Bobby Jindal

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Vape no more: Louisiana minors to be banned from e-cigs

Posted By on Thu, May 15, 2014 at 12:45 PM

State Sen. Rick Gallots bill to prohibit e-cigs to minors heads to Gov. Bobby Jindal.
  • State Sen. Rick Gallot's bill to prohibit e-cigs to minors heads to Gov. Bobby Jindal.

Electronic cigarettes are steps away from being prohibited to minors in Louisiana. The currently unregulated industry of e-cigs was targeted by the state Legislature, with bills in the House and Senate for prohibiting their sale and distribution to people under 18.

Senate Bill 12 from state State Sen. Rick Gallot, D-Ruston, is the Senate version banning e-cig sales and a number of other alternative nicotine products to minors. Today, it passed the Senate 34-0 and heads to Gov. Bobby Jindal where it's expected to be signed into law. (On Tuesday, it received unanimous approval from the House with a 94-0 vote, and sailed through committees.) Louisiana will join several states, including Maryland, New Hampshire, New York and Pennsylvania, with similar legislation. Several other states are pending legislation this year.

Read more about e-cigs in Gambit's preview of the Legislature's tobacco battles.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Louisiana Senate approves restrictive abortion bill

Posted By on Wed, May 14, 2014 at 5:30 PM

State Rep. Katrina Jackson, D-Monroe
  • State Rep. Katrina Jackson, D-Monroe

The Louisiana Legislature has passed a bill from state Rep. Katrina Jackson, D-Monroe, which would require doctors who provide abortions to have admitting privileges within 30 miles of a hospital. House Bill 388 passed the state House of Representatives in March and passed 34-3 today in the Senate. It now heads back to the House. It has the support of Gov. Bobby Jindal.

State Sen. J.P. Morrell, D-New Orleans, attempted to add an amendment that would remove the "arbitrary" 30-mile radius rule. In its place, doctors would have to receive admitting privileges to any hospital with an obstetrics and gynecology section. Morrell said he was concerned that the bill's 30-mile radius excludes many areas throughout the state where "there is no hospital within 30 miles, period," not only making procedures impossible, but could set a precedent for all specialized procedures. The amendment failed 3-34.

Sen. Karen Carter Peterson objected to the bill, calling it a "terrible bill" that "could seriously impede a woman’s ability to something legal in the state, not withstanding your position."

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Gov. Bobby Jindal to guest star on season premiere of Duck Dynasty

Posted By on Wed, May 14, 2014 at 4:50 PM

Gov. Bobby Jindal isn't the only Louisiana politician who likes to be seen with the Robertson family of the A&E "reality" show Duck Dynasty (Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne and U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister both like to tout their Duck-y bona fides), but Jindal is going a step farther than either of them: He's appearing on the Season 6 premiere of the show to present Willie Robertson with "a Commerce Award."

Jndal met with the Robertsons in February to present them with a new state laurel. In a press release at the time, Jindal's office said, "The Governor’s Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence will be periodically awarded by the Governor to homegrown Louisiana businesses that grow and provide more opportunity, more jobs, and more commerce for the State of Louisiana." 

So what happened at the award presentation? A&E says "In preparation for the big occasion, John Luke volunteers to give the introduction speech but can't avoid Willie and Uncle Si's public speaking tips, unwanted as they may be. Meanwhile, Miss Kay enlists Korie and Sadie to pick out an outfit for the event and solicits Phil's reluctant opinion on her final look."

In 2012, Lauren LaBorde interviewed Willie Robertson for a Gambit cover story about Louisiana reality TV; you can read that interview here and the cover story here.

Season 6 of Duck Dynasty will air June 11 at 9 p.m. on A&E. Under the jump: A&E's press release about the Robertsons and the governor.

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Monday, May 12, 2014

Y@ Speak: the swarm

Posted By on Mon, May 12, 2014 at 11:38 AM

This week's Y@ Speak looks back at a week of end time plagues: swarming termites, flash floods, spiders, gentrifiers, football players, Supriya Jindal shooting a gun, moms. Moms saved the day and week. Good work, moms.

