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Posts from the ‘Releases’ Category

HOUSE DEMOCRATS THWART EFFORTS TO USURP LOCAL GOVERNMENTS

BATON ROUGE – Democratic lawmakers in the Louisiana House today stood united against a Republican power-grab that sought to override the will of local governments and municipalities. Seven members sitting on the House Committee on Municipal, Parochial and Cultural Affairs stood united to protect the freedoms of local municipal officials to make decisions affecting their local communities.

 

Reps. Pat Smith, Barbara Norton, Cedric Glover and Denise Marcelle led the effort to push back against state usurpation of local decision-making. The House bill under consideration, sponsored by Rep. Thomas Carmody of Shreveport, sought to override local decision-making by imposing the will of state lawmakers on city governments. Similar legislation in the state senate, sponsored by Sen. Beth Mizell of Franklinton, failed in committee last week. Both measures sought to intervene in local efforts to remove Confederate monuments by imposing new state regulations. Carmody has gone so far as to hint at considering a parliamentary maneuver to circumvent the normal process.

 

“We are proud of the Democratic lawmakers who stood up for local government today, and stood against the latest attempt at a power grab by Republicans trying to rewrite the rules,” said Stephen Handwerk, executive director of the Louisiana Democratic Party. “It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Republican lawmakers were quick to abandon their principles and try to overrule local decision making when things didn’t go their way. I’m glad our members were there today to speak with one voice, and to insist on the freedom of small, local government.”

 

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LDP ANNOUNCES STATEWIDE POLL LOCATIONS FOR DELEGATE ELECTIONS, IN-PERSON VOTING ON APRIL 30TH

 

BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Democratic Party today announced confirmed poll locations for this year’s district-level delegate elections. Any registered Louisiana Democrat who has not completed a mail-in ballot may vote in person at any of the following locations. Polls will be open for in-person voting between the hours of 9am and 5pm.

In addition to the extremely successful Vote By Mail program currently in progress, with nearly 4,000 ballots mailed, the Louisiana Democratic Party will have 7 sites where any Democrat (who hasn’t already voted by mail) can cast their vote for who they would like to represent them at the 2016 DNCC.

 

Lake Charles
Gayle Hall
4380 Ryan Street
Lake Charles, LA 70609

polling-locations-Lake-Charles

Shreveport
Shreve Memorial Library–Cedar Grove Branch
8303 Line Avenue
Shreveport, LA 71106

polling locations-Shreveport

 

Monroe
Ouachita Parish Public Library–Main Branch
1800 Stubbs Ave.
Monroe, LA 71201

polling-locations-Monroe

Alexandria
Rapides Parish Library–Administrative Offices, Huie-Dellmon House
430 St. James St.
Alexandria, LA 71301

polling-locations-alexanderia

Baton Rouge
Louisiana Democratic Party Headquarters
701 Government St, Baton Rouge, LA 70802

polling-locations-Baton-Rouge

Lafayette
Lafayette Public Library–Main Library (Room 2-A)
301 W. Congress Street
Lafayette, LA 70501

polling-locations-Lafayette

 

New Orleans
City Hall
1300 Perdido St.
New Orleans, LA 70112

polling-locations-New-Orleans

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LDP STATEMENT ON GOV. EDWARDS’ NON-DISCRIMINATION EXECUTIVE ORDER

BATON ROUGE – Senator Karen Carter Peterson, Chair of the Louisiana Democratic Party, released the following statement regarding Governor Edwards’ signing of Executive Order No. JBE 2016-11:

“Louisiana finds itself in some hard times right now, and what the Governor has done today sends a clear message that if you are willing to help dig this state out of the mess we are in, and you do good work, then you are welcome. I have fought hard for equality in the workplace and this is a huge step forward. I thank the Governor for taking such bold action today.”

Stephen Handwerk, Executive Director of the Louisiana Democratic Party, released the following statement regarding Governor Edwards’ signing of Executive Order No. JBE 2016-11:

“I am so very proud of Governor John Bel Edwards for today taking a solid step forward for the state of Louisiana. It’s going to take all of us – together – to pull our state out of the ditch that we find ourselves in right now and kicking people out because of who they love or how they identify is wrong and not a Louisiana Value.

“Opponents of equality, like Gene Mills and his ilk, and those fueled by hatred, are likely to offer their usual boilerplate predictions of disaster and imaginary boogey-men. But one only need look at Shreveport as an example. They have had virtually the same protections in place since 2009 and none of the horrible predictions have come to pass. The Louisiana Democratic Party will be here to remind everyone of this as we move forward as a more welcoming and accepting state.”

