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Posts tagged ‘Louisiana Democratic Party’

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

LDP Endorses Dupont for First Circuit Court of Appeal, Section 1, Division B

Judge William C. Dupont

Judge William C. Dupont

The Louisiana Democratic Party endorsed District Court Judge William C. Dupont in the race for the First Circuit Court of Appeal, Section 1, Division B seat on Saturday.

The endorsement was made by a vote of the Democratic State Central Committee which met at the State Capitol in Baton Rouge.

During his 22 years of service as a judge, Dupont has built a solid reputation as a conservative, honest, independent and fair public servant. His hard work, preparation and competency are widely recognized.

Judge Dupont began his judicial service as City Judge of Plaquemine where he presided over juvenile, civil and criminal matters. During his tenure, Judge Dupont instituted the first drug testing and drug lab program in the 18th Judicial District as well as the computerizing the first docket system for small courts in Louisiana.

Previously serving as District Judge Pro Temp, Judge Dupont was elected to serve as District Judge for the 18th JDC. He has served in this position for the past 8 years and currently is the Chief Judge of the 18th Judicial District.

While maintaining a full docket of civil and criminal matters and cases, Judge Dupont has been assigned numerous responsibilities by the Louisiana Supreme Court. During his judicial service, he has been appointed by the state’s highest court to handle juvenile matters in Iberville Parish reducing juvenile detention costs by $100,000. He was also assigned by the Louisiana Supreme Court to handle the Iberville Parish Drug Court, a court Judge Dupont was deeply involved in starting.

In 2011, Judge Dupont was selected by the Louisiana Supreme Court to participate in the inaugural class of the Louisiana Judicial Leadership Institute.

Judge Dupont has also served as a Board Member of the Capital Area Law Enforcement District and the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement.

For more information on Judge Dupont’s campaign click here.

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Originally published: Oct 8, 2012

LDP Endorses Gideon Carter for First Circuit Court of Appeal

Gideon Carter

Gideon Carter

The Louisiana Democratic Party endorsed Baton Rouge attorney Gideon Carter in the race for the First Circuit Court of Appeals on Saturday.

The endorsement was made by the party’s executive committee and by a vote of the Democratic State Central Committee which met at the State Capitol in Baton Rouge.

Mr. Carter has practiced law for more than 25 years, representing clients from all walks of life, crossing all socio-economic, cultural and racial boundaries, including other lawyers and small businesses. He has represented and protected the interests of real people and developed lasting relationships with other lawyers throughout Louisiana and the nation.

“When I am elected to the Court of Appeal all parties coming before me on the bench will know that I possess the unique ability to understand exactly what is at stake,” Carter said. “No interest or concern will go unprotected.”

His areas of practice have included Civil Rights, civil litigation, state and federal criminal law, commercial law, succession and estate representation, financial/estate/retirement planning, insurance and personal injury litigation, family law, property law and worker’s compensation.

Mr. Carter has been involved in a number of high profile school desegregation cases, including those in East Baton Rouge Parish, Jefferson Parish, St. John the Baptist, St. Martin, Tangipahoa, and Pointe Coupee parishes.

“So you ask why I am running for judge? And my response is simply ‘because getting it right matters.’” Carter said.

For more information on Gideon Carter’s campaign  click here.

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Originally published: Oct 8, 2012

LDP Endorses Judge John Michael Guidry for Louisiana Supreme Court

Judge John Michael Guidry

Judge John Michael Guidry

The Louisiana Democratic Party endorsed Appellate Court Judge John Michael Guidry in the race for the Fifth District seat on the Louisiana Supreme Court on Saturday.

The endorsement was made by the party’s executive committee and by a vote of the Democratic State Central Committee which met at the State Capitol in Baton Rouge.

Judge John Michael Guidry is the son of Mrs. Annie Mae Jones and the late John Albert Guidry.  He is married to the former Carol Fowler and they have a son, John Morgan and a daughter Kennedy Michelle.

