Posts filed under Louisiana

Taxing Citizens and Businesses and Suing Oil and Gas Isn’t the Best Idea After All

With election season in full swing and “Honor Code” looking for re-election to the Governor’s seat, you’ll be hearing all kind of spin about how his liberal policies have made Louisiana better. However, suing one of the largest industry in the state and massive taxation in Louisiana doesn’t nearly work out as well as it seems.

The drop caused Louisiana to end March with 1,981,100 jobs, according to preliminary numbers released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The numbers are not seasonally adjusted.

Construction fell by 6.3%, or 9,600, over the past 12 months to 143,400 jobs. Information was down by 2,200 jobs, or 9%, to 22,200. Mining and logging, which includes oil and gas jobs, fell by 1,100 jobs, or 3.1%, to end at 34,400. Professional and business services was down by 0.7%, or 1,500, to 211,300. Trade, transportation and utilities was down by 0.2%, or 800 jobs, to 378,700.

LAGOP: John Bel Edwards Accepts Maximum Donation From Harvey Weinstein’s Cover-Up Machine

(Baton Rouge, LA) – Terrified at his dimming prospects for re-election, Governor John Bel Edwards is desperate for campaign cash and will apparently take money from ANYONE. On December 5, 2017, the New York Times published an article titled “Weinstein’s Complicity Machine.” In the center of this cover-up machine was Brian Lourd, longtime partner at Creative Arts Agency.[i] 

“When asked if he had known of Mr. Weinstein’s alleged harassment of clients, Bryan Lourd, a partner at C.A.A., declined to comment, citing client confidentiality. In mid-September, Mr. Weinstein stormed into Mr. Lourd’s office to complain about an article that Ronan Farrow, a C.A.A. client, was writing on Mr. Weinstein’s alleged misconduct for The New Yorker, according to someone familiar with C.A.A.’s dealings with Mr. Weinstein. Later that month, Mr. Lourd tried to set up a meeting at the producer’s request. “This guy won’t meet right now,” he wrote to Mr. Weinstein on Sept. 26. “He did say he will call you soon. I think he is absolutely pursuing the story.”

On January 14, 2018, one of Harvey Weinstein’s accusers, actress Rose McGowan, bravely pointed the finger at C.A.A. and Brian Lourd for acting as “pimps” for Harvey Weinstein.[ii] “Who do you think is behind this ‘great’ PR? Why, it’s the company of pimps that sent so many into the Monster’s Lair themselves. CAA. #TIMESUPfakes,” McGowan tweeted. On March 4, 2019, Harvey Weinstein’s fixer, Brian Lourd, sent a $5000 maximum donation to Governor John Bel Edwards. “John Bel Edwards needs to spend more time re-learning his honor code and less time begging Harvey Weinstein’s buddies for campaign cash.” Said LAGOP Political Director Jason Harbison. 

Sources:
[i] https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/12/05/us/harvey-weinstein-complicity.html


[ii] https://pagesix.com/2018/01/14/rose-mcgowan-caa-agents-were-weinsteins-pimps/ 

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Posted on April 18, 2019 and filed under LAGOP, John Bel Edwards, Louisiana.

Former Gov. Kathleen Blanco is Under Hospice Care

Photo source: Wikipedia 

Photo source: Wikipedia 

Politics aside, Gov. Kathleen Blanco was a Governor who deeply cared for the State of Louisiana and was unfortunate enough to be thrown into the chaos of Hurricane Katrina, which ultimately cost her the Governor’s seat. She was also a daughter of Iberia Parish, where I live, and a devoted mother and wife. Our prayers are with Gov. Blanco during this time.

BATON ROUGE — Former Gov. Kathleen Blanco, who has been battling cancer since 2017, has entered hospice care.

The former governor announced in 2017 she suffered from ocular melanoma, which was first diagnosed in 2011 and reappeared in October 2017 during a routine checkup in Memphis.

Read more: BREAKING: Gov. Blanco enters hospice care

Posted on April 17, 2019 and filed under Louisiana.

La. Attorney General: Omar Fundraised for Terror-Tied Group

Photo source: Twitter 

Photo source: Twitter 

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry (R.), a former member of Congress and an Army veteran, claimed that freshman Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar (Minn.) has been fundraising for a terror-tied organization that has a "long history of financing terrorist groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah and al Qaeda."

