The “So Basically…” News Update 

1.) CORRUPTION ALERT!

— What happened: “A. Wayne Lawson, a key witness in the attempted election bribery case against Ascension Parish President Kenny Matassa and a Gonzales business man, failed to turn over his tax returns Monday morning as required by a subpoena from Matassa's defense team.” (The Advocate’s David Mitchell)

— So basically… This political soap opera if far from being concluded. This tale, if ultimately proven true, shows just how cheap political corruption is running these days. The alleged bribe consisted of $1,200 for pickup truck repairs and a parish job.

2.) NUTRIA TAILS FOR SELL

— What happened: “State wildlife officials are recruiting more landowners, hunters and trappers in the battle against nutria, the destructive rodent that has damaged tens of thousands of acres of coastal wetlands.” (The Houma Courier’s Holly Duncan)

— So basically… If you need a side hustle, here you go. You can get $5 per tail.

3.) POLLING, SCHMOLLING

— What happened: “With a little more than eight weeks to go, polls are showing marginal differences between the major, if little known, candidates for state treasurer. The campaigns, however, see the same anemic numbers as proof their candidates are breaking away from the pack in the Oct. 14 election.” (The Advocate’s Mark Ballard)

— So basically… Polls paid for by campaigns would never be released if they reflected poorly on the associated candidates. Plus numbers just don’t mean a whole lot in this race right now. No one has completely run away with it and no one has completely fallen off. It’s going to be a hard-fought and quiet contest.

4.) NEVER GONNA HAPPEN

— What happened: “In the face of budget cuts and declining enrollment, some states are merging systems and campuses to balance the scales. That isn’t the answer for Louisiana, one expert says, but there’s a simple way to get campuses to collaborate more. Money.” (The Shreveport Times’ Leigh Guidry)

— So basically… We’re just going to have to accept that campuses are sacred cows in Louisiana. But the idea of making more universities work together and share courses could be a cost-savings idea worth pursing (again) ahead of the 2018 storm.

5.) FOSTER CARE WAKE-UP CALL

— What happened: “Problems within Louisiana's foster care program have been noted for

some time, but a new audit out shows that the Department of Children and Family Services' struggles with high caseloads and staff turnover, as well as the agency's failure to perform required background checks on foster care providers, has affected the ability to ensure the safety of children in foster care.” (The Advocate’s Elizabeth Crisp)

— So basically… The number of children in foster care in Louisiana are on the rise, but the department’s resources aren’t being expanded to handle the increase. Yet another reminder of how touchy next year’s sessions will be if more revenue isn’t created or if lawmakers fail to overhaul the budget and spending.

News clips provided by ON TRACK WITH MARUSAK online news clipping service. Day or night, receive breaking political and government news from across the state right in your email inbox. For more information about the exhaustive daily service, contact Jennifer Marusak at jmarusak@bellsouth.net.

SPONSORED: What to Expect This Time Around

When the Louisiana State Legislature convenes on March 12, one issue will overshadow all others — the budget. It will be the absolute

Alford: Defining The Louisiana Mood

I was eating boiled crawfish last Friday night with my wife and children in Baton Rouge — Crawfish season! Finally! — when I received a text

Rabalais: That Year There Was No Mardi Gras

When the good times (and parades) didn’t roll for Dutch Throughout history, only cataclysmic events such as invading Yankees, Yellow

Political Chatter

— Congressional aide Michael Willis’ BAD JOKE OF THE WEEK: “How do you catch a unicorn? Unique up on it!” (P.S. Happy Mardi Gras!) —

Gamard’s Beltway Beat: Another Shutdown?

It’s a good thing our congressional delegation got their Carnival fill at the 65th Parish a couple of weeks ago, because pending votes on

#HBD TRACKERS

— Tuesday 02/06: Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne, Laura Veazey, Stephen Waguespack, Kellee Hennessy, Tom Fitzmorris and Cindy

JBE SAVES MARDI GRAS: Not-so-special session delayed

LaPolitics embarking on annual Carnival break Friday is the new deadline (instead of tomorrow) for the GOP-led House and the

5 Hard-Hitting Campaign Ads

It’s time to review your opposition research, fire up your cameras and get ready to pay your media consultant extra. In this episode, we’re

POD: Liz & The Supremes

In our 48th episode of the LaPolitics Report, we talk to Louisiana Solicitor General Liz Murrill a few weeks after she gave oral arguments

SPONSORED: A Congress Divided

When President Donald Trump delivered his first State of the Union address this week, it arrived on a Congress as divided as Washington

Lowdown: Your German-Born Governor

We'd like to introduce you to Michael Hahn. He was Louisiana's only German-born governor, a close friend of Abraham Lincoln, the original

Capitol Gains: JBE, Re-Election Politics & Chicken Stuff

Gov. John Bel Edwards was the guest for our inaugural episode of Capitol Gains, Louisiana’s only Sunday morning political talk show. In

Hashtag Louisiana: Todd Graves & One Love For Mardi Gras

Our new podcast meets you at the intersection of Louisiana politics, social media and business with host Ira Wray. This first episode is

LaHistory: Foster and Buddy’s Comeback Bid

Foster and Buddy’s Comeback Bid In 1995, Louisiana’s political landscape was shifting. Frustrated with problems in the gambling

#HBD TRACKERS!

— Tuesday 01/30: Congressman Mike Johnson, Denise Thevenot, Matt Holliday and Sonny Cranch — Wednesday 01/31: Congressman Garret

A Very Looziana SOTU (and Other Chatter)

— In case you missed it last night, the Bayou State owned the first five minutes… — U.S. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise got one of the

Special Session Cat-and-Mouse Begins

— THE BOTTOM LINE… is a bit fuzzy. If you ask the top supporters of Gov. John Bel Edwards, the special session is a go. Working under that

LaPolitics Lowdown: Louisiana’s German-Born Governor

Go pull those lederhosen out of your closet and fire up those frankfurters, because the country that gave us Albert Einstein and Bach and

Capitol Gains: JBE Talks Re-election

Gov. John Bel Edwards is the guest for this inaugural episode of Capitol Gains. He talks about his campaign's fundraising totals from last

SPONSORED: It’s Not Just About Mardi Gras

The Picard Group (TPG) traveled to Washington D.C. this week not only to celebrate Washington Mardi Gras but to meet with Congressional

NEW POD: Hashtag Louisiana

Welcome to Hashtag Louisiana, your monthly podcast guide to the intersection of social media, business, and politics in the Pelican

#HBD TRACKERS!

— Tuesday 01/23: Rep. Julie Stokes, former Justice Jeannette Theriot Knoll, John Diez, John Mathis and Sterling LeJeune — Wednesday

LaHistory: Mr. Long Goes To Washington

Thursday will mark an anniversary for the United States Senate — 86 years since the Kingfish himself took the upper chamber by storm, and

Democratic Group Wants More Elected Women in Louisiana

Emerge America, a national organization whose sole purpose is getting Democratic women elected into public office, has spread its roots to

The Beltway Beat: Shutdown Edition

— Marriage Advice: Don’t use C-SPAN to tell your wife that you bought a new vehicle. — TODAY’S POLITICO PLAYBOOK: As the Senate was