WEEKLY: They Said It

“If we as legislators ever had a place to print money, it’s in capital outlay.” —Ways and Means Vice Chair Jim Morris, in The Advocate

  “If you’re not in the trough with them, you’ll never see a dime.” —Rep. Sam Jones, on the capital outlay process, in The Advocate

“Pluck some feathers when it hurts and give the children what they need.” —Sen. Ryan Gatti, referencing Louisiana’s iconic mother pelican feeding her young, while closing on a bill

“We’re not just for bingo anymore.” —Albert Robichaux Jr., director of the Jefferson Council on Aging, advocating for his organization before the Appropriations Committee

“Very bright, very articulate. Could talk a dog off a meat wagon.” —U.S. Sen. John Kennedy, on Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, on CBS Face the Nation

“The service agreement with Facebook, it’s written in Swahili. Nobody understands it.” —Kennedy

“Our enemy is, like, Kim Jong-un and ISIS, right?” —Congressman Mike Johnson, addressing the House

“We have a paper mill blowing in my district and it smells like money to all of my constituents.” —Rep. Malinda White, during a meeting of the House Natural Resources Committee

“Oh, please bore us.” —Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne, upon being told by an economist that the data revealed in this morning’s REC meeting was going to be boring

“Rep. Bishop, your career depends on how you treat me today.” —Rep. Katrina Jackson

"Well thanks for the warning.” —Rep. Stuart Bishop


April 6 was the Public Affairs Research Council’s annual luncheon and conference. PAR hosted a series of talks by legislators age 40 or under, a keynote address by author Walter Isaacson and brief comments from Gov. John Bel Edwards. Here are a few things that were said…

“I think I’m right. But I always think I’m right.” —Gov. John Bel Edwards, expressing his optimism for the state

"He travels as much as his predecessor did, but in Louisiana.” —PAR President Robert Travis Scott, introducing the governor

“She is currently the youngest member of the Louisiana Legislature. Give it up for that. Now, she’s the youngest member measured by age, not actual maturity. Because probably a few are less mature.” —Scott, introducing Rep. Julie Emerson

“I’ve been told as an elected official to never put anything on your head. Right? I think people get in trouble that way.” —Emerson, when Scott tried to offer her a hat from the University of South Carolina (their shared alma mater) while she was standing in the heart of Baton Rouge (Geaux Tigers!) and representing a House district in the Lafayette region (Geaux Cajuns!)

“The governor just figured he had too many Democrats in the House.” —Scott, introducing GOP Rep. John Stefanski, who captured the seat after Edwards appointed then-Rep. Jack Montoucet to a cabinet job

“Common sense isn’t common in the Legislature.” —Rep. Ted James

“I lost by two votes… It still burns me today.” —James, reflecting on a long ago loss in a student government election

“Go big or go home.” —New Orleans Councilwoman Helena Moreno, describing her very first run for public office against then-Congressman William Jefferson

“And she went home.” —Scott, recounting the outcome of that 2008 congressional race


The following took place in March during a meeting of the Ways and Means Committee. The conversation was related to homestead exemptions and first-time homebuyers, at least at first it was…

Rep. Marcus Hunter (House District 17): “My wife lives in (Rep.) Jay Morris’ district (House District 14).”

Rep. Paula Davis: “Y’all don’t live together?”

Hunter: “Yes, we do. Kinda sorta. Long story.”

Davis: “We won’t go there.”

Hunter: “Yes. Long story. The way the law [making air quotes with his hands] works, you know, I’m gonna tell you. The way the law works you can only have one domicile.”

Davis: “That’s right.”

Hunter: “You can have many residences.”

Davis: “Your primary residence.”

Hunter: “I reside with my wife. Love her dearly. She’ll be down here later on this week. Make sure you say hey. This is the issue, though. My domicile is in District 17, because before we were married, I could have a homestead exemption, she could have a homestead exemption.”

Davis: “Correct.”

Hunter: “The minute I said ‘I Do,’ guess who had to give up their homestead exemption? And, I mean, I think that makes practical sense. Otherwise that’s homestead exemption fraud. Let’s say I have a house in Rep. (Clay) Schexnayder’s district. I don’t. I may be looking.But if I want to go to the assessor and say, ‘Okay, um, give me a homestead exemption,’ they have no way of verifying what’s in Ouachita Parish.”

During a chat with LaPolitics on April 11 from the House floor, Hunter said his residency has been challenged twice and he survived both rounds. He also discussed his district office, which is located at 300 Washington Street, Suite 100, Monroe, LA 71201. When that address is entered into the “Who Are My Legislators?” feature on the Legislature’s website, the locale is identified as being in House District 14, which is currently being represented by Morris. Hunter told LaPolitics that the maps he has checked the address on show the office in his district. He added that many lawmakers inherited pre-redistricting offices, although he doesn’t fall under that category.

These golden quotes were first published for LaPolitics Weekly subscribers on April 12, 2018. Wish you had read it then? Become an elite member of our community by subscribing today!

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