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SENATE ADVANCES EQUAL PAY FOR WOMEN, DESPITE GOP OPPOSITION

BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana State Senate today passed a bill designed to close the gender pay gap, calling on employers to compensate women with equal pay for equal work. Sponsored by state Sen. JP Morrell, SB 254 cleared the senate on a vote of 28-10, despite the resistance by a cadre of GOP lawmakers. Sen. Barrow Peacock (R, Bossier), Sen. Norby Chabert (R, Houma), and Sen. Neil Riser (R, Columbia), along with seven other Republicans, bowed to the demands of corporate special interests and voted against the mothers and daughters of Louisiana.

Louisiana currently ranks at the absolute bottom of national rankings for gender pay equality, coming in 51st place behind every other state and the District of Columbia. Women in Louisiana make scarcely .66 cents for every dollar a man brings home. Despite making up more than half the state’s workforce and functioning as the breadwinner for nearly 40% of the families in our state, Louisiana women continue to be undervalued and under-compensated. Morrell’s bill, strongly supported by Gov. John Bel Edwards and a range of responsible lawmakers, addresses that inequity.

“Today we saw the majority of our state senators do the right thing and stand up for women in Louisiana,” said Stephen Handwerk, executive director of the Louisiana Democratic Party. “Unfortunately, some lawmakers care more about their corporate special interests than about equal rights for their mothers and daughters. This vote puts their priorities in sharp contrast with the Louisiana family values embraced by Gov. Edwards and the Democratic Party.”

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LDP RE-ELECTS PARTY CHAIR PETERSON, WELCOMES BACK VICE CHAIRMAN MICHAEL McHALE

BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Democratic Party today released a statement congratulating the entire roster of officers elected to leadership positions with the Louisiana Democratic Party Executive Committee. The full body of the Democratic State Central Committee (DSCC) met for the first time since electing new members during the Presidential Preference Primary on March 5th. Pursuant to the organization’s by-laws, the body convened their first organizing meeting over the weekend and elected leadership for the 2016-2020 term. In addition to re-electing Sen. Karen Carter Peterson as chair, the body elected Michael McHale as the 1st Vice Chairman. The entire roster of new officers is listed below.

McHale returns to a leadership role with the party after a one-term hiatus. He previously served as First Vice Chairman in the 2008-2012 term, when he was called up to serve for several months as acting chair. His service to the Democratic Party stretches back decades to his role as a former president of the Young Democrats of Louisiana.

“I strongly believe in the ideals of the Democratic Party and am looking forward to working with Sen. Peterson to build a stronger Party and a stronger Louisiana,” said McHale.

Sen. Karen Carter Peterson, chair of the Louisiana Democratic Party, said: “We are honored and excited to welcome back Michael McHale as our party’s First Vice Chair. His enthusiasm, expertise and experience will be a tremendous asset to the state party as we join hands to move Louisiana forward.  That holds true for our entire slate of leaders for our 2016-2020 term.  I am excited for what this team will be able to accomplish as we continue our fight for the working men and women of this state.”

 

The full list of elected officers follows:

Louisiana Democratic Party Executive Committee

(2016- 2020)

Senator Karen Carter Peterson

Chair

Michael McHale

1st Vice Chair

Councilwoman Arlanda Williams

2nd Vice Chair

Senator Wesley Bishop

3rd Vice Chair

Kyle Green

4th Vice-Chairman

Deborah Langhoff

DNC Committeewoman

Arthur Morrell

DNC Committeeman

Representative Randal Gaines

Vice Chair for Elected Officials

Dawn Collins

Secretary

Sean Bruno

Treasurer

Rémy Starns

Legal Counsel

Irma Dixon

Parliamentarian

Aaron Delong

1st Congressional Dist.

Alicia Walker Breaux

1st Congressional Dist.

Daniel Banguel

2nd Congressional Dist.

Lisa Diggs

2nd Congressional Dist.

Jolan Jolivette

3rd Congressional Dist.

Katherine Bernhardt

3rd Congressional Dist.

Larry Paige

4th Congressional Dist.

Representative Barbara Norton

4th Congressional Dist.

Greg Richardson

5th Congressional Dist.

Bambi Polotzola

5th Congressional Dist.

Kirk Green

6th Congressional Dist.

Jennifer Andrews

6th Congressional Dist.

