Posts filed under John Bel Edwards

LAGOP: Governor Edwards Flip-Flops on Support of Government Spending Cap

(Baton Rouge, LA) – In 2017, Governor Edwards surprised many of the Republicans in the legislature as his administration expressed support for a cap on government spending and limiting the amount the legislature could spend to 98% of projected revenues.

The Advocate reported on March 19, 2017, that the governor backed this 98% spending cap back when Sen. Jim Fannin (R-Jonesboro) authored it. “The governor is supportive of this idea because we want to make sure we’re good stewards of the public’s money,” said Kimberly Robinson, who heads the Revenue Department. “If we have unforeseen incidents such as hurricanes, tornadoes or floods that require state government to spend extra resources, the unspent money will be available.”

Fast forward to the present legislative session, Rep. Rick Edmonds (R-Baton Rouge) has authored a spending cap proposal that would go into effect next fiscal year and the Edwards administration suddenly opposes spending caps.

Matthew Block, speaking on behalf of the Governor, lashed out against the spending cap proposal calling the idea “intellectually dishonest” during the bill’s hearing at the Senate Finance Committee Meeting held on Tuesday. The bill, HB 147, would prevent the government from spending 2% of its total budget, amounting to $834 million over the next four fiscal years that could be put toward the rainy-day fund. The bill has passed the House and is awaiting its day on the Senate floor.

“The governor’s administration stated that they supported the idea once we got out of a budget crisis,” Edmonds said. “We have a surplus this year and there is no fiscal cliff on the horizon. What better time would there be to implement this measure?”

Posted on May 30, 2019 and filed under John Bel Edwards, LAGOP, Louisiana.

LAGOP: Audit Bombshell: Edwards Administration Admits to Ignoring State Law

Louisiana Department of Health caught handing out millions per month in illegal Medicaid payments to Governor’s campaign donors

Baton Rouge, LA – Last week, Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera released the latest audit covering the Louisiana Department of Health. This report details the lack of compliance of the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH), behavioral health providers, and managed care organizations with certain provisions of Louisiana Revised Statute 40:2162.


The audit found that 114,963 (40.2 percent) of the 286,307 Medicaid claims submitted and paid for psychosocial rehabilitation (PSR) and community psychiatric support (CPST) and treatment services provided between January 1, 2019, and March 31, 2019, DID NOT include the National Provider Identification (NPI) number of the individual who provided the service.


These illegally paid claims represent $10,504,923 (40.4 percent) of the $26,023,323 paid for PSR and CPST services over the same three-month period.

This accountability requirement was introduced in the 2018 Regular Session as SB564 by Democratic Senator Jay Luneau. It passed both through both chambers unanimously and was signed by the Governor, but apparently after signing the new law, John Bel Edwards threw it in the trash!

The Edwards Administration and the Louisiana Department of Health simply chose to ignore the law and the Louisiana Legislature; costing taxpayers MILLIONS every month and would end up costing the state ABOUT $40 MILLION by the end of the year.

The State Superintendent of Education is begging for $15 million for early childhood education. The state legislature is currently fighting over $39 millionin school funding. Meanwhile, John Bel Edwards and his Louisiana Department of Health are breaking the law and on-pace to give away $40 million of taxpayer money.
 Yesterday, the groups involved called this illegal $10 million handout a “technical glitch” and focused on the provider side of the problem.

Why is the Louisiana Department of Health intentionally paying MILLIONS in illegal Medicaid claims?

IMG_8717.jpeg

The same companies taking taxpayer money through these illegal claims are bending over backwards to funnel campaign money to Governor John Bel Edwards. The people of Louisiana deserve better.


###

Posted on May 21, 2019 and filed under John Bel Edwards.

LAGOP: Gov. Edwards Manipulates Economic Data, Attempts to Trick Local Media

Baton Rouge, LA – Today the Bureau of Labor Statistics released new economic data.

FullSizeRender.jpg

In response to this report, Governor Edwards and his campaign team released a statement and took to social media trying to spin these statistics before the media could read the report.

FullSizeRender.jpg

Wait a second…3.5%? Is that a typo? No. It is an intentional manipulation of the data to fit their political agenda. The Governor’s team has decided to use “non-seasonally adjusted” numbers.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics: “As a general rule, the monthly employment and unemployment numbers reported in the news areseasonally adjusted data.Seasonally adjusted data are useful when comparing several months of data. Annual average estimates are calculated from the not seasonally adjusted data series.”