Judge Guidry attended the Head Start Program and later served as chairman of the East Baton Rouge Parish Headstart Policy Council. He also served as a consultant reviewing headstart programs from around the country for expansion funding.

Judge Guidry was a participant in the Southern University Upward Bound Program.

Judge Guidry is a 1980 graduate of McKinley High School, a 1983 graduate of LSU and a 1987 Cum Laude graduate of the Southern University Law Center.

Judge Guidry formerly served as a legislative assistant to the Honorable Joseph A. Delpit. He also served as the assistant clerk of the Louisiana House of Representatives and an assistant parish attorney.

Judge Guidry is a former commissioner of the Greater Baton Rouge Port Commission and the Greater Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport Commission.

Judge Guidry since 1988 has served as an adjunct professor at the Southern University Law Center and since 1993 has served as an adjunct professor in the Nelson Mandela School of Public Policy at Southern University.

Judge Guidry was elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives in 1991 and to the State Senate in 1993.  He was elected to his current position as a Judge of the First Circuit Court of Appeal in October 1997.

In 2009 Judge Guidry was elected as the Louisiana Conference of Court of Appeal Judges representative to the Louisiana Judicial Council for a three year term and appointed by the Louisiana Supreme Court on the recommendation of its Chief Justice to serve on the governing body of the Louisiana Judicial College.

For more information on Judge John Michael Guidry’s campaign for the Louisiana Supreme Court  click here.

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Originally published: Oct 8, 2012

LDP Endorses Forest Wright for Second District PSC Seat

Democratic PSC candidate Forest Wright

Democratic PSC candidate Forest Wright

The Louisiana Democratic Party endorsed energy policy leader Forest Wright in the race for Louisiana’s Second District seat on the Louisiana Public Service Commission on Saturday.

The endorsement was made by the party’s executive committee and by a vote of the Democratic State Central Committee which met at the State Capitol in Baton Rouge.

Forest Wright is a seasoned energy policy professional who brings expertise, independence, and a proven commitment to protecting the interests of all Louisiana ratepayers. Wright is recognized locally and nationally as an energy policy leader and is credited with spearheading major advancements in rules that increase transparency and accountability in utility planning, as well as groundbreaking renewable energy and energy efficiency programs in Louisiana.

For more than a decade, he has been developing business strategies and regulatory policies for a sustainable energy future – first for Shell International Exploration and Production Company and more recently with The Alliance for Affordable Energy. Forest is a graduate of Tulane University, where he studied sustainable development and tourism.

Spearheading projects such as the Energy Smart NOLA program, energy rater and solar certification courses, the LA Green Corps home weatherization training program, Forest has helped to lower the cost of utility bills and promoted energy efficient technologies in South Louisiana, while increasing business growth and job creation.

In addition to his extensive energy policy work, he has also tackled community problems and developed effective solutions for neighborhood development needs through his work with The Urban Conservancy, Groundwork New Orleans,The Alliance for Affordable Energy, and his own business, The Building Block. He understands that local communities and businesses can grow together when supported by forward-looking policies from the Public Service Commission.

Mr. Wright believes that the development of sound energy policies and programs can return money to families and to businesses, and that such policies and programs can succeed with the right person in the PSC. He has direct experience with a wide array of utility regulation issues currently before the Public Service Commission and understands the process through which the work is done.

For more information on Forest Wright’s campaign for the Louisiana Public Service Commission click here.

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Originally published: Oct 8, 2012

LDP Endorses Ron Richard for Third District Congressman

Democratic congressional candidate Ron Richard

Democratic congressional candidate Ron Richard

The Louisiana Democratic Party endorsed Lake Charles attorney Ron Richard in the race for Louisiana’s Third District Congressman on Saturday.

The endorsement was made by the party’s executive committee and by a vote of the Democratic State Central Committee which met at the State Capitol in Baton Rouge.

