The Tuesday Tracker, Sponsored By Harris, DeVille & Associates

The Tuesday Tracker

Sponsored By Harris, DeVille & Associates

November 13, 2018

Issue No. 165

By Mitch Rabalais (

& Jeremy Alford (

Thoughts of Poultry

Will Replace Us Next Week

As longtime readers already know, next week’s annual Thanksgiving festivities will prevent us from publishing The Tuesday Tracker and LaPolitics Weekly. It’s a tradition around these parts; this will actually be our 25th Thanksgiving break at LaPolitics, during this, the last keg of our silver jubilee. So from all of our families in Shreveport, Abita Springs, Port Allen and elsewhere, to all of yours, wherever they may be, Happy Thanksgiving!


Looziana finding ways to float & fly

in so-called “lame-duck session”

Congress was expected to reconvene this afternoon after several weeks spent in recess — or in hell, depending on the member. And it certainly matters.

The midterms yielded two chambers controlled by two different parties. As you’re reading this informative and entertaining issue of TTT, fortunes are being reversed in Washington, new careers are being crafted and old ones are coming to an end.

Personal feelings will be forced aside, however,  as Congress concludes its business before the new term starts in January. The agenda, which doesn’t appear very duck-ish, includes a government funding bill, President Donald Trump’s border wall, the Farm Bill and the flood insurance extension.

The top political stories, meanwhile, involve the ongoing leadership races, particularly in the House, where Democrats have retaken a majority. It’s an unmistakable shift, and the shuffling of the deck in the lower chamber is loud enough to hear from Baton Rouge.

The Dems have scheduled their formal elections for after Thanksgiving. Congressman Cedric Richmond, who also chairs the Congressional Black Caucus, has made it clear to colleagues that he wants to see a caucus member in the leadership. Wether on not Richmond himself is that member remains to be seen, but as always, keep an eye on the New Orleans pitching ace.

On the Republican side of the aisle, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise seems poised to transition into his same role with the new minority. While some Bayou State politicos had hoped that the Metairie representative would land the top job in the GOP caucus, the odds are looking slimmer by the day.

Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, the favorite, appears positioned to take the spot, despite a challenge from Congressman Jim Jordan of the Freedom Caucus. If something goes haywire with McCarthy’s bid, however, Scalise could benefit. GOP members will vote on their new leadership on Wednesday.

Don’t forget about Congressman Mike Johnson, either, who is making his own play for a leadership gig. Johnson is running for the chairmanship of the Republican Study Committee, the House’s largest conservative group. Scalise perviously had the job until his election as majority whip in 2014.

On the policy front, the Farm Bill and federal flood insurance extension, two legislative packages with huge implications for back home, are up for debate.

Scalise is quarterbacking the effort on flood insurance, pushing for a five-year extension of the current program. The whip told LaPolitics that he has been in negotiations for months, meeting with Democratic members and senators in an push to secure smooth passage of the bill.

“Having long term certainty on flood insurance is really important for South Louisiana,” he said.

On the agricultural front, Congressman Ralph Abraham is on the conference committee for the Farm Bill. While the legislation has been stalled for weeks, Abraham expects the election results to clear the logjam.

“Sometime between the election and the first of the year, I think we will get this Farm Bill voted on, on the Senate side. They’re going to pass it over there, it will come back to us in the House…and we’ll get it to the president’s desk,” he recently told LaPolitics.

A Message From Harris, DeVille & Associates

Ochsner now offering virtual visits

Congratulations to HDA client Ochsner health system, which is now offering a consumer-facing virtual visit platform for urgent care visits called Ochsner Anywhere Care. It’s new and it’s different.

Louisianans can now connect with board-certified primary care providers for secure, live, on-demand video visits, thanks to Ochsner’s partnership with American Well, a leading telehealth platform.

During the virtual visit, providers and patients communicate through video, and providers can diagnose, prescribe medications, as needed, and suggest follow-up care. 

One of the most important aspects of Ochsner Anywhere Care is the link it creates back to a patient’s electronic medical record. After every virtual visit, an after-visit summary will be added to Epic – Ochsner’s integrated electronic health record system – so that their care team have direct access to the information.

To learn more about Ochsner Anywhere Care, click here.


Spiro Agnew’s Bad Timing Is Embarrassing For Dave Treen

In 1973, all of Washington, D.C., was gripped by the Watergate scandal. Press reports were filled with daily accounts of “dirty tricks” taking place from behind the White House gates, and investigators were closing in on President Richard Nixon and his inner circle.

While Vice President Spiro Agnew was not directly involved or implicated in the Watergate controversy, the veep did have his own legal problems. Federal prosecutors had discovered that, as governor of Maryland, Agnew took bribes and kickbacks from state contractors.

The troubles in the executive branch caused political problems on Capitol Hill for Republicans like then-Congressman Dave Treen, who was a freshman representing Louisiana’s 3rd District. Treen had built his reputation on honesty and integrity, but was still a loyal party man, having led the state GOP out of the wilderness and into its first real electoral victories since Reconstruction.

