Political Chatter

— The Legislative Black Caucus has new officers: Rep. Randal Gaines was elected chair, Rep. Ted James is vice chair, Rep. Jeff Hall is first vice chair, Sen. Wesley Bishop is Senate whip, Rep. Edmond Jordan is secretary, Rep. Pat Smith is treasurer, Rep. Barbara Carpenter is parliamentarian, Rep. Kenny Cox is sergeant-at-arms and Rep. Patrick Jefferson is chaplain. 

— ICYMI (Ripped from the pages of LaPolitics Weekly): Just prior to the festivities at Washington Mardi Gras in January, Gov. John Bel Edwards attended a fundraiser in his honor in Virginia hosted by superstar author John Grisham, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe. Estimates for the total take that evening are in the six figures. It’s unclear how Edwards and Grisham hooked up, but they both got their starts as trial attorneys and both were at one time state legislators.

Tyler Bridges, the artist formally known as Mr. T, spent three months as a Harvard Kennedy School Shorenstein Center fellow last fall. While there, he researched the role that conservative bloggers play in promoting President Donald Trump's agenda. Mr. T's report is now available to read. (Let him know what you think by hitting up @TEGBridges or by buying a copy of LONG SHOT today!)

— Rep. Greg Cromer is hosting his campaign fundraiser for Slidell mayor on March 1 at 6 p.m. at the Crescent Clubhouse in Baton Rouge. INVITE

— Rebuild Louisiana (pro-JBE) has a new poll: "Louisiana voters continue to give Governor Edwards a strong job approval rating of greater than 60 percent and a double-digit margin trusts the Governor more than legislative Republicans in dealing with the state budget. Specifically on the budget shortfall, a clear majority want state legislators to work with the Governor to find ways to replace the expiring revenue instead of making cuts to programs that fund education and healthcare." READ MORE 

— The Offshore Marine Service Association and the Louisiana Association of Waterway Operators and Shipyards, in conjunction with Sen. Norby Chabert, Sen. Ed Price, Sen. Gary Smith, Rep. Tanner Magee, Rep. Gene Reynolds and Rep. Julie Stokes, have announced the release of a study of the "economic contributions made to Louisiana by the tug, offshore service, and shipyard industries."

— Congressional aide Michael Willis' BAD JOKE OF THE WEEK: "What do ants get when they do all there chores? An allowants!!!"

— A nurse goes to great lengths to ease the suffering of a local pediatric cancer patient and his family... In this short video, Sen. Ronnie Johns thanks the employees of Christus St. Patrick for their compassionate service to Stasha Bell and her son, Quinten

Susan East Nelson is the new executive director of the Louisiana Partnership for Children and Families.

— The governor has appointed Adren O. Wilson as his deputy chief of staff for programs and planning.

Lisa Freeman has been appointed as Louisiana Highway Safety Commission’s executive director.

— They’re getting along? JBE and Attorney General Jeff Landry have “agreed to coordinate efforts” in the state’s ongoing opioid manufacturer lawsuit.

— The Louisiana Municipal Association Mid-Winter Conference is happening now. Congressman Garret Graves is giving a “federal update” this evening. Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome and Gov. John Bel Edwards will speak tomorrow.

— LABI President Stephen Waguespack’s latest column: “No excuses. The politicians need to quickly and vigorously implement www.LouisianaCheckbook.com or finally come clean with what they are hiding if they refuse to do so.”

— The Louisiana Council of Student Body Presidents have drafted a resolution to keep TOPS funded.

— The Senate Democratic Caucus has laid out its legislative wish list for the special session for Gov. John Bel Edwards, among them compressing income tax brackets and expanding the sales tax.

— Got beef with this administration? Feel like hearing your voice on the radio? The next “Ask the Governor” call-in show with Jim Engster is tomorrow at 2 p.m. on WRKF 89.3 FM.

— LABI announced its 2018 officers and Board of Directors, as well as its 2018 Emerging Leaders Council members. Here’s the list.

— First Assistant to the Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin, CenturyLink Cyber Engineering and Technology Services Senior Vice President William Bradley III, Adjutant General for the Louisiana National Guard Major General Glenn Curtis, Louisiana Chemical Association Vice President of Health, Safety, and Security Edward Flynn, Louisiana Tech University President Leslie Guice, Division of Administration Chief Administrative Officer Dickie Howze, University of Louisiana Lafayette Vice President for Research, Innovation, and Economic Development Ramesh Kolluru, Cleco Corporate Holdings, LLC Chief Information Officer Mark Northrup, Grambling State University computer science professor Yenumula Reddy, Superintendent of State Police Col. Kevin Reeves, and GOHSEP Director Col. James Waskom have been appointed to the Louisiana Cybersecurity Commission.

— Occupational therapist and owner of the Center for Work Rehabilitation at the Fontana Center Paul Fontana was appointed as a public member to the Louisiana Licensed Professional Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors Board of Examiners.

— Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana Medical Director Lawrence Simon was appointed as a physician member to the Louisiana Medical Disclosure Panel.

— Physician and Ochsner Medical Center Department of Infectious Diseases Chairman Christopher Blais was appointed to the Medicaid Pharmaceutical & Therapeutics Committee.

— Department of Veterans Affairs Deputy Assistant Secretary of Benefits and Air Force veteran Vanessa Melancon was appointed to the Louisiana Military Family Assistance Board.

— Louisiana’s AARP state director Denise Bottcher was appointed as consumer member to the Louisiana State Board of Nursing.

— Former St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office chief deputy Donald Sharp was appointed to the Greater New Orleans Expressway Commission.

— The Statewide Economic Development Summit is Feb. 27 at the Baton Rouge L'Auberge Casino Hotel. Register here.

— LPB will air the Louisiana Public Square segment titled “Drawing the Line: Sexual Harassment in Louisiana” on Feb. 27 at 7 p.m.

— And finally, here’s wishing safe travels to Orleans Republican Party Executive Committee member Major James Baehr, USMC, who has been deployed to Kuwait to assist in the fight against ISIS and the global war on terror.

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