. hotel/tourism taxes deal

A bad deal still isn’t better than no deal.

That’s what the state and New Orleans got as a complex set of bills began moving through the House of Representatives dealing with tourism tax revenues. While the bulk of taxes in this format comes from tourists, through occupancy and sales taxes, state law determines the distribution to New Orleans-based entities, including city government and allied agencies.

Essentially, existing revenue streams in statute heavily favored tourism-related bodies – two largely duplicative nonprofits and the Ernest N. Morial Exhibition Hall Authority, which runs the convention center and ancillary operations. In the past, city leaders occasionally would grumble about millions of taxpayer dollars automatically shunted to these nonprofits and to the special district with responsibility over the convention center, especially as the latter banked tens of millions of dollars annually into a kitty that grew so large that it began to concoct grandiose schemes to spend it all and state officials eyed for other purposes the surplus reaching the hundreds of millions of dollars.