Landry, in remarks criticizing Omar's recent appearance before the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, accused the Democratic lawmaker of working on behalf of a group that disseminates anti-Israel propaganda and has a history of close relations with notorious terror organizations.

Read more: La. Attorney General: Omar Fundraised for Terror-Tied Group

Posted on April 17, 2019 and filed under Louisiana, Jeff Landry.

Jim Donelon Raises $1 Million for Re-Election Campaign

Photo source: LA Dept. of Insurance

Photo source: LA Dept. of Insurance

Report shows strong statewide support

Baton Rouge, LA – In anticipation of the 2019 election for Commissioner of Insurance, the Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon reports having raised more than $1.1 million toward his reelection. Donelon reported $860,000 cash on hand at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Boasting wide support for his campaign, these donations are comprised of almost 800 individual donors with most being donations of less than $1000. 77% of the donors are from Louisiana spanning 47 of the 64 parishes.

“I appreciate the support from across Louisiana for my reelection. Serving as the Commissioner of Insurance is an honor and I look forward to continuing to work hard everyday to serve the great state of Louisiana. I will continue to fight for honest and affordable insurance for all Louisianans,” said Commissioner Donelon.

Additionally, Commissioner Donelon announces his campaign team consists of Finance Director Sally Nungesser, General Consultant Kyle Ruckert of Bold Strategies and Media Consultant George Kennedy.

For questions contact Kyle Ruckert at kyle@boldstrategiesllc.com.

Posted on April 17, 2019 and filed under Louisiana.

LAGOP: Gov. Edwards' Dirty Money

Photo source: NOLA

Photo source: NOLA

The following is a release from the Louisiana Republican Party:

(Baton Rouge, LA) - On November 8, 2015, Governor John Bel Edwards received three $5,000 checks (the maximum donation allowed), all from the exact same address. These checks came, respectively, from the founder of Force Multiplier Solutions, LLC, Robert Leonard, his wife Margaret “Linda” Leonard, [i] and their company, Force Multiplier Solutions, LLC. On August 9, 2018, Robert Leonard pled guilty to federal conspiracy charges stemming from a bribery and kickback scheme set up by Leonard to defraud the Dallas County Schools out of millions of dollars. [ii] According to court filings, even though Margaret “Linda” Leonard did not work for Force Multiplier Solutions, LLC the company paid the mortgage on her $1.6 million estate in Dallas. She also received over $50,000 in payments from the company in over two months. Robert Leonard was the mastermind behind the bribery plot, [iii] but the Dissolution Committee for the Former Board of Trustees of Dallas County Schools is focused on Margaret Leonard's assets because of her involvement. The committee was set up by the Texas Legislature (similar to the executor of an estate) to go collect as much money as possible from the people who defrauded Dallas County Schools. The checks in her name were written to Dallas County Schools president Larry Duncan, who has admitted to taking bribes. [iv] Ms. Leonard now claims the campaign checks signed in her name were not authorized. "I didn't write this check," she stated in her sworn deposition earlier this year.” That's not my handwriting."

We wonder whether she signed the $5,000 check she wrote to Governor Edwards during the same time period? “Following the strings attached to Governor Edwards’ dirty money will lead you into some pretty dark places.” said LAGOP Political Director, Jason Harbison. Louisiana taxpayers deserve to know the truth about their Governor’s relationship with Robert Leonard. Today we have submitted an official records request to the Governor’s Office to determine what strings were attached to this dirty money from a convicted fraudster. While we wait for the Governor’s Office to respond to our request; John Bel Edwards should immediately turn over this dirty money to the proper law enforcement authority.

The public records request can be found HERE.