“Washington, D.C. is broken. The special interests have too much power and the career politicians just are not listening anymore,” Richard said. “We can not expect things to change if we keep sending the same people back to Congress year after year. Give me your vote, and together, we’ll shake things up and get our country back on the right track.”

Ron’s is a fighter for working families. His grandfather founded Richard Plumbing, which is still in business today. Ron grew up working with his father plumbing, remodeling and preparing houses to sell. He spent his high school years mowing yards. His yard-mowing success drew friends to work with him and his team.

Ron’s father was a union operator at the Cit-Con facility in Sulphur. Mr. Richard retired from Cit-Con after 40 years of service. He maintained a real estate license and business through those many years. He would work graveyard shifts at Cit-Con and then sell real estate and remodel properties during the day. Ron learned the value of hard work from his father.

After high school, Ron attended the University of Houston, graduating with a B.A. in History in 1993. Ron worked as a waiter his first two summers of college. He was fortunate to begin working for the law firm of Hofheinz and London (Fred Hofheinz was former mayor of Houston). This job ultimately culminated in Ron managing Houston Investigative Services, Inc., during his last few years of college, gaining invaluable experience. All of this while carrying a full load of college courses.

He is a 1996 graduate of LSU law school. He spent his first year after law school clerking for the 14th Judicial District Court. He founded Richard Law Firm, LLC in 1997 and has been the managing member ever since. His practice has focused on representing working men and women injured by the negligence of others. A small part of his practice is criminal law. Mr. Richard has always viewed his role as a “law enforcement” lawyer; upholding the laws of our great state and the U.S. Constitution.

Over the years, Ron has handled hundreds of complex cases and is proud of his years of work on behalf of working men and women through the law. He is proud to represent small business men and women in Lake Charles. As owner of a small business, he relates to their daily needs and goals.

For more information on Ron Richard’s campaign for Congress, click here.
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Originally published: Oct 8, 2012

LDP Endorses Veteran, Farmer Vinny Mendoza for First District Congressman

Democratic candidate for Congress Vinny Mendoza

Democratic candidate for Congress Vinny Mendoza

The Louisiana Democratic Party endorsed retired Air Force veteran and Tangipahoa Parish organic farmer Vinny Mendoza in the race for  Louisiana’s First District Congressman on Saturday.

The endorsement was made by the party’s executive committee and by a vote of the Democratic State Central Committee which met at the State Capitol in Baton Rouge.

Mr. Mendoza described himself as “a citizen committed to representing the people of this district and their interests.”

Mendoza cites the First District’s increasing vulnerability to storms, such as Hurricane Isaac, from coastal land loss as a major issue requiring the kind of bipartisan support that the incumbent congressman is incapable of securing. He said the residents of the district must continue to confront the after effects of the BP Oil Disaster in 2010 and its effects on natural resources and the health of coastal residents.

He said the district also needs to create more sustainable jobs and industries for the future.

“The incumbent Congressman has supported his party in proposing solutions to these challenges that are neither sustainable nor in the best interests of the people of the 1st District,” Mendoza said.

“I respectfully ask for one opportunity to better serve you as the representative for the 1st congressional district. I want to serve the people of the 1st district with duty, honor and country before self and before special interest groups like BP.”

For additional information on the Vinny Mendoza campaign, click here.

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Originally published: Oct 8, 2012

LDP Endorses Re-election of Congressman Cedric Richmond

Congressman Cedric Richmond

Congressman Cedric Richmond

The Louisiana Democratic Party endorsed the re-election bid of Louisiana’s Second District Congressman Cedric Richmond on Saturday.

The endorsement was made by the party’s executive committee and by a vote of the Democratic State Central Committee which met at the State Capitol in Baton Rouge.

Congressman Cedric Richmond was elected to represent Louisiana’s 2nd Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives on November 2, 2010 after more than a decade of service in the Louisiana House of Representatives.  Cedric serves on the House Committee on Homeland Security and the House Committee on Small Business.  He also serves as an Assistant Whip to the House Democratic Whip.