 

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LDP ANNOUNCES GENDER BREAKDOWN FOR DELEGATES OF PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES

BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Democratic Party today released a detailed breakdown of the gender make-up of each presidential candidates’ awarded delegates to this year’s nominating convention in Philadelphia. In keeping with the party’s values and stated goals for the delegate selection process, every effort has been made to assemble delegations which most accurately reflect the demographic composition of Louisiana Democrats in each congressional district by gender.

 

Pursuant to the rules governing the delegate selection process, the following determinations have been made regarding the gender composition of each candidates’ delegation:

 

Clinton Sanders Totals
Congressional District Male Female Male Female
CD1 1 1 1 1 4
CD2 3 3 1 1 8
CD3 1 2 1 1 5
CD4 2 2 1 0 5
CD5 3 2 0 1 6
CD6 2 2 1 0 5
PLEO Delegates 2 3 1 1 7
At Large 3 5 1 2 11
Totals 17 20 7 7  
At Large Alternate 2 1 0 1 4

 

 

Note that Party Leader and Elected Official (“PLEO”) delegates, At-Large delegates, and At-Large alternates will be elected by the Democratic State Central Committee on their May 28th meeting in Baton Rouge.

 

In addition, in keeping with the ideals of inclusiveness and the rules of the delegate selection process, the party has set the following demographic goals for the ultimate composition of our convention delegation— determined by demographic percentages within the Democratic electorate in Louisiana:

 

% in Democratic Electorate Numeric Goals for Delegation
African Americans 53% 35
Hispanics 2% 2
Native Americans <1% 1
AAPI <1% 1
LGBT Americans 8% 6
People with Disabilities 2% 2
Youth 22% 15
Labor 8% 6

 

 

For additional information on the Louisiana delegate selection plan, please download the full plan by clicking here.

 

 

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SEN. KAREN CARTER PETERSON RE-ELECTED AS CHAIR OF LDP

 

BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Democratic Party congratulates Sen. Karen Carter Peterson on her re-election as chairperson of the state party. After serving with distinction from 2012 to the present, she was re-elected this morning by the Democratic State Central Committee. The state party congratulates her on the victory, and looks forward to another four years of hard work and collaborative success.

The Democratic State Central Committee, which serves as the governing body of the state party, elected new members to its body during the Presidential Preference Primary elections on March 5th. Their first meeting since that time, an Organizing Meeting, was held today and— pursuant to their bylaws— began with the election of a state party chair for the 2016-2020 term. Sen. Peterson stood for re-election on the strength of her previous four-year term, which saw fundraising up dramatically over previous administrations and the tripling of the state party staff.

“I am humbled by the honor, and excited to continue the great work we have done together,” said Sen. Karen Carter Peterson. “I am extremely proud of all we have accomplished together, and honored to serve our state party.”

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HOUSE REPUBLICANS WASTING TIME AND MONEY PLAYING PARTISAN GAMES

 

BATON ROUGE – A cadre of Republican lawmakers in the Louisiana Legislature is flagrantly wasting their own time and taxpayers’ money by playing games. The efforts by House Republican leaders to hold meaningless veto override votes represent the very worst partisan, pointless political gamesmanship—- the kind our state can least afford. These hardliners represent the “Jindal caucus”, and their stubbornness and craven obedience to Jindal’s former henchmen already resulted in disaster during the special session. The state of Louisiana is preparing to face over $70 million in cuts to essential services, due in large part to the failures of the Republican leadership.

Instead of looking for solutions, Rep. Cameron Henry and Speaker Taylor Barras are wasting time with empty theatrics. Responsible lawmakers in the state senate will not entertain the House leaderships’ childish antics, making any efforts at a veto override a non-starter.

“This whole stunt is dead-on-arrival, and it should be,” said Stephen Handwerk, executive director of the Louisiana Democratic Party. “Where were these House Republicans when Gov. Jindal was laying waste to healthcare services and higher education? Where were they when responsible leaders were trying to salvage Jindal’s budget nightmare?”

“Cameron Henry and the rest of the Jindal Caucus in the House are playing the same partisan games that helped Gov. Jindal drive our state into the ditch. This stunt is unworthy of the moment, when the state is facing financial disaster and crippling budget cuts. Now is not the time for these sort of childish games.”

 

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Qualified Delegate Candidates

In an effort to provide the most access possible, below you will find a list of candidates who as of the date listed, have qualified to be on the ballot for Delegate.  For additional information about qualifying and running to be a Delegate to the 2016 DNCC please click here.

Last Updated: 12:00PM 4/1/2016 Qualifying Now Closed for district level delegates. These are our District Level Candidates.