Sources:

[i] https://www.thenewspaper.com/news/66/6680.asp


[ii] https://www.justice.gov/usao-ndtx/pr/dallas-city-council-member-and-president-force-multiplier-solutions-plead-guilty-mult-0

[iii] https://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/news/education/article_f5622ab8-0dbe-11e8-af67-8bce44ab14a0.html

[iv] https://www.nbcdfw.com/investigations/Dallas-County-Schools-Investigative-Series-401118835.html

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LLAW: Excessive civil tort costs take a toll on Louisiana’s taxpayers and economy

Excessive civil tort costs take a toll on Louisiana’s taxpayers and economy

New data shows lost jobs and revenue in state’s major metropolitan areas

Baton Rouge, LA — Following the start of the legislative session this week, Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch released data measuring the impact of excessive civil court costs on the state’s economy in the New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Shreveport and Lafayette Metropolitan Statistical Areas. These local impacts were derived from a statewide study conducted by The Perryman Group for Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse last fall using extensive survey data, industry information and a variety of corroborative source material. The results are clear – Louisiana continues to lose jobs and revenue because of the state’s civil justice system.

  • In the Greater New Orleans area, excessive tort litigation costs residents $512 million in personal income annually and results in a loss of 7,034 jobs each year. Excessive costs result in an annual “tort tax” amounting to about $647 per person. Direct costs absorbed by residents and businesses amount to nearly $487 million annually and more than $832 million in gross product is lost due to litigation costs.

  • The Capital Region is also paying the price for excessive civil litigation, with residents losing more than $170 million annually in personal income. Additionally, 2,976 jobs are lost every year and residents pay an annual “tort tax” of about $349 per person. Residents and businesses also absorb $206 million in direct costs annually and $296 million is lost in annual gross product due to tort costs.

  • Excessive litigation costs Acadiana area residents nearly $92 million in personal income each year, as well as an annual “tort tax” of about $276 per person. Each year, 1,659 jobs are lost. Nearly $115 million in direct costs is absorbed annually by residents and businesses. Tort costs result in nearly $137 million in lost gross product annually.

  • In Northwest Louisiana, Shreveport-Bossier residents miss out on more than $48 million in personal income annually as a result of lawsuit abuse. These excessive costs result in an annual “tort tax” of about $177 per person and every year 881 jobs are lost. Direct costs absorbed by residents and businesses amount to $61 million annually and a loss of more than $77 million in annual gross product.

“This new data demonstrates the devastating impact of lawsuit abuse on the four largest MSAs in Louisiana, making the case for civil justice reform as a statewide priority. Frivolous lawsuits and exorbitant plaintiff awards impact all sectors of our economy and hurt Louisiana families, forcing costs to be passed down through higher prices for goods and services,” said LLAW Executive Director Lana Venable. “Legislation has been filed to address lawsuit abuse, including instruments dealing with trial lawyer advertising, jury trial threshold and admissibility of seat belt use in court.”

As the statewide study last fall found, the total current impact of excessive tort costs on the Louisiana economy amounts to estimated losses of $1.1 billion in annual direct costs and $1.5 billion in output (gross product) annually. About 15,556 jobs are lost when changes in the economic system over time are considered. All major industry groups are negatively impacted, with retail trade, business services, health services and other service industries showing the greatest losses. As of 2018, yearly fiscal losses are estimated at $76.4 million in state revenues and $64.3 million to local governments. These effects are based on the current size of the state’s population and economy and can be expected to rise over time in the absence of meaningful civil justice reforms.

“From increasing local involvement in coastal lawsuits to Louisiana’s disproportionate number of auto injury claims, our culture of excessive lawsuits continues to be a drain on Louisiana’s residents and economy,” said Louisiana Coalition for Common Sense Executive Director Jim Harris. “Louisiana currently has the highest insurance rates in the country.”

According to the report, “tort reform can lead to substantial economic benefits, and states that have implemented reforms have seen improved judicial efficiency and measurable advancement in economic performance.” Civil justice reforms that have resulted in the greatest reduction in losses are those aimed at reducing frivolous lawsuits, capping appeal bonds, setting negligence standards and limiting non-economic damages. These reforms have been shown to enhance innovation and increase productivity, as well as to improve judicial efficiency and economic performance.

Louisiana was ranked 50th in the US Chamber Institute for Legal Reform’s 2017 Lawsuit Abuse Climate Survey, which measures the reasonability and balance of each states’ tort liability systems. Louisiana also moved up three spots from number eight to number five in the 2018-19 Judicial Hellholes Report issued by the American Tort Reform Foundation and received an “F” Grade on the 2018 R Street Policy Insurance Regulation Report Card.

