POLITICAL CHATTER

— The Republican Women of Bossier, Women’s Republican Club of Shreveport, Caddo Parish Republican Party and Bossier Parish Republican Executive Committee are putting on a secretary of state candidate panel with Turkey Creek Mayor Heather Cloud, former Sen. A.G. Crowe, Rep. Rick Edmonds and Rep. Julie Stokes at 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 23 at Shane’s Seafood in Bossier City.

— Speaking of, Cloud’s campaign video is out. The candidate talks about her experience working with former Secretary of State Tom Schedler and current interim Secretary Kyle Ardoin: “They told me to hush.”

John Legendfor the Washington Post: “It’s been a year since I traveled to Baton Rouge to support a series of reforms to reduce the incarceration rate in Louisiana. Many of those reforms — such as the overhaul of the state’s parole system and modifications to sentencing for less serious offenses — have already proved effective. But the work is far from over. Still lingering in the state’s constitution is a 120-year-old measure put in place to suppress the rights of African Americans: non-unanimous juries.”

— This morning: U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, Congressman Garret Graves and Gov. John Bel Edwards were at the demolition ceremony at Denham Springs Elementary, which saw extensive damage from the August flood. Twitter pointers via Harrison Golden (@harrisongolden).

— Congressional Aide Michael Willis’ BAD JOKE OF THE WEEK: “Why can't you hear a pterodactyl going to the bathroom? Because the ‘P’ is silent!”

The Guardian: “There is little mystery about the safest available voting technology – optically scanned paper ballots, now used by about 80 percent of US voters. Some of the states that don’t have this technology, like Louisiana, would like it but don’t have the funds to switch. Others, like Georgia and South Carolina, simply aren’t interested in ditching their all-electronic systems despite the compelling reasons to do so.”

POLITICO: Governors could consider Medicaid spending caps, drug exclusions and subscription payment models as they look to control rising costs, according to a new report from the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices… The report comes as Louisiana explores its own plan to pay for hepatitis C drugs. The state has been working with CMS on a proposal to create a subscription payment model. The state’s fee-for-service Medicaid program and five managed care organizations currently require evidence of liver damage before paying for treatment in most cases, according to the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable. The proposed plan, still in the public comment phase, would offer manufacturers a regular fee in exchange for unlimited access to the drugs.”

— Two weeks in a row: HBO’s “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver” makes fun of paid demonstrators for Entergy in New Orleans (to skip ahead, start at 11:10).

— Also out of the Crescent City... The BBC “asked African Americans in New Orleans what they think about the current state of race relations in the U.S.”

— Congressman Clay Higgins (@RepClayHiggins): “Stopped by city hall in Scott to visit with Mayor Purvis Morrison and State Rep. @JulieEmersonGROUP PHOTO

— Congressman Garret Graves is holding office hours from 4:15 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. today in Baton Rouge. The next “Grub With Garret” is this Friday, also in Baton Rouge.

— Sen. Sharon Hewitt will be the Rankin Hinds Pearl River Flood and Drainage Control District public to talk about the Pearl River Basin Demonstration Project this Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Slidell Municipal Auditorium.

The Houma Courier: “Has early voting increased local turnout? If it has, the numbers show it’s not by much.”

Also: “A total of 7,330 Louisiana students earned credit by passing Advanced Placement tests in about three dozen subjects, according to the state Department of Education.”

Meanwhile: “Officials are warning parents to brace for a new, more rigorous system the state will use to rate its schools later this fall.”

— Rep. Reid Falconer (@Storeid): “August 18, National Honey Bee Day, mark your calendar!”

News from The News-Star: “Woman sees man pee in her Ruston yard, then he strips”

Less weird news from The News-Star: “City of West Monroe names code enforcement head, GIS coordinator”

— Louisiana’s 11-year-old population is falling behind on STEM-related courses and digital piracy. Via PBS NewsHour: “An 11-year-old changed election results on a replica Florida state website in under 10 minutes.”

Greg Hilburn for Gannett: “Insurance premiums won't go up for state employees and retirees next year, but that doesn't mean they won't have to pay more for less, prompting some lawmakers to explore a takeover of the program.”

The Shreveport Times: “The Bossier Parish Police Jury plans to appeal after a $25 million funding request to repair more than 50 damaged roads was denied by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).”

Jim Brown’slatest: “New Orleans is in a battle to stay afloat as it deals with major street crime, inept public officials, and a dysfunctional criminal justice system where even federal officials can no longer be trusted.”

— CORRECTION: In our last issue of the Tuesday Tracker, we wrote about Twitter coverage of last week’s Senate Health and Welfare hearing. Our story used timestamps of the tweets as they were listed on Twitter, which were in Pacific Standard Time. Our website’s version adjusted the times stamps to Central Standard Time. We apologize for any confusion.

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