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24 April 2004

No posting today 

I'm keeping away from the Internet today and probably tomorrow. The NFL Draft begins in thirty minutes, and once the Saints make their first round selection (let's hope they trade up) I'll be moseying along to Festival International day four. There's lots of great music in store today, so once again I'll implore any readers in the area to get off their rears to check out the scene.

23 April 2004

Time Killing Game of the Week 

It's that time again, this is the "you'll never win" edition. It's like a Rubik's Cube except about a billion times harder.

If puzzles aren't your thing, then help Nobby the squirrel collect acorns, flowers, and mushrooms to open the door and advance to the next level. It's an arcade classic.

A shot across the bow 

Chris Warner essentially says "good riddance" to former LSU chancellor Mark Emmert. He goes on to question the entire flagship agenda. He covers a lot of issues that many universities face with regards to providing excellent undergraduate education while striving for research fame and prestige. It's a good introduction to the debate if you're willing to overlook its length and sit in front of the computer for a while.

More Festival 

The opening night of the Festival was undoubtedly a rousing success for organizers and music fans. Thousands congregated for Dr. John and as usual, he didn't disappoint.

However, allow me to use this space for a little free advertising for Dr. John's opening act last night, Beat the Donkey. They play again tonight and any area festival-goers will be sore to miss them. They were an energetic percussion ensemble from Brazil (with a guitar player from the US, I believe) making beats out of everything from slapping their bare skin to the old Cajun standby, the washboard. The front man did a little rapping, they covered a Led Zepplin tune, and definitely won me and most of the folks out there watching them over. Make a point to catch them tonight. If you need a shove, or want an idea of what you might be getting yourself into, you can watch a quicktime video about them here.

Back in the Saddle 

Troubles are behind me now, but maybe they were for the best considering how little I had to say about the morning's Louisiana political news. You can read about the legislature for yourselves here and here.

One story worth pointing out is about a bill rookie Democrat Derrick Shepherd is proposing. It would make it illegal to show boxers and/or g-strings because of low-riding pants. The punishment could be as much as six months in jail and a fine of $500. The constitutionality and stupidity of this bill aside, I wonder if the plumbers lobby will try and fight it.

And one note about the death of former Arizona Cardinal Safety Pat Tillman in Afghanistan. His story and courage are inspirational. Now he is getting all the attention in his death that he refused when he signed on with the Army after Septmember 11, 2001. If there were more men and women like him around our world would be a much better place. Timshel prayers go out to Tillman and the rest of his brothers and sisters fighting over overseas.

Aargh! 

Access troubles abound this morning. Posting to come when I figure it all out...

22 April 2004

More Random Bloggage 

This is absolutely brilliant. Go give some love to Vickie, who's been spending a lot of time writing Letters to W.

And while you're at it, don't forget to stop by and say hello to Marc Hogan and Sean, good people who I had the good fortune to read for the first time in this morning.

They can call it the Law and Order ticket 

I honestly don't know what to think about the US "allowing" Baath Party officials into the provisional government. Normally I would say "over to you Michael" at this point. Alas, he is out of town.

Neglect 

I haven't been reading much of Alterman lately, but he's very good today. It makes me wonder what I've missed over the last few weeks.

Oops! 

PoliticsLA.com prints a retraction. I was sooo close to talking about how I wouldn't be disappointed if Chris John just went ahead and decided to sit this Senate race out and held on to his House seat, but it looks like it would have been for nothing.

Bon fete 

The 18th annual Festival International de Louisiane kicks off for real today to the sounds of Beat the Donkey and Jazz Fest favorite Dr. John. This is one of the best times of the year for those of us kicking around in fair Lafayette. Any readers with even a slight chance of making it down this way for the festival ought to do what they can to make it happen. Music, art, food, and libations from all over the world are on display for the run of the weekend. It doesn't cost a thing to drive down, park, and loaf around downtown Lafayette just to hear some music and browse around. It is unquestionably one of the best non-Mardi Gras free parties in Louisiana.

btw, for those of you wondering why I'm not using this coveted Thursday slot to relate some hilarious Dear Prudence letter, it's because they all stink today.

We Want Leadership 

C'mon Governor Blanco. Get out there and work for the next President of the United States of America. Since we were talking about how to grade the Governor the other day, I'd say she loses points for her not-even-tepid support for John Kerry. She has a responsibility to the Democratic Party members who worked so hard to elect her in November to help them deliver Louisiana to John Kerry. For the moment she is still side-stepping this duty.