Further complicating things for the congressman was the fact that he was also on the outs with the Nixon Administration. According to LaPolitics founder John Maginnis in The Last Hayride, the dispute stemmed from the 1968 Republican National Convention, when Treen opposed Nixon’s nomination and instead cast his ballot for then-Gov. Ronald Reagan of California.

Even though he would eventually support Nixon’s candidacy, the convention vote was enough for the president to deny Treen the nomination to an open federal judgeship. “On the White House political ledger, there was still a black mark by Dave Treen’s name, signifying traitor,” Maginnis wrote.

While the congressman was only a couple of months into his first year, and was still learning his way around the Capitol, Agnew approached him personally one day in search of a favor.

Would he (Treen) be willing to make a floor speech calling for his (Agnew’s) impending trial to be moved to the House of Representatives, rather than a courtroom?

Treen, wanting to get back into the administration’s good graces and believing Agnew’s plea of innocence, wrote a set of impassioned remarks defending the vice president. He delivered them on the House floor on October 10, 1973.

“We are not dealing with the guilt or innocence of a single man,” Treen said in his speech, “we are dealing with the vitality of the American system.”

Treen was eloquent, but his timing was terrible. A few hours later Agnew found himself in a federal courtroom in Baltimore, pleading guilty to a felony charge.


Roger Villere & Phil Capitano talk SRLC, Trump & more…

Louisiana is set to host the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in January of 2019. For readers who don’t know, what exactly does this conference entail?

SRLC President Roger Villere: The Southern Republican Leadership Conference is a conference that is held every couple of years, it’s sanctioned by the RNC and 14 southern states get together…While it’s a gathering of all 14 states in particular, it’s open to the whole RNC and we’re promoting it to the whole RNC. We’re going to be promoting our candidates for the 2019 races in Louisiana and Mississippi in particular. It’s exciting to be able to give those candidates a platform wether they are running for governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, treasurer, etc. But it’s not just for them to speak, it’s also for some of the people in the region, the leaders in the Republican Party and some of the bigger donors to see them and see who they want to get behind. It also allows us to jumpstart the 2020 elections for president and the senate races…It’s a real important and exciting time for Louisiana and the Southern Republican Leadership Conference.

SRLC Executive Director Phil Capitano: It is without a doubt, one of the best Republican leadership conference that they will have. We’re far better than most of the other states, easily. What we offer is a lot more, because it is in New Orleans. If you recall, at the last one we held in 2010, every presidential candidate in 2016 actually attended that event, including President (Donald) Trump. So it’s great leadership, you’ll get to see them, you’ll get to hear them and you’ll get a lot of great issues that are going to be aired.

We’ve heard that a member of the Trump family will be attending, in addition to the Louisiana Congressional Delegation. Who are some of the other speakers that will be appearing at the conference?

Villere: We have Corey Lewandowski and Dave Bossie, who wrote a book together, Let Trump be Trump. I believe that they will have a new book coming out before then…We have reached out to Diamond and Silk, of course, they were kind of devastated with the Hurricane in North Carolina. They had committed to come, but there was an issue, so we’re hoping they get everything straight. Of course, we have all of our delegation…all of our congressmen and senators from Louisiana plan on being there. Our lieutenant governor, Billy Nungesser, is going to be one of our featured speakers. We have of course, reached out to the chairman and co-chairman of the RNC…We’ve reached out to Gov. Phil Bryant of Mississippi…We’ve also reached out to (Senate Majority Leader) Mitch McConnell and while we haven’t gotten a definite from him, we’re hoping that he’ll be there to talk about how he grew and built the Senate and how he confirmed all these judges…We’ve reached out to (U.S. Sen.) Marco Rubio, (former Speaker) Newt Gingrich and Gov. (Greg) Abbott from Texas as well. So we’re going to have a great group of speakers, a lot of Republican leaders and we’re real excited about it.

Capitano: We’re trying to put together a breakout session for the oil industry, but it depends on wether or not (U.S. Energy Secretary) Rick Perry, can get permission to come to it. Basically now because he is in the Cabinet, he now has to get permission to be able to come…I think you will see Kimberly Guilfoyle and Donald Trump Jr. who at Jeff Landry’s event, expressed an interest in being there, but again, they need permission from the administration. (Vice President Mike) Pence said he had it on his calendar, but they can’t commit…

Aside from the speeches, what are some of the other events that will be taking place around the conference?

Villere: One of the biggest things that we are going to be doing, and it’s Phil Capitano’s idea, and we’ve really jumped on it and ran with it, is a program called “Campaign Ready.” We’re going to have a number of speakers, consultants, pollsters, people that do TV and radio, people that run campaigns and even the phycology of politics…We’re trying to see wether you should be a candidate or wether you should be working on staff. So we’re going to train people who want to run campaigns, run for office, or just want to volunteer on a high level with a campaign. We’re going to have various speakers over multiple days…so if you attend a set number of events, we’ll give you a certificate saying that you are campaign ready.