See accompanying breakdowns for Lafayette, Baton Rouge, New Orleans and Shreveport.

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About Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch (LLAW)

Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch (LLAW) is a high-impact watchdog group with nearly 20,000 supporters across the state dedicated to fixing Louisiana’s broken legal system through transparency, accountability and lawsuit reform. Visit us on Facebook, Twitter (@ReformLouisiana) and www.llaw.org. About the Louisiana Coalition for Common Sense (LCCS) The Louisiana Coalition for Common Sense (LCCS) is a group of professional associations, companies and individuals committed to ensuring a fair legal climate for both truly impaired individuals and small and large businesses operating in Louisiana.

About The Perryman Group (TPG)

An economic and financial analysis firm, The Perryman Group (TPG provides clients with well-documented, carefully considered answers to even the most complex questions. For more than 30 years, The Perryman Group has met the challenges of thousands of clients through a systematic approach and a level of performance that assures a consistent standard of excellence. The firm has been involved in scores of major events shaping the economic landscape, from crucial corporate locations to landmark legislation to important regulatory policies to notable judicial decisions.

Posted on April 11, 2019 and filed under Louisiana.

LAGOP Chairman: IN RESPONSE TO GOV EDWARDS' STATE OF THE STATE ADDRESS

John Bel Edwards’ State of the State address (actually it was a thinly disguised re-election campaign speech) at the opening of the legislative session contained the usual self-congratulatory remarks that we have come to expect. However, the first clue that all had not been well since his ascension to the Governorship was his early remark that “... our state is finally moving in the right direction.” Now that was an odd comment for a governor to make in his thirty-ninth month of office.

Oblivious to his unwitting admission that during most of his term the state must, therefore, have been moving in the wrong direction, he charged onward. Picking up exactly where he had left off in last year’s closing speech, John Bel Edwards treated us to the usual bromides to the effect that he had solved the budget crisis, restored fiscal stability, the state was much stronger and a much better place, and was now back on a path to more prosperity and opportunity, etc., etc.

Unfortunately, none of these claims are true. Despite $7B in new taxes wrung from an exhausted legislature, what we really have is a patchwork parity of state income and expenditures for exactly one year. Be assured that Louisiana will soon enough be on the brink of another fiscal cliff, and another one after that, and so on until the state can no longer raise taxes and there are too few businesses left to tax anyway.

The reasons for this sad state of affairs can be laid directly on the desk of John Bel Edwards: firstly, he broke his campaign promise to reform government and thereby avoid the need to raise our taxes; secondly, he botched the Medicaid rollout in one of his first acts as governor in 2016.

The first premise is easily provable by comparing John Bel Edwards’ 2015 campaign commercials with his actual governance while in office. The Governor’s immediate call for more taxes and his total lack of any attempt at real reform in over three years at the helm are plain facts on the ground as the saying goes. The consequences of his deception have been catastrophic for our state. The low growth rate, high unemployment rate, and the tens of thousands who have left the state since he took office are irrefutable proof of his failed vision and leadership. Indeed, they are the natural results of his progressive agenda, and the state has lost considerable ground under his administration as compared to our Southern neighbors.

As to the second premise, recall that in 2018 the impartial Legislative Auditor estimated that somewhere between $61M- 85.5M was being wasted every year in expenditures on people who were ineligible to be on Medicare in the first place. The legislative auditor’s estimate has just been proved essentially correct by the Governor’s own administration, which now acknowledges that over thirty thousand Medicaid recipients were ineligible for the program. (The legislative auditor did only a cursory check of the rolls- the real level of waste is probably twice his estimate.)

Had the Medicaid expansion program been rolled out in 2016 with any provision for checking the eligibility of the applicants, a teacher pay raise would have been achievable years ago. But the problem of Medicaid fraud and waste is only going to get bigger and bigger, and this Governor is ideologically opposed to any serious attempt to fix it.

In his opening speech, John Bel Edwards claimed success after success, but the truth is starkly evident all around us: government in Louisiana remains broken and unreformed, our economy is doing poorly relative to the rest of the country, and our state is at or very near the bottom in every quality of life comparison. It is time for a change!


Louis Gurvich, Chairman
Republican Party of Louisiana

Posted on April 10, 2019 and filed under LAGOP, John Bel Edwards, Louisiana.

