31 December 2005

doc hines shows his true colors

and so we enter the final day of 2005. chad over at DP gives us a nice year end reminder of the morons we have elected to our state government. thanks chad.

meet la state senator don "doc" hines (d) bunkie, our asshole of the year...

dr. don its time to go home you are done.
anyway c b forgotston wrote a nice commentary on his blog that we are reproducing below - everyone who is concerned and loves louisiana should read mr forgotston's blog. its located here: www.forgotston.com

c.b. forgotston

Apparently, Senate President Don “Doc” Hines doesn’t get the concept of a representative democracy. That is a form of government where the citizens elect others to represent and vote on their behalf. In LA, that would be the legislature.

According to the story in today’s Baton Rouge paper, when Hines received a petition from Rep. Steve Scalise to call a special session, he “threw it in the trash can.”

The petition was a direct result of an outcry from the citizens of the state for action on the levee boards. Gov. Blanco had previously not committed to calling such a session, so Scalise, on our behalf, was pursuing the only other legal means of calling a session to redress our concerns. Hines’s arrogant and disrespectful response was a slap in the face to every citizen of LA. It was a failure to recognize the role of a legislature.

Hines owes every citizen of LA an apology and especially to those of us who are victims of the ravages of Hurricane Katrina which were due, in part, to the negligence of the levee boards.

Kudos to Scalise for his efforts which apparently cause our governor to finally take action.

-------------------from www.2theadvocate.com ---------
Session to focus on levee boards
Capitol news bureau

Consolidating the levee boards is emerging as the central issue for the upcoming special session. The question on some lawmakers' minds is whether Gov. Kathleen Blanco can build a consensus for it.

"The worst thing we can do is to call a special session, spend a lot of taxpayer money … and come out of there with no success," Rep. Tom Schedler, R-Mandeville, said Friday from Atlanta, where he was attending the Peach Bowl.

Blanco told legislators late Thursday that she plans to call them into session in late January "to consider a variety of legislative proposals."

Her announcement came on the heels of Rep. Steve Scalise, R-Jefferson, circulating a petition for lawmakers to call themselves into session.

Senate President Don Hines, D-Bunkie, admitted Friday that he crumpled up Scalise's petition.

"I threw it in the trash can," Hines said. "I just thought it was unnecessary for the Legislature to do this."

Politics doomed an attempt to consolidate regional levee boards during the November special session. The legislation by Sen. Walter Boasso, R-Arabi, cleared the Senate but died in the House.

Earlier this month, a U.S. Senate committee investigating hurricane response heard testimony about turf wars that broke out during the levee breaches that flooded the New Orleans area after the hurricane.

Army officials complained they were blocked by one levee district from fixing a breach. Another levee board official said annual inspections amounted to officials having "beignets and coffee."

Blanco already has testified before Congress about her response to Katrina. She is expected to testify again in February.

The feeling among State Capitol figures is that consolidating the levee districts would win points for Louisiana in Washington.

Sen. Jay Dardenne, R-Baton Rouge, said consolidation of the levee board could have been accomplished during the special session in November had Blanco been willing to push. But she did not.

Dardenne said Blanco appeared to be pulling away from having a second special session until the last couple of weeks, when lawmakers, citizen groups and business interests began pressuring the administration to address the levee board issue.

Two weeks ago, Blanco announced that she always had embraced consolidation of the levee boards but felt it couldn't be accomplished in the November meeting.

"The groundswell to do something about the levees has forced her into some action," Dardenne said Friday. With Blanco's backing, changes to statutes to change out the dozen and half levee boards for one entity could easily be accomplished in a week or so, he said.

"The consolidated levee board will be a slam dunk. It should have been a slam dunk last special session," Dardenne said from Disney World, where he is vacationing with his family.

Blanco supporters responded to criticism about not backing the Boasso bill by saying his measure was introduced too late in the last special session to receive adequate attention. Instead, Blanco pushed a bill that would create another panel above that of the existing levee boards. That bill passed.

High-ranking politicians, including Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu, as well as the business community criticized the Legislature for failing to pass measures that would consolidate the levee boards.

However, Hines, who was hand-picked by Blanco to lead the Senate, said he does not understand the rush for consolidating the levee districts considering that the Army Corp. of Engineers has control of rebuilding the levees.

"Everybody is screaming and yelling for the consolidating of the levee boards," he said. "I don't see where it is going to accomplish much right off."

Schedler supported levee board consolidation in the recent special session. But he said Friday that a lot of questions arose after the session, including whether small, privately funded levee districts would be affected.

He said he plans to meet with Boasso in the next few weeks to work out the kinks on the legislation.

Schedler said it's crucial to Louisiana's future for Blanco to iron out the issues and build a consensus.

"I think she's got to attempt to pull this thing together," he said. "I still think we're very disjointed. We have some talented people. I don't see a consensus developing (or) one clear focused message coming out of Louisiana."