CSI: Shreveport-Bossier

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There could be a new television series in the making. Finally, a forsenics lab is coming to northwest Louisiana like the ones seen on the popular CSI programs.

Caddo District Attorney Charles Scott and Bossier-Webster District Attorney Schuyler Marvin gave the details of the new facility at the Media Lunch Bunch last Tuesday.

They explained that Gov. Bobby Jindal put his “important foot on the shovel” along with local officials to break ground back in November for the 86,000-square-foot North Louisiana Forsenic Science Center.

Funding for the new lab is coming from $24 million in capital outlay funds, $10 million of which is in Priority One funds. It is expected to be completed in about 18 months.

The facility will serve 29 parishes across north Louisiana and will perform autopsies and other investigative duties important to law enforcement agencies.

lou BurnettLSU Health-Shreveport will be a partner in the new lab. Scott and Marvin both agree that the partnership will be mutually advantageous to everyone because of the advanced technology to be shared.

They pointed out that as many as 30 new jobs could be created at the crime lab with an expected average salary of $65,000.

Scott and Marvin are to be commended for their leadership and tireless efforts to make this much-needed facility a reality.

 

Clinton running the table

Hillary Clinton is leading every single major Republican candidate by at least 15 points in a hypothetical 2016 matchup, according to a recent CNN/Opinion Research poll.

Following his landslide re-election in 2013, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie had a slight lead over Clinton, but the controversy over the closing of the George Washington Bridge has taken it toll. Clinton beats him 55-39%.

Former Vice Presidential candidate and Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan does the best of the potential GOP candidates. Even so, Clinton leads him, 55-40%.

Others surveyed and the results included: Clinton 56%, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee 39%. Clinton 57%, Kentucky U.S. Sen. Rand Paul 39%. Clinton 57%, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush 37%.

 

Landrieu leads Cassidy, but…

Last week, the Fax-Net reported on a poll on the U.S. Senate race conducted by Rasmussen Reports. It showed Republican U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy leading incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu by four percentage points.

In Rasmussen’s poll, for some strange reason, Republican candidate Rob Maness was excluded and GOP state Rep. Paul Hollis, a recent entry into the race, was included.

Now, there is another poll, which tells a different story. The interesting factor here is that the poll was commissioned by the GOP-affiliated Super PAC American Crossroads and conducted by Harper Polling.

Harper Polling is a conservative polling firm founded by Brock McCleary, the former head of the Republican Party’s senatorial campaigning arm.

With that preface, it was certainly good news for the Landrieu camp. The results were to a question about whom you would vote for among the four candidates in an Open Primary. Rasmussen didn’t ask that question.

The result was startling. The results: Landrieu 42%, Cassidy 29%, Maness 4%, and Hollis 4%, with 21% being undecided or refusing to state a preference.

But what has Democratic leaders calling the poll “laughable” is the fact that Harper Polling says in a hypothetical runoff Cassidy leads Landrieu by one percentage point, or in other words, it’s a dead heat.

That, they say, is hard to believe when a GOP poll has Landrieu with a 13-point lead in the primary, noting that only 37% of respondents chose a Republican candidate.

The Maness camp is likely wondering how he dropped from 10% in a Southern Media and Opinion Research poll in November to 4% when he has been constantly campaigning around the state and has heavy support and endorsements from Tea Party and other conservative organizations.

If the GOP poll is viable – it surveyed 922 likely voters in Louisiana – it appears that Landrieu has a shot of winning the Senate race in the primary, thereby avoiding what would be a bitter runoff battle.

Not to worry. There will be many more polls with different results as the campaign progresses with something for everyone to like.

 

Chamber to host LABI

The Bossier Chamber of Commerce will host the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI) Legislative Issues Conference in Bossier City on Wednesday, February 12.

Stephen Waguespack, president of LABI, will share the organization’s priorities and vision for the 2014 legislative session, focusing on threats to Louisiana business and opportunities to improve the state’s economic climate and global competitiveness.

LABI is the largest business-lobbying group in Louisiana. They are the state’s chamber of commerce and the state’s chapter of the National Manufacturers Association.

It represents more than 2,500 member companies and their thousands of Louisiana employees.

The event will be held in the Riverside Room at the Boomtown Casino & Hotel. The conference will begin at 8 a.m. and end at 9:30 a.m.

 

Political tidbits

*Brian Barber Fundraiser – Assistant District Attorney Brian Barber, who is running for the vacant seat on the Shreveport City Court, has scheduled a fundraiser for Monday, March 3.

The event will be held at Savoie’s Catering Place, 2441 E. 70th Street, Shreveport. It will be from 5:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m.

Those interested in attending, please note the date change. It was originally scheduled for March 4.

Checks should be made payable to Brian Barber 2014 Campaign Committee, P.O. Box 639, Shreveport, LA 71162.

Barber is seeking the judicial seat of City Court Chief Judge Bill Kelly, who is retiring. The election will be on the ballot in November.

*Whitman Wows ‘Em – Bossier City Deputy Marshal Jim Whitman is running for the job of City Marshal to replace Marshal Lynn Austin, who is not seeking re-election.

A fundraiser was held last week for Whitman at the Silver Star Smokehouse. The crowd was huge, and it was hard to find a place to park within walking distance at the restaurant.

Bossier City politicos said it was one of the best-attended fundraisers they have seen in quite a while.

 

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