I understand that you are looking for volunteers for the conference as well?

Capitano: Yes. We need volunteers. It’s a big event and there are a lot of moving parts to it. You’ve got a VIP room, where many of the speakers will be going before or after they speak. You’ve got a book signing room or an autograph room, where those who have books will be signing their books and taking the opportunity to talk to people and take pictures. Security is another huge issue. We need good volunteers, they do have to pass a little bit of a background check, but if they do, we certainly can use them.


— What are the takeaways in the race for secretary of state?

— What do big wins mean for the six incumbent congressmen ?

— Could constitutional amendments could damper con-con?

— How Nancy Pelosi could hurt JBE in 2019

— Three legislative special elections down, seven more to go

Bob Hensgens goes old school in SD26

— What did the elections mean for sheriffs, party animals and convicted felons?

— A head-scratching “They Said It!” feature

A Message From Harris, DeVille & Associates

HDA Client BASF awards $10,000
in scholarships to LSU engineering students

Four engineering students attending Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge recently received $2,500 scholarships from BASF. This annual scholarship program is part of BASF’s education outreach and workforce development efforts in Louisiana. Each student is recognized for maintaining excellent grade-point averages and being active in campus and community organizations. Scholarship winners are: Abbas Al-Hassani, Meredith Guidry, Emma Joslin, and Kelley Wieseneck.

In addition to annual scholarships, the company sponsors a summer internship program. This past summer, 18 engineering interns from LSU worked at BASF’s Geismar site and received hands-on experience. 

BASF’s manufacturing presence near LSU includes operations in Geismar, North Geismar, Zachary and Vidalia. These sites employ a workforce of nearly 2,000 people and invest approximately $300 million in Louisiana through annual payroll, purchases, taxes and charitable contributions. Visit for more information.


The Advocate: “Whether public school teachers walk off the job in the current school year depends on actions by Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards and the Republican-controlled Legislature, the president of the Louisiana Federation of Teachers said Monday.”

CBS: This Morning host John Dickerson will be profiling U.S. Sen. John Kennedy, including his work as a substitute teacher, next week on the network broadcast.

— In a column for The Hayride, state GOP Chairman Louis Gurvich is calling for an end to Louisiana’s jungle primaries and party unity ahead of the 2019 elections.

— ELECTION NEWS WE MISSED: the city of Scott has elected its first-ever Republican mayor, Jan-Scott Richard.

The News-Star: “State officials, including Gov. John Bel Edwards, are courting CenturyLink to extend its agreement to keep the company's headquarters in Monroe beyond 2020.”

WVLA: “A recent candidate for Louisiana's 6th Congressional District is now seeking another kind of work, after claiming his campaign cost him his day job.”

— Public Service Commissioner Craig Greene spent the Veterans Day weekend duck hunting with former Vice President Dick Cheney. No accidents or injuries to report.

— Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser will be in Washington Parish Thursday morning, opening the exhibition of the “Wall that Heals,” a traveling replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial that pays tribute to the fallen soldiers of the conflict in Southeast Asia.

— Former Rep. Tony Perkins and the Family Research Council have announced that their Washington, D.C. based Christian Heritage Tour and Summit is scheduled for March 28-31, 2019.

— Tonight, the Old State Capitol will be hosting Dr. Nichole Bauer from LSU’s Manship School for a talk on the rising influence of women in politics. Bauer’s presentation starts at 5:30.

Lamar White, publisher of the left-leaning Bayou Brief, has made national waves with a video he posted to social media showing U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi making a joke about attending a “public hanging.” Hyde-Smith, who is facing an African-American opponent in her December runoff, denied that the comment had racial overtones.

— Former U.S. Sen. David Vitter’s brother, Dr. Jeff Vitter, has resigned as chancellor of the University of Mississippi. He had held the top post at Ole Miss since 2015.


— Tuesday, 11/13: Pete Adams and Kelby Daigle

— Wednesday, 11/14: Austin Stukins

— Thursday, 11/15: Ryan Berni, Andy Kopplin, Matt Dardenne, Aaron Eggleston and Pam Bounds

— Friday, 11/16: Rep. Barry Ivey, Stafford Wood and Emory Belton

— Saturday, 11/17: Deanna Narveson and Emalie Boyce

— Sunday, 11/18: Sen. Bret Allain, Rep. Kirk Talbot, Rep. Patrick O. Jefferson, former Rep. Roy Burrell, Greg Ellison, Marsanne Golsby and Edward Wisham

— Monday, 11/19: Randy Hayden, Taunton Melville and Katie Corkern


John Kay and his wife, Amanda, have welcomed a new daughter, Jewel Elizabeth Kay, to their family. Jewel, an 8lb 3oz baby, was born eight minutes before the polls closed on election night. According to her proud poppa, she wanted to join in the political festivities.

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