“There are fewer workers and fewer jobs in Louisiana today than last month and last year. How long is this Governor going to get away with lying about economic numbers?" said LAGOP Executive Director Andrew Bautsch.

This was not a mistake. This is an intentional misrepresentation of the data by the Governor and his campaign team.

The people of Louisiana know that under John Bel Edwards, Louisiana is falling behind the nation. In fact, since John Bel Edwards was elected Governor, more than 65,000 people have left Louisiana to find a job in another state where they can enjoy the full benefits of President Trump’s economic policy.

FullSizeRender.jpg

“This Governor prioritized meeting with an American Idol over meeting with the American President. The people of Louisiana see right through this pathetic attempt by John Bel Edwards to steal credit for President Trump’s economic success,” said LAGOP Communications Director Jason Harbison.


###

Posted on May 17, 2019 and filed under LAGOP, Louisiana, John Bel Edwards.

LAGOP: Gov. Edwards Named Politician of the Year by Drug Rehab Company Accused of “the Closest Thing to Slavery”

Baton Rouge, LA –State officials in Texas and Louisiana have launched multiple probesinto the Cenikor Foundation following an investigation by Reveal that found the prominent drug rehabilitation services provider has turned patients into an unpaid labor force for private companies.

"It's like the closest thing to slavery," said Logan Tullier, a former Cenikor participant who worked 10 hours per day at oil refineries, laying steel rebar in 115-degree heat. "We were making them all the money."

Yesterday, Governor John Bel Edwards provided cover for Cenikor, saying he was confident the Department of Health would investigate any complaints.

Unfortunately for Governor Edwards, the Louisiana Department of Health had already cleared Cenikor. Records released Monday show department investigators found that Cenikor failed to conduct background checks on certain staff and that the kitchen was physically unsafe for residents. However, after spending two days at Cenikor, the department closed its investigation and gave Cenikor permission to continue providing treatment services.

Why are John Bel Edwards and his Louisiana Department of Health covering for this company instead of condemning it?

Why are John Bel Edwards and his Louisiana Department of Health still sending Cenikor our tax dollars via Medicaid if they might be abusing our citizens?

Just a few months ago, Cenikor named Gov. John Bel Edwards “Cenikor’s elected official of the year.”

"Organizations like the Cenikor Foundation provide life-saving treatment services and rehabilitation programs to individuals across the state who are working to free themselves from substance abuse and addiction. Our administration has made incredible strides to combat drug abuse and promote treatment options, and I am humbled to accept this Cenikor honor on their behalf,” Governor Edwards posted on Facebook after accepting the award.

With this conflict of interest, Governor Edwards has focused on distancing himself from the scandal while covering for Cenikor. Thankfully for Louisiana, Attorney General Jeff Landry has filled the void left by our cowering Governor and is taking action to make sure Cenikor is held accountable.

Landry is investigating Cenikor for possible Medicaid fraud. The program receives Medicaid funding and has received millions of dollars in state contracts for behavioral health services. A spokesman declined to comment on the investigation but said, "If there's evidence of a crime that involves Medicaid, that's something our office takes a strong interest in.”

In addition to government investigations, former patients are suing the rehab program for back wages in four separate lawsuits, and two of Cenikor's biggest work contracts have stopped using workers from the program.


Read the full story at: Reveal News


###

Posted on May 17, 2019 and filed under John Bel Edwards.

“Honor Code” Leads Louisiana to Last Place Yet Again

Photo source: Wikipedia 

Photo source: Wikipedia 

After all the talk about his “Honor Code” during the election, it seems like Gov. John Bel Edwards couldn’t lead an elementary school parade, much less the State of Louisiana.

Louisiana ranked at or near the bottom in all categories. Fiscal stability was the state’s strongest category ranking (43rd). U.S. News acknowledged the Louisiana government’s relatively stable credit score and a liquidity that was on par with the national average.

But the state ranked last in crime, natural environment and opportunity. The list noted a poverty rate well above the national average and average household income of $46,165 (roughly $14,000 short of the national average). The state’s incarceration rate is among the worst in the country and violent crime is high.

Louisiana, don’t fall for this clown’s crap come November. Vote Republican!

Posted on May 16, 2019 and filed under John Bel Edwards, Louisiana.