Worth watching 

Bills designed to create a restricted constitutional convention were advanced by a House committee yesterday. I'm all for a complete rewrite of the document at the center of our state government, but I have no idea what the aims of this proposal and its sponsors are. This is legislation we all ought to watch closely.

Pay Raises 

A House committee advanced a pay raise proposal against the objections of the Governor yesterday. Reporting doesn't say whether or not the votes are there for the bill to pass, but Blanco will continue to work against it one way or the other. No one in her office has said veto yet, but if the legislature includes an opt-out provision, it may make it easier to wimp out and sign the bill.

Term limits not going anywhere... 

I'm glad to read that a Senate committee has advanced a bill that would repeal legislative term limits. It's not going anywhere, but it's good to start the drip-drop against them now. I agree with the reasoning behind limiting the term of the executive, but I'm against them virtually everywhere else. I think they are anti-democratic and an obstacle to progressive and active lawmaking. The most persuasive arguments for them is to prevent the corruption that often comes with career politicians setting up shop in an office and holding on to it for years. However, those problems can be addressed by instituting transparency laws through stronger ethics proposals, limiting the contact between lobbyists and lawmakers, financing elections publicly instead of privately, and all other manner of electoral reforms.

Instead, the good legislators--and more importantly their constituents--are punished along with the bad. It's harmful to continuity of government and doesn't necessarily achieve the reform that it is meant to.

Like I said, though, the bill isn't going anywhere, but we'd all be better off if it had never passed in the first place.

Agent bill sails through House 

The state House passed the bill making coaches intermediaries between agents and players 98-2 yesterday. Read about it here and here. The only two legislators voting against were Kay Katz and Jim Tucker, both Republicans. I say good for them. I addressed this bill last week, and I still think it's the wrong way to go. By forcing agents to contact coaches in order to talk to a player it takes away one more decision from student athletes who are already being exploited in the broken system which is NCAA athletics.

Not online in the Advocate, but they quote Avon Honey--rapidly becoming my favorite lawmaker--as concerned about the bill going too far and not necessarily in the interest of the player, but then why did you vote for it, friend? I suspect this will pass the Senate and become law very soon, but I hope they take more time to debate and think about the bill's ramifications.

And if you want to approach this issue from a different standpoint, let's look at the possible effect it could have on recruiting. There's very little doubt that the most heavily recruited players in most sports in the nation view college as little more than a stepping stone to whatever professional sport they are interested in. By making it more difficult for them to talk to an agent they may be discouraged from bothering with Louisiana at all. In fact, the law could put them at risk of the possibility of a lawsuit from the university should they screw up their eligibility. Why would they want unnecessary obstacles in their path to the money and fame of professional athletics?

Kerry in NOLA 

Great reporting by the Pic on this one, less so by the Advocate, and a simply glowing, completely uncritical story from the AP. Just read the Pic and save time.

It seems like it was a successful visit for Kerry. He raised as much as a million dollars and reinforced his commitment to fighting coastal erosion despite voting against the administration's ill-conceived Energy Bill. Kerry is seeing some criticism for voting against the bill, but it's unclear whether voters will see the connection between an energy bill and funding to fight coastal erosion.

More bomb 

The Pic's reporting doesn't even suggest a possible connection between the bomb in Lake Ponchartrain and John Kerry's visit to New Orleans. I still have my tinfoil hat securely in place on this one. Even if officials found the bomb miles away from anywhere Kerry might have been yesterday, it could have been some nut who didn't know any better. There's your update on that story for the morning.

Marc Hogan saw my diary at Kos and has his own thoughts.

Now on to better things...

21 April 2004

Random Blog of the Day 

It's slow finding things to post about, so what's better than linking to random blogs found through blogger.

All I have to say about this one is "oh you poor thing..."

WTF? 

A tug boat pulls a bomb (is an "explosive device" anything else?) out of Lake Ponchartrain, and then bomb squaders detonate it with a water cannon? Was this an attempt on John Kerry's life?

Update @ 3:44 pm: WWL-tv has more, investigators didn't give anything up to reporters covering the story except to say that the investigation is ongoing.

Jails sometimes profitable 

It's not exactly crime on the level of "The Shawshank Redemption", but this makes the warden of the privately run Claiborne Parish Jail look pretty bad.

So much for rehabilitation.

Kerry in NOLA 

WWL-TV reports on his visit with veterans this morning. He basically said that Bush is trying to screw them.

If you can't trust the next President of the United States of America, who can you trust?

