Tommy Harvey Throws Hat into District 5 Ring Again
Last week, we previewed the upcoming Bossier City municipal elections, which will be on the ballot on April 6. There has been a new development.
Tommy Harvey, a Republican who is a retired Air Force Chief Master Sergeant and currently operates the UPS store on Airline Drive with his sister, tells the Fax-Net that he has decided to seek the District 5 City Council seat.
Qualifying for the April 6 elections is this Wednesday through Friday, February 13-15.
He will be challenging current Republican City Councilman Larry Hanisee, who won the seat in a special election. It’s deja vu all over again in City Council District 5.
Hanisee, who previously served one term on the council from 1989-1993, lost to James “Chubby” Knight in the May 2009 runoff election by 50 votes to replace Dr. James Rogers, who retired.
When Knight ran into some legal difficulties and resigned his city council seat in 2011, a special election was held on October 22.
Hanisee qualified as did Harvey. In an election as close as you can get, Hanisee defeated Harvey by two votes to become the District 5 councilman. Hanisee had 1,165 or 50.04 percent of the votes to Harvey’s 1,163 or 49.96 percent.
Harvey issued the following statement to the Fax-Net:
“My campaign platform will focus on the citizens of Bossier City. Together, we will keep their best interests first and foremost. We will schedule regular District 5 public meetings to discuss issues concerning our citizens and address possible solutions.
“These meetings will also assist in making it certain our city government is transparent and our citizens are informed of city government issues.
“We must aggressively address public safety on our streets and in our neighborhoods by ensuring our police and firefighters wages and benefits are competitive enough to keep and attract the finest public servants.
“Throughout my career I have demonstrated the ability to be a good listener, and this trait has served me well. I am an individual who is regarded as one who cannot be bought, whose word is his bond, and who puts character above wealth.
“I do not believe that shrewdness, cunning, and hardheadedness are the best qualities for success.”
The total slate of candidates will be known, of course, when qualifying ends at 5 p.m. on Friday.
Jindal jolted by poll
It couldn’t have been worse news for Louisiana’s Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal, and the timing was just awful for the lame duck governor.
A recent poll showed that Jindal’s approval rating has dropped below 50 percent for the first time in his elected career. In fact, the job the governor is doing is viewed favorably by only 46 percent of the state’s voters, and his negative rating has climbed to 48 percent.
The poll was conducted by Voter/Consumer Research out of Washington, D.C. between January 13-17 for the Louisiana State Medical Society.
The bad news comes as Jindal is taking over as chairman of the Republican Governor’s Association and is revving up his efforts to be a viable contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.
Jindal’s job approval ratings have been in free-fall for sometime now. In the fall of 2011, his approval rating was 64 percent. In the spring of 2012, it had dropped to 61 percent. But by the fall of 2012, it was down to 51 percent. Now his approval rating has plummeted to 46 percent.
Political analysts are having a field day trying to figure out what is causing the Jindal nose-dive in the polls. There are several potential factors, of course.
They cite the cuts to the LSU Hospital System and health care in general, the dismantling of the state’s educational system, the privatization of many state services, a lack of transparency from the governor’s office, the firing of anyone who disagrees with him, and the huge amount of time he spends out-of-state to enhance his national political ambitions.
Jindal proponents counter that the longer any elected official is in office, the tougher the decisions become, and that results in various groups becoming disgruntled. An economy which requires budget cuts is never good for an incumbent, they say.
The poll also showed that 47 percent believe the state is headed in the wrong direction, with 38 percent thinking it is on the right track. And the state Legislature got an approval rating of 46 percent, the same as the governor.
The Louisiana State Medical Society commissioned the poll to see how Louisiana residents felt about health issues.
The poll showed that most Louisianians do not support Obamacare, however, it also revealed that 52 percent do not support Jindal’s decision of opting out of the expansion of the Medicaid program in the state, believing that millions of federal dollars that would be available for health services are not being utilized.
Dement, Roppolo are Fame-ous
It’s now official. Former Bossier City Mayor George Dement and the late Angelo Roppolo are enshrined in the Louisiana Political Hall of Fame, which is housed in the Louisiana Political Museum, located in Winnfield, Louisiana.
Hundreds of political figures from around the state joined an impressive turnout of family and friends of Dement and Roppolo from northwest Louisiana at an afternoon reception at the museum, then attended the 21st annual induction ceremony banquet at the Winnfield Civic Center.
Dement, joined at the head table by his son, Tim, accepted the honor in person and was his usual humorous self, telling a joke about a three-legged chicken.
He closed by saying, “I wish I could have made some sense here tonight.” The crowd burst into applause and gave him a standing ovation.
Roppolo’s son, Ricky, joined at the head table by Roppolo’s widow, Jackie, accepted the honor for his late father and fought back tears during his remarks.
He said, “I saw my father cry only once in my life, and that’s when he was told he was going to be in the Louisiana Political Hall of Fame.” He, too, received a standing ovation.
Others inducted into the Hall of Fame included:
*The late Charlie Barham of Ruston, who served as a state senator for 32 years. Accepting the award for the Barham family was Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell, one of Barham’s closest friends.
*Hyram Copeland of Vidalia, who served his city as an alderman for 12 years before being elected mayor in 1992, a position he still holds;
*L.R. “Pop” Hataway of Colfax, who served as sheriff of Grant Parish for 36 years before retiring. He is now vice chairman of the Louisiana Board of Pardons.
*Raymond Strother of Baton Rouge, who for many years was a leading strategist and consultant in American politics, handling more than 300 campaigns. He is now retired and living in Montana.
Louisiana Attorney General James “Buddy” Caldwell gave the closing remarks at the banquet.
Lou Gehrig Burnett is a seasoned veteran of national and local politics. He publishes Fax-Net Update, a weekly political newsletter.