LAGOP: LOUISIANA- FIRST IN LAST, AGAIN

So once more Louisiana is dead last in a ranking of all fifty states! This particular ranking, by U. S. News & World Report magazine, is, unfortunately, one of the older, more respected and widely noted of such rankings.


This ranking evaluated education, healthcare, infrastructure, opportunity, crime and quality of life metrics- precisely the sort of things that we elected John Bel Edwards to fix in 2015. However, the Governor faults the evaluating criteria, accusing the magazine of using old data sources, presumably pre-2019 data. But then 2019 is not yet over, so one hesitates to cast aspersions on U. S. News & World Report for this omission.
The sad fact is that this magazine has reached the same conclusion that Louisiana is the worst state to live in for three straight years. There can be little doubt where we will be in the rankings next year, and let us not forget the many other state rankings by numerous other institutions which confirm our terrible condition.

Harken back to the heady days of the 2015 campaign and the many promises made by John Bel Edwards: That he would reform our bloated and inefficient state government, that he would not raise our taxes, that he would repair our infrastructure, etc., etc. Yet what do we have to show for all the bitterness in tone, the innumerable legislative sessions, the threats to throw nursing home patients out in the street and end the LSU football program, and so forth?

We have higher taxes, decaying infrastructure, a terrible public education system, an out-of-control Louisiana Department of Health & Hospitals (which will break us financially in the next several years), and one of the slowest growing state economies in the country. And all the while tens of thousands of our fellow citizens leave Louisiana every year for greener pastures...

The missed opportunities of this administration boggle the mind, but John Bel Edwards faults the data. We fault this Governor!

On to Victory in 2019!

Louis Gurvich, Chairman
Republican Party of Louisiana

Posted on May 14, 2019 and filed under Louisiana, LAGOP, John Bel Edwards.

AG Jeff Landry Spearheading Bipartisan Effort on Obamacare Replacement

Photo source: Twitter

Photo source: Twitter

In what is another example of Attorney General Jeff Landry showing true leadership in Baton Rouge, a bill working it’s way through the legislature, which would replace Obamacare, is receiving bipartisan support  

State Attorney General Jeff Landry, a former Republican congressman, has spearheaded the effort, saying it would inject real competition into the health insurance market, reduce costs for consumers and provide a safety net for those whose pre-existing conditions, such as cancer and diabetes.  

 “What we’re doing is going back to federalist principles, working within the long-established powers of the state,” Mr. Landry said. “It will be interesting to see what the governor will do.”

The ball is in the Governor’s court. Let’s see if he truly is worthy of that “Honor Code” label he loves to use

Read more:  Louisiana Republicans win Democrats' support with first Obamacare replacement

If We Only Had a Governor Committed to Oil and Gas

At least we have a President who’s committed to one of the greatest industries in the state of Louisiana. The following was announced today regarding President Trump visiting the Bayou State.  

According to Senator Bill Cassidy, President Trump will be touring the Sempra Energy’s Cameron LNG Export Facility on May 14, 2019.

“I thank President Trump for his commitment to unleashing American energy and supporting Louisiana energy workers,” said Cassidy. “Under Republicans’ watch, we’ve seen new investment in projects from the wellhead to the export facility—bringing billions to our state and creating good-paying jobs for Louisiana workers.”

Too bad we have a governor that has done everything he could to break the back of oil and gas in this state with his trial attorney cronies.

Read more: President Trump to visit natural gas facility in Cameron Parish next week

Oil and Gas is Still an Important Economy in Louisiana, No Matter What “Honor Code” Thinks

Photo source: Oil and Gas IQ

Photo source: Oil and Gas IQ

While “Honor Code” Edwards and his trial lawyer cronies are bent on crippling one of the greatest economies that this state has ever had, oil and gas still proves to be a bountiful source of revenue for Louisiana.

WASHINGTON — Louisiana will get nearly $95 million for coastal protection and restoration efforts in the latest round of payments from the federal government’s Gulf energy royalties.

State officials quickly hailed the announcement of the latest round of Gulf of Mexico Energy and Security Act funding as a win for the state’s conservation and hurricane protection efforts.

Read more: Louisiana gets nearly $95 million for coastal restoration from federal oil revenue-sharing pact

Posted on May 1, 2019 and filed under John Bel Edwards, Louisiana, Oil and Gas.