And a friendly reminder that nominations are open for the 2014 Y@ Speak Awards. Submit your nominations for your favorites by midnight, May 18. Then we'll open up the voting for finalists leading up to the awards on June 2 at Publiq House. Go nuts.

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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Louisiana medical marijuana bill dies in committee

Posted By on Wed, Apr 30, 2014 at 3:02 PM


Medical marijuana has been on Louisiana's books since 1991, allowing doctors to prescribe pot to certain patients. But federal law and no state infrastructure for dispensing and regulating marijuana effectively neuters that law, though it remains on the books.

Today, the Senate Committee on Health and Welfare voted to defer Senate Bill 541 from state Sen. Fred Mills, R-Breaux Bridge. That bill deletes the current law and replaces it with a comprehensive means of regulating the prescription of marijuana, including creating a Therapeutic Marijuana Utilization Review Board and coordinating authorities with the state's Dept. of Agriculture and Forestry, the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy and the Louisiana Board of Medical Examiners. The committee voted 6-2 against the bill. (Sens. Bret Allain, Sherri Buffington, Dan Claitor, Dale Erdey, Elbert Guillory and Ben Nevers voted to defer the bill; Mills and Sen. Yvonne Dorsey-Colomb voted against the motion.)

In January, Gov. Bobby Jindal said he would be open to medical marijuana "if there is a legitimate medical need" and under "very strict supervision." That month, the Louisiana House Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice met with doctors, criminal justice organizations and reform advocates to discuss the "feasibility and effectiveness" of legalizing weed. Legislature filed several marijuana bills that tackle health and criminal justice reforms. Last week, however, a bill to reduce penalties for marijuana possession was also killed in committee.

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Friday, April 25, 2014

Will Goliath win this time?

Posted By on Fri, Apr 25, 2014 at 12:40 PM

The showdown between Big Oil and those who seek to defend the constitutional right of citizens and their leaders hold miscreants accountable is coming next week in the state Capitol. It’s a true David-versus-Goliath story.

David in this case is the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East (SLFPA-E), which sued 97 oil, gas and pipeline companies last July. The lawsuit aims to make the energy companies pay their fair share — and only their fair share — of the costs of coastal land loss caused by oil and gas activity in southeast Louisiana.

Promoters of the lawsuit consistently acknowledge that the energy industry is not the sole source of coastal erosion — just as industry’s own experts have long admitted that digging of thousands of miles of canals has contributed to the problem.

State and federal permits require energy companies to restore the marsh as much as possible. The companies sought those permits and agreed to those terms. That makes them a contract, enforceable at law.

This being Louisiana, and our political leaders being reluctant to offend those who fund their campaigns, those contracts were never really enforced. The old joke that the flag of Texaco flies over the state Capitol was never really a joke, either.

Last summer, someone finally mustered the courage to challenge Big Oil. The SLFPA-E lawsuit was the first stone in David’s sling. Judging by the intensity of the industry’s response — and the rush by some politicians to rally behind Big Oil — that stone clearly hit the mark.

No one has licked Goliath’s boots more eagerly than Gov. Bobby Jindal, but he’s hardly alone. Lawmakers are considering a half-dozen bills to scuttle the lawsuit. The measures range from gutting the independence of the SLFPA-E itself to retroactively de-authorizing the suit.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

New York Times poll: Obama, Jindal have identical approval and disapproval ratings in Louisiana

Posted By on Wed, Apr 23, 2014 at 12:09 PM

A White House photo from 2010 showing President Barack Obama (left) talking with Gov. Bobby Jindal (right) aboard Air Force One following the BP oil disaster. A new poll showed Louisianans approve and disapprove of the president 's and the governor's performances in office in equal measure. - COURTESY THE WHITE HOUSE
  • A White House photo from 2010 showing President Barack Obama (left) talking with Gov. Bobby Jindal (right) aboard Air Force One following the BP oil disaster. A new poll showed Louisianans approve and disapprove of the president 's and the governor's performances in office in equal measure.