The American Prospect
Commondreams.org
The Seattle Weekly
The USWA
Veteransforpeace.org

Okay, most of that is from last year after Bush made thousands of veterans inelgible for health benefits, but he hasn't exactly done much for them since that besides holding his tongue while signing a bill passed on the impetus of Congressional Democrats. But you know how these things go. His nastiness will surely take credit for the bill as his own when the election comes up, but lets hope our veterans see through the muck of Bush distortions and try to vote in the party that really will try to do more for them.

Wild-Eyed Fantasies 

With UL head basketball coach Jesse Evans all-but-gone to the University of San Francisco (Jesuits in da' house, w00t, screw you non-Jesuit Catholic schools!) it's probably time to engage in some serious rumor mill fantasy.

The biggest one tearing around Lafayette right now is the return to the Cajundome--as the Cajun's coach this time--of hated rival and former UNO coach Tim Floyd, whose job and NBA career must be on the line this year with his disappointing season in New Orleans. Spare me the "injuries" talk Hornet fans. I don't know if there was ever a coach to piss off more Lafayette residents in the last twenty years than Tim Floyd. He was a great college coach, but he's way too expensive and might manage to survive the season even after the Hornets inevitably lose the rest of the series to the Miami Heat. And what nut would take a job at a lowly Sunbelt conference school after taking a job in the NBA? So he's the big fantastical rumor out there in the hometown.

My pick would be LSU assistant (yes, I said it) Butch Pierre. The only problem is that LSU may want him after they decide to dismiss John Brady (why hasn't that happened yet?). Many years ago, back in those crazy days of Marty Fletcher, Butch Pierre was one of the assistant coaches at then USL. He was loved by fans and players alike, but didn't survive the transition from Fletcher to Evans, and he eventually landed at LSU. I say bring him in. If there's ever a way to recapture the days of animals like Kevin Brooks, Sydney Grider, Marcus Stokes, Michael Allen, Byron Starks, and countless others it's with Butch Pierre.

So what, none of you are really interested in what I think about the new head coaching situation at UL? Okay, my bad, but I have to get these things off my chest sometimes. I'm meeting some friends for cards tonight, and maybe I'll be able to save the rest until then, but you'll just have to deal with it for now.

Booooo! 

Headline off the AP wire:

Louisiana likely among first states for Nader's qualifying attempts

Democrats need to wake up and challenge Nader's candidacy. Simply forgetting about him; ignoring him; or viciously attacking him will not work. The Kerry campaign needs a strategy to take his votes, otherwise we'll be seeing a repeat of the 2000 election.

New Auditor 

Former legislator Steve Theriot. You can read about his selection here and here.

It's about damn time. This story's been ongoing for something like a year now.

Too little too late 

Kathleen Blanco jumped on board the no pay-raise train yesterday, telling reporters that the time wasn't right to discuss legislative pay raises. She's had her nose to the wind on this issue for two and a half weeks, and now she's decided to come out against it just when legislators made a smaller proposal. Some might call this one a flip-flop, which are good when your positions legitimately change because of new information or genuine feelings about a bill. However, this one looks like the neccessity of political weakness, which is much harder to respect.

And speaking of weakness, the Governor is having more trouble with her ethics package. Yesterday she was forced to scrap a major proposal involving legislator disclosure of their private salaries and holdings, because she couldn't get a single lawmaker to even introduce the bill. It strikes me as a very bad thing when the "Queen Bee" can't find a friendly lawmaker in either chamber to file a bill, no matter how distasteful they might find it. In just a few weeks she's come a long way from having a committee chair fired.

Small Favors 

I'm sure there was a collective sigh of relief in the Capitol when they got wind of this:

Feds clear use of Medicaid funds

Alma mater news 

Bad stuff this time...

I've been getting loads of hits for "vomit sorority", and while I believe they're probably looking for more information about this Washington Monthly piece, I still like to pass on news about Loyola's own vomit sorority, except these girls were forced to eat their own vomit after throwing up the gallons of alcohol they were forced to drink in pledge activities. That's a far cry from bulimia, but it's probably a lot more interesting.

Anyway, after Loyola suspended or expelled a bunch of the students involved, a group of seventeen has decided to sue the university and Vice Presidents Vicki McNeil and Jim Eiseman. The plaintiffs are seeking more than $2 million in damages.

Apparently some of the girls are upset about being pointed out on campus and the prospect of two year suspensions where any credits they might pick up somewhere else couldn't be used at Loyola. Oh well, I say.