LAGOP: John Bel Edwards Has Failed Louisiana's Oil and Gas Industry

(Baton Rouge, LA) – Today, as we observe Oil & Gas Day in Louisiana, Governor John Bel Edwards continues his assault on Louisiana’s lifeblood, the oil and gas industry, thereby jeopardizing the economic security of hundreds of thousands of workers and their families.


Since taking office Edwards has bombarded the oil and gas companies with lawsuits, regulations, and higher taxes, and the sad results clearly show in Louisiana’s diminished importance in the nation’s energy economy.
To illustrate the damage that John Bel Edwards has caused, read below:

  • He has actively encouraged lawsuits against the oil and gas industry in parishes across the state, which is unsurprising since the trial lawyer lobby spent over $2.6 million electing him.

  • The Wall Street Journal:“Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards was elected in 2015 with substantial support from trial lawyers, and he’s now repaying them in kind. The former minority leader of the state’s House of Representatives is effectively extorting oil and gas companies to backfill the budget while engineering what could be a handsome payday for his friends at a politically connected law firm.” (March 2018)

  • His changes to Louisiana’s highly successful, eighty plus year old Industrial Tax Exemption Program (ITEP) have burdened energy companies by creating uncertainty in the cost of future investment in the state. ExxonMobil has taken the extraordinary step of publicly stating that they will no longer factor the program into their decision-making.

  • ExxonMobil:“Due to the uncertainty, we will have to assume there is no ITEP incentive as we make cost projections on future investment opportunities in Louisiana.” (January 2019)

  • In 2018 alone, Louisiana under John Bel Edwards lost 1,100 jobs in the sector that includes the oil and gas industry, according to data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

  • Under John Bel Edwards, Louisiana has raised taxes and fees at a higher rate than any other state in the country, further weakening the business climate for the state’s oil and gas industry.

  • Former Democratic Congressman Chris John:“It is the engine that drives our economy… A governor who would not recognize that, I think, is doing a disservice to Louisiana.” (July 2018)

With more than 260,000 employees across the state and an average annual wage of more than $96,500 (almost double the state’s average wage), and a contribution of more than $2 billion in annual state taxes, it is clear that the energy industry is critical to Louisiana’s employment, state budget and overall economic success.

“Our state deserves a governor who will work to build up our economy, not tear it down. Governor Edwards continues to show that he is willing to put Louisiana’s economic health and working families at risk to boost his trial lawyer backers,” commented LAGOP Chairman Executive Director Andrew Bautsch

###

LAGOP: JOHN BEL EDWARDS CHOOSES CAMPAIGN CASH OVER SENIOR CARE

(Dallas, TX) – After funneling over $40,000 into John Bel Edwards’ campaign pockets, Senior Care Center Management LCC has filed for bankruptcy protection in federal court. Senior Care Center Management operates senior care, assisted living and hospice facilities in Texas and Louisiana.
 
Many of their Louisiana facilities have been trusted to treat some of our most vulnerable populations and rely on Medicaid to reimburse their facilities and cover the cost of care. After expanding the Medicaid program in 2016, Governor Edwards is now trying to dedicate an additional $1 billion from our state budget to cover the growing cost of Medicaid here in Louisiana.
 
Unfortunately, while running up hundreds of millions of dollars in debt and refusing to PAY RENT at their facilities, the team at Senior Care Management was busy working with Governor Edwards’ campaign to funnel over $40,000 into their campaign account through eight of its corporate subsidiaries.
 
April 2015 – Spring Lake SCC LLC, Shreveport SCC LLC, Normandie SCC LLC, Ruston SCC LLC, Colonial SCC LLC, Bradford SCC LLC, Booker SCC LLC, and Bossier SCC LLC are all registered with the Texas Secretary of State.

These EIGHT entities all share:

  • The same registered agent, Amarillo Corporate Services, LLC

  • The same address, 600 N Pearl St, Suite 1100, Dallas, TX

  • The same roster of officers, with Andrew Kerr, listed as President & CEO, John Heller as Vice President, and Alan Boerner, Alan Munday, and Scott Rickard as Directors. Kerr is also listed in a press release as Chief Financial Operator at the time.


November 2015 – Spring Lake SCC LLC, Shreveport SCC LLC, Normandie SCC LLC, Ruston SCC LLC, Colonial SCC LLC, Bradford SCC LLC, Booker SCC LLC, and Bossier SCC LLC all donate $2,500 contributions to Edwards’ campaign for governor. (See Below)
 
January 2016 – Edwards expands Medicaid in Louisiana.
 
