Gamard’s Beltway Beat: Netanyahu & Gleason

Two things:

— News broke yesterday that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is accusing Iran of lying about its nuclear aspirations, and he has a hefty archive of stolen Iranian nuclear plans to back his case. This is expected to further incentivize President Donald Trump’s to abandon the Iran nuclear deal. Our congressmen appear to have similar sentiments.

— Also, as of Monday, the new bill to award former NFL player and ALS champion Steve Gleason with the Congressional Gold Medal has 34 cosponsors in the Senate, which hits the halfway mark for the goal of the 67 cosponsors it needs to pass. U.S. Sens. John Kennedy and Bill Cassidy were two of its early cosponsors, along with Congressman Steve Scalise and Congressman Cedric Richmond.


— U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy is demanding the U.S. Postal Regulatory Commission disclose its “secret” international shipping rates, which he says “greatly favor countries like China.” He talked about Comite Diversion Canal funding on WBRZ Monday. He also has a bill with Democratic Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin to allow postal workers to search mail from foreign countries “if there is probable cause to believe they contain illicit opioids such as fentanyl or other illegal drugs.”

— U.S. Sen. John Kennedy questioned U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on sanctuary cities: “There are parts of immigration law I don’t agree with. But I’m going to follow it.” Kennedy also told Sessions, “I think you’re doing a wonderful job. You’re a better man than I am.” He also questioned Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals judicial nominee Andrew Oldham.

— Congressman Steve Scalise met with Federal Communications Chairman Ajit Pai to talk about communication regulations. He also spoke this week at the Jefferson Parish Government Prayer Breakfast (here he is with Lieutenant Gov. Billy Nungesser) and wished Louisiana a happy 206th birthday with some historical photos from the Library of Congress.

— Congressman Cedric Richmond sent a letter Monday to the National Collegiate Athletic Association asking for the organization to reassess its athlete compensation model: “Now that you have crowned new national champions in college basketball, it is imperative that you and your members consider the talents and labors that made these occasions possible…If you add the revenues driven by the efforts of NCAA college football players, these two cohorts of student-athletes produce the overwhelming majority of college athletics-related revenue.”

— Congressman Clay Higgins last week questioned Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen in committee about illegal immigration: “So these illegal immigrants receive a summons for court, and then you’re stating that 90 percent don’t show up for court. I’d like to see the demographics of those numbers as well, because I’d be surprised if 10 percent show up for court.” He talked about school safety on KPLC in Lake Charles: “I’m not against arming teachers, but...that’s not the solution to a school shooting.”

— Congressman Mike Johnson praised the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s $21,600 grant to the Eunice Fire Department: “As the son of a firefighter who was critically injured and permanently disabled in the line of duty, I know first-hand the sacrifices made by these brave men and women in service to our communities." He’s hosting an awards reception featuring the 2018 Congressional Art Competition show on Friday at his Bossier City office.

— Congressman Ralph Abraham wrote on Facebook: “Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today exposed what we've all suspected - Iran cannot be trusted and is pursuing means to deliver nuclear weapons. I hope President Trump tears up the current Iran Deal and renegotiates to find a solution that's better for America and better for Israel.” Here’s his Jimmie Davis-inspired video honoring Louisiana’s 206th birthday.

— Congressman Garret Graves has a video out on his bill to fix the “duplication of benefits” for flood victims, which the U.S. House passed last week. Here’s his latest Facebook Live from last week.

SPONSORED: Congratulations to Bruce Greenstein and LHC Group!