20 April 2004

Re: that Kerry picture 

I guess only Presidents and their challengers get the good treatment from photographers. Check out what a dedicated Atrios reader dug up for John Negroponte. Too funny.

LA 6 and Kyle Johnston 

Yeah, you're thinking what the hell is this race, because I've never discussed the possibility of knocking off Richard Baker, who has a true death grip on his very conservative (thanks gerrymandering) Baton Rouge federal Congressional district. However, I came across news about the young man (I say young knowing that he's a full year older than me) in a DailyKos entry about "races that matter" by guest poster Mr. Liberal.

Anyway, Mr. Liberal seems to be getting a little overly optimistic about someone he knows, but I wish Kyle Johnston all the best in his campaign. When candidates from either party can mount serious challenges to entrenched incumbents I think it's a good thing, that Johnston is a Democrat makes it that much better. I hope his all is enough to make him a contender, though I'm not much of a believer.

I do have some suggestions for his campaign website, though. It might be a good idea to make it very clear somewhere on your website just where you're running. Feature Louisiana prominently. It's damn near impossible to get any sense of where the campaign is actually taking place. And of course, more vigorous blogging with permalinks that you don't have to right click to access. We love Blogiana, and it would be great to have a candidate for office get in the mix.

Updated immediately, scratch that part about permalinks, but please, more frequency, who needs an MBA anyway? http://johnston2004.typepad.com/

This is Funny 

Saw this in the current issue of "Harper's":

From the US Government's Hurricane Research Division FAQ page...

Why don't we try to destroy tropical cyclones by nuking them:

During each hurricane season, there always appear suggestions that one should simply use nuclear weapons to try and destroy the storms. Apart from the fact that this might not even alter the storm, this approach neglects the problem that the released radioactive fallout would fairly quickly move with the tradewinds to affect land areas and cause devastating environmental problems. Needless to say, this is not a good idea.

It sure does seem like a good idea...

Draft Day Approaches 

link...

and more...

Unfortunately I missed most of the Saints picks last year (and will again this year) because Festival International and the Draft occur on the same weekend. Some friends and I watched the Saints make their move for John Sullivan last year and then hopped in the car to brave the heat and crowds of the festival. One joker brought a radio to see if he could catch a radio broadcast of the proceedings during the day. He didn't have any luck after about halfway through the second round. We popped in and out of bars over the course of the afternoon to see how the rest of "Day 1" went. I guess that will be the procedure this year too. I shouldn't be so excited about this, but I can't seem to help myself. Go Saints!!

That's about right 

In a press conference this afternoon Blanco gave herself a "B or B+" for her first hundred days in office. I might go "B-" so far, but that's just me. She's got a long way to go before she gets to excellent, but she's probably better than average at this point. I expect more from her before this first term is over. Things that hurt her were lack of leadership from the get go on this raise issue; how she has handled some appointments; and how she has handled the current ethics proposal moving through the legislature. She scores points for deftly handling the legislature in the special session to pass most of the tax package she needed to pay for her budget; and her thick skin.

Well this is good 

At least Kerry appears to be getting the same treatment as Bush from AP photographers.
not quite holy
There's nothing as powerful as all those halo pictures though.

Kerry in NOLA 

John Kerry is on his way back through the "gret stet" tomorrow with stops scheduled for the Lakefront Airport and then a boat trip down to Shell Beach in St. Bernard Parish.

The schedule does not say whether the events are open to the public, but there is a fundraiser in the city tomorrow night at The Foundry featuring authors John Grisham and Anne Rice.

And for any Texas readers there's an event in Houston on Thursday. From an email my sister sent me in her Texas exile:

April 22 – This Thursday
Earth Day with John Kerry 12:30 PM, (call time 11:00 AM) University of Houston Central Campus Lynn Eusan Park adjacent to the Student Union Building with rain option in the Houston Ballroom in the Student Center
facility

Come with friends, family and colleagues...show your support for John
Kerry and hear John Kerry's policy position on the environment.

(PS- there is a possibility that Governor Howard Dean will also be
making an appearance with Senator John Kerry.)

Go show your support for the future President of the United States, and if you haven't already clicked on the button in the top right of the site, go ahead and help out the cause.

Dupre out in 3rd 

I can't find it online at the Advocate but a staff report in the print edition mentioned that state Sen. Reggie Dupre, a Democrat from Montegut has dropped out of the race to succeed Billy Tauzin in the Louisiana's third Congressional district. He cited family reasons and lack of funds.

