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Posts tagged ‘Karen Carter Peterson’

LDP Chair: Immediately Halt Unconstitutional Jindal Voucher Program

KCP-Head-wNameTitle“The Louisiana Democratic Party calls for an immediate halt to Governor Jindal’s unconstitutional voucher program in the face of this ruling, and a return of all funding and students to local public school districts,” Louisiana Democratic Party Chair Karen Carter Peterson said today after the Jindal voucher plan was declared unconstitutional. “We urge the Governor not to appeal this decision and to refrain from inflicting further needless harm on the public school system by pursuing this unconstitutional program.”

“Judge Tim Kelley’s decision to declare Act 2 — Governor Jindal’s voucher plan — an unconstitutional use of Minimum Foundation Formula Program dollars is a victory for all those who believe that public education is an essential pillar of our democracy and of our prosperity,” Chairwoman Peterson said upon learning of the ruling.

“The state Constitution is very clear that MFP dollars are reserved for the funding of public education and Judge Kelley’s ruling has confirmed that fundamental fact,” Chair Peterson said. “Governor Jindal chose to ignore the Constitution and strong-armed this bill through the Legislature without affording time to consider the bill and its implications. But, what makes the United States unique among nations is our long history of the rule of law and that rule was reaffirmed today by Judge Kelly.”

“There are ways to amend the Louisiana Constitution, but Governor Jindal deliberately sought to short-circuit that process and essentially privatize public education by directing MFP dollars into the coffers of private school operators,” LDP First Vice Chair Shane Riddle said. “Our children, our communities and our state deserve better than radical social experimentation the likes of which the Governor offered in his unconstitutional bill.”

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Originally published: Nov 30, 2012

Congratulations, President Obama!

President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama

The Louisiana Democratic Party is thrilled to join in the celebration of President Barack Obama’s election to a second term tonight!

The sweeping victory, called earlier than most pundits expected, confirmed the judgment of the American people that President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and their administration have put the country on the road forward. Voters recognized the persistent effort the President has made to, first, pull the country out of the worst economic crisis in nearly a century, and then to do the slow and difficult task of putting our economy back on sound footing that will grow the middle class and open new avenues of opportunity for all Americans.

“The President’s re-election is a victory for all of us who believe that we are all in this together, that we are our best when we advance together, and that we have broader commitments to keep than our own narrow interests,” LDP Chairwoman Karen Carter Peterson said.

“In the wake of this victory, we call on Republicans in the Congress — including those in the Louisiana delegation — to end their obstructionist ways and give President Obama the resources needed for nation-building here at home in this second term. We need to fully implement Obamacare, invest in our nation’s infrastructure, and continuing the work of building an economy that will last,” Peterson said.

“We also call on Governor Jindal to end his opposition to full participation in Obamacare. Louisiana individuals, families and businesses need access to the health insurance exchange and the Medicaid expansion components of that law,” Peterson added. “Our people need access to that care.”

“The Louisiana health care provider community — from private practices to community hospitals to our public hospital system — need access to the resources that this law provides and that other states will receive the benefit of, regardless of whatever political gains Governor Jindal believes his obstruction gains him,” Peterson said.

“The people of this country have spoken and Louisiana needs to join with the rest of the country as President Obama leads us forward over the next four years,” Peterson concluded.

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Originally published: Nov 6, 2012

LDP Chairwoman Peterson Leads Campus Campaign Tour

Scenes from the LDP tour of college campuses which began last week.

Scenes from the LDP tour of college campuses which began last week.

Louisiana Democratic Party Chairwoman Karen Carter Peterson led an intense two-day tour of campuses in North and South Louisiana this past week as the party focused on young voters as part of its campaign leading up to the November 6th election.

Each stop was highlighted by enthusiastic audiences and a spirited exchange of ideas between Chairwoman Peterson and the students attending the respective events.

The first stop on the tour was a Wednesday morning meeting with students at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. The visit was coordinated by Dr. Joshua Stockley. That meeting was followed by an early afternoon meeting with students on the Louisiana Tech campus in Ruston.

