The Tuesday Tracker, Sponsored By Harris, DeVille & Associates

The Tuesday Tracker, Sponsored By Harris, DeVille & Associates


“I understand that in one election ZaSu Pitts, Charlie Chaplin and Babe Ruth all voted for you.  You’ve got some fantastic electors in your parish.”
—William F. Buckley asking Judge Leander Perez a question during their 1968 debate on “Firing Line”

“No sir. That was not in my parish. That was in St. Bernard.”
— Perez


It’s Election Day, which this go around means a day of uncertainty for those tracking federal races. In Looziana, thankfully, it’s not as cloudy. Both of our U.S. senators have this cycle off, and all six of our House members appear to be safe bets to return to their seats.

The Bayou State’s special election for secretary of state was supposed to be our hot-ticket item. But it barely broke the sizzle threshold. Perhaps the runoff will be different.

On the other hand, the SOS candidates benefitted from being in Louisiana’s only statewide election — most notably through cheaper media pricing. This past weekend, the major contenders peppered the airwaves during both the LSU-Alabama and Saints-Rams games with spots of their own. In a regular statewide election year, like 2019, it’s highly unlikely that multiple candidates for a down-ballot statewide office would be able to get a similar share of such precious TV time.

On the legislative front, three new state lawmakers will be elected or heading to runoffs tonight, filling the seats vacated by former Sen. Jonathan Perry in Kaplan, former Rep. Mike Danahay in Sulphur and former Rep. Greg Cromer in Slidell. The new members will take their seats before the Legislature begins its final scheduled session of the term. (WARNING: They may not be the only freshmen joining the ranks in Baton Rouge before 2019; there are another eight representatives running for other seats today.)

Outside of Capitoland, four parishes including Pointe Coupee, St. Martin, West Feliciana and Plaquemines are electing presidents. Numerous cities and towns, such as Alexandria and Shreveport, are likewise electing mayors, along with city council members, aldermen and chiefs of police. Keep an eye open for school board races, too.

At the bottom of the ballot, but not to be forgotten, are six constitutional amendments dealing with felons holding public office, unanimous juries, donations from political subdivisions, the Transportation Trust Fund, tax exemptions and property appraisals. Tacked on is also parish-by-parish referendum on online fantasy sports.

A message from Harris, Deville and Associates


HDA client FG LA LLC (FG) is in the permitting phase for The Sunshine Project, an estimated $9.4 billion industrial complex to be located on the west bank in St. James Parish, Louisiana. FG is committed to listening to the community, hiring locally and supporting education.

Listening to the Community

FG is committed to developing programs that meet real community needs. Residents expressed a need to widen Hwy. 3127 to alleviate traffic congestion, and FG recently unveiled a project to do just that. This project will enhance road infrastructure in the community and help minimize traffic impacts during construction and operations.

Hiring Locally

The Sunshine Project is expected to generate widespread economic benefits for the local area and the state. FG’s “Think Local” policy solidifies the company’s commitment to hire local residents and use local businesses as much as possible throughout construction and operations. Visit the project’s Think Local page to learn more about opportunities to work with the project.

Supporting Education

FG has met with local teachers, principals and staff and provided in-service sessions for these educators. In May, FG funded a science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) grant for West Bank schools: St. Louis Academy, Sixth Ward Elementary and Vacherie Elementary. FG is committed to supporting educational initiatives that equip the workforce of tomorrow.

View the project’s recent newsletter for more information about FG’s commitment to the community.


Whip Steve Scalise talks elections, DC politics

MJR: What are you hearing from voters as you travel around the country, campaigning in all of these closely contested battleground districts?

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise: I’m seeing very large crowds and a lot of enthusiasm. You know, these are races that are all very competitive, toss-up seats, in many cases where 10, 15 million dollars is being spent. This is the heart of the fight for the majority of the House.

MJR: Aside from campaigning, you’ve been shattering some fundraising records as well. What does it mean for you to be bringing in that cash for Republicans as the party is waging the fight in these battleground districts across the country?

Scalise: Well, if you want to be a leader, you have to not only be able to help pass an important conservative agenda, and the policy is critical, but you also have to be able to raise the money to hold on to the majority. When you see Nancy Pelosi raising record amounts of money and you see people like Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer putting in 80 or 100 million dollars each to try to flip the House from Republican to Democrat, you have got to be able to compete and help those members in these battleground districts to be able to get their message out and push back on Pelosi’s message.

MJR: What do you expect to see when the final returns come in Tuesday night?

Scalise: There are going to be a lot of really close races, but I think because the economy is doing so well, because we have been able to at least fight competitively, we are going to be able to hold the House. It will be a smaller majority, but I think that ultimately that the Republicans will hold on. They will grow the numbers in the Senate, but I think that we will be able to the House because you can feel the momentum turning back our way. I’ve felt it in the last few weeks, in every swing district I’ve been too. I think I was in 20 different congressional districts in October and just in the last two days I’ve been in nine different congressional districts. Yesterday I had Liz Cheney traveling with me, so we’ve been going into a lot of these battleground districts and seeing the momentum for the Republican side.


Slidell & Plaquemines Win The Presidency!

Nearly two centuries before a controversial presidential election was investigated for alleged interference and words like “collusion” became part of the political lexicon, one Louisiana congressman used his own creative method to ensure that his preferred candidate resided in the White House.

In the 1844 presidential election, Gov. James K. Polk of Tennessee faced off against U.S. Sen. Henry Clay of Kentucky. Polk, a Jacksonian Democrat, played up his rough and tumble image as an outsider from the frontier. Meanwhile, Clay, a Whig, made his case based off his decades of experience in Washington and reputation as the country’s foremost political insider.

