MAGINNIS: Local Lawsuits More to Jindal’s Liking | LaPolitics – John Maginnis claims Gov. Bobby Jindal has good political reasons to not oppose lawsuits filed by Jefferson and Plaquemines parish against oil and gas companies. Unlike the one filed by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East, they aren’t an affront to his power. More importantly, as lawsuits potentially lead to settlement talks, Jindal wants to position himself at the head of the bargaining table to get the credit. Maginnis says this maneuvering would “secure Jindal’s reputation as a coastal protector, but it would also, nationally, establish his independence from and his power over the mighty oil industry.”
My reaction: I’m not sold on this interpretation of Jindal’s motives, at all, but would love to see it play out as Maginnis outlines. And so would John Barry, as he has said repeatedly. Solving Louisiana’s mega-problem is far more important than apportioning political credit.
Jindal levee authority appointee to ask that lawsuit against oil, pipeline companies be suspended | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – Lambert “Joe” Hassinger Jr., the new member who replaced former vice chairman John Barry on the local flood authority board, “will ask the authority to suspend its controversial lawsuit demanding that 97 oil, gas and pipeline companies either restore wetlands damaged during their operations or pay for the damages.”
EPA proposes lower ethanol requirements for 2014 | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune
In recent years, America’s ethanol mandate has been seen by many as the country’s greatest mistake. Ethanol is less efficient than gasoline, it’s horrible for wildlife habitat across the plains states and duck-breeding grounds and it’s driving up the cost of everything we eat.
Less ethanol incentives might also lessen fertilizer runoff into the Upper Mississippi River.
Government & Politics
CAPITOL CASH, Part One | LaPolitics – A very welcome explanation and tabulation of state lawmakers’ taxable income, which starts low but is enhanced by bonuses, per diems, special allowances and mileage reimbursements. This is the first in a multi-part series.
Civil Service Commission hears Landrieu administration pitch to delay criminal background checks on city job applicants | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – On Monday a former felon who turned his life around urged the New Orleans Civil Service Commission to approve Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s proposal to “ban the box” — in essence, to do away with the checkbox on city job applications asking whether an applicant has any convictions other than “minor traffic violations.”
Conley offers to quit law firm to preserve status as disadvantaged business | The Lens – Companies must be independent to be certified for the city’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program. The Lens found numerous connections between Conley’s minority-owned DBE and the Scheuermann & Jones law office where Conley is an associate attorney.
Board offers $10,000 finder’s fee in search for new Sylvanie Williams principal | The Lens – Not for the first time, the board “is offering a $10,000 ‘finder’s fee‘ to anyone who recommends her successor, payable to the finder after the new principal has been successfully employed for 90 days.”
Superintendent White and DOE: We’re listening | The News Star – At a meeting with school superintendents, state education chief John White offered some clues about potential policy changes, including — possibly — a delayed rollout of Common Core standards and a longer transition to teacher and principal evaluations.
Louisiana’s domestic violence problem | Gambit – Reporter Alex Woodward writes about how local groups are taking a new approach to combat domestic violence in the city. The article notes that Louisiana consistently ranks in the top 10 worst states for violence against women.
Sheriff Marlin Gusman unpopular in UNO annual quality of life survey | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune
The poll shows that 56 percent of registered voters disapprove of Gusman’s performance, which has been focused for several months on balancing the running of the jail with building a new prison and negotiations over federally mandated changes. That dissatisfaction stands in sharp relief with that of Mayor Mitch Landrieu, who enjoys a 65 percent approval rating as the city’s top executive.
DNA crime fighting gets faster and easier | FOX 8 WVUE – “Louisiana’s DNA crime lab is like a two-week turnaround, which is amazing. Quick, quick, quick to get results which is what you want.”
Circle of friends pay themselves big bucks to manage public housing | WWL-TV – A multi-agency investigation accuses New Orleans police officers of billing for security detail work at the Guste public housing complex during their police work hours. Now questions are being raised about their supervisor, Cynthia Wiggins. Wiggins is regarded by some as “a local folk hero for her rags-to-riches rise from tenant to activist to her current position of power, president and CEO of a corporation that receives more than $3.5 million in public money to manage the Guste and operations at several other New Orleans public housing sites.”
Taking steps to protect historic structures from fire | The Advocate – Older, historic buildings are especially vulnerable to fire.