Congratulations to Bruce Greenstein on this week’s announcement that he will return to Louisiana to lead innovation at LHC Group as Chief

THE LaPOLITICS REPORT: Picard, Politics & Ponies

In our latest podcast episode of The LaPolitics Report, Tyron Picard of The Picard Group drops in for a conversation about a bygone era in

CAPITOL GAINS: At Home with Clay

 “This is what America wants to see.” That was the promise from a beer-toting Congressman Clay Higgins in this episode of Capitol

SPONSORED: The 106th First Lady’s Luncheon

The Picard Group was honored to attend the 106th First Lady’s Luncheon, honoring The First Lady of the United States, Melania Trump. Held on


This story was originally published in LaPOLITICS Weekly on May 4, 2018. Wish you had read it then? Become a part of our elite community by


You could say legislators in Illinois really dropped the ball when they failed to pass an operating budget for their state prior to the 2016

POD: Politics & Drilling, According To Briggs

In this episode of The LaPolitics Report, we talk to Louisiana Oil and Gas Association President Gifford Briggs, who recently succeeded his

POD: I’m Sorry, Miss Jackson

Katrina Jackson, a state rep who’s running for senator, talks about her time leading the Black Caucus and working as a legislative staffer.

SPONSORED: Acadian Companies’ 2018 Medic & EMT Of The Year

On Thursday, May 3, Acadian Companies held their annual luncheon to honor Paramedic Jerret Dunlap and EMT Taylor Walden who were selected as

LOWDOWN: John Stefanski on Community

Crowley native and freshman Rep. John Stefanski is here to talk about community, both at home and online. John talks about the influence

SPONSORED: Congratulations!

Congratulations to LHC Group for being recognized as the 2018 Junior Achievement of Acadiana Large Company of the Year. On Tuesday, May 1,

SHELVING SCHEDLER: SOS now an open seat, special election coming

The field of maybe-candidates who were waiting on Secretary of State Tom Schedler’s exit were also quietly hoping for a special election,

Barras’ Ultimatum, JBE’s Tax Reduction & Talk Of A “Reasonable Compromise”

— Has Speaker Taylor Barras issued an ultimatum? Reporters and Gov. John Bel Edwards seem to think so. Journos put out the word via Twitter

ALFORD’S OPINION COLUMN: Democrats Still Finding Their Way At Capitol

Being a Democratic member of the Louisiana Legislature isn’t always unicorns, rainbows and lollipops. Sometimes it can get a little rough.

YOU’VE GOT MAIL: Lawmakers taking hits in their mailboxes

Rebuild Louisiana began sending out direct mail in legislative districts across the state last week in a “continual effort to educate the

Rabalais’ Political History: When a constitutional convention became a full-scale riot

By 1866, Louisiana had been devastated by the ravages of the Civil War. Almost 3,000 of the state’s citizens had been killed in the

Political Chatter

— Former Democratic Rep. Ledricka Thierry announced she is running for District Judge for the 27th Judicial District in the November 2020

Gamard’s Beltway Beat: Netanyahu & Gleason

Two things: — News broke yesterday that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is accusing Iran of lying about its nuclear aspirations,


— Tuesday 05/01: Gregory Todd Hilburn, Caitlin Berni and Rhett Davis — Wednesday 05/02: Elizabeth McKnight — Thursday 05/03: Former U.S.

WEEKLY: Amendment Bills Reach 6-Year Low

The number of proposed constitutional amendments introduced by state legislators during regular sessions has hit a six-year low, just as

WEEKLY: Dems Prep Party Candidates

In an effort to fill nearly 30 open seats on the Democratic State Central Committee and numerous other positions on parish executive

LOWDOWN: Helena Moreno on Effective Advocacy

Meet Helena Nancy Moreno. She’s the former state representative from House District 93, in the French Quarter. Helena was still in the

SPONSORED: CABL Drafting 2019 Agenda

For more than 50 years, the Council for A Better Louisiana (CABL) has been an advocate for positive change at the state level, focusing on

The House Versus the Senate

“Every year we send a lean thoroughbred race horse to the Senate in the form of a budget, and they send back a dairy cow. Full of milk and a

Stuff Jeremy Didn’t Know Yesterday Morning…

Between a book project on the 1973 constitutional convention, a series of history segments produced by LaPolitics, committee meetings and