Wednesday ended in Shreveport where Chair Peterson met with the Centenary College Democrats before delivering opening remarks at the Presidential Mock Debate which was also held on the Centenary Campus. Shreveport Democrat Matt Bailey coordinated the Centenary visit.

Thursday began with a visit to the Shreveport Job Corps center before the tour headed south to Lafayette.

Executive Director Stephen Handwerk visited South Community College at their New Iberia Campus on Wednesday evening and University of Louisiana at Lafayette campus on Thursday for a visit coordinated by Lafayette DPEC and LDP Executive Committee member Jolan Jolivette.

The tour of state college and university campuses will continue on Monday with stops at SUNO and Tulane and then on to Dillard on Tuesday with more to come!

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Originally published: Oct 27, 2012

Louisiana is the canary in Mitt Romney’s Medicaid coal mine

KCP-Head-wNameTitleby Karen Carter Peterson

In the first presidential debate, Mitt Romney’s plan to remove the federal government as a partner in Medicaid was briefly mentioned. For simplicity’s sake, let’s call this Romneycaid.

Romneycaid would be a catastrophe for Louisiana. How do we know this? Because we are witnessing the devastating effect of a much smaller Medicaid cut wreaking havoc across Louisiana now.

As a high poverty state, Louisiana has historically had one of the most favorable federal/state Medicaid funding ratios in the country. Until this year, the federal government paid about 70% of the $7 Billion cost of Louisiana Medicaid.

That changed in July when Senator David Vitter sat on a critical conference committee and gave his consent to a cut $650 million, combine that with our state match and it amounts to an 11% cut in the $7.7 Billion or $860 Million.

Dem-voicesThat 11% cut is forcing massive job losses and service cuts at LSU Hospitals, in state behavioral health hospitals, nursing home services, care for the disabled, and hospice care. The cuts are forcing patients to travel long distances to get essential care like cancer treatment, separating families from mental health patients, and destabilizing the local economies where these job losses are occurring.  These cuts are also destabilizing our medical schools for doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals.

All of this for an 11% cut. Romneycaid in Louisiana would mean another 30% cut from where we are now — with the cuts and the impacts that I just described.

Republicans like Governor Romney and our own Governor Jindal have an obsession with dollars but a blind spot for people. Medicaid is the health safety net in this country. With the severe restrictions we have on eligibility in Louisiana, it provides care for only our most vulnerable seniors, mothers and children. With a dismantled public charity system, where will these individuals obtain medical treatment?

Cuts to LSU Hospitals and behavioral health services will not be contained to the public sector either. They will ripple throughout the private health care sector as well, as uninsured patients continue to seek treatment elsewhere.

Republicans talk about the numbers because those are sterile and emotionless. We Democrats will not let them forget that behind every penny of Medicaid funding provided is a Louisiana citizen who depends on a Louisiana health care provider to give them the essential care they need to stay alive.

Governor Romney and current Republican leaders do not show any awareness of the dramatically harsh impact of their policies on the lives of those who need these services. Doing it “on your own,” as Republicans often counsel, is not a realistic option, but rather a deadly alternative for our neediest.

Any discussion of health care that focuses solely on cost misses the point. This is not just about dollars and cents; it’s literally about life and death. It’s not about left and right; it’s about moral rights and wrongs.

Romneycaid spells disaster for health care, and the proof is unfolding before our eyes right here in Louisiana.

(Karen Carter Peterson is a Louisiana State Senator from New Orleans and Chairwoman of the Louisiana Democratic Party.)

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Originally published: Oct 16, 2012

Meet Randal Gaines: LDP Vice Chair for Elected Officials

Randal Gaines grew up in local Democratic politics in his home town of Lutcher, Louisiana. He’s a husband and father. He’s an attorney. For 28 years, his life included military service – three years in the United States Army and 25 years in the Louisiana National Guard. He served in Operation Desert Storm in 1991 and helped run the Guard’s medical response during and after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. He’s an executive officer in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). He’s serving his second term on the Democratic State Central Committee (DSCC) and is in the first year of his first term as State Representative for House District 57. Randal and his wife Dr. Camalyn Gaines both served as delegates to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. He served a key role in recovery and relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Isaac.

