After many years of wandering in the wilderness, we’ve all come to a situation we thought we’d never be in: Louisiana going through a year without a budget crisis.
Some thought there’d never be such a year again. But here it is. And with the sense of impending disaster gone, political columnists are dragging their heels when it comes to writing about what’s happening in the state.
Someone has to jump into the fray. I’m biting the bullet. Here are three stories about some aspect of Louisiana politics in the solvent age.
— In the absence of a financial crisis, might the most pressing political question in the state be: can beer be delivered by the likes of Waitr and such?
In last year’s session, instead of passing legislature that would allow beer and wine to be delivered along with food, Louisiana legislators created the Louisiana Retail Food and Beverage E-Commerce Task Force. I don’t know whether the task force will accomplish anything, but it certainly has a fine sounding and impressively long name.
Members of the Legislature have spent recent weeks poring over drafts of the task force’s final report.
The Louisiana Craft Brewers Guild wants restaurants, retailers, convenience and package stores to have the ability to deliver alcoholic beverages — even if food isn’t ordered. But Guild leaders aren’t extremely optimistic that the task force will wind up recommending such a bold measure.
As guidelines stand now, only five of the state’s 37 licensed breweries would be able to deliver mind-altering beverages. Those breweries are the ones that have restaurant permits that require the business to make more than half its money from food.
None of that means that a more lenient bill won’t be passed sometime during the 2019 session.
A recent visit to lacraftbeer.com revealed no new information on the matter. This may be one of those stories you’ll only be able to follow if you’re a Louisiana politics junkie. An easy way to get the details about everything is to subscribe to all the weekly political emails sent out by Lagniappe political writer Jeremy Alford.
— Here’s a topic that mingles Louisiana politics with D.C. politics. It’s only a matter of time before people start asking whether more Democrats are running for governor of Louisiana or president of the United States.
All I ask is the same thing I ask for every election. If any reader hears that I’m running for any elected office, please pick up the phone and let me know. I’m not saying I would necessarily withdraw from the race. I just don’t want to be taken unawares if I get any calls from the press.
— Here’s another item that connects state politics with those of D.C. When John Kennedy was in Louisiana, all we knew was that he was good at unpacking Jindal’s disastrous budget cuts and that he was always preparing to run for something. What could have led us to think he’d turn into a comedian as soon as he appeared on Capitol Hill?
The Monroe News-Star just quoted Kennedy as saying, “if we keep losing people in Louisiana, the average age is going to be deceased.” He was talking about the tendency of educated types to move out of the state. I think he’s exaggerating a little, though. He’s pretending to have forgotten that fertility is one of the primary characteristics of the state. Still, it’s not a bad joke.
Speaking of fertility, did you read that the University of Wagon Rut has just released a new study that claims that fertility is hereditary? The bottom line is, if your parents don’t have any children, chances are you won’t either. Honey, hush! I say this is beyond science. It’s a fantastic research discovery that fundamentally alters all our previous ways of looking at the universe.
Who Cries For The Llama?
You say you never were crazy about the llama in the movie Napoleon Dynamite? Then maybe you were one of the few who shed a tear when St. Landry’s Parish Sheriff’s deputies arrested 67-year-old Madeline Bourgeois for shooting a llama. Bourgeois said that the llama, a pet with the evocative name of Earl, had butted her as she worked in her pasture. She went inside, got a gun, came out and shot Earl three times.
Deputies argued that once Bourgeois left the pasture, she was no longer in danger from the llama, and therefore had no reason to shoot him.
I think that because the woman did take the time to walk back into house and get a gun, she had plenty of time to meditate about what she was doing. In other words, if the llama doesn’t recover, this might wind up being a case of pre-meditated llamacide. (All indications from St. Landry Parish government are that the llama will recover.)
For Just $250,000 …
The non-call in the game between the Saints and the Rams has generated more Louisiana news than anything since David Duke’s run for governor. In the latest episode, an anonymous writer sent the Daily Advocate’s head of investigative reporting, Gordon Russell, a poorly written letter in which he promised to reveal the details of the “conspiracy” to keep the Saints out of the Super Bowl for a mere pittance — $250,000.
The writer said, “I must have $250,000 in cash to begin the process of receiving this taped and video info whereby all 32 NFL owners had their private and secret meeting whereby the tape and video will display and show in detail each owner discussing who will go to the Super Bowl in advance of the season.”
Have you ever seen such wordy prose? He writes, “the tape and video will display and show.” What’s wrong with “the tape will show”? And who but an attorney is going to use “whereby” twice in one sentence? (I don’t mean to imply the letter writer is an attorney. He isn’t.)
Oddly enough, other parts of the message are so succinct as to be frustrating. “This Info [sic] will dispose the OWNER.” Is the incriminating tape going to throw the owner away? Will it throw away the owner of the newspaper or of the Saints? That’s the thing with conspiracy theories — no matter how much money you spend, you never really get to know all the intriguing little details.
The real story here is that 32 guys participated in a conspiracy for the full length of a football season and not one of them breathed a word about it. Now that’s a huge story for the simple reason that it flies in the face of everything we know about human behavior. (Still, I’m not sure it’s worth $250,000.)
The letter writer has a problem that’s much more serious than the non-call. He believes that in 2019, newspapers have $250,000 lying around. Hey bro, pick up a newspaper … if you can find one. Believe me, Mr. Letter-Writin’ Man, if any newspaper in the U.S. had an extra $250,000, it would spend it on creditors, not hot leads.
Oh, did I mention the guy wants a second payment of $750,000 down the line? Is this story going to be published in 24K gold or something?
If anyone does get the million bucks together, I’ll be glad to act as the middleman. Gratis.
All We Need To Know About Mardi Gras
Apparently, Dee Snider rode on the float of New Orleans’ Krewe of Pontchartrain this Mardi Gras. And in case you’re wondering, Snider still has his long, flowing locks and they’re still blond.