Qualified Clinton Delegate Candidates

Congressional District 1
Electing 1 Male and 1 Female
Congressional District 2
Electing 3 Males and 3 Females
Tom Anderson
Alicia Walker Breaux
Mindy Brickman
Dana Nunez Brown
Michael M. Davis
Aaron DeLong
Patricia “Diane” Frank
Alma Joanne Gates
Deborah J. Green
James K. “Jim” Harlan
Lila Tritico Hogan
Carolyn G. Kolb
Andrew Lemmon
Robert Manard, III
Maria Isabel Medina
Mary J. Menutis
Patrick Miller
Lester Perryman
Erin Powell
Sebastian Rey
Rhonda L. Sorina
Remy Voisin Starns
Jenny Tripkovich
Glenn R. Vinson
Jere’ A. Williams
Elizabeth Davis Wren
Christopher Michael Ard
Austin J. Badon, Jr.
Matt Bailey
Diana E. Bajoie
Jay Banks
Kevin Barnes, Jr.
Shawn M. Barney
Frederick M. Bell
Jared C. Brossett
Jason Cantrell
Troy A. Carter, Sr.
Mary A. Champagne-Barnes
Alicia Plummer Clivens
Deborah A. Corrao
Sylvia M. Crier
Jacquelyn Dadakis
Darlene Fields
Lea Sinclair Filson
Nicholas Fisher
Joseph E. Francois
Rev. Willie Gable, Jr.
Michelle Monique Guidry
Anne D. Guste
Kevin Hagan, Jr.
Jacques P. Hebert
Iona August Holloway
Cheryl Marie Jones
Felicia Kahn
Kathleen B. Kennedy
Regina R. LaMacchia
Walt J. Leger, III
Adele Granderson London
Cade J. London
Salvador Gonzalez Longoria
Dennis Miller
Cynthia Hedge Morrell
Barbara O’Bear
Derek Penton-Robicheaux
Winter Claire Randall
Doris A. Royce
Nicholas S. Russell
Adam Salup
Melvin R. Saravia, Jr.
Desiree Marchand Shelling
Rudy S. Smith
Linda Spruel-Joseph
Tenisha Terez Stevens
Julie A. Thibodaux
Sandra Green Thomas
Mark Scott Warner
Viola Washington
Lynda Woolard
Congressional District 3
Electing 1 Male and 2 Females
Congressional District 4
Electing 2 Males and 2 Females
Sheryl R. Abshire
Renetta Kathryn Ashworth
Richard Wade Ballard
Charles Bennett
Myra Bennett
Katherine Bernhardt
Anthony A. Berry
Joseph Berton Briscoe, II
Kimberly Small Caesar
Carla Webb Clark
Randy Franks
Ludwig Gelobter
Martha Christian Green
Lynda T. Guidry
Tracette Hillman
Evia Hodge
Katherine L. Hurst
Michael P. Maloney
Nina McCune
Deborah Jean Meaux
Eric Lemuel Stevens
Christopher Jermaine Walker, Sr.
Matthew Alan Young
Melba Walker Baker
Aprill Springfield Blanco
Mary Bonier
Dacia Briley
Roy A. Burrell
Stanford Joseph Carter, Jr.
Artis Cash
John Michael Craft
Annette Davis
Jeanetta M. Dean
Mary Alice Dillahunty Denney
Larry Ferdinand
Sandra K. Ford
Richard Fuller
Joseph L. Garner
Jesse B. Gilmore
Mark J. Guillory
Allison Anne Jones
Jackie Lansdale
Barbara Norton
Liddell Smith
Jordan Thomas
Eileen Velez, M.D.
Terika Williams-Walker
Bernie Woods, Sr.
Congressional District 5
Electing 3 Males and 2 Females
Congressional District 6
Electing 2 Males and 2 Females
Lori Ann Bell
Charla Nicole Burns
Jarvis Jerome Claiborne
Charlotte M. Cravins
Thomas “Tommy” Davenport, Jr.
Nancy Grandquist Fields
Clara S. Gafford
Alice Fay Hammond
Barbara W. Hawkins
Vivian Hiner
Sibal Suarez Holt
Marcus Hunter
Tonya Hawkins Hunter
Katrina Jackson
Mitzi LaSalle
Terry Matthews
Alicia “Cocoa” Mccoy-Calvin
Rodney McFarland, Sr.
Patricia “Pat” Moore
Debra A. Mose
Dennis O’Brien
Kindrell L. Plains
Brenda M. Shelling
Doniele Nicole Staten
Linda Thomas
Ronnie Lamar Traylor
John Ward
Mary Louise Wardsworth
Annie Marie Watson
Jennifer Andrews
Matthew Atkinson
Frederick D’Wayne Bell, II
Michael Bernhard
Julie T. Cherry
Kenton Cooper
Maxine Cormier
Millard F. Cranch
Amy B. Dellinger, PhD
Jim Dunphy
Marcus Fontenot
Dr. Camalyn Woodard Gaines
Randal L. Gaines
Angelina Going
Michael Thomas Hale
Janis Mickles Hernandez
Donald Hodge
Kenneth H. Hooks, III
Gayle Joseph
Tonja “Tee” Lee
Sheila D. Lewis, Ph.D.
Charlotte C. McDaniel McGehee
Patty N. Merrick
Valeria C. Mims
Joy Nelson
Richard Barry Nettles
Glenda Keller Parks
Patricia Haynes Smith
Ernest C. Stephens
Temorror Thomas-Link
Ruben A. Tweedy
Kathleen Rhorer Wascom
Ruth Bailey Wesley
Sevetri M. Wilson

