The WEDNESDAY Tracker, Sponsored By Harris DeVille & Associates

October 10, 2018 — Issue No. 160

By Jeremy Alford (JJA@LaPolitics.com) & Mitch Rabalais (Mitch@LaPolitics.com)

RISPONE IS IN

Fast Eddie & Gov. Edwards are first in line

(No. Not that Fast Eddie & Gov. Edwards. We’re talking about the new Fast Eddie & Gov. Edwards)

It’s official. There are now two declared candidates running for governor in 2019, including Gov. John Bel Edwards and Baton Rouge businessman Eddie Rispone.

Subscribers to LaPolitics Weekly will get the first glimpse into Rispone’s campaign operation tomorrow. But for now, if you’re thinking about running for governor, you should call your office.

Who’s gonna say yea or nay next?

Whip Steve Scalise is off the board, of course, and U.S. Sen. John Kennedy has sent rather strong signals that he intends to run, even if he hasn’t exactly said those very words in that very order. His public comments have been more along these lines: “I’ll announce when I announce.” Y’all know how JNK rolls.

Attorney General Jeff “Gator” Landry’s brand has been evolving, particularly this year. He’s still a maybe-candidate, but a Gator bid seems more unlikely with each passing day. By working quietly to help streamline the field recently, Landry squeezed himself into a Vitter-like mold. It’s a smart place for Landry to be, although it’s too early to grade his efforts.

Depending how hard Rispone hits the ground running, he could trim a name or two from the maybe-list himself — or at least make some folks think twice.

Congressman Ralph Abraham may or may not stick with his plan to run. We’ll know soon. Keep your eyes open for a statewide media buy. It could be the signal we’re all waiting for — or maybe it won’t. That’s just how the pre-game is right now.

There are likewise question marks surrounding Sen. Sharon Hewitt and Louisiana Association of Business and Industry President Stephen Waguespack. Both would make a noticeable mark on the developing field, but time is ticking and things are happening.

Tune back in tomorrow for more in LW (like comments from the players).


A Message From Harris, DeVille & Associates

HDA Client The Society of Louisiana CPAs Host Day of Service

The Society of Louisiana CPAs (LCPA) held its first-ever CPA Day of Service on September 28. More than 350 volunteers throughout Louisiana shared their time to collectively make communities better and safer places to live. LCPA’s Day of Service allowed individuals, firms, and groups to join forces to give back to charitable organizations of their choice.

Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser named the CPA Day of Service volunteers as Honorary Louisiana Ambassadors to recognize their professionalism and commitment to service throughout the state of Louisiana. Rep. Julie Stokes, who also is a CPA and LCPA member, issued a House of Representatives Commendation. Seven other local government officials, including Lafayette Mayor-President Joel Robideaux, issued proclamations of their own to likewise recognize volunteers from their respective areas.

From needed general maintenance to preparing meals to career presentations to a happy hour bingo, members from all of LCPA’s nine chapters volunteered with groups such as Project Front Yard, Habitat for Humanity, Mid City Redevelopment Alliance, United Way, CASA, Big Buddy, Salvation Army, Hope House of Central Louisiana, E.B. Williams Stoner Hill Elementary, The Gardens & The Guardian House, LynHaven Retreat, MacDonell Children’s Services, and food banks across the state. 

LCPA plans to make this an annual event.


POLITICAL HISTORY

Louisiana’s Chinese cowboy & the Who Dat Electorate

The world of Louisiana politics has always been filled with colorful characters, especially when it comes to the Bayou State’s sheriffs. But even in the wild and ambitious world of the 64 top cops, there was never anybody quite like Sheriff Harry Lee of Jefferson Parish.

For starters, Lee, the son of Chinese immigrants, was the country’s only Asian-American sheriff. As a lawman, he was flamboyant, innovative and outspoken. Lee had a reputation for saying what was on his mind, even if it sometimes resulted in an embarrassing gaffe.

Nevertheless, Jefferson Parish voters loved him. The sheriff was a proud Democrat, and yet he was the most popular figure in the state’s most Republican parish.

By the time Lee ran for a fourth term in 1991, he was firmly ensconced in the sheriff’s office and faced only token opposition. He also had the advantage of sitting on a huge war chest.

With Lee feeling secure about his own electoral fortunes, he decided to pitch in and help his friend, Edwin Edwards, who was seeking a fourth term in the Governor’s Mansion.

The assistance came in the form of a $100,000 media buy. Lee would pony up the cash and produce the TV spot. Edwards would be featured and get some exposure alongside the popular sheriff. But the ad would technically be for Lee’s re-election campaign, allowing him to circumvent the rules on maximum contributions. In his book, Cross to Bear, LaPolitics founder John Maginnis called the idea “one of the most brilliant uses of soft money and the cleverest perversion of campaign finance law.”