Randal serves as Louisiana Democratic Party Vice Chair for Elected Officials.

Meet Randal Gaines

Meet Randall Gaines
Meet Randall Gaines

 Randal Gaines on the Louisiana Democratic Party’s Opportunity

Randal Gaines on Democratic Opportunity in Louisiana
Randal Gaines on Democratic Opportunity in Louisiana

 Randal Gaines Served in Operation Desert Storm and at the Louisiana Superdome Before, During and After Hurricane Katrina

Randal Gaines: Veteran of Iraq and Katrina
Randal Gaines: Veteran of Iraq and Katrina

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Originally published: Sep 18, 2012

State Senator and LDP Chair Karen Carter Peterson Statement after Mitt Romney’s New Orleans Fundraiser

New Orleans, LA — While Mitt Romney holds a fundraiser in New Orleans, State Senator and Louisiana Democratic Party Chair Karen Carter Peterson released the following statement.

KCP-Head-wNameTitle“The voters in Louisiana do face a very stark choice in this election, between moving the country forward or returning to the same failed policies of the past,” said State Senator and Louisiana Democratic Party Chair Karen Carter Peterson.  “We see President Obama’s commitment to American families every single day – from signing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law, to investing in STEM education, and building an economy that lasts.

“In the private sector, Romney’s priority was to maximize profits for himself and his investors, at whatever cost to workers.  Romney often loaded companies with debt, laid off workers, and shipped jobs overseas.  He walked away with a fortune, while middle-class families were left to suffer.

“As Governor, Massachusetts students saw their classrooms get more crowded while teachers got laid off.  By his second year as governor, Romney had already forced Massachusetts schools to take the second-largest percentage cuts, per pupil, in the country.  He would do the same to our children’s education, putting budget-busting tax cuts for the wealthiest ahead of good schools and affordable higher education.”

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Originally published: Aug 21, 2012

Day of the Democrats in Lake Charles, Tuesday, August 7

BATON ROUGE — Fresh off of the most successful Jefferson Jackson Dinner in decades, the Louisiana Democratic Party will convene the Southwest Louisiana edition of its Day of the Democrats series on Tuesday, August 7, in Lake Charles.

KCP-Head-wNameTitleLDP Chairwoman Karen Carter Peterson will lead the delegation of state party officers, legislators and party leaders when it arrives on Tuesday morning.

A day-long series of public and private meetings will punctuate the day, as the party works to reconnect with its membership.

The day will culminate with the grand opening of the Calcasieu Democratic Parish Executive Committee (DPEC) headquarters at 5:00 p.m. The new party headquarters is located at 1200 Martin Luther King Highway, Suite 450, in Lake Charles. Take the US 171 exit off I-10 and head north. It’s in a small shopping center on the right a little more than a half-mile from the Interstate.

The reception will be followed at 6:00 p.m. with the Southwest Louisiana edition of the Democratic Exchange.  This event will also be held in the Calcasieu DPEC Headquarters.

The Democratic Exchanges are a standard feature of the Days of the Democrats project, giving party leaders, lawmakers and every day Democrats the opportunity to discuss the issues of the day in an informal setting.

The Days of the Democrats brings the leadership of the state party into each region of the state. The project also includes information gathering and fact-finding activities in each region. The party will compile, assess and synthesize the information gathered on these ventures to provide party members a common set of facts, common data and a shared vocabulary with which will serve as the basis for the formulation of future party strategy and platforms.

There are two more Day of the Democrats on the Summer 2012 schedule:

  • Northshore, August 15
  • Houma/Thibodaux, August 16

Day of the Democrats events have been held in Acadiana, Central Louisiana, Baton Rouge, Shreveport, Monroe and New Orleans. Check the party’s calendar on our website for additional dates and party information.

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Originally published: Aug 3, 2012

Day of the Democrats in Monroe on Wednesday, July 18

MONROEDayofDemocrats

BATON ROUGE — The Louisiana Democratic Party will spend the day in Monroe all day on Wednesday, July 18, the next visit on the party’s Days of the Democrats summer swing across the state.