Qualified Sanders Delegate Candidates

Congressional District 1
Electing 1 Male and 1 Female
Congressional District 2
Electing 1 Male and 1 Female
Belinda Parker Brown
David F. Easley
Blake Edwards
Robert Alexander Hammer
Dylan Hutzler
Kathryn Lambert
Lance Mallia
David Gregory Nowak
Gilda Werner Reed, Ph.D.
Mark Allen Sands, M.D.
Elizabeth B. Scott
Tyler Adams
Andre Baugh
Westley Bayas, III
Simone K. Cifuentes
Devin Charles Davis
William S. Devlin
Preston J. Edwards, Sr.
Caina Munson Green
Kyle Mark Green, Jr.
Courtney R. Hall
Robert Johnson
Lloyd M. Kelly
Keisha Lewis
Jane K. McBride
Stephanie Reed
John Francis Scanlon
Peter Schenck
Gretchen S. Shotwell
Taylor Smith
Steven Michael Winn
Amy Elizabeth Yeostros
Congressional District 3
Electing 1 Male and 1 Female
Congressional District 4
Electing 1 Male only
John Jonas Barriere
Bruce D. Beach
Wendy Marie DeRouen
Clay Doise
Allison Aimee Dominique
Marcus James Doucet
Zachary Bertrand Edwards
Daniel Ladmirault
Davante Lewis
Kimberly Rose Melton
Ryan Michael Preatto
Theresa Rohloff
Allison Schilhab
Yetunde Terricia Soyembo
Jeffery Vander
Mozella Bell
Quyen D. Chu, MD
Alicia Dawn Coles
Harvey Lytle Dillahunty
Irvin Flukers
Ralph RJ Johnson
Brett Eugene Malone
Adrian Perkins
Kacey L. Rodgers
Grey Manning Sample
Ryan Trundle
Congressional District 5
Electing 1 Female only
Congressional District 6
Electing 1 Male only
Alexis Caletka
Chelsea Gravel
Jonathan L. Loveall
George Greg Richardson
Hugh F. Wilson
Michael A Bellocq
Joshua Bennett
Ronald David Brown
Mike Drey
Daniel James Druilhet
William Richard Fossey
Tiffany L. Foxworth
Cheryl G. Hensley
Matthew Benoit Hernandez, Jr.
Susan M. Kaufman
Paulina E. Kolic
Armand Link
Donald Lirette
Henry Steven Rauschenberger
Matthew C. Stephens
Edwin Del Valle

FAILURE OF LEADERSHIP IN THE HOUSE, DEADLINE TO RESOLVE CRISIS NEARS

BATON ROUGE – With time all but lost to resolve the catastrophic budgetary crisis left behind by Gov. Bobby Jindal, Republican leaders in the legislature have failed to offer anything resembling a viable way forward. Neither Rep. Cameron Henry nor Speaker Taylor Barras have managed to produce legislative instruments capable of addressing the fiscal crisis. New members have been thrown into the fire, bereft of leadership or coherent direction by so-called leaders that have utterly failed to rise to the occasion.

 

For more than three weeks, Henry and Barras have talked and talked, and fundamentally failed to produce legislation equal to the task before lawmakers. The House leadership has failed to command the cooperation of its members, while the Speaker and top committee chairs have refused to even vote on bills that would begin to address the crisis.