That's more like it 

Speaker Joe Salter and the rest of the lawmakers agitating for that ridiculous raise debated earlier this session finally introduced a scaled back pay raise. There's always going to be people who are against lawmaker raises, but this seems like a good compromise. I've maintained from the beginning that a smaller raise would be more acceptable, but we'll see how the rest of the public accepts it.

I do bet the Supreme Court of Louisiana is upset to find out that statewide elected officials pay will be tied to theirs. It will mean court salaries are under much heavier scrutiny by the public and could cause them some problems getting their own raises in the future. Of course all this is assuming the legislation passes in the first place.

Frivolous legislation 

The more I read about this series of proposed laws in HB 1408 regarding sports agents and college athletes the more I am against it. You can read about the testimony of Nick Saban and Pete Richardson before a legislative committee here and here.

First of all, let me say that I think the oversight of agents and players should be left to the NCAA. The organization ought to make a better effort at restricting contact between the two groups, but the state shouldn't get involved passing legislation on behalf of coaches who can't be honest brokers of the well-being of the individual players in their programs. The result is legislation that appears to grant custodial rights to coaches, when the players who are supposedly the targets are adults who should be able to make their own decisions.

The bill would prohibit an agent from making contact with a student athlete -- even on the junior high and high school level -- without approval of the school's athletic director or athlete's head coach.

Daniel's bill declares the relationship between a student athlete and his or her school a legal contract. It says if an agent causes a student to lose eligibility or causes the school to be investigated by a sanctioning body, the school and the athlete can sue the agent or the intermediaries for breach of contract and damages.

Neither story says whether or not this contractual obligation between student and university could lead the university to sue individual players for breach of contract should they deign to seek out an agent in the middle of a season, which is probably only slightly less likely to happen than the reverse. Logically there seems to be a way that could lead to this, but the reporting on this story hasn't gone far enough yet.

The worst thing about the whole situation is the way the legislation reeks of silly paternalism, whereby only LSU can protect their players from dirty lawyers trying to cheat their students. LSU could do more throughout the relationship to educate its student athletes about the dangers of consorting with agents without calling in the lobbyists to legislate away agents from the state of Louisiana.

Dean at Tulane 

His Governorship was at the premier institution of higher learning in Louisiana yesterday speaking to a supposedly lively crowd. The Pic covers the speech this morning, but I think Jeffrey's coverage gives a better account of the mood of the crowd and the tone of the speech (scroll down to "Some stuff about the Dean thing).

19 April 2004

Google search phrase of the day 

"hate David Vitter", and I'm lucky enough to be the only result in the search. My job here is done. It's funny but in the post it refers to I was giving David Vitter a break for probably taking unfair criticism from the black community on the Jacques Morial investigation. To be sure, I can't stand David Vitter, and whoever made their way here on that search term should find a friendly community, but hate is such a strong word. I usually only reserve that for the LSU Tigers and the Atlanta Falcons.

NOLA Schools 

Does anything good ever happen there? Not today. The OPSB Superintendent has invited the FBI to ferret out corruption in the awarding of contracts by the school board. The FBI's goal will be to find out whether whatever myriad of problems they discover can be solved in-house or whether criminal charges need to be filed.

Mooks and Mobsters 

Monday means it's time for Slate's "Sopranos Club" featuring mob reporters and this week's special guest, Terry Winter, who wrote last night's episode. They talk about the super-creepy "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" scene between Tony and his father's former comare. Lynchian, indeed.

Politicization 

There has been a ton of criticism against Bush using various departments under Presidential control as a way to campaign for reelection, but Taegan Goddard notices some particularly egregious bits of electioneering at taxpayer expense.

look at the note they're putting at the bottom of official Treasury press releases:

"America has a choice: It can continue to grow the economy and create new jobs as the President's policies are doing; or it can raise taxes on American families and small businesses, hurting economic recovery and future job creation."

Why not just write, "Vote for John Kerry and we're all screwed,"?

And if you're not checking PoliticalWire.com multiple times a day, you're probably missing something.

This is just weird 

link...

and I really need to get out of here for a little while, so check out this report from "Rock Breaux" (of AOC fame) Dominic Cross on the upcoming Festival International in the Advocate this morning. Tell me if Beat the Donkey isn't perhaps the greatest band name in the the history of music.

...d'oh here's an update with link to Festival piece. I'm out for now, back in a couple of hours maybe.