March 2016 – Spring Lake SCC LLC, Shreveport SCC LLC, Normandie SCC LLC, Ruston SCC LLC, Colonial SCC LLC, Bradford SCC LLC, Booker SCC LLC, and Bossier SCC LLC all donate $2,500 each to Edwards’ re-election. (See Below)
 
November 2016 – Senior Care Center Management LLC donates $4,000 to Edwards’ re-election. (See Below)
  
These entities, all of whom have the same registered agent, officers, and location, have donated a total of $44,000 to Edwards.

IMG_8435.png
Posted on April 24, 2019 and filed under Louisiana, Oil and Gas, John Bel Edwards.

LAGOP: Edwards’ Administration Caught Manipulating Jobs Data to Avoid Federal Food Stamp Work Requirements

IMG_8424.png

(Baton Rouge, LA) – Last week The Foundation for Government Accountability published a report titled “Waivers Gone Wild,” detailing the steps taken by Governor John Bel Edwards to sidestep work requirements for able-bodied adults without dependents, allowing them to still receive food stamp benefits.

Federal law generally requires able-bodied adults without dependents to work, train, or volunteer at least part-time to maintain food stamp eligibility. These rules apply to non-pregnant adults who are between the ages of 18 and 50, who are mentally and physically fit for employment, and who have no dependent children or incapacitated family members living at home.

However, in Louisiana, Governor Edwards has gone to great lengths to game the system. According to the report, Louisiana starts its waiver period in September, the last month of the federal fiscal year. This exploits a regulatory loophole that lets Governor Edwards use unemployment data back to December 2015. Further, Governor Edwards decided to put all 64 parishes together into one single group, allowing many parishes to qualify for waivers even if the local economy is thriving.

Today in Louisiana, 60,310 able-bodied adults without dependents are on food stamps and under the guidance of John Bel Edwards, 76% of those able-bodied adults are not working. That means there are 45,850 able-bodied adults without dependents that are cooperating with Governor Edwards to game the system and take advantage of taxpayers across the state.

“My colleagues and I want those who need help to get it; however, with that help should come opportunity - the opportunity to learn a new skill, improve their resume through community services, and find a job that will help them thrive instead of just survive. This report shows that that the Governor’s administration is leading our state further down a pathway of government dependence, while other states are choosing a path toward prosperity, ” said State Representative Rick Edmonds.

“We cannot ignore the facts on, or the implications of, this issue. Most of the nation is experiencing record job growth and economic success because they empower their people to become successful; however, our state allows able-bodied food stamp recipients with no dependents to bypass federal work requirements that could ultimately help them find a good job.”

The full report can be found at:
https://thefga.org/research/work-requirement-waivers-gone-wild/

Posted on April 23, 2019 and filed under Louisiana, John Bel Edwards, LAGOP.

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/ 

###

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

###

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.

LAGOP: Gov. Edwards Rewrites History to Boost Re-Election Hopes

The following statement was issued by the Louisiana Republican Party yesterday in response to Gov. John Bel Edwards’ speech before the start of the regular session of the Louisiana Legislature:

(Baton Rouge, LA) - This afternoon the people of Louisiana received a clear reminder that their Governor’s Office is occupied by a loyal follower of the Democratic Party’s philosophy of tax-and-spend governance.
 

Governor Edwards spent the last three years signing the largest tax increase in state history; signing more than two dozen additional new laws that are permanently affecting the taxes and fees paid by small and large companies conducting business in Louisiana.

For the working families in Louisiana, the tax-and-spend policies of this Democratic Governor have been an anchor around the neck of our state’s economy. 

  • In 2017 under Governor Edwards' leadership, Louisiana posted the worst economic performance of any state in the country, with the state’s GDP shrinking by 0.2 percent.

  • In 2018, Governor Edwards received an “F” for fiscal responsibility in the CATO Group 2018 annual report card for America’s governors.

  • A 2019 report puts Governor Edwards’ Administration dead last for return on taxpayer investment for services including public education, health care, and public safety.

Today Governor Edwards did not let any facts stand in the way of delivering a campaign speech focused on the only “achievement” of his first term: raising our taxes so high that he has money left over, for now...

Today he promised to SPEND IT ALL. He even joked about not making any cuts.

Focused on his own re-election, Edwards has clearly turned to the “spend” page of his Democratic playbook.

Posted on April 9, 2019 and filed under John Bel Edwards, LAGOP.

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

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.