Tuesday Twofer: Ask not what Good Government Citizen groups can do for you……..

Ask what you can do for Good Government Citizen Groups.

FEMA is out of touch ~ Tommy Elkins

StopFemaNow is a group of concerned citizens, who have not only been effected by Super Storm Sandy, but who have been impacted on varying levels by the implications of the new FEMA flood maps. The decision to adopt these maps is premature and requires additional consideration. We want to, quite simply, Stop Fema Now!

Our goal is to create community awareness as the adoption of these maps will heavily impact many communities across this country. These maps will tear many from their homes, force many to make harsh decisions about their futures with no real place to turn and ultimately change our lives. The financial implications alone are frightening!

We are faced with many unanswered questions and very little direction. StopFemaNow intends to provide a fact based argument as to how and why we can rebuild stronger and more resilient with a more “realistic” approach. Together we will prevail!

Slabbed joins the Louisiana public records battle and welcomes career politician and stooge Danny Martiny to the Do Slabb Inn. (The “Warren” executive suite, extra nice)

Louisiana State Senator Danny "Stooge" Martiny

I have an inbox have full of emails and we’ve had more than a few comments here on the recent attempt of the political class in Jefferson Parish to substantially weaken the Louisiana Public Records law. This is typical behavior for the cockroaches in government over at the Yenni Building and State Senator Martiny has plenty of bona fides in with the political machine that runs Parish Government. 

Before I highlight the media coverage I’d like to address Senator Martiny directly and say that I’m certain that once upon a time, before the thirst for power and money corrupted your soul, you were most likely a decent guy. To the general public watching this saga unfold including your own constituents, you now come across as a complete stooge reflective of the dishonest self entitled piece of crap you’ve become sir. Sorry to be so blunt but this isn’t one of Tim Whitmer’s love letters to Dawn, this is a legal affairs blog. 

With that said let’s highlight the coverage in order beginning with a Bill Barrow report for the Times Picayune: 

As the Legislature prepares to convene Monday, Sen. Danny Martiny, R-Kenner, is pushing two measures that would add new exemptions to Louisiana public records law. Continue reading “Slabbed joins the Louisiana public records battle and welcomes career politician and stooge Danny Martiny to the Do Slabb Inn. (The “Warren” executive suite, extra nice)”

Jim Brown on the Louisiana Reapportionment Scandal: No more secret backroom deals

Thursday, October 1, 2009
Shreveport, Louisiana


It’s getting close to redistricting time for legislators, and already criticism is raining down on this politically sensitive process that decisions are being shaped behind closed doors.  Lawmakers have scheduled a two day “educational workshop” in Alexandria next month to learn the process of divvying up the various political boundaries including congressional, public service commission, and their own legislative districts. But the sessions are not open to the public.  “Wrong!” cry the press and the good government groups.  But the question should be, why are they meeting at all?

By federal law, all election districts must be reapportioned every 10 years to reflect the latest census figures. This puts Louisiana elections officials in a bind knowing that census figures won’t be available until 2011, the same year as the Louisiana gubernatorial election.  So a process does need to be in place so that quick action can be taken once the new census figures are available.  But should legislators, who have a vested interest in how the redistricting lines are drawn, actually do the drawing?

The problem is one of gerrymandering, where district lines are not drawn to reflect geographical or political balance, but to favor the incumbent or some other partisan choice.  When legislators do the redistricting, the norm seems to be that the state ends up with meandering footprints meticulously designed, it would seem,  to ensure that no incumbent will face serious opposition regardless of how the political winds are blowing.  John Maginnis’ weekly column summed the problem up well this week when he concluded:  “Think about it this way.  In elections, people choose their legislators.  In reapportionment, legislators choose their people.”

Gerrymandering, by the way, means to manipulate the electoral boundaries for political gain so as to give undue influence to an incumbent or other favored candidate. The name comes from Massachusetts Governor Elbridge Gerry, who in 1812 created winding districts to favor incumbents that looked like salamanders, thus the convoluted word of gerrymandering. Continue reading “Jim Brown on the Louisiana Reapportionment Scandal: No more secret backroom deals”