 

“How can anyone call these men leaders, or mistake their stubbornness and lack of direction for leadership?” said Stephen Handwerk, executive director of the Louisiana Democratic Party. “Responsible representatives like Walt Leger, Kenny Cox, Julie Stokes, Jay Morris, Ted James and Katrina Jackson, along with Andy Anders and Malinda White, have all worked to put forward bills that would credibly and responsibly address the crisis. Nothing from the House leadership— none of them have even put together an instrument that could help address the problem. Cameron Henry and Taylor Barras’ failure to lead is endangering the entire state budget and doing taxpayers a grave disservice.”

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DELEGATE ALLOCATION RESULTS FOR LOUISIANA DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY

BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Democratic Party today released the formal results of their delegate allocation for this weekend’s presidential preference primary.

 

  • Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton will be awarded 37 delegates, and 3 alternates.
  • Senator Bernie Sanders will be awarded 14 delegates, and 1 alternate.

 

A full breakdown of the results can be found here. Awarding of Pledged Delegates for the Democratic Presidential Convention are governed by the Louisiana Democratic Party’s Delegate Selection Plan which is published on our website.

 

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LOUISIANA DEMOCRATIC PARTY CONGRATULATES HILLARY CLINTON

 

BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Democratic Party tonight released a statement congratulating Hillary Clinton on her victory in the Louisiana presidential preference primary. Both the Clinton campaign and the supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders ran robust, enthusiastic operations in the state and worked hard to turn out Democratic voters.

“Congratulations to Hillary Clinton, to her supporters across the state, and to her entire campaign operation,” said Sen. Karen Carter Peterson, chairwoman of the Louisiana Democratic Party. “Both of our major Democratic candidates ran vital, engaging campaigns in Louisiana. The race goes on, but the people of Louisiana have made their voices heard. We look forward to coming together this fall, and to standing united behind our nominee.”

The state party will award delegates to both candidates, in proportion to voting totals in each congressional district. Delegate allocation totals will be formally announced in a forthcoming statement from the party, contingent upon the Secretary of State’s final certification of the results.

 

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OPPOSITION IN LEGISLATURE OFFERING NO ALTERNATIVES, ONLY 5 DAYS LEFT

BATON ROUGE – Hardline opponents to Gov. John Bel Edwards’ efforts to address the catastrophic budget disaster have still offered no discernible plan of their own. With five days remaining in the special session and dwindling options available to confront the historic fiscal crisis, no credible alternative to the governor’s plan has been put forward. Stubborn partisanship and blind loyalty to corporate special interests by certain elements of the legislature is threatening to derail what limited progress has been made.

With setbacks last night which nearly doubled the amount of the anticipated budgetary shortfall, it became that much more imperative for state lawmakers to rise to the occasion and step up to do their jobs. Called upon today by Gov. Edwards to “lead, follow, or get out of the way,” a stubborn cadre of holdouts in the legislature continues to resist any pathway forward. Those opposed to the governor’s plan have utterly failed to provide alternatives of their own, or to show genuine leadership in any respect.

“We are staring down a legitimately catastrophic financial shortfall, and time is ticking away,” said Stephen Handwerk, executive director of the Louisiana Democratic Party, “If lawmakers have objections to what the governor has proposed, it’s past time they stepped forward and offered a plan. Failing that, they have a duty to put aside their stubborn opposition and do the job they were elected to do— work with the governor to move our state forward.”

 

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HARDLINERS IN THE LEGISLATURE FORCE BURDEN ON WORKING FAMILIES

BATON ROUGE – Hardline lawmakers in the Louisiana Legislature continue to insist that any talk of raising taxes focuses only on working families. Clinging to stubborn partisanship, these holdouts are refusing to do the hard work of governing. Instead of insisting corporate interests pay their fair share, certain elements of the GOP are only willing to talk about raising sales taxes that impact consumers and working families.

 

Democrats and a broad swath of responsible Republicans have gone to great lengths in a bipartisan effort to address the budget debacle. But the hardline partisans are protecting their corporate backers at the expense of the people who elected them. Irresponsible holdouts threaten to wreck the progress that has been made in finding solutions to the $2 billion budget gap left behind by the Jindal administration. Responsible lawmakers from across the political spectrum are working together to address threats to higher education, healthcare and essential services. Faced with such potentially dire consequences, hardline partisan holdouts are trying to protect corporations from having to pay their fair share.