Terrebonne Parish Among Those Who Support Oil and Gas

Photo source: Seeking Alpha

Photo source: Seeking Alpha

A recent opinion piece in the Houma Daily Courier succinctly described a common sense approach to working with the strongest economic engine here in the State of Louisiana, oil and gas:

The partnerships between the energy industry and the parish run deep and wide. In fact, 65 percent of the parish’s footprint is owned by energy companies (both land and water).

Ask anyone in the bayou region what drives our economy, and they will tell you without hesitation the oil and gas industry. This industry is absolutely part of the fabric of our lives. We fish around the oil rigs’ massive platforms. We work in and out of the energy companies’ offices. We accept donations for our children’s recreational sports from the industry’s charitable giving programs. We live, work and play in the region that the energy industry has helped us call home.

One in seven jobs are directly or indirectly related to the energy industry in the bayou region.

Read more: Opinion: Lawsuits aren’t solutions

Posted on April 2, 2019 and filed under Louisiana, Oil and Gas.

LANDRY: Protect Citizens With Pre-Existing Conditions

Photo source: Twitter

Photo source: Twitter

In his continuous quest to make changes to the unconstitutional mandate known as the Affordable Care Act, more commonly ObamaCare, Attorney General Jeff Landry has proposed a bill in the upcoming Louisiana legislative session that protects pre-existing medical conditions.

Of course, “Honor Code” John Bel Edwards wasted no time to rush to a reelection stance and criticize Landry for working to do away with ObamaCare and protect these most vulnerable citizens in the state.

“It’s disappointing that the governor would criticize us for trying to protect people with pre-existing conditions. The fact of the matter is that we’re here because the law is unconstitutional. The problem is that people who make the same argument that the governor has, would rather our country be based upon unconstitutional and illegal acts in order for us to move our government forward,” said Landry.

Read more: AG, Acadiana lawmakers propose bill to protect people with pre-existing conditions

Scalise Working on Lowering Prescription Drug Prices

Photo source: Politico

Photo source: Politico

Rep. Steven Scalise is working on helping seniors save on prescription drug prices:

The proposal primarily affects the 644,000 Louisiana residents -- and 45 million people across the country -- enrolled in Medicare’s Part D drug benefit. Part D plans are federally subsidized but administered by private insurers who compete to sell their plans to the public.

These insurers work with middlemen known as pharmacy benefit managers to design plans and determine premiums, co-pays and co-insurance -- the percentage of a drug’s price that Medicare enrollees must pay out of pocket. PBMs decide which drugs to include in each Part D plan. They leverage their decision-making power to demand big discounts from pharmaceutical companies.

Read more: Opinion: Scalise can help seniors save on prescription drugs

Posted on April 1, 2019 and filed under Louisiana, Drugs, Steve Scalise.

Sen. Kennedy Discusses Prescription Drug Prices

Sen John Kennedy of Louisiana recently discussed prescription drug prices in America:

I’m working to lower the cost of prescription drugs. It’s an embarrassment when the average American pays twice what someone in Canada or Great Britain or Switzerland pays for the same identical drug by the same identical manufacturer.

Posted on April 1, 2019 and filed under Drugs, Louisiana, John Kennedy.

LOGA and LMOGA Decry City of New Orleans’ Coastal Lawsuit Filing

BATON ROUGE, LA (March 29, 2019) — The Louisiana Oil and Gas Association (LOGA) and the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association (LMOGA) issued the following statements in response to the City of New Orleans filling a Coastal Management Zone lawsuit against a multitude of oil and gas companies.  

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“It is unfortunate to see the City of New Orleans bow to the administration’s pressure for more self-serving lawsuits,” said Gifford Briggs, President of the Louisiana Oil & Gas Association. “These lawsuits are nothing more than a trial lawyer’s version of Hadacol; they promise snake oil to heal all your ailments, but do nothing other than line the peddlers’ pockets. Ever since the first parish lawsuit was filed, the lawyers have promised a pot of gold to every local government across coastal Louisiana. Seven years later nothing has happened to protect Louisiana’s coast. There is no reason why Louisiana should be outsourcing the protection of its coast to a few lawyers whose only interest is in padding their bank accounts. It is long past time for the administration and local leaders to abandon this sue-first app road and start working with the oil and natural gas industry toward real solutions that will actually help our environment and our economy.”

