TUESDAY TRACKER (For Oct. 2!)

October 2, 2018 — Issue No. 159

By Jeremy Alford (JJA@LaPolitics.com)

& Mitch Rabalais (Mitch@LaPolitics.com) 


IT AIN’T OVER

Toozday reminders that nothing ever truly dies in Looziana politics 

Hey there, Trackers! We missed y’all last week. The 09.25.18 issue had to be postponed due to an extended trip north to Shreveport. We checked in with the Bar Association, a few local lawmakers and some Capitol regulars, and bagged a couple interviews and otherwise gained redder necks and longer vowels. (The Spider-Man TTT logo above was designed for last week’s canceled 318 issue. Seemed a shame to shelve it, even if it’s off-theme…)

So how about today?!? It was nothing but sunshine in Capitoland as the day reached lunch hour. And the followup stories. There are followup stories everywhere today! So if you’re the kind of digital consumer who digs continuity and loves Looziana politics (like we do), this is political news wrap-up is just for you… 

Greg Hilburn: “BRF and Vantage Health Plan will move ahead with their antitrust lawsuit against Willis-Knighton Health System despite BRF exiting the hospital business this week. ‘We believe that the lawsuit was critical to our survival, and still necessary to protect the Shreveport hospital and the north Louisiana community,’ BRF said in a written statement to USA Today Network. ‘And (BRF) is entitled to damages due to Willis-Knighton’s past actions, as claimed in our lawsuit and the proposed supplement to our complaint.’ The lawsuit, filed in 2015, alleges Willis-Knighton conspired with LSU through its Shreveport medical school to destroy BRF and what was then University Health Hospital Shreveport by siphoning off its commercially-insured patients.”

Linkage: https://www.thenewsstar.com/story/news/2018/10/02/brf-vantage-proceed-antitrust-suit-against-willis-knighton/1496492002/ 

Melinda Deslatte: “A conservative organization funded by the Koch network launched a digital ad Monday aimed at ending Louisiana’s law that allows split juries to convict people of serious felony crimes, an outreach effort that puts the group at odds with some of its usual allies. Americans for Prosperity-Louisiana announced the online advertising campaign will be combined with direct-mail pieces and other outreach in support of the constitutional change on the Nov. 6 ballot that would do away with the Jim Crow-era law."

Linkage 1: https://apnews.com/f4d8f9ceaba8479ca1db9483b4c511d3 

Linkage 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MN2FwNB5jyk&feature=youtu.be 

— MD, the sequel: “Statistics detail a state struggling with basic quality-of-life measures, mired in deep poverty and lagging the nation in employment and income.”

Linkage: https://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/opinion/article_e2f72ee8-c356-11e8-b3b5-77e19954c1bd.html 

Scott McKay (@TheHayride): “It's nearly time for the St. George petition to be turned in, and the organizers seem to have collected the required signatures, so out come the doomsayers."

— NYT: Migrant Children Moved Under Cover of Darkness to a Texas Tent City… “In shelters from Kansas to New York, hundreds of migrant children have been roused in the middle of the night in recent weeks and loaded onto buses with backpacks and snacks for a cross-country journey to their new home: a barren tent city on a sprawling patch of desert in West Texas.”

Linkage: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/30/us/migrant-children-tent-city-texas.html 

Elizabeth Crisp (@elizabethcrisp): Louisiana has been picked to host the Southern Republican Leadership Conference. Will take place in Kenner in January. Was last held in Louisiana in 2014. 

— E-Crisp, the sequel: Fun fact: @srlcnola is being held at the Pontchartrain Center -- the venue where @BobbyJindal launched his presidential campaign. 

— E-Crisp, triple play: (Steve) Scalise attended 16 fundraising events across nine states in support of two dozen Republican members in the month of August alone, including an event with Vice President Mike Pence in New Orleans that raised $1.4 million.

Linkage: https://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/news/politics/article_0b07f042-c42a-11e8-9cd5-1f1b16c28d18.html 


A Message From Harris, DeVille & Associates

Dow Chemical Company Generated More than $100 Million from Valuing Nature Projects and Engaged with Nearly 400,000 Students in 2017

HDA client Dow Chemical Company released its 2017 Sustainability Report, detailing progress toward its 2025 Sustainability Goals and how employees are helping drive value and deliver transformative, more sustainable ways to do business. 

Highlights from the report include:

  • Generated $120 million in value for “Valuing Nature” projects
  • Achieved or exceeded annual targets for “World Leading Operations” indicators
  • More than 3,000 employees served as STEM ambassadors, enhancing opportunities for more than 380,000 students
  • 59 percent of sales were from products that address world challenges
  • Achieved goal of zero serious transportation incidents in 2017
  • Launched collaborations to combat ocean waste

The report covers a wide range of sustainability-related topics and was prepared in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards Comprehensive Option. GRI is the most widely used framework for sustainability reporting used globally by businesses, governments and other organizations. 