A results-oriented public servant, Cedric is committed to fighting and winning for the Orleans and Jefferson Parishes of Louisiana.  A lifelong native of New Orleans, he bore witness to 2005 Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and the disastrous oil spill of 2010.  As a result, one of Cedric’s highest priorities is to rebuild Louisiana businesses and schools.

Since his arrival in Washington, Cedric has been hard at work on the issues important to Louisiana’s families and the economy.  During the first year of the 112th Congress, Cedric fought to preserve government investment in a strong economy as well as to make new investments in programs that will help grow our economy.  He opposed harmful budget cuts to programs which hurt families, seniors, and communities.  More specifically, he has taken a strong stance against any cuts to Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid benefits.  Cedric has also been working hard to keep our waterways open for business, our wetland restoration projects funded, and drilling permits reviewed in a thorough, efficient manner.

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Originally published: Oct 8, 2012

LDP Endorses Re-election of President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden

The Louisiana Democratic Party enthusiastically endorsed the re-election of President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden on Saturday.

The endorsement was made by the party’s executive committee and by a vote of the Democratic State Central Committee which met at the State Capitol in Baton Rouge.

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden led this country through the most perilous economic times since the Great Depression. When they took their oaths of office in January 2009, the United States was losing 800,000 jobs per month, the financial system was on the brink of collapse, and two of the nation’s largest automobile manufacturers were on the brink of bankruptcy.

With the passage of the Stimulus Act of 2009, the hard work of recovery began. Today, our economy has created five million new jobs since 2009, manufacturing jobs are growing, America has become a net energy exporter, the auto industry is in full recovery, and the financial industry has been reformed and stabilized.

In the face of relentless political opposition from Republicans, President Obama and Vice President Biden, working with Democrats in both the House and Senate, accomplished these significant achievements:

Passed the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act; ended Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell; appointed two women to the US Supreme Court; ended too Big to Fail; created the Consumer Financial Protection Agency, made student loans more affordable; boosted energy efficiency standards for cars and trucks; increased support for Veterans; tightened sanctions on Iran; improved school nutrition programs; expanded hate crime protections; pushed broadband coverage into rural areas; and killed wasteful military projects.

President Obama and Vice President Biden saved GM and killed Osama Bin Laden.

“They accomplished all of these things in their first term, and we can’t wait to see how they will continue to move our country forward in their second term,” said LDP Chairwoman Karen Carter Peterson.

For more information on the Obama-Biden campaign, click here.

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Originally published: Oct 8, 2012

Party Announces New Membership Programs

LDP Chairwoman Karen Carter Peterson, Executive Director Stephen Handwerk and the new leadership team at the Louisiana Democratic Party hit the ground running today, announcing new membership programs to help strengthen and grow the party.

“One thing I have heard time and time again since the Jefferson Jackson Dinner is that we need to have more affordable ways for our party members to play a significant role in our party’s growth and direction,” Handwerk said. “So today we are announcing our new Official Membership program.”

“We are committed to building a strong party from the bottom up,” said LDP Chairwoman Peterson. “Providing a means for Democrats of every income level to become stakeholders in our party is essential to doing that work. These membership programs are an essential part of that effort. I hope that every Louisiana Democrat finds a way to participate in these programs and take ownership of their party.”

You can become an Official Member of the Louisiana Democratic Party by clicking and joining up today. Your membership fee is only $40 per year and for that you will get:

  • The LADemo News service, the latest news and issues reports that directly affect you and your family.
  • You will get an official membership card to carry with Pride! And,
  • You will be amongst the first to hear about Democratic events in your area.

“This is the best and easiest way for you to play a significant role in moving our party forward,” Handwerk said.

If you want to play a more active role, become a Sustaining Member! That is right! We are bringing back the Blue Krewe — All New and Vastly Improved! Sustaining members commit to donating a minimum of $25 per month for one year.

Sustaining Members receive everything the Official Member receives including a special Sustaining Member card — Plus

  • They will be invited to special insider conference calls and events.
  • And, if you sign up now, we’ll send you both a 2012 Obama bumper sticker AND an official 2012 Louisiana Delegation Button from the convention in Charlotte. These are collectors items!