Slow today 

The political news around the state is slow today, which is probably a good thing because posting will be intermittent at best. Computer access will be a little tougher than usual, so I'll try to get out any important stuff in my first few posts.

AP reporter Melinda Deslatte inks her weekly news analysis in this bit about Blanco and and the Herculean task of appointing as many as 6700 people to various boards and commissions around the state.

This patronage is the most effective and far reaching real political power the Governor of Louisiana has left. To be sure, Blanco exerts a lot of control over the legislature, but that is by tradition rather than any enumerated constitutional duties. If the right legislators came on board, there isn't much reason to doubt they could reclaim their duties with a big thumbed nose to the executive branch. It's good to hear Blanco suggesting that she would like to turn some of these board appointments over to professional groups, but I'm not confident that will actually happen anytime soon. Blanco doesn't suggest any in particular appointment she'd be willing to let go of, and when it comes down to it, most elected officials tend to hang on to whatever power they have rather than simply turn them over to someone else, no matter how burdensome they seem in the beginning.

18 April 2004

Sunday Reading 

Today we'll begin with a new Timshel feature that may or may not occur weekly with in my Sunday roundup. It's the Louisiana lawmaker of the week, and this week it goes to Baton Rouge Democratic Representative Avon Honey. He had the good sense to go on the record against HB 7, which passed through the House unscathed despite Honey's apparently valiant efforts. The bill will name the entire portion of US highway 190 in Louisiana for fmr. President Ronald Reagan should it also pass through the Senate. Honey attempted to attach an amendment that would exclude the renaming of the portion of the highway that runs through Baton Rouge. Of the bill he said, "It was nothing personal, but I didn't vote for Ronald Reagan and neither did most of my constituents." Hopefully likeminded legislators will have more success in the Senate, but you should feel free to click on over to Honey's legislative web page and shoot him an email thanking him for his efforts.

Democrats in the state central committee reelected Mike Skinner to the party's chairmanship yesterday. Skinner's main goal seems to be expanding the reach of the state party's message with aggressive talk radio outreach and the hiring of a communications director. It's shocking that the party doesn't have one already. Regarding the radio idea, I don't know how effective it will be, but if there is any challenge to the reach of the interminable bore Moon Griffon then I'd be happy with it. I do think the party would be wiser to find candidates to run in every state district (Skinner is from Lafayette--for God's sake!?) before they start searching for the next great liberal hope in the local radio business. However, I'd offer my services in whatever capacity this humble website has to promote a radio show featuring a progressive voice in Louisiana.

In the First Congressional district, Steve Scalise is under the mistaken perception that he can pose a challenge to Bobby Jindal in the race. I wish him all the luck in the world, but he can take his campaign and stick a fork in it, because short of Bobby Jindal being caught with a boy scout or an alter boy, he'll be on his way back to Washington next January. Frankly Scalise probably deserves a humiliating defeat if only because he's pushing this superfluous amendment banning all things homo from our state Constitution. Of course, that initiative won't hurt him in his district, but it's not good for karma, and that's a little something I bet Bobby Jindal knows about, even if he did convert to Catholicism.

The editors of my local rag rightly urge the legislature to vote against HB 744, which would shield the negotiations of economic development officers and administrators with companies seeking to do business in Louisiana from any meaningful public scrutiny. Frankly they're right to urge the vote, but aren't forceful enough with their language aimed at Governor Blanco, who is a big supporter of the measure. This bit is striking, though:

The bill sneaks around public disclosure laws and does violence to the people’s right to know.

Carl Redman also takes up the issue in his weekly "Political Horizons" column. Redman spoke against the bill during it's committee hearing, and has been a forceful advocate for transparency in government as long as I've been reading his column in the Advocate. This one is certainly worth reading.

Finalmente you can read the local coverage of Joel Robideaux's victory in the district 45 special runoff election over Republican Buzz Durio. Both candidates were chumps in the supreme and I shouldn't have voted. In fact, my vote for Durio was probably his kiss of death. Whatever I perceived as thoughtfulness on his part (though diminished considerably after I read his letter "clarifying" his position on Scalise's aforementioned anti-homo amendment to The Independent [not online] where he stated his full opposition to the sinister "homosexual agenda".) was probably consider creeping liberalism by his Republican base. They didn't get their precious Carl Tritschler supported Denise Skinner and probably didn't really mobilize for Buzz Durio. Of course I'm saying this absent much data, but the less than twenty percent turnout can't speak well for either candidate's ability to appeal to a significant portion of the electorate. Sigh, see you next time.

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