To read the report, click here.


POLITICAL HISTORY 

That time Louisiana had a SCOTUS seat

These days, you can’t seem to pick up a newspaper or turn on the TV without seeing the latest on the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation saga and the ongoing debate around the U.S. Supreme Court. With political antennas tuned into the nation’s highest judicial bench, it’s an opportune time back home to recount the story of Edward Douglass White, the Bayou State’s only U.S. Supreme Court Justice. 

Edward Douglass White Jr. was born in Lafourche Parish on Nov. 3, 1845. For the young White, politics cut through his blood like the waters of Bayou Lafourche did his home parish. His father was a former governor and his grandfather had rubbed shoulders with the nation’s founding fathers as a member of the Continental Congress. 

According to White’s official Supreme Court biography, he was a devout Catholic who was educated by the Jesuits in New Orleans before attending Georgetown University. The outbreak of the Civil War, however, ended his studies and White returned to Louisiana to join the Confederate Army. While fighting in the Battle of Port Hudson in 1863, he was captured by Union troops — and would remain a prisoner-of-war until the hostilities ceased two years later. 

Returning home after the South’s surrender, White resumed his education at Tulane. After graduation, he began practicing law in New Orleans and was active in Crescent City politics, winning election to the state Senate in 1874. After five years in the Legislature, then-Gov. Francis Nicholls rewarded his support with an appointment to the Louisiana Supreme Court. 

Despite the young justice showing a talent for jurisprudence, the Legislature later put in age restrictions for the Supreme Court and cut short White’s term on the state’s highest bench. He returned to his law firm and stayed out of politics for 10 years. But when one of the Bayou State’s U.S. Senate seats opened up in 1891, lawmakers tapped White to fill the vacancy. 

On Capitol Hill, White’s specialty was building close relationships with his colleagues in the upper chamber. According to congressional histories, White was so well liked that the Democratic leadership overruled traditional precedents and gave him a committee chairmanship despite his status as a junior member. 

After the Senate rejected two of Grover Cleveland’s Supreme Court nominees in 1894, the president turned to White. He was a solid choice. The senator from Louisiana had judicial experience, in addition to having enough friendships in the upper chamber to ensure an easy confirmation. 

As a associate justice, White’s most notable case was the Louisiana-based Plessy v. Ferguson decision. Siding with the Court’s majority, White upheld the “separate but equal” laws allowing racial segregation. He would later somewhat contradict this, and wrote the opinion outlawing the use of the “grandfather clause” as a tool to discriminate against black voters.

When the chief justice died suddenly in 1910, then-President William Howard Taft appointed White to the top spot on the court. The nomination raised some partisan eyebrows, because Taft, a Republican, was nominating White, a lifelong Democrat. Nevertheless, the Senate confirmed his appointment overwhelmingly. 

As chief justice, White issued rulings against John D. Rockefeller and Standard Oil, forcing the massive petroleum enterprise to break into smaller companies. He also upheld the constitutionally of the Selective Service Act, in a addition for allowing the creation of the eight hour workday. 

After 27 years on the Court, White died in 1921 at age 75. Louisiana has honored its’ only Supreme Court justice by placing a statue of him in the U.S. Capitol and preserving his boyhood home outside Thibodeaux.  


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TOOZDAY’S POLITICAL CHATTER

Pelican Institute Launches New Campaign

Tuesday morning, the Pelican Institute announced a new campaign focused around a series of monthly policy papers addressing current political issues in Louisiana. 

The effort, named “A Jobs and Opportunity Agenda for Louisiana” by the New Orleans-based conservative think tank, will also include a digital media buy in addition to statewide appearances by CEO Daniel Erspamer. “I have already done quite a bit of speaking to Rotaries and other groups across the state, and I look forward to doing some more along with other members of our team,” Erspamer told LaPolitics. 

In a press release, the Institute previewed the policy papers that are going to be rolled out in the next few months, touching on issues such as the state’s budgeting practices, job growth, local government, criminal justice reform, education, regulations and licensing, and healthcare. “The objective over the next few months is to provide research and analysis on solutions and actions to fundamentally reform state government,” Erspamer said. 

The first report, which is expected to be released within the next few weeks, will detail the proposals that the Pelican Institute believes will address longstanding issues with Louisiana’s budgets and revenue structure. The accompanying ad, which portrays a family playing a board game based off of the the Legislature’s appropriations process, will be dropping within days. 

America Meets Louisiana’s Junior Senator 

According to estimates compiled by television networks, nearly 20 million viewers watched last week’s U.S. Senate hearing on allegations of sexual assault against Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court. 

Louisianans tuned into the proceedings were greeted by the familiar face of U.S. Sen. John Kennedy. The senator, a member of the judiciary committee, was directly involved in the proceedings and has already cast a vote in favor of advancing Kavanaugh’s nomination to the floor. 