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“With the filing of this lawsuit, the City of New Orleans sends a message to oil and gas they’re closed for business. Tyler Gray, President of the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association. Unnecessary legal tactics threaten the community investment and cultural support the industry has provided for over a century, which they can now potentially lose, as they wait for several years, as other parishes in the state have, for this to work its way through the judicial process. LMOGA vehemently disagrees with the decision to outsource responsibility for enforcing state and local permitting laws to private lawyers. With this decision, New Orleans disregards our environmental stewardship, relying on profit motivated lawsuits to make a quick buck.”

Posted on March 30, 2019 and filed under Louisiana, Oil and Gas.

Shining Light on the Toxic Relationship Between "Honor Code" and the Business Community in Louisiana

Photo source: The Advocate

Photo source: The Advocate

In what is an opening salvo in the war for the Governor’s Seat in Louisiana, both Republican candidates sounded off on “Honor Code” John Bel Edwards’ relationship to the business community in the State of Louisiana.

Louisiana’s Republican candidates for governor talked Thursday of creating tighter and friendlier state government relationships with business, suggesting Democratic incumbent Gov. John Bel Edwards’ spending and tax policies have stifled job creation.

U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham and businessman Eddie Rispone spoke at an event hosted by the Pelican Institute for Public Policy, a conservative think tank, a luncheon that gave some attendees their first viewing of the men in campaign mode.

Abraham described Louisiana’s tax climate as “toxic” to business and pledged to lower taxes if elected. Rispone touted his background as founder of a Baton Rouge industrial contracting company, saying Louisiana needs a leader with a “business background.”

Read more: GOP candidates for governor pledge tight ties with business

You can look no further than the shakedown of the oil and gas industry as proof of what kind of leadership we have in Louisiana. This opinion piece from the Washington Examiner highlights the governor’s intentions on destroying the main industry in this state:

“The governor has unilaterally and, according to some critics, unlawfully sought to hire some of the state’s wealthiest plaintiffs’ lawyers to run the energy industry-targeting litigation,” the American Tort Reform Foundation’s “Judicial Hellholes” report noted.

Read more: Louisiana's new trial lawyer shakedown

Hopefully the sheep that were led to believe the “moderate Democrat” crap that was spewed by “Honor Code” in 2015 will come to their senses and support a conservative candidate for Governor. We cannot survive another 4 years of this kind of leadership.


LAGOP Chairman Calls on Governor to Release Records Related to Scandal-Plagued Business Summit

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(Baton Rouge, LA): The Republican Party of Louisiana is calling on Governor John Bel Edwards to answer for the delay in releasing public records regarding his scandal-plagued “business summit” in February. The business summit appeared to be little more than a taxpayer-funded campaign event stacked with Edwards contributors and supporters.

The LAGOPsubmitteda public records request on February 18, 2019 for any and all correspondence related to Democrat Governor John Bel Edwards’ Louisiana Statewide Business Summit to discern whether the governor was in fact holding a taxpayer-funded campaign event to bolster his re-election efforts. The request was made following media coverageindicatingthat numerous speakers at the event were campaign contributors or employees of Edwards. A copy of the request can be foundhere.

The records were due to be delivered on March 18, 2019, but the LAGOP received email correspondence from Governor Edwards’ office on the due date stating “It is now estimated that all non-exempt records will be made available to you on or before April 22, 2019” – a delay of more than 30 additional days, and more than 60 days beyond the original request date. A query regarding the reason for the delay went unanswered as of 9:00am this morning.

“When Governor Edwards was under fire for using taxpayer funds to hold a re-election event, his office repeatedly claimed that his so-called business summit was aboveboard,” said Chairman Louis Gurvich. “Now, once the glare of the spotlight has faded, the governor’s office is stonewalling the release of public records. What do they have to hide? The Governor needs to release these public records so the people of Louisiana get the transparency they deserve.”

