Gambit co-owner and Political Editor; WWL-TV Political Analyst; Hunter and Fisherman
Clay, very good question. Technically, TOPS scholarships were not cut last year because students & their families got the full tuition break. As you noted, colleges and universities absorbed the cuts by not getting the full reimbursement from the state. This coming year, TOPS will actually be cut, which means students and their families will bear the burden of making up the difference.
Clay, very good question. Technically, TOPS scholarships were not cut because students & their families got the full tuition break. As you noted, colleges and universities absorbed the cuts by not getting the full reimbursement from the state. This coming year, TOPS will actually be cut, which means students and their families will bear the burden of making up the difference.
Follow-up note from Clancy DuBos:
This is karmic. About 30 seconds after I posted the article above, my doorbell rang. A very nice young woman from Pittsburgh said she wanted to ask me 3 questions about Mary Landrieu. She said she works for Americans for Prosperity, which she described as "non-partisan." I politely informed her of what I do for a living and said I was happy to see people getting involved in the political process (I really am). I also told her that I had literally just finished posting the above story about Super PACs — and that I didn't appreciate someone lying to me. Americans for Prosperity is VERY partisan, as are Democratic/liberal Super PACs, I told her. "Please don't pee on my leg and tell me it's raining," I said, as nicely as I could. Also, her questions about Mary Landrieu's record distorted the record. "You're entitled to your opinion, but you're not entitled to a separate set of facts," I said, again as nicely as I could.
I would be just as insulted if some Dem or lib Super PAC came to my home and told me that Bill Cassidy wants to end Medicare and Social Security. He may have some ideas about how to change those programs, but he's not out to end them. Maybe I'm just getting old, but it really aggravates me when somebody gives me a shrill, dumbed-down political message and then expects me to believe it ... and respond to it.
Again, this was karmic — a personal message from the Koch Brothers that, indeed, all politics is now national. Thanks, guys. I hear you.
Oh, and I did suggest that she go to this website to read my article. Somehow I don't think she'll have time. She's a long way from home, but, bless her heart, she's motivated (and probably well paid, too). That's not a good sign for Landrieu.
You are correct that Gambit twice endorsed Jindal for governor -- in 2003 and 2007. However, it's not correct to say that I have "now" figured it out. I started criticizing Jindal in early 2008, right after he took office, starting with his sham "ethics reform" legislation. I have consistently criticized him, as much as if not more than any other columnist in the state. He fooled a lot of people in Louisiana when he was a candidate, but I never drank his Kool-Aid. Like many people in Louisiana, I regret that we supported him early on. What would you have me do -- stay quiet and not speak out?
Well, one thing that I have consistently heard about Ricky Mathews (from friends in Mobile and Mississippi) has already proved true: he LOVES seeing himself on the front page of any newspaper he runs.
To "Show Me" — I wanted to give you and another anonymous commenter (or are you the same person?) a few answers, because you both seem to connect some dots that are not connected. And, in case anyone else is wondering ...
I am not "employed" in any capacity at the law firm of Berrigan Litchfield Schonekas Mann & Traina, LLC. I am listed on the firm's letterhead as "of counsel" for two reasons: (1) John Litchfield, the lead partner in the firm, is Gambit's lawyer, which is why I have a connection to the firm; and (2) before Katrina, I rented office space at the firm -- but I was never an associate or a member of the firm. I have not done any legal work out of the firm's office since late 2005. I do admit, however, that having my name on the letterhead can suggest to people who do not know what "of counsel" means that I work at the firm, so I'm going to ask Mr. Litchfield to remove my name from the letterhead.
Most important, at no time during my career have I ever done any work for River Birch or its principals in any capacity. Equally important, no one at the Berrigan Litchfield firm has ever represented or advised River Birch or its principals. I double-checked the latter fact with Mr. Litchfield and Mr. Berrigan.
As for Judge Berrigan: Joe Berrigan, one of firm's namesakes, is indeed the husband of U.S. District Judge Ginger Berrigan, but Joe has been retired from the firm for 12 years. Furthermore, he receives no income or compensation whatsoever from the firm. His name remains on the firm, but that often happens in the law biz when "name partners" retire. Most important, there's no connection whatsoever between Ginger Berrigan and River Birch. If there were, the feds would have raised it as an issue -- and Judge Berrigan would have recused herself.
As for Kyle Schonekas, yes he does represent River Birch. But Kyle is not and has never been part of the Berrigan Litchfield firm. The Schonekas in the letterhead is Kyle's late father -- who has been dead since December 2005. The late Mr. Schonekas never represented River Birch.
I recently wrote a column (Gambit, March 9, "Cat and Mouse") that suggested strongly that River Birch and Fred Heebe are in big trouble as a result of the Henry Mouton indictment. Please check it out.
Hope this clears things up for you.
I don't know why, but it seems fitting that we got there via a kick by a 23-year-old kid who had a vision in the middle of the night that it would come down to him on the 40-plus yard line -- and he called his dad about it to deal with the pressure. Very, very New Orleans. Welcome to your new home, Garrett.
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