Political Chatter

— Former Democratic Rep. Ledricka Thierry announced she is running for District Judge for the 27th Judicial District in the November 2020 election. Thierry: “People have told me that it’s too early to begin a campaign for 2020, since it’s two years away.
But I want people to know, off the jump, how committed I am.”

— Gov. John Bel Edwards is accepting applications for his new Governor’s Fellows Program in Louisiana Government for college students.

— Congressional Aide Michael Willis’ BAD JOKE OF THE WEEK: “What do you call a worm with no teeth? A gummy worm!”

— New Orleans investigative news team The Lens is hosting a public records workshop centered around land use, e.g. short-term rentals and demolition.

— Farmers and ranchers are getting up to $12,000 in flood recovery funds from the Department of Agriculture and Forestry.

— Former Secretary of State Jim Brown’s latest column: “Anyone following high profile public issues in Louisiana is certainly aware of how (former FBI Director James) Comey bungled the biggest case he ever handled embroiling a former LSU professor. The incident involved anthrax attacks in the nation’s capitol that killed 5 people and infected 17 others, causing the entire U.S. Capitol’s mail system to shut down. Comey headed up the FBI investigation, and his incompetence and recklessness all but destroyed the reputation and health of LSU researcher Steven Hatfill.”

— The Louisiana State Society and the D.C. Louisiana Collegiate Coalition’s Bayou Fête XV crawfish boil is Sunday, June 10 at noon at Fort Hunt Park in Alexandria.

— If you’re stuck in D.C., former Louisiana Republican Party Chairman Roger F. Villere, Jr. is the guest of honor at Crawfish on Capitol Hill on May 16 at 6:30 p.m. RESERVE A SPOT.

— Baton Rouge-based Democratic direct mail and political consulting firm, Ourso Beychok, Inc., took home three American Association of Political Consultants Pollie Awards: a Gold Pollie Award for “Hush Puppies” and a Bronze Pollie for “Numbers” for direct mailers for the Highway 31 PAC and Senate Majority PAC in the 2017 Alabama U.S. Senate race. They also won a Bronze Pollie for “Tiffany,” for the Tiffany Chase campaign for Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal in New Orleans.

— The Times-Pic’s Julia O’Donoghue on Twitter (@JSODonoghue): “Sen. Gary Smith told me this evening (Monday) that he was delaying consideration of the Harrah's New Orleans deal until next week...Smith said there were questions about the Vici arrangement, but the bigger concern was around the financing in the deal and whether it is appropriate for the state.”

— GOP Caucus Chair Rep. Lance Harris spoke to the Baton Rouge Press Club about the budget and gives his side of the story on how the special session fell apart earlier this year.

— Americans for Prosperity-Louisiana Director John Kay on the Senate Agriculture Committee vote against the bill to eliminate florist licenses: “It’s a sad day in Louisiana when a committee chooses to keep Louisiana on a bad list all on it’s own. All it would have taken was a very simple vote to move our state towards a free market for florists instead of forcing them to obtain a government permission slip to work.”

— New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu is featured in Bloomberg: “Eyeing 2020, Mayors Dream of First City Hall-to-White House Leap”

POLITICO: “Senate Democrats are preparing to force a floor vote next month on restoring net neutrality rules repealed by President Donald Trump's Federal Communications Commission, creating a public clash they hope will help them in the midterm elections … Democrats and pro-net neutrality groups have been searching for the elusive 51st vote for weeks, putting a special focus on Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), who has said he’s undecided on the issue.”

— Economist Parag Pathak on school choice in the Wall Street Journal: “One thing that got a fair amount of attention was our study of private schools in Louisiana. Louisiana has a voucher program and sends low-income kids to private schools. The state will pay for you to attend a private school. They use a lottery to place students, so we were able to study that lottery system. Children who won the lottery actually experienced a substantial reduction in achievement. It was one of the most negative effects we’ve seen.”

— LABI President Stephen Waguespack’s latest column: “We have seen the Legislature and Governor champion efforts over the last few years to raise taxes on critical items like income, inventory, utilities, manufacturing equipment, inputs, operating losses, insurance, and other business services...These types of tax proposals have very real consequences for the types of small businesses and jobs we should most strive to protect.”

— The Louisiana Home Builders Association is hosting a roundtable discussion with Congressman Steve Scalise at 10 a.m. at its Metairie headquarters.

— Louisiana Oil and Gas Association President Gifford Briggs on news that Louisiana will receive $82 million in GOMESA funding: “This announcement is great news for communities and industries along our working coastline. GOMESA allows for oil and gas sectors from multiple states to play a vital role in coastal conservation, restoration, and hurricane protection. Louisiana’s oil and gas industry continues to be one of the largest contributors in coastal projects and a significant economic driver in Louisiana.”

— Our Lady of the Angels Hospital medical resident Cori Runfalo Sumrall shares in a video how the hospital’s closure would disrupt her education and create risks for pregnant mothers and newborn infants in her rural community.

— Former Baton Rouge photojournalist Danny Brown passed away last week. Brown spent his career as a photojournalist for events such as the Apollo moon flights and as a governor’s administration photographer for Edwin Edwards and Dave Treen. Brown was also a public information director of the Louisiana Department of Revenue and communications specialist for the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development. He is survived by his wife, Cheryl.

— CORRECTION: LaPolitics Weekly subscribers read last Thursday that Michael DiResto, who is considering a bid for Rep. Franklin Foil’s open House District 70 seat in 2019, is executive vice president of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation. DiResto is actually executive vice president of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber. We regret the error.

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