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Louisiana a ‘Super State’?

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Louisiana wants to be “Super” when it comes to the presidential primaries in 2016.

The Legislature passed a bill – unanimously in  both the Senate and House – that would change the date the state votes in the presidential primaries held around the country.

Currently, the Pelican State holds its primary on the third Saturday of March.  The bill, which Gov. Bobby Jindal expects to sign if he hasn’t already, would move up the state’s primary date to the first Saturday in March, the 5th in 2016.

That change is significant because the much-publicized “Super Tuesday,” will likely be held on March 1. While Louisiana won’t be one of the “Super Tuesday” states, it will be a part of “Super Tuesday Week,” giving it more prominence in the selection process.

Why is “Super Tuesday” such a big deal?  It’s the single day when the most primary elections are held and, therefore, when the most delegates are at stake.

In 2012, the “Super Tuesday” states consisted of Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont, and Virginia.

The bill received a rare display of bipartisan support.  LAGOP Chairman Roger Villere said, “Louisiana’s diverse population is a cross-section of America.  We deserve a place at the table as one of the early primary states that will determine our 2016 presidential nominees.”

Louisiana Democratic Party Chair Karen Carter Peterson noted, “The bill is an example of how Democrats and Republicans can work together to benefit the state of Louisiana.  By moving up our primary by two weeks, we are positioning Louisiana as part of the all-important Super Tuesday week.”

How corrupt is our state?

 Louisiana wants to be a “Super State” when it comes to presidential primaries, but, unfortunately, it is already super when it comes to corruption.

A study published in the Public Administration Review, a bimonthly peer-reviewed academic journal covering research, theory, and practice in the field of public administration, is indeed interesting.

Using data from the Department of Justice, the study looked at more than 25,000 corruption-related convictions nationwide between 1976 and 2008 of elected officials, judges, and local governmental employees.

The study concluded that states that spend more money on construction, highways, and police  protection and less on health, education, and welfare are fertile grounds for corruption.

Construction, highway projects, and police protection programs provide more opportunity for corrupt officials to use public money for their own gain.

So, how did Louisiana fare?  It was ranked the second-most corrupt state, trailing only Mississippi.  Others in the Top Ten were Alabama, Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Illinois, South Dakota, and Alaska.

‘Military Mary’ gets award

Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu doesn’t mind being called “Military Mary.”  As Louisiana’s senior senator, she has worked consistently to expand and keep viable the state’s military installations, such as Barksdale AFB and Fort Polk.

Her efforts do not go unnoticed at the state and national levels.  Recently, Landrieu was the recipient of the Association for Defense Communities (ADC) 2014 Congressional Leadership Award.

The ADC is the nation’s premiere membership organization serving America’s defense communities, representing 200 communities, states, and regions with a significant military presence.

In accepting the award, Landrieu said, “ We have some of the finest facilities in Louisiana to ensure our soldiers have the best possible training before they go to battle.”  She also praised Barksdale Forward and Fort Polk Progress for their support and initiatives to protect the bases.

Lou Gehrig Burnett is a seasoned veteran of national and local politics. He publishes Fax-Net Update, a weekly political newsletter.