While Kennedy was not the main player in this political saga, he did get some national attention for his supporting role. For starters, NBC’s Saturday Night Live included him in their sketch parodying the hearings. With actor Matt Damon playing Kavanaugh, SNL cast member Kyle Mooney was tasked with the role of Louisiana’s junior senator. Mooney, for his part, managed an approximation of the senator’s distinctive drawl.

For those who were wondering, Kennedy is now the fifth Bayou State politico to be portrayed by the show, joining James Carville, Bobby Jindal, Ray Nagin and David Duke. 

However, on Sunday evening, the tone was more somber as Kennedy appeared on CBS’s

60 Minutes alongside his committee colleague, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. Speaking to correspondent Scott Pelley, Kennedy gave his take on the Senate’s predicament prior to a floor vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation. 

“Nobody is gonna ever figure out what happened,” he said. “They're not. Something happened to her and something very very bad happened to her and I am very, very sorry, but they both said 100 percent. She said it happened. Judge Kavanaugh said it didn't 100 percent, so what do you do?”

Tidbits

— Mississippi AG Jim Hood has announced his intention to run for governor next year. As LaPolitics reported last month, Hood’s campaign in the Magnolia State could mean that Gov. John Bel Edwards’ re-election efforts are getting less cash for their campaign kitty from national groups. 

Bryn Stole (@brynstole): “@SenJohnKennedy just told me he’d like (the Kavanaugh FBI supplemental background investigation results) to be released publicly. Details will be selectively leaked otherwise, Kennedy said, and American public deserves to judge facts for themselves.”


A Message From Harris, DeVille & Associates

A Public/Private Partnership That Is Working

HDA client Sasol’s Longleaf Legacy Project was featured Wednesday during a meeting called by Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser at Sam Houston Jones State Park. Through the project, Sasol is partnering with conservation organizations and Louisiana State Parks to restore more than 70 acres of longleaf forest to its original, natural state. The forest, which once covered over 90 million acres of the Southeast, has deteriorated over time due to fire exclusion, logging and other modern practices. Sasol has also provided educational materials designed to help children learn about their local history and the ecology of the forest. To learn more about the project and its programs, visit LongleafLegacy.com

The event was part of Nungesser’s statewide tour touting projects planned to improve and revitalize the state’s park system with funding received from the Deepwater Horizon settlement. In Sam Houston Jones, those projects include new cabins, pavilion upgrades and much more. 


#HBD TRACKERS!

— Tuesday 10/02: Former Rep. Shirley Bowler, Kim Powers, Suchitra Satpathi, Greg Riley and Jared Arsement

— Wednesday 10/03: Former Congressman Charlie Melancon, David Crigler and John Hill

— Thursday 10/04: Former Gov. Buddy Roemer, former Congressman Henson Moore, Pearson Cross and Sandra Thompson Herman

— Friday 10/05: Mayor Joel Robideaux, Brian Davis, Michael William Sprague and Phil Frost

— Saturday 10/06: Whip Steve Scalise and J. Kelly Nix

— Sunday 10/07: Late Congressman Joseph Ransdel (1858), Jim Beam, Ed Ball and former Sen. Rob Marionneaux

— Monday 10/08: Chad Blouin, Don Allison, Ray Nichols, Rickey Heroman and JW Delanoye

— WHO WE MISSED: There were a handful, since we didn’t publish last week. But there’s one name that just has to make the cut… Mrs. Dora Alford (09/29)


WEDDINGS & ANNIVERSARIES

Julio and Sherry Melara celebrated 30 years together yesterday.

Ryan and Addie Cross are toasting to two years today.


PITTER PATTER

Katharine Doré and her husband Jason welcomed Edith Evangeline to the world yesterday! (8 lb., 5 oz., 19.5 in.)

Susan Bruce and her husband, Kevin, welcomed Robert Pecquet “Rex” Bruce to the world last Monday. Older siblings Caroline (5), Sutton (3) and William (1) are excited about their new little buddy!


Birthdays, anniversaries, birth announcements, you name it. 

We want to know about your special day. Send those dates to news@LaPolitics.com!

Have a friend who should be reading The Tracker? Have them sign up here.

Got a hot tip? Send it to news@LaPolitics.com!


Copyright © 2018

Jeremy Alford/Louisiana Political Review

All rights reserved.

Tuesday Tracker

Web: www.LaPolitics.com 

Email: JJA@LaPolitics.com

Phone: 225-772-2518

Mail: Post Office Box 84779, Baton Rouge, LA 70884

Fax: 225-612-6408

Twitter: @LaPoliticsNow 

Facebook: Maginnis-Alford Issue 

SPONSORED: LPCA Hold 35th Annual Conference

TPG’s client Louisiana Primary Care Association (LPCA) held their 35th Annual Conference last week at the Shreveport Convention Center. LPCA

The Tuesday Tracker Sponsored By Harris, DeVille & Associates

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