LaPolitics by Maginnis: Arguing over Isaac bill begins; Lawyer gets serious about running against judges
As soon as the winds of Hurricane Isaac began to recede, political gales arose over how much the federal and state governments would pay for the disaster response. While the early cost estimates of $40 million are sure to rise, the ultimate cost will not approach the nearly $400 million price tag of Hurricane Gustav four years ago. Yet Gov. Bobby Jindal criticized President Barack Obama's initial emergency declaration that called for a 75-25 federal-state cost share, the same split ordered after Gustav by former President George W. Bush, which Jindal did not criticize at the time. "The president has done all that can be done under the law," says Sen. Mary Landrieu. "Now it is up to the state to crunch the numbers and do the data that will trigger the 75% or 90% [federal cost share]." The formula in the Stafford Act is based on total damage divided by the affected population. "If the state is eligible for 90-10, that's what we will get," says Landrieu.
—Baton Rouge attorney Mary Olive Pierson's candidacy for the state Supreme Court may have started as a joke, as a way of avoiding making campaign contributions to the six judges running. "That's changed," she says this week, having decided to put up a substantial ante for the race. She is just starting to put together a campaign, but running as a Democrat, she figures that with five Republican judges splitting the GOP vote, she can't be far behind. "Sixty days is enough," she says.
They said it: "There is going to be a terrible payday when this whole thing is said and done." —Former Gov. Kathleen Blanco on the firing of LSU Hospitals chief Dr. Fred Cerise, in The Advocate
(John Maginnis publishes LaPolitics Weekly, a newsletter on Louisiana politics, at LaPolitics.com.)
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