By John Maginnis and Jeremy Alford
Whether or not former Gov. Edwin Edwards is seriously considering running for Congress, some of his allies have commissioned a poll to gauge his strength in the 6th District race this fall.
While not disclosing the results, pollster Verne Kennedy has confirmed for LaPolitics that he conducted the survey on behalf of several friends of Edwards, including former aide Bob d’Hemecourt.
The poll was in the field during the second week of January. Edwards, a Democrat, did not respond to an email for comment and d’Hemecourt could not be reached.
Recently, Edwards, 86, said he was being encouraged to run by old supporters but he would not set a timetable for making a decision on a possible campaign.
The seat is being vacated by Congressman Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge, who has announced his candidacy for this year’s Senate race where incumbent U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu is running for re-election.
So far there are only two Democrats who have filed the required federal paperwork to run in the 6th District, including real estate broker Richard Lieberman of LaPlace and Capital Area United Way campaign manager Quentin Anthony Anderson of Baton Rouge.
Meanwhile, four Baton Rouge Republicans have filed paperwork including tea party columnist Bob Bell, state Sen. Dan Claitor, entrepreneur Paul Dietzel and attorney Cassie Felder.
O brother, where art thou?If Treasurer John Kennedy does indeed run for governor in 2015, as does Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, one of the sideshow stories you’ll certainly hear more about are the different camps the treasurer and his brother, George Kennedy, find themselves in.
George Kennedy is Dardenne’s campaign manager and has been since the lieutenant governor was student body president at LSU. While George Kennedy did do some TV work for his brother back in 1991, the 2015 race for governor will find the two on opposing sides.
“I was in politics well before John,” George Kennedy said. “And people are going to think it’s weird, but it’s really not when you think about it. Politics is not my religion. It’s not personal.”
The Brothers Kennedy—there are two others in the family as well—split equally when it came to professions. While John and George went the political path, the other pair are both doctors.
So-called “Green Army” mobilizingRussel Honoré, the retired Army lieutenant general turned activist, said he’s working to get 10,000 people to show up at the State Capitol on March 8, two days before the regular session kicks off.
The gathering is being called “The Louisiana Water Festival” and will help preview the package of environmental justice bills Honoré and his “Green Army” will be pushing during the session.
“We’re going through the application process now to use the grounds,” he said. “But this is not about disobedience. This is about celebration and information. Water is the strength of our state and without clean, fresh water the whole of Louisiana becomes a different state and different culture. We’ve never had a problem with water, but now it’s at an emergency status in some places.”
Honoré said the Green Army package will probably come in at around eight bills that target aquifer regulations, with a focus on Baton Rouge and north Louisiana; the Assumption Parish sink hole; new procedures at the departments of natural resources and environmental quality; rolling back tax exemptions for fracking and updated disclosure rules for certain industry donations.
Unexpectedly, U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu is being dragged into the debate as well as she prepares to stand for re-election this fall. According to various media reports, national environmental groups are starting to complain about the possibility of her becoming the next energy chair in the Senate, citing her close relationship with oil and gas. Back home in Louisiana, the Bucket Brigade, an environmental activist group, is jumping on the bandwagon by stating Landrieu can improve her image by backing Honoré and his green agenda.
DC Mardi Gras will toast ShreveportWashington Mardi Gras will have its usual touch of pomp, pageantry and politics this year, but there may be some tension in the air as well, with two members of the delegation—U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu and Congressman Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge—running against each other.
One hopes that won’t divide the bar at the Hilton, which transforms into the 65th parish for the annual festivities. Prospects for attendance have to be better than last year’s celebration, which clashed with Super Bowl weekend.
Reigning as chairman of the Mystick Krewe of Louisianians this year is Congressman John Fleming, R-Minden, which means he gets to choose the royalty. Dr. Larry M. Allen of Shreveport will serve as king and Sarah Louise Bicknell, a fifth generation Shreveport native, will serve as queen.
This year’s theme is “Louisiana’s Service to America,” giving officials from Barksdale Airforce Base a leg up in the lobbying category.
The Feb. 22 ball will again be the centerpiece, but the side parties in the suites hosted by various agencies and special interests from Louisiana are not to be missed.They Said ItNational conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer was the keynote speaker at the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry’s January luncheon. Among other things, he said:— On the 2008 presidential election: “The Italian Communist Party could have won that election.” — On the 2012 presidential election: “The only thing I didn’t count on was the extraordinary talent of the GOP to lose an unloseable election.”