What We're Reading
 

Judge demands commenters’ identities; State draining elderly care fund

Louisiana’s Legislative Fiscal Office reports that the Medicaid Trust Fund for the Elderly, once flush with more than $800 million in cash, will be “almost entirely depleted” if Jindal’s budget for the next fiscal year goes through as proposed. By the middle of 2015, it will be completely wiped out, according to the analysis.

The plants have come in, but that has not been followed by a population bump. Residential neighborhoods, retail sales and employment levels have remained, curiously, the same.

“We have not grown, population-wise, in 100 years. Our younger people are leaving the parish,” said Blaise Gravois, assistant director of operations for the parish.

Part of the reason, some say, is the unregulated growth of industry in a parish without zoning.

Last week The Lens reported that investments in the energy and petrochemical industries has powered recent job growth in the state. However, skilled-labor shortages might boost development costs and lead to the cancellation of some planned multi-billion dollar projects for the Gulf Coast. In my view, the industrial boom is nearly unstoppable. The central question is whether Louisiana will participate in the boom or merely “host” it.

Strictly speaking, these groups [Super PACs] can have no contact with the candidate, but that prohibition is a joke. Most of them use the same voter lists as the campaigns, make the same points in their ads, and often are run by cronies of the candidate.

The super PAC of Senator David Vitter, Republican of Louisiana, was set up Charles Spies, whose law firm represents Mr. Vitter. The Baton Rouge Advocate reported that two of the fund-raisers for the super PAC are also paid fund-raisers of Mr. Vitter’s campaign. If that’s not coordination, it’s hard to imagine what is. But that kind of thing goes on all the time, because there’s little enforcement of the rules by the toothless Federal Election Commission.

Help us report this story     Report an error    
The Lens' donors and partners may be mentioned or have a stake in the stories we cover.
About Mark Moseley

Mark Moseley blogs at Your Right Hand Thief. Until mid 2014, Mark Moseley was The Lens' opinion writer, engagement specialist and coordinator for the Charter Schools Reporting Corps. After Katrina and the Federal Flood he helped create the Rising Tide conference, which grew into an annual social media event dedicated to the future of New Orleans.