LDP Chairwoman Karen Carter Peterson will lead the delegation of state party officers, legislators and party leaders when it arrives on Tuesday morning.

KCP-Head-wNameTitleA day-long series of public and private meetings will punctuate the day, as the party works to reconnect with its membership.

The day will begin with Monroe media interviews with LDP Chairwoman Karen Carter Peterson.

After rounds of private meetings with various constituent groups, the day will culminate with a 5:30 p.m. public reception in the Clarion Inn & Suites Conference Center, located at 1051 US 165 in Monroe.

At 6:15 p.m., the Northeast Louisiana edition of the Democratic Exchange will take place.  This event will also be held in the Clarion Inn & Suites Conference Center.

The Democratic Exchanges are a standard feature of the Days of the Democrats project, giving party leaders, lawmakers and every day Democrats the opportunity to discuss the issues of the day in an informal setting.

The Days of the Democrats brings the leadership of the state party into each region of the state. The project also includes information gathering and fact-finding activities in each region.

The party will compile, assess and synthesize the information gathered on these ventures to provide party members a common set of facts, common data and a shared vocabulary with which will serve as the basis for the formulation of future party strategy and platforms.

Tomorrow (Tuesday, July 17) will be the Shreveport Day of the Democrats. To learn more about those events, click here.

Day of the Democrats are scheduled to be held on the following regions and dates:

Previous Day of the Democrats events have been held in Acadiana, Central Louisiana, and Baton Rouge. Check the party’s calendar on our website for new dates and visit information.

For more information on the Day of the Democrats events in your region, email us here.

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Originally published: July 18, 2012

LDP Chairwoman Blasts Republican Irresponsibility

KCP-Head-wNameTitleLouisiana Democratic Party Chairwoman Karen Carter Peterson issued the following statement in response to today’s announcement by the Department of Health & Hospitals of $859 Million in cuts to the Louisiana Medicaid program.

“The Medicaid cuts announced today are testimony to the failures of vision, leadership and empathy of Louisiana’s top Republican leaders, Governor Jindal and Senator Vitter.

“These cuts will devastate Louisiana’s health care delivery system. They are short-sighted and unconscionable. They will end up costing the State of Louisiana more money in the long-term. They will also cost some Louisiana residents their lives.

Proof of Jindal’s Fiscal Mismanagement

“These cuts are proof of the Jindal Administration’s callous disregard for the health and welfare of those who are not contributors to the Governor’s campaigns. They are also the latest exhibit of the fiscal mismanagement of this state under five years of Governor Jindal’s tenure here.

“The Governor knew that at some point this claw back of the FMAP funding was coming, but he chose to pretend that it was not. He did not plan for it. He did not anticipate it. And, so, we find ourselves where we are today, confronted by stark cuts that will inflict harm on our institutions and our people.

“These cuts hit all forms of care in Louisiana from behavioral health to nursing home care. They break earlier promises made by the administration to communities about access to care, particularly behavioral health care.

“The Governor can prattle on all he wants about balancing the state budget and not raising taxes, but those statements show his failure to grasp the essential fact about government — that at the end of every dollar spent is a Louisiana citizen with a need that the state must meet. Government exists to serve the needs of its citizens. This is especially true when it comes to the provision of health care services for the poor, our children and the disabled.

“Shame on the Governor for putting his national ambitions ahead of the need to put our state on sound financial footing.

“Republicans like to compare government budgets to family budgets. Are we to believe that Governor Jindal and his Republican allies’ family budgets have no cushion to help them through tough times — no margin for error in the event rosy scenarios don’t pan out?

“That’s how they have been running our state. And that’s why the state is so ill prepared to deal with these cuts forced on us by Republicans in Congress.

These Are Vitter’s Cuts

“These cuts and their impact fall directly at the feet of Senator David Vitter, who sat idly by in his seat on the Conference Committee that set the terms of the Transportation Bill. While the Senator crowed about the work he did on other Louisiana priorities, the state’s health care delivery system somehow escaped his attention.

