If Treasurer John Kennedy does indeed run for governor in 2015, as will Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, one of the sideshow stories you’ll hear will concern the different camps the treasurer and his brother, George Kennedy, find themselves in.
George Kennedy is Dardenne’s campaign manager, and has been since the lieutenant governor was student body president at LSU. And while George Kennedy did do some TV work for his brother in 1991, the 2015 race for governor will find the two on opposing sides.
“I was in politics well before John,” George Kennedy said. “And people are going to think it’s weird, but it’s really not when you think about it. Politics is not my religion. It’s not personal.”
The Brothers Kennedy — there are two others in the family as well — split equally when it came to professions. While John and George went the political path, the other pair are both doctors.
“Green Army” Mobilizing
Russel Honoré, the retired Army lieutenant general turned activist, said he’s working to get 10,000 people to show up at the State Capitol on March 8, two days before the regular session kicks off.
The gathering, which is being called “The Louisiana Water Festival,” will help provide a preview of the package of environmental justice bills Honoré and his “Green Army” will be pushing during the session.
“We’re going through the application process now to use the grounds,” he said. “But this is not about disobedience. This is about celebration and information. Water is the strength of our state, and without clean, fresh water, the whole of Louisiana becomes a different state and different culture. We’ve never had a problem with water, but now it’s at an emergency status in some places.”
Honoré said the Green Army package will probably come in at around eight bills that target aquifer regulations, with a focus on Baton Rouge and north Louisiana; the Assumption Parish sink hole; new procedures at the Departments of Natural Resources and Environmental Quality; a roll back of tax exemptions for fracking; and updated disclosure rules for certain industry donations.
Unexpectedly, U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu is being dragged into the debate as she prepares to stand for re-election this fall. According to various media reports, national environmental groups are starting to complain about the possibility of her becoming the next energy chair in the Senate, citing her close relationship with oil and gas.
Back home in Louisiana, the Bucket Brigade, an environmental activist group, is jumping on the bandwagon by stating Landrieu can improve her image by backing Honoré and his green agenda.
DC Mardi Gras To Toast Shreveport
Washington, D.C., Mardi Gras will have its usual touch of pomp, pageantry and politics this year. But there may be some tension in the air as well, with two members of the delegation — Sen. Landrieu and Congressman Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge — running against each other.
One hopes that won’t divide the bar at the Hilton, which transforms into the 65th parish for the annual festivities. Prospects for attendance have to be better than last year’s celebration, which clashed with Super Bowl weekend.
Reigning as chairman of the Mystick Krewe of Louisianians this year is Congressman John Fleming, R-Minden; he gets to choose the royalty. Larry M. Allen of Shreveport will serve as king and Sarah Louise Bicknell, a fifth generation Shreveport native, will serve as queen.
This year’s theme is “Louisiana’s Service to America.” It will give officials from Barksdale Airforce Base a leg up in the lobbying.
The Feb. 22 ball will again be the centerpiece. But the side parties in the suites, which are hosted by various agencies and special interests from Louisiana, are, as always, the real attractions that are not to be missed.
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