In New Orleans, then-Congressman John Slidell was working hard to ensure a Democratic victory in the Bayou State. According to The Political Apprenticeship of John Slidell by Joseph Tregle, the congressman was eager to move up the ladder in Washington and was more than happy to help out Polk if it could further his ambitions, too.

With voting only a few weeks away, the national vote appeared pretty evenly split. Louisiana, a swing state, would have the power to tip the election to either candidate.

According to A Perfect War of Politics by John M. Sacher, the state’s geography was a big factor in the contest. Polk had a loyal following in North Louisiana and the Florida Parishes, while Clay had a solid base of support in South Louisiana and New Orleans.

Slidell knew that for Polk to win Louisiana and the presidency, he would have to carry a part of the southern portion of the state. His solution for the problem was simple.

On Election Day, the congressman chartered a riverboat in New Orleans and loaded hundreds of the city’s Irish immigrants on to the vessel. They then traveled downriver to Plaquemines Parish, where everybody disembarked and proudly cast their ballots for Polk.

According to Sacher, Plaquemines had only had 290 residents vote in the 1840 presidential election, however, four years later, Polk carried the parish by 990 votes, also winning the statewide vote in the process.

As for Congressman Slidell, the new president rewarded him with a plum diplomatic post in Mexico.


Some of Louisiana’s Former Members of Congress Make Their Picks


—The hidden hand of local elections

—High turnover in municipal governments

—Crowded fields for local offices

—Will Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon face a challenger in 2019?

—LCA President Greg Bowser contemplating moves in the Red Stick

—How fiscal issues could be back on the table in the 2019 regular session

—A mailer causes drama in HD90

Kim Kardashian leads off our “Field Notes!” segment

—“They Said It”

A Message From Harris, Deville and Associates

Southwest Louisiana Community Foundation
Continuing Sasol-Funded Workforce Readiness Courses

The Community Foundation for Southwest Louisiana has begun another round of Workforce Readiness Training Program seminars, conducted by Carheel Consulting, at SOWELA at 3:30 p.m. The next seminar will be held November 14 on Cover Letter and Resume Writing. The series is a continuation of free professional skills development sessions sponsored by Sasol and first held in Spring 2017 as part of the Workforce Training Scholarship Program. Individuals interested in workforce readiness training are encouraged to attend any or all of the sessions.

The seminar series provides five professional skills courses including cover letter and resume drafting, employment interview preparation, job search strategy and communication and networking. Sessions will be held monthly at 3:30 p.m. in the Sycamore Student Center at SOWLA college.

Carheel also provides careercounseling services for participants in the Workforce Training Scholarship Program, serving as a liaison between participants, educational institutions and service providers. To learn more about the Workforce Training Scholarship Program, visit

“We are excited to continue the momentum of the Workforce Training Scholarship Program and Resource Guide by offering these courses to local jobseekers,” Sara Judson, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana, said. The Workforce Readiness Training Program aims to build on the success of the Workforce Resource Guide, which has been downloaded for free online more than10,000 times since Sasol launched the tool in 2013.


—Reporters across the state are mourning the death of Frank Donze, the Times-Pic’s legendary former City Hall reporter. Donze, the dean of the Crescent City’s political journalists, covered every mayoral administration from Dutch Morial to Mitch Landrieu. “One hell of a journalist, but most importantly, one hell of a loving man. I will so miss him,” said Cheron Brylski.

Tyler Bridges will be discussing his new book, The Rise and Fall of David Duke, at the Louisiana Book Festival this Saturday. T-Boy’s talk begins at 11:15 a.m. Check back with LaPolitics Weekly on Thursday for a full review of the book.

—The Louisiana Budget Project is out with a new report on the status of funding for K-12 education and recommendations going into the next regular session.

—The Times-Pic: “New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell submitted her first budget to the City Council on Thursday (Nov. 1) revealing a $20 million increase in public safety spending and a $36 million increase overall in 2019. It’s 5 percent more than the council and Mayor Mitch Landrieu agreed to spend this year.”

Jim Beam’s latest: "Sports Betting Will Be Up Next.”

—According to Politico, Congressional Black Caucus Chair Cedric Richmond is pushing colleagues to support one of the caucus’ members for a House leadership role next term. “the Democratic Members of the CBC endorse African-American representation in at least one of the two top positions of elected House Democratic Caucus leadership,” Richmond wrote in a letter to colleagues.

—Congressman Clay Higgins is out with a new ad for his re-election campaign. The spot is titled “Amazing Grace” and features pictures from Higgins’ life and career while the iconic gospel song plays as a soundtrack.

—Bossier City Mayor Lo Walker has been named Louisiana Tech’s 2018 Alumnus of the Year. Walker is a 1956 graduate of the university and has been mayor of Bossier City since 2005.

—Congressional Aide Michael Willis’ BAD JOKE OF THE WEEK: “What do you call a sheep covered in chocolate? A candy Baaaaaaaa.”


—Tuesday, 11/06: Former veterans secretary David LaCerte, former Rep. Bill Daniel and Rufus Holt Craig

—Wednesday, 11/07: Rep. Randall Gaines, late Sen. Armand Brinkhaus (1935) and Stephanie Durand Robin

—Thursday, 11/08: LED Secretary Don Pierson, Late Gov. Henry Fuqua (1865)

—Friday, 11/09: Mark Cooper, Hunter Hall, Stephen Perry and Brian Haldane

—Saturday, 11/10: Former Sen. David Heitmeier, Ashley Hebert and Rob Masson

—Sunday, 11/11: Laurel Rice Brightwell, Walter J. Leger Jr., Jeff Copeskey, Todd Escalona, Evan Alvarez, Toby Gascon and Joe Castille

—Monday, 11/12: Rep. Joe Marino, Education Superintendent John White and Jan Swift

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