“The push for these cuts began in the Republican controlled House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee. Republicans approved those cuts in the House version of the bill, but the cuts were rejected in the Senate version of the bill. Senator Vitter and Governor Jindal want us to believe that they could not use their national standing in their party to save Louisiana citizens from these devastating cuts. These cuts could not have happened without their consent or complicity.

“Although these cuts will initially impact the Medicaid program, they will ripple across this state and affect every provider, every hospital and, yes, every Louisiana citizen.

“The cuts announced today are blaring testimony to the failures of vision, leadership and empathy on the part of the state’s top Republican officeholders. Louisiana will pay a steep price for their failures. The Governor and our Junior Senator should be ashamed of themselves.”

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Originally published: July 13, 2012

Shreveport Day of the Democrats — Tuesday, July 17

Shreveport-Day-Of-Dems-21

BATON ROUGE — The Louisiana Democratic Party will be in Shreveport all day on Tuesday, July 17, the next visit on the party’s Days of the Democrats summer swing through the state.

LDP Chairwoman Karen Carter Peterson will lead the delegation of state party officers, legislators and party leaders when it arrives on Tuesday morning.

A day-long series of public and private meetings will punctuate the day, as the party works to reconnect with its membership.

The first event of the day is a 7:30 a.m. Young Professionals Breakfast at Another Broken Egg Cafe (click for map). That event will conclude at 9:30 a.m.

KCP-Head-wNameTitleAfter meetings with various constituent groups and officials, there will be a reception and social beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the Highland Center.

That will be followed at 6:30 p.m. with the Shreveport Democratic Exchange, during which legislators, elected officials and constituents will discuss the recently concluded Regular Session of the Legislature and the impact that five years of privatization and budget cuts have had on the citizens and communities in the region.

The Democratic Exchanges are a standard feature of the Days of the Democrats project, giving party leaders, lawmakers and Democrats to talk about the issues of the day in an informal setting.

The Days of the Democrats brings the leadership of the state party into each major population area of the state. The goals are to reconnect the party with its core constituents and to begin the work of building effective local and regional political operations based on DPECs and other state party structures.

The Days of the Democrats project will also include information gathering and fact-finding activities in each region. The party will compile, assess and synthesize the information gathered on these ventures to provide party members a common set of facts, common data and a shared vocabulary with which will serve as the basis for the formulation of future party strategy and platforms.

Day of the Democrats have been scheduled for the following regions and dates:

  • Monroe, July 18;
  • New Orleans, July 25;
  • Lake Charles, August 7;
  • Northshore, August 15
  • Houma/Thibodaux, August 16

Previous Day of the Democrats events have been held in Acadiana, Central Louisiana, and Baton Rouge. Check the party’s calendar on our website for new dates and visit information.

For more information on the Day of the Democrats events in your region, email us here.

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Originally published: July 11, 2012

Chairwoman Peterson Praises President Obama’s Courage and Leadership

For Immediate Release  

Louisiana Democratic Party Chairwoman Karen Carter Peterson issued the following statement on President Obama’s comments in support for marriage equality today. For additional information, you can contact party headquarters by phone 225-336-4155 or by email.

Chairwoman Peterson Praises President Obama’s Courage and Leadership     

Party-Logo-Email-OnlyLouisiana Democratic Party Chairwoman Karen Carter Peterson issued the following statement on President Obama’s remarks regarding his views on marriage equality:

“President Barack Obama demonstrated the courage and leadership in his statement on marriage equality today that those of us who support him have always admired. It was particularly moving to hear him discuss how his views had evolved on this subject over the years. The change was not the result of some intellectual exercise or political calculation; it was the result of seeing the lives of friends and acquaintances in same sex relationships that changed his thinking on the issue.

“We are fortunate to have as our leader a man who is so committed to the principles of fairness and equality that he is willing and able to change, when clearly it would have been politically expedient to have remained a defender of the status quo.”

Here is the video from ABC News in which the President made his comments.

 

Originally published: May 11, 2012