The LAGOPsubmitted an additional public records request on February 25, 2019, for any and all correspondence related to closed-door meetings reportedly hosted by Governor Edwards with business leaders. Under scrutiny from the media for the business summit, Edwards’ spokesperson Christina Stephens told The Associated Press that the governor has been hosting “closed-door meetings with business leaders since 2017.” The Governor’s office has not yet responded to this request, a copy of which can be foundhere.

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Posted on March 27, 2019 and filed under John Bel Edwards, Louisiana, LAGOP.

LLAW: Recent Developments in Terrebonne Parish Should Be Alarming

LLAW.jpg

Recent developments in Terrebonne Parish should be alarming to all Louisiana citizens – especially those along the bayou whose local rights are being overstepped by overzealous trial attorneys and state government overreach. A dangerous precedent is being set with the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources’ recent appointment of the parish district attorney to conduct damage assessments alleged from oil and gas development in the parish. This is clearly an effort to bypass local elected leadership in outsourcing enforcement responsibility of state and local permits to private lawyers – the same lawyers who stand to benefit financially from their findings. Motivated by self-interest, these hired guns have no regard for the potential impact of lawsuits on thousands of area residents who depend on industry for their livelihoods.

Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch opposes coastal lawsuits because they attempt to stretch the law beyond its intent while ignoring critical facts and involving private lawyers in a space meant for democratically elected decision makers. Targeting the deep pockets of the energy industry does not guarantee that any resulting monetary awards will actually be used for restoration activities.

In this instance, LDNR is putting the cart before the horse by charging the district attorney to develop these models before the department has even identified permit violations – much less investigated any alleged abuses. With such complex issues, a mere comparison of aerial photographs as the basis to determine damages will not provide a complete or accurate picture. Instead of signing on to pursue lawsuits, Terrebonne has already begun to review coastal use permits in the parish.

Parish President Gordon Dove and Lafourche Parish President Jimmy Cantrelle have made it abundantly clear they are not interested in pursuing litigation that singles out an industry that is a major job and revenue creator.

There is a proper role for good regulations that protect the public and for lawsuits that enforce them. But our system of checks and balances breaks down when lawsuits are substituted for policy. It is past time to work together toward constructive solutions - and leave the trial lawyers out of it.                                     

Lana Venable, Executive Director
Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch

Posted on March 25, 2019 and filed under Louisiana, Oil and Gas.

Jeff Landry is Showing Once Again That He’s Going to Hold “Honor Code” Accountable

Photo source: NOLA.com

Photo source: NOLA.com

It’s so refreshing to have a grownup in the room when it comes to leadership in the State of Louisiana. The latest is AG Jeff Landry’s opinion issued regarding Gov. John Bel Edwards’ proposed budget.

Landry’s office said the constitution requires the governor to recommend a budget in line with the forecast.

“The constitution requires that the governor submit a budget containing revenues ‘which shall not exceed the official forecast of the Revenue Estimating Conference.’ The governor clearly violated this provision,” the opinion released by the attorney general says.

Read more: Louisiana attorney general: Edwards’ budget proposal illegal

Posted on March 22, 2019 and filed under Jeff Landry, John Bel Edwards, Louisiana.

Higgins Hosting Veteran's Workshop

Photo source: Military.com

Photo source: Military.com

Congressman Clay Higgins, along with the Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry’s office, is hosting a workshop on Monday, March 25th, to assist vets with benefits.

As a veteran, you are entitled to multiple benefits.

Workers from the Louisiana Attorney General's Office, the Louisiana Workforce Commission and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs along with staff from Congressman Higgins' office will be there to help.

Read more: VETERANS WORKSHOP NEXT WEEK

Posted on March 20, 2019 and filed under Veterans, Louisiana, Jeff Landry, Clay Higgins.

MURRILL: AG Landry protecting Louisiana children, including Native American kids

Photo source: The Advocate

Photo source: The Advocate

The following opinion was penned by Liz Murrill, Solicitor General for the State of Louisiana

As a mother of four, a former special counsel for Indian Affairs in the Governor’s Office, and now Louisiana’s solicitor general — I was surprised to see Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services Secretary Marketa Walters mischaracterizing a lawsuit Louisiana joined to protect Louisiana children.

Read more: Guest column: AG Landry protecting Louisiana children, including Native American kids

Posted on March 18, 2019 and filed under Jeff Landry, Louisiana.