“If we are going to grow the party and have the resources we need to be successful then we need you to be “IN!” Handwerk added. “We need you to help us Grow our party! There is simply Too Much at stake not to act. So, please become a Card Carrying Member or a Sustaining Member today!”

Act today and we will denote on your card that you are a Kick Off Member!

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Originally published: Sep 25, 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

LDP to Host Hurricane Isaac Relief and Survivor Benefit Monday in Charlotte

2012_Democratic_National_Convention_logoWhere: Louisiana Delegation Hotel Reception Tent

When?  Monday Night from 7:30 to Midnight

Where?  8525 North Tryon Street, Charlotte NC 28262

Special Guests supporting our efforts for Hurricane Isaac Relief include:

  • Congressman Cedric Richmond of Louisiana
  • Congressman Benny Thompson of Mississippi
  • Donna Brazile
  • Melissa Harris Perry
  • Wendell Pierce
  • Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan
  • Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake
  • Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover

Come as you are and enjoy Louisiana food, drinks and let’s help the citizens impacted by Hurricane Isaac to get back on their feet.

Louisiana is strong and we can survive this. Hurricane Isaac was a terrible house guest but now we have to clean up after him. We can do this and we need your help!

Donation stations will be open for electronic donations and checks made out to Hurricane Isaac Charities will be accepted at the door.

The United Ways of the Gulf Coast have activated their Gulf Coast Disaster Fund. You can contribute to that fund by clicking here.

You can also Text REDCROSS to 90999 to give $10 to American Red Cross Disaster Relief” or click here to visit their website.

Another way that you can get relief to New Orleans area homeowners is through the GNO Fair Housing Action Center. You can make a financial contribution to them by clicking here.

Logo_WinPartners3Thank you to WIN Partners for their support of this event.

We will be in Charlotte next week, but the recovery of our families and friends will be at the forefront of our thoughts and prayers.

Looking forward to seeing you in Charlotte!


Karen Carter Peterson


Louisiana Democratic Party

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Originally published: Sep 1, 2012

Louisiana Democratic Party Chairwoman Karen Carter Peterson issued the following statement in reaction to the removal of Dr. Fred Cerise as the head of the LSU HSC Hospital Division.

KCP-Head-wNameTitle“Governor Jindal’s dismissal of Dr. Fred Cerise as head of the LSU HSC Hospital network is proof positive that the Legislature must intervene in Louisiana’s accelerating health care crisis precipitated by the Medicaid clawback engineered by Congressional Republicans and Senator David Vitter.

“Dr. Cerise is the most knowledgeable person in our state about delivering care to the poor and the uninsured which, unfortunately, comprise a large portion of our state’s population.

“His dismissal by the Governor’s hand-picked LSU Board of Supervisors and their interim President is proof that Jindal and his allies are on an ideologically fueled mission. Clearly, they want to dismantle the state’s public health delivery infrastructure before the Affordable Care Act can provide LSU Hospitals as well as community hospitals across our state the path to long-term sustainability.

“The Governor has shut Legislators out of the process of making the cuts at LSU HSC and at other institutions like Southeast Louisiana Hospital in Mandeville. He has kept members of his own party in the dark while conducting ongoing conversations with out-of-state consultants like Alan Levine. He has put the interests of those private concerns ahead of the well-being of Louisiana citizens dependent upon the services delivered through LSU HSC and through the state’s network of behavioral health hospitals and clinics.

“I visited St. Tammany Parish a week ago and met with people who know Southeast Louisiana Hospital (SELH) and the essential role it plays in providing behavioral health services not only in that region but in this state. The closing of that facility will impact not only patients, but their families, more than 560 employees, plus the patients and clients of programs operated by partners and stakeholders in the SELH campus.