 

“Our state’s lawmakers are paid to do a job, and we’re calling on them now to step up and get their work done,” said Stephen Handwerk, executive director of the Louisiana Democratic Party. “The hardliners who are holding out against compromise to protect corporations at the expense of working people aren’t doing their job. The state is facing a crisis, and this is no time for stubbornness and partisanship. We need leaders who will help move our state forward.”

 

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LOUISIANA DEMOCRATIC PARTY CALLS ON KENNEDY TO EXPLAIN $300K WASTE

BATON ROUGE – John Kennedy, current Louisiana state treasurer and perennial failed candidate, was caught wasting nearly $300,000 of taxpayer money on unneeded office space. After wasting so much of the legislature’s time during the special session with his delusional insistence that the state of Louisiana can resolve the budget crisis on cuts alone, Kennedy has yet to come clean with regard to the fiscal irresponsibility rampant in his own office. Due to his stubbornness and short-sightedness, Louisiana taxpayers have lost out on nearly $300K in potential savings, every year going back to 2014.

Abusing his platform as treasurer during the special session to parrot empty talking points from his latest doomed run for senate, Kennedy has consistently failed to offer genuine leadership or honest answers. With this latest revelation, and Kennedy’s apparent inability to account for the wasted funds, it becomes clear that his flimsy reputation as a budget watchdog is a fraud.

“John Kennedy is a hypocrite who’s been blindly loosing state taxpayers staggering amounts of money at a time when we can least afford that kind of government waste,” said Stephen Handwerk, executive director of the Louisiana Democratic Party. “While Kennedy has been willing to let veterans’ services get cut and see our higher education and hospital systems suffer, he’s been wasting your hard-earned money on office space he doesn’t even need. In less dire times, it would be shocking. In the face of the crisis we’re in now, it’s ethically revolting.”

 

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DEMOCRATS LEAD BI-PARTISAN FIGHT TO DEFEND VETERANS, TEACHERS

BATON ROUGE – With lawmakers scrambling to address the historic budgetary shortfall left behind by former Gov. Bobby Jindal, Democratic leaders in the House pushed back hard on proposed cuts that would cut $44 million from public schools and decimate the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. HB122, sponsored by Rep. Cameron Henry, was rammed through the Appropriations Committee without a single Democratic vote.

Henry’s draconian cuts now threaten to balance the state’s broken budget on the backs of our educators and veterans. Responsible leaders from both sides of the aisle are working on bi-partisan solutions that are worthy of the people of Louisiana and equal to the severity of the crisis we face. Turning on the men and women who protect our freedoms and educate our children does them a grave disservice, and undermines our values. Henry’s assault on our veterans and teachers highlights the fundamental problems with pushing a cuts-only approach in the midst of an unprecedented budgetary crisis.

“I’m heartened by the bi-partisan effort to defend Louisiana family values from bills like Henry’s that would push the cost of Jindal’s failures onto our teachers and our veterans,” said Stephen Handwerk, executive director of the Louisiana Democratic Party. “Cutting teacher pay and gutting support to men and women who risked their lives for our freedom isn’t the answer and shouldn’t even be on the table. Louisiana families and students deserve better.”

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CLOCK TICKING ON SPECIAL SESSION, KENNEDY CONTINUES WASTING TIME

BATON ROUGE – With less than two weeks remaining to address the financial disaster left in Bobby Jindal’s wake, State Treasurer and perennial candidate John Kennedy wasted over an hour of the legislature’s time with disingenuous testimony that amounted to little more than a stump speech for his senate race. Diverting wildly from the substance of the questions put to him, he chose instead to parrot empty campaign rhetoric. As common sense and basic math dictate, the state of Louisiana cannot cut its way out of the disaster Kennedy helped Jindal create.

After sixteen years of aiding and abetting the very financial recklessness that left our state facing a $2.9 budget deficit, Kennedy is now abusing his platform before the special session to grandstand and drum up attention for yet another failed bid for higher office. Jindal’s true heir in every sense, Kennedy is ignoring the catastrophic realities of the budget disaster and wasting the legislature’s time, and taxpayers’ money, spinning fictions and outright distortions of the grim facts. Leaders on both sides of the isle were exasperated with the stunt, and impatient to move on to real dialogue.

“Contrary to the bill of goods John Kennedy is trying to sell us, Louisiana voters aren’t fools,” said Stephen Handwerk, executive director of the Louisiana Democratic Party. “The last thing we need is another career politician refusing to be honest about the mess we’re in, wasting time before the legislature with campaign speeches and empty catch-phrases. That’s not leadership, and it’s not governing. It’s politics, and we don’t have time for it anymore.”

