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Judicial follow up

lou BurnettWhen the Fax-Net broke the story last week that Louisiana Supreme Court Justice Jeff Victory was not going to seek a third 10-year term on the state’s high court, it quickly became statewide news.

Bayoubuzz.com of New Orleans immediately contacted the Fax-Net for permission to post the story on its website. Permission was granted since the website is one of our news partners.

The Bossier Press-Tribune ran it in its mid-week edition, and that apparently alerted the New Orleans Times-Picayune, which followed up with its own news story about Victory’s decision.

All three media outlets credited the Fax-Net with breaking the story. That is not always the case. Many news organizations will take one’s exclusive and pretend that they broke the story.

As far as we know, no Shreveport media outlet has run the story, which, of course, is big political news in northwest Louisiana. We suppose they are waiting on an official statement from Victory.

We mentioned last week that 2nd Circuit Court of Appeal Judge Jay Caraway was giving some thought to running. The judge and Fax-Net have played telephone tag and have not yet connected.

However, Caraway told the Picayune: “Victory’s decision was at least in part based on an early challenge from Scott Crichton, a district judge in Caddo Parish.”

The article also stated, “Victory contacted Caraway after the Burnett article went public to confirm that he would not run again.”

Caraway told the Picayune that he has talked with other judges on the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeal and that no one plans to run. He acknowledges that the rumor mill is “swirling around his possible candidacy.”

The rumor mill is also buzzing about another possible candidate. Stephen Beasley, a district judge in Sabine Parish, is said to be considering the race.

Beasley ran against Victory in the election of 2004 and received 39% of the vote. Victory won another 10-year term on the state’s high court.

Crichton, meanwhile, is taking all the hullabaloo over the judicial plum in stride, continuing his campaigning and money-raising activities. He has scheduled a fundraiser for August 26 at 2 Johns Steak and Seafood Restaurant in Bossier City. He earlier held a fundraiser at Ernest’s Orleans Restaurant, which drew and overflow crowd.

Crichton is a Republican; Caraway and Beasley are Democrats. The election is set for November 4, 2014.

Here we go again

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal may be running around the country touting his revolutionary approach to health care, but a recent study reveals the results of his plan may not be on the positive side.

An Institute of Medicine study reports that six of the 10 most expensive places to buy health care in the entire country are right here in Louisiana.

The study examined geographic and price differences in health care spending on Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance companies, and the uninsured.

Here are the Top 10 places with highest health care costs: Miami, FL; McAllen, TX; Monroe, LA; Houston, TX; Alexandria, LA; Lafayette, LA; Shreveport, LA; Baton Rouge, LA; Fort Lauderdale, FL: and Metairie, LA.

The Top 10 with the lowest health care costs are: Rochester, NY; Stockton, CA; Sacramento, CA; Buffalo, NY; Bronx, NY; Santa Cruz, CA; Santa Rosa, CA; Medford, OR; San Francisco, CA; and Salem, OR.

The 19-member committee that authored the report was chaired by Joseph Newhouse, a John D. McArthur Professor of Health Policy and Management at Harvard University.

The consensus was that Louisiana has an incredibly unhealthy population and individual patient care between hospitals and community clinicians is often fragmented, leading to high percentages of hospital readmissions after discharge.

What are the odds?

A group of political experts, spearheaded by the Houston Chronicle, came up with they consider the odds on potential Republican presidential contenders getting the nomination in 2016. Here they are:

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida: 5 to 1.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush: 6 to 1.

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky: 7 to 1.

U.S. Sen. Ted Kruz of Texas: 8 to 1.

Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey: 8 to 1.

U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin: 10 to 1.

Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin: 12 to 1.

Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana: 15 to 1.

Former V-P candidate Sarah Palin: 30 to 1.

Gov. Rick Perry of Texas: 50 to 1.

Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum: 100 to 1.

Gov. Susana Martinez of New Mexico: 200 to 1.


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

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