“The dismissal of Dr. Cerise confirms that the Governor will not be deterred from his reckless course by reason. It is time for the Legislature to assert its authority as a co-equal branch of government in this state. I call on my colleagues in the Senate and the House to call themselves into special session and to move immediately to end the largest tax exemptions in this state so that we can protect these essential services.

“This not about right and left. This is about right and wrong. The Governor and his policies might serve him well with his national benefactors but they are wrong for this state and wrong for our people.

“We cannot stand idly by and let this carnage continue.”


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Originally published: Aug 25, 2012

Democratic Voices: Young Professionals Need to Lead

OPDEC member Nolan Marshall, III

OPDEC member Nolan Marshall, III

“All politics are local,” is a truism that can be lost in the national narrative that engulfs the country every four years during the presidential election. Yet decisions about how local schools are governed and funded, how city resources are allocated between recreation, policing, and infrastructure and countless other decisions that affect our quality of life and the neighborhoods we love, are made every few weeks by local elected officials. Qualifying just ended for the fall elections. While everyone will speculate on the increased turnout because of the “Obama Effect” or bemoan that young voters aren’t as excited this time around, what will be foremost in my mind, is this fact: In 1996, Illinois’ 13th District, which at that time spanned Chicago’s South Side neighborhoods, elected a 35 year old Barack Obama to represent them in the Illinois State Senate; boosting up the young man who would become the 44th President.

There will be several local races on the November 6th ballot — all 7 school board seats and both District E and District B city council seats. This is an opportunity to galvanize around and support a new generation of leadership. When given the opportunity to appoint someone under the age of 35 to fill the vacated council seats on an interim basis, the City Council instead fought with each other and the administration, resulting in appointments that I believe can be interpreted only one way: Young professionals and young families, the city of New Orleans wants your energy and tax base, but doesn’t want your leadership.

Dem-voicesAs young professionals in this city, we choose to live in New Orleans because of the resilience of our community and the potential for greatness that is explicit in the city’s rebirth. We live here because of the opportunity to begin our families and pursue our dreams in a truly unique and historic time. We are not transient; rather we are the fortified pilings for which this city’s foundation has to be rebuilt upon. In less than two weeks, I hope that several young professionals offer themselves for public service, and I hope we rally and support their campaigns. Those who have political power have not shown a willingness to support young leadership -they want us to pay property taxes, but not be politically active.

At the 2012 Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, a Democratic Party fundraiser, Newark Mayor Cory Booker — elected to the Newark City Council as a 29 year old and elected mayor as a 37 year old — spoke about all the people that came before him who’s names he would never know as part of a “conspiracy of love” that helped get him to where he is. He told the crowd to “know upon whose shoulder you stand,” but also implored the crowd to “stand up for who you are, and stand for your ideals.” Often times in our anxiousness to make a difference, young leaders are accused of not showing enough deference and respect. But just as when you literally stand upon someone else’s shoulders, those at the bottom must remember their responsibility to uplift and provide a helpful boost. Would it not be disrespectful and ungrateful, if we chose to shirk our obligation to use the skills we’ve gained from the education and opportunities that were afforded us through the sacrifices of those that came before us, in hopes that someone older and wiser will solve our city’s most pressing problems while we sit back and wait. Generational tension is common in leadership transitions, but there has never been a prosperous society that survived without grooming and supporting young leaders.

Young professionals also have to be willing to support each other and to serve -to make financial and personal sacrifices — in order to improve the lives of our neighbors. It’s not enough that we’d really like to see and hope for a safer, healthier, and more prosperous New Orleans; these hopes have to be something we feel in our souls that we have to have, and they should compel us to act. Will we be content to get wrapped up in the national narrative around the presidential election, or will we stand up for our ideals and stand with our peers that seek out elected office? New Orleans is capable of electing the next Corey Booker to the City Council, or the next Barack Obama to the State Senate, if we boost each other up and defer only to an agenda that improves our communities. This Fall, it’s imperative we embrace our impatience!