 

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LOUISIANA DEMOCRATS DUB TRUE COST OF BUDGET CRISIS THE “JINDAL TAX”

“Bobby Jindal’s self-created crisis, the one that Republican legislators shockingly rubber stamped year after year, is now being used by them for political theater at the expense of our people. Our people can’t afford any more hypocrisy,” said Stephen Handwerk, executive director of the Louisiana Democratic Party. “The true cost of correcting eight years of budget lies, the ‘Jindal Tax,’ has already hurt our people, our economy, and our children’s futures. The time for self promotion is over.”

Bobby Jindal inherited a $1.4 billion surplus from Democratic Governor Kathleen Branco, and left incoming Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards with $2.9 billion in deficits to correct over the next 16 months. That $4.3 billion dollar difference has already transformed into massive cuts to every level and area of government. “The suggestion that simply cutting can solve this problem is intellectually dishonest,” said Handwerk. “The people of Louisiana don’t want life preserving services to 25,000 NOW Waiver families cut, they don’t want higher tuition or cuts to TOPS and they don’t want their ER’s to close. They want GOP lawmakers to come down from their soapbox and work for solutions.”

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GOV. EDWARDS TO MAKE SPECIAL ADDRESS TO THE STATE OF LOUISIANA

 

BATON ROUGE – Tomorrow, Governor John Bel Edwards will make a special address to the citizens of Louisiana to discuss the historic budget shortfall facing the state ahead of a special session of the Louisiana Legislature. The special address will be aired statewide at 6:30 pm on all major network television and radio stations, as well as Louisiana Public Broadcasting (LPB).

“The challenges facing Louisiana are so severe, and the risk of doing nothing is so big, that it is important for me to outline these problems directly to the people,” said Gov. Edwards. “I promised to be open and transparent with the people of Louisiana and give them the facts, and that’s what I intend to do. There are some real consequences if we do not work together to solve the state’s financial problems and I want to personally communicate them to the citizens of our state.”

LPB will provide the pool feed for any media outlet interested in airing the governor’s remarks. Please email govpress@la.gov if your station has not already indicated an interest in airing the speech.

Members of the media are invited to view the special address from monitors in the press room of the Governor’s Office on the 4th Floor of the state capitol. Immediately following the special address, Gov. Edwards will hold a brief press availability to answer questions.

Gov. Edwards has called the legislature into a three-week special session beginning Sunday, Feb. 14. On Saturday, Feb. 13, Gov. Edwards’ Administration will present the executive budget to the legislature.

The current budget gap, which must be filled by June 30, is an estimated $750 million. In addition, the budget gap for the next fiscal year that begins July 1 is estimated to be $1.9 billion, the largest deficit in Louisiana’s history. The Revenue Estimating Conference (REC) is set to meet today (Feb. 10) where these numbers are likely to grow.

Contact: govpress@la.gov

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Addressing Budget Crisis Demands Real Leadership, Honest Answers

BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Democratic Party today issued a statement in support of Gov. John Bel Edwards’ call for legislative cooperation and honest leadership as the state begins to grapple with the budgetary crisis left in Bobby Jindal’s wake. In his first days in office, our new Democratic governor has addressed the fiscal crisis with seriousness of purpose, and addressed the people of Louisiana with honesty and respect. Our state’s political leaders are being called to a reckoning with the catastrophic results of eight years of financial recklessness and mismanagement. To meet the challenge, Edwards is offering a sobering array of options and ideas. Republican leaders in the legislature, by contrast, have yet to offer anything whatsoever.

With no proposals on the table and no ideas for moving our state forward, Rep. Cameron Henry and the Republicans in the legislature who answer to him are failing the test of leadership. The new Speaker of the House they installed, Rep. Taylor Barras, has yet to offer anything of substance. Thanks largely to their years of failure and cowardice in the face of Bobby Jindal’s ambition, the state of Louisiana faces an unprecedented crisis. The only ghost of an idea Louisiana Republicans have floated to date is a threat to abandon their responsibilities altogether and walk away from the special session.

“If Speaker Barras refuses to lead and If Cameron Henry and the Republican legislators who do his bidding can’t be bothered to show up for work, maybe it’s time for them to resign,” said Stephen Handwerk, executive director of the Louisiana Democratic Party. “Louisiana is in a desperate situation, one that calls for leadership and responsibility. Republican leaders owe it to the taxpayers that pay them and elected them to show up, to put some real ideas on the table, and to work with Governor Edwards to move our state forward.”

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