A new poll of four Southern states
 by The New York Times/Kaiser Family Foundation found identical percentages of Louisianans approve and disapprove of Gov. Bobby Jindal and President Barack Obama's performances in office. Of the respondents, 40 percent approved and 54 percent disapproved of the way Obama and Jindal are each handling his job.

The differences were slightly more pronounced when it came to the performances of U.S. Sens. Mary Landrieu and David Vitter. Landrieu, a Democrat, received a 49/45 percent approval/disapproval rating, while Vitter's percentages were 51/35. Only 6 percent of respondents didn't know or had no answer when it came to Landrieu; Vitter's don't know/no answer percentage was more than double that at 13 percent. 

Landrieu, who's running against a field of Republicans in the November 2014 general election, is out in front with 42 percent of respondents saying she'd have their vote if the election was today. She leads challengers U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy (18 percent), state Rep. Paul Hollis (5 percent) and Rob Maness (4 percent). Thirty percent of respondents weren't sure if they would vote, or for whom. 

In other results, 36 percent of respondents who are registered to vote in Louisiana thought it should be legal for same-sex couples to marry; 56 percent thought it should not.

The poll was conducted April 8-15 and surveyed 1,075 Louisianans, of whom 946 identified themselves as registered voters. Full poll results are here.

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Y@ Speak: family values

Posted By on Mon, Apr 14, 2014 at 12:53 PM

From kissing congressmen to virgin ice cream to Bibles to dog funerals to protecting your drag queen husband in a barroom brawl, Louisiana stood up for the Family, however one defines it, even if it's terribly. This week's Y@ Speak celebrates the defenders of family values.

Also, a reminder: you can now catch a preview of Y@ Speak in the print edish of Gambit.

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Sunday, April 13, 2014

SNL presents Gov. Bobby Jindal at Coachella Music Festival

Posted By on Sun, Apr 13, 2014 at 11:32 AM

Last night's Saturday Night Live cold open was a sketch about GOP outreach at the Coachella Music Festival — and Gov. Bobby Jindal (played by SNL cast member Nasim Pedrad) made a brief appearance, glow sticks and all.

"Somebody handed me something called 'molly' backstage," says Pedrad-as-Jindal, "so I am currently rolling very hard! Whoo!" 

The segment also features Ky. Sen. Rand Paul at the turntables, which is only slightly less alarming.

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Friday, April 11, 2014

Sex, truth and videotape

Posted By on Fri, Apr 11, 2014 at 2:27 PM

U.S. Rep Vance McAllister, R-Swartz, dubbed the "Kissin' Congressman" after a videotape of him smooching a staffer was leaked to the press earlier this month.
  • U.S. Rep Vance McAllister, R-Swartz, dubbed the "Kissin' Congressman" after a videotape of him smooching a staffer was leaked to the press earlier this month.

Is it the sex, or is it the hypocrisy? I keep asking myself that question when I think about U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister, R-Swartz, who will forever be remembered as “the kissing congressman” for being videotaped in a passionate lip lock with a 33-year-old aide who also happens to be the wife of a longtime friend.


This story hurts on many levels, but the hypocrisy is what riles me most of all — and there’s plenty of it to go around, at all levels of both political parties.

As for the sex part, well, that’s as old as the Holy Bible, which a legislative committee voted to make the official state book three days after the video of McAllister’s make-out session went viral. Coincidentally, another Louisiana House committee voted a day earlier to decriminalize anal and oral sex. Hmmn.

Freeing the sodomites while we embrace the Good Book sure makes us look, um, morally confused, but hypocrisy too is as old as the Bible. By the way, Jesus forgave the adulteress and the prostitute — but he consistently condemned hypocrites.

Which calls to mind our self-righteous governor, Bobby Jindal, and state GOP chair Roger Villere, who both wasted no time calling McAllister’s indiscretion “an embarrassment” and demanding that he resign. That prompted many, including many Republicans, to wonder where Jindal’s and Villere’s moral outrage was in 2007 when Louisiana’s U.S. Sen. David Vitter admitted to a “serious sin.” Vitter’s sin turned out to be bedding down with hookers — to the point of taking calls from a prostitution ring while voting in Congress.

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