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Nolan A. Marshall III is the Assistant Director, Policy and Advocacy at the Cowen Institute for Public Education Initiatives. Nolan has also led two for profit companies, Good Citizen and NĀM-IT, providing consulting services and products to public schools, parents, and students. Nolan has been an active civic leader serving as the President of the Young Leadership Council, President of the board at Einstein Charter School, and serving on the board of the Audubon Nature Institute, New Orleans City Park Commission, Human Relations Commission, Citizens for 1 Greater New Orleans Resource Council, New Orleans Crime Coalition, Court Watch NOLA, and the BioDistrict. He is also a member of the Orleans Parish Democratic Executive Committee (OPDEC) from District A.

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Originally published: Aug 24, 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

Be Part of History: Attend President Obama’s Acceptance Speech


Want to attend the Democratic National Convention speech when President Obama accepts his nomination for a second term? This is your chance! You have to take care of getting to Charlotte, North Carolina, but we have your tickets to the event. We only have a limited number of tickets, but this is your chance to sign up.

If you are a Delegate, Alternate or a Standing Committee Member, you do not need to request community credentials. These are only for those not part of the Louisiana delegation who would like to attend President Obama’s acceptance speech on Thursday, September 6 — the final evening of the convention.

To request community credentials you must fill out this form for EACH PERSON wishing to receive credentials. We must have their current residential address and phone, as well as an email address (don’t fill out the form for them unless you have this information). Each person will then be contacted by our office to advise if they are awarded credentials along with details of where and when to pick these up in Charlotte.

NOTE: This does not sign anyone up for a hotel room. It only requests credentials to attend the last night of the convention as the President accepts the nomination for a second term.

If you receive tickets, you will be notified by our office THIS WEEK and be given instructions on how to pick up your credentials in Charlotte the week of the convention, September 3-6.

See you in Charlotte!

Stephen Handwerk

Interim Executive Director

Louisiana Democratic Party

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Originally published: Aug 19, 2012

Calcasieu Democrats Open Lake Charles HQ!

Calcasieu DPEC headquarters ribbon cutting.

Calcasieu DPEC headquarters ribbon cutting.

Democrats from across Southwest Louisiana were on hand Tuesday when the Calcasieu Democratic Parish Executive Committee (DPEC) celebrated the grand opening of their new headquarters in Lake Charles.

Calcasieu DPEC Chairwoman Diana Hamilton cut the ribbon officially marking the opening of the office shortly after 5 p.m. Lake Charles NBC affiliate KPLC had a news team on the scene to interview Diana and to record the event. To see the video of the ribbon cutting, click here.

The Calcasieu Democratic Headquarters is located at 1200 N. Martin Luther King Highway (US 171), less than a mile north of I-10, near the Walgreen’s drugstore.

The grand opening was the featured event in Tuesday’s Southwest Louisiana Day of the Democrats, a series of meetings with local supporters with state party leaders. The Lake Charles visit was the sixth of eight Day of the Democrats events that the Louisiana Democratic Party has undertaken across the state.

Discussions during the day touched on the need for the faith-based community and Democrats to unite to defend and expand the health care security of all Louisiana residents; the need for better communications between the party and core constituencies; ways that local and state party organizations can work together on voter education projects.

East Baton Rouge DPEC Chairwoman (and state party Executive Committee member) Dawn Collins, joined LDP Interim Executive Director Stephen Handwerk, LDP Interim Communications Director Mike Stagg, and Organizing for America state director Pat McCollough for the meetings and discussions throughout the day.

The Calcasieu DPEC headquarters is proof of the power inherent in local party committees. If those local party committees are strong, then they provide a solid foundation for the building of a strong state party.

Calcasieu Democrats are strong. Their new headquarters is the physical manifestation of that strength. Click here to see the video introducing the Calcasieu Democrats that brought this office into being.

Congratulations to the Calcasieu Democratic Parish Executive Committee for its leadership and commitment to the continued growth of the Democratic Party in Southwest Louisiana!

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Originally published: Aug 8, 2012