21 February 2008

In Rainbows 

News that I have tickets for this event made my day today.

Legislative Perks 

Maybe I can hit up Noble Ellington for tickets to that football game in London in October.

Connick's proposal passed 97-3.

Rep. Noble Ellington, D-Winnsboro, followed that up with the most serious change to the bill: to allow elected officials to receive the freebies from all but registered lobbyists or the firms that employ them.

Ellington said that would mean elected officials could receive tickets to football games from colleges and universities and golf outings sponsored by non-profit agencies.

I've been learning all about how this works from the current season of "The Wire". You see, State Senator Clay Davis creates a fake constituent or non-profit group, makes lobbyists give the group (or in our case, his felon/driver) money or exorbitant gifts, then takes the money/ticket/whatever directly out of the group's possession. It's real simple.

Make no mistake, this is a central piece of state ethics legislation. The wide-open ability of lawmakers to accept gifts from public groups seeking business before the state is a glaring problem here.

We'll see what kind of chops Bobby J. has in order to stand tall and hold back the legislature from reining in even more of his ethics packages. Remember, despite all her failures, Kathleen Blanco came out of her first legislative session with the moniker of "Queen Bee".

More on the bill's movement here.


I should add that news that Jindal's Chief of Staff may be working against his own legislative package doesn't inspire a lot of confidence.

Speaker Pro Tem Karen Peterson says Jindal's administration is towing its own ethics line, and she's ready to push them back. "This passed the House overwhelmingly and no real questions. People understand that third parties shouldn't pay fines on us as candidates," she says. However, Peterson's bill hit a roadblock in a Senate committee. The bill says if someone is fined by the ethics board, only that person can pay the fine. That would mean Governor Jindal's former campaign treasurer, Rolfe McCollister, could not pay Jindal's current campaign fine for him. Peterson says Jindal's chief of staff, Timmy Teepell, called her personally and asked her to pull her bill. "It's clear to me that the administration is not supportive of this. I was asked to pull the bill by the chief of staff, so certainly, they've been at work," she says. Peterson refused to pull the bill, so senators voted to kill it in committee.

Maybe he'll come back as not the "Queen Bee", but (wait for culturally insensitive joke that doesn't even really fit because he's not a Native-American) as the "Indian Giver".

20 February 2008

Oohs and Aahhs 

Excellent issue of The Independent this week.

Scott Jordan's bit on our Mayor-President is particularly worthwhile, though I haven't made it through the whole rag yet.

Despite the quality I've come to expect from this newsweekly, I should mention here that the ad they're running on radio in our local market absolutely sucks. The message is jumbled, the music frightens me, and I still don't know what they mean by their tag line, "Freedom from the Press".

At any rate, if you're from my area, go read this week's edition.

19 February 2008

Better Late Than Never 

1st District news.

Burns began performing his door-knocking rounds [for his Louisiana State House run in 2003] on a Segway, the two-wheeled, battery-operated device vaguely resembling a scooter. At the time, it had been available to the public for less than a year, and Burns says he was the first U.S. politician to use it on the campaign trail.

"That's how I was known. I was the guy on the Segway," he recalled.

I'm still getting to these Congressional races, but I'll start by saying that this guy doesn't have a chance in this district. Is he first in the series because "B" comes first in the alphabet?

As for Segways, I still can't get over seeing Segway Police on the streets of Lafayette Parish.

We're actually cops in New York City, but this blog's proprietor can't find pictures of Lafayette Police on these things.

Ethics For Thee, But Not For Me 

Judges want their own rules.

Louisiana’s judges may be removed from a proposal to require all state government officials to disclose their personal finances, a floorleader for Gov. Bobby Jindal said Monday.

The judges are developing their own disclosure rules, said Sen. Bob Kostelka, R-Monroe, a former judge.

The judges want to be removed from House Bill 1 — Jindal’s legislation requiring government officials to publicly list their assets and debts, said Kostelka, chairman of the Senate and Governmental Affairs Committee, which is considering the measure.

Apparently, these folks want to make their own rules for disclosure, which makes sense; however, I don't see how it's an over extension of our legislative or executive branch to suggest laws that govern all three branches so long as they're applied equally. I'll revert to my default argument that this state is in dire need of a constitutional convention to rework the entire state government. Continuing to put laws on the books governed by a hopelessly flawed charter document really won't mean much in the long run.

18 February 2008

Big Bucks 

This is interesting.

I'll add to that post that this an interesting test case to my wishy-washy attitude as to whether or not Jindal is "serious" about sweeping the halls of the Capitol with the brooms of rEform.

I'm having a hell of a time finding compensation, etc for these officials.

Google not much help...

If only LSU had a white nice quarterback. . . 

Perrilloux suspended indefinitely from LSU's football program.

Comments at NOLA.com are rather predictable. Without being sure even what the reason for the suspension is, most are comparing him to dog-torturer Michael Vick.

No word from Jeffrey about what an idiot Les Miles is yet.

Update - "expanded" story from AP available, the only suggestion is that it's not a legal matter, rather one of "team rules" with a suggestion that it may or may not be related to his father's recent death.

17 February 2008

Sunday Is FUN day 

Doing a big boil today. Sunday papers are pretty thin today. May have some more later this afternoon, depending on the amount of crawfish and beer consumed.

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