According to Wild About Harry by Deno Seder, the duo decided to focus the spot on how, as governor, Edwards had been able to keep the New Orleans Saints in Louisiana with some assistance from Lee.

The spot opened with Edwards standing outside of the Superdome and speaking directly into the camera. He talked about how Lee had helped him recruit Tom Benson to buy the team and even threw in a good-natured joke about the sheriff’s physique. “With me as quarterback and Harry Lee as the front four, we scored a touchdown for Louisiana,” he said.

Lee then walked into the frame, gave a thumbs up and yelled “Who Dat!” before a narrator intoned, “re-elect Harry Lee, sheriff.”


Political tidbit? Let us know about it at news@LaPolitics.com!

Have a fundraiser or event? Send it to news@LaPolitics.com!

Career move? Political appointment? Send word to news@LaPolitics.com!


TOOZDAY’S POLITICAL CHATTER

— @PARLouisiana: “Study! Know the six constitutional amendments, plus the statewide fantasy sports gambling proposition.” LINKAGE: http://reports.parlouisiana.org/2018/Constitutional_Amendments/index.html

@MelindaDeslatte: “Top fundraisers in secretary of state's race are Republicans Kyle Ardoin and Julie Stokes. In the latest period, Ardoin raised $140K. Stokes brought in $134K. Stokes reported largest amount of money in the bank at $514K, but that includes a $250K personal loan…Most secretary of state contenders have limited dollars to get their messages out in the final weeks of a race that has drawn little interest from campaign contributors or voters, even though it's the only statewide competition on the ballot.”

— (Stephanie) Grace Note: (Steve) Scalise tweet a study in selective outrage LINK: buff.ly/2OOg5dv

@JSODonoghue: “The only major candidate who hasn't used a personal loan to fund his secretary of state's campaign is @RickEdmondsLA.”

— Congressional aide Michael Willis’ BAD JOKE OF THE WEEK: What is Forest Gump’s password? 1forest1!

— Willis, the follow-up: How do camels hide? Camelflauge!


A Message From Harris, DeVille & Associates

THE WINNER

HDA congratulates client Sasol was selected winner of the Joe. D. May Excellence in Public Policy Award by the Louisiana Community and Technical College System as part of its annual Impact Awards ceremony held last week in New Orleans. The LCTCS award recognizes individuals, organizations, and business & industry whose leadership efforts have been notably effective in advancing Louisiana's education and workforce and the needs of our students, businesses and communities.

Sasol’s award acknowledges and celebrates the company’s work with Calcasieu-area colleges and stakeholders toward creating and sponsoring solutions to the area’s workforce needs. SOWELA Technical College's Dr. Neil Aspinwall nominated Sasol for this year’s award, citing the company's outstanding contribution to developing policies, engaging stakeholders and advocating on behalf of the education and workforce needs of Louisiana.

In 2014, Sasol launched the Southwest Louisiana Workforce Resource Guide, which provides local residents with the information and resources they need to get trained and become eligible to work with local businesses. The guide connects users with mentors, career counselors and other critical support services that help give them the best opportunities to succeed.

The following year, Sasol launched the companion Workforce Scholarship Program to provide scholarships and financial assistance to local residents interested in improving their careers to help remove barriers impeding their success. Sasol also provides free monthly Workforce Readiness Training Courses that cover topics including career goals and planning, job search strategies and resume and cover letter writing.

To date, more than 13,000 copies of the resource guide have been distributed, more than 300 career mentors have been trained through the model and more than 100 scholarships have been granted for local trade and vocational training programs in addition to skills training, career counseling and other resources provided to participants.

To learn more about the Workforce Resource Guide and Scholarship Program and Sasol’s Corporate Social Investment initiatives, visit Sasol online.


#HBD TRACKERS!

— Tuesday 10/09: Secretary Jack Montoucet, Michael Smith, Heather Kleinpeter, Calder Lynch and Meg Richards Gerald

— Wednesday 10/10: Late Supreme Court Justice George Eustis (1796)

— Thursday 10/11: Rick Boudreaux

— Friday 10/12: The one and only Melinda Deslatte, Kevin Bruce, LMOGA’s Karl Connor, Kathy Wall Robinson and Pat Simon

— Saturday 10/13: Former Sen. James David Cain, Eric Sunstrom and Bob Johannessen

— Sunday 10/14: Rep. Beryl Amedee, former Rep. Wayne Waddell, former EBR Councilman John Delgado, Zach Butterworth, Jerry Ceppos, Aprill Springfield, Mike Olivier and Derek Wooley

— Monday 10/15: Ginger Sawyer, Mike Busada, Kevin Litten, Pat Booras and Angie DeBlieux


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Copyright © 2018
Jeremy Alford/Louisiana Political Review
All rights reserved.
Tuesday Tracker
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