Who’s Famous?

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Louisiana Political Hall of Fame 2014 Inductees named

Selections have been made for the Louisiana Political Hall of Fame for 2014. Eight individuals will be inducted at ceremonies on February 1.

A reception will be held at the Louisiana Political Museum, located at 499 East Main Street in Winnfield, from 4 p.m. until 5:30 p.m.

At 6 p.m., an induction banquet will be held at the Winnfield Civic Center, 2000 South Jones Street.

Tickets for the induction banquet can be purchased from the Museum for $50 each by calling 318-628-5928 prior to January 23, 2014.

lou BurnettThose selected for inclusion in the Political Hall of Fame are:

*Marshall Brown – He served two terms in the state House of Representatives, two terms on the State Board of Education, and was a Democratic National Committeeman.

*John Fournet – He served as speaker of the House of Representatives, lieutenant governor, and associate justice and chief justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court.

*Richard “Dick” Guidry – He was elected to the state House of Representatives in 1961 at the age of 21, making him the youngest state representative in state history. He served until he retired in 1972.

*John Hunt II – He was a nephew of Govs. Huey P. Long and Earl K. Long and served on the Louisiana Public Service Commission.

*Rose McConnell Long – She was appointed to complete the U.S. Senate term of her late husband, Huey P. Long, which made her Louisiana’s first female senator. She then won a special election to serve out the remainder of her husband’s term.

*Edward “Bubby” Lyons – He is the only one in Louisiana history to serve as mayor of two different cities – Houma and Mandeville. He also served as a Terrebonne Parish Police Juror, Terrebonne Parish president, and interim councilman-at-large in Mandeville.

*Robert “Bob” Mann – He is a journalist and historian who is director of the Reilly Center for Media and Public Affairs at LSU. He was press secretary for U.S. Sens. Russell Long and John Breaux and director of communications for Gov. Kathleen Blanco.

*Harvey Peltier – He served in the Louisiana state Senate from 1964-72 and was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1948. He also served on the University of Louisiana System Board of Trustees for state colleges and universities.

 

A fierce fight for the Fifth

Louisiana’s Fifth Congressional District includes 24 parishes in northwest and north central Louisiana. And 14 candidates want to represent the seat that was held by Democrat-turned-Republican Rodney Alexander of Quitman, who resigned to become Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs.

But political analysts are predicting the race will come down to a battle between state Sen. Neil Riser of Columbia and former U.S. Rep. Clyde Holloway of Forest Hill.

Both are Republicans and could wind up in the runoff. But Holloway emphasizes that he is an “independent Republican,” in an effort to distance himself from Riser, who is backed by establishment Republican politicians, such as Gov. Bobby Jindal and Alexander and Washington insiders, such as current Republican members of the delegation.

Holloway, who is now a member of the Louisiana Public Service Commission, having been elected to that post in 2009, served in the U.S. House from 1987-1993.

In the reapportionment battle after the 1990 Census, many politicos thought Holloway got a raw deal from the Louisiana Legislature when his Eighth District was eliminated.

That development forced Holloway to run against incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Richard Baker in the Sixth District. Even so, Holloway almost won as Baker prevailed 51-49%.

A similar fate fell upon then-Fifth District U.S. Rep. Jerry Huckaby, a Democrat who had held that seat for 16 years.

The Legislature created a bizarre-shaped district to appease then-state Sen.Cleo Fields, an African-American Democrat who was running for Congress in the newly formed Fourth District.

It resulted in Huckaby having to run against then-U.S. Rep. Jim McCrery, a Republican, in the Fifth. But Huckaby had been stripped of most of his base constituency, and the population center became Shreveport and Bossier, which McCrery represented.

As a result, Huckaby lost his Congressional seat, losing to McCrery, 63-37%

So, in a way, many politicos feel it would be political poetic justice for Holloway to recapture a Congressional seat and return to Capitol Hill, where he would certainly know his way around.

The road back to Washington is filled with political potholes for Holloway, however. In Riser, he would be facing an opponent with powerful allies, who have a lot of money to contribute to their candidate.

Nevertheless, Holloway is battle-tested, having run for elected office several times over the years since he lost his Congressional seat – for Congress and governor, for example.

There is no doubt that national political eyes, as well as state ones, are focused on this special election in the Fifth District. It will be interested to see how things play out.

 

Oops!

We at the Fax-Net always strive to be accurate, but, at times, we do stumble. Sources of information, in this day and age of the Internet, blogs, and websites are not always entirely correct.

Last week’s issue brought calls from the offices of U.S. Rep. John Fleming, R-Minden, and U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge.

In the article about Fleming being the 33rd richest member of Congress, we quoted from Roll Call, the newspaper of Capitol Hill, that part of his wealth came from his holdings in JCF Properties.

That is correct, but Roll Call said that the Minden-based company manages a number of offices and retail stores in the Chicago area.

Doug Sachtleben, Fleming’s press spokesman, called to say that JCF does no business in the Chicago area and that Roll Call was so informed and corrected the mistake. We do the same and apologize for the misinformation.

The article about Cassidy giving money to Democratic candidates brought a call from spokesman John Cummins.

We quoted the blog and website, NOLA Defender (NoDef), which said that Cassidy’s PAC had made a contribution to Ami Bera, a liberal Democrat from California.

Apparently NoDef misread the information when doing its research because the contribution actually went to Rick Berg, a Republican from North Dakota, who was running for the U.S. House.

Cummins sent a copy of the check for $1,000, dated May 14, 2010, made out to Berg for Congress. Berg won the Congressional seat, but ran for the U.S. Senate in 2011 and narrowly lost to Democrat Heidi Heitcamp.

We hope this sets the record straight. And we appreciate the offices of Fleming and Cassidy taking the time to call us and inform us of the errors.

 

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