House Bill 112 was KILLED - Who will stand up for our children?
We have feet on the ground, and the march to Baton Rouge has begun, but we cannot function without funds. Now is the time, your donations are needed. We have a goal of $50,000 by July 1st - This is my personal challenge to you. We must spread the word, we must raise the funds, and we must take our message to Baton Rouge. Do your part, DONATE, and then tell a friend to donate. We can take back the capitol together!
Louisiana Dems call on Jindal to Cancel BP Fundraiser Tuesday, March 29, 2011
BP subcontractor set to host Jindal campaign fundraiser at corporate offices tonight in Hammond
Baton Rouge – Today, Louisiana Democrats called on Gov. Bobby Jindal to cancel a campaign fundraising event to be hosted by the head of company working as a subcontractor for BP. The event is scheduled for tonight at Worley Catastrophe Response’s corporate headquarters in Hammond.
“It is a clear conflict for Gov. Jindal to take campaign cash from somebody who works for BP at the same time he’s supposed to be holding BP accountable,” said Louisiana Democrats Chair Claude “Buddy” Leach, Jr. “Gov. Jindal should cancel tonight’s fundraiser immediately.”
Worley Catastrophe Response is currently working on behalf of BP and so-called Pay Czar Ken Feinberg to process claims related to last year’s explosion and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Tonight’s $1,000 a plate cocktail reception is being hosted by Mike Worley, the company’s CEO.
Jindal has repeatedly criticized BP’s handling of the claims process and last month filed a motion on behalf of the State of Louisiana asking a federal judge to monitor communications between BP, Feinberg, Worley and oil spill claimants.
“Just last month Jindal intervened in a lawsuit involving Worley Catastrophe Response and tonight he’s heading to their corporate office to fill his campaign coffers a little more,” Leach added. “That’s not the gold-plated ethics reform Bobby Jindal promised Louisiana families four years ago.”
TARA HOLLIS LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN FOR THE LOUISIANA GOVERNOR'S SEAT
Tara Hollis, a public educator with Claiborne Parish Schools and a conservative Democrat, announced her candidacy for the Louisiana Governorship. Hollis spoke before the Claiborne Parish School Board in Homer on May 11, to address the recent budget cuts that led to 60 + personnel being cut from the schools in Claiborne Parish. She passionately spoke about the breakdown of the state’s current school system and to the problems these cuts would cause down the road, stating, "You have cut our art programs, our music, and our band, now you are cutting our teachers. Soon our students will have nothing left." The board was quick to point fingers at budget cuts from Baton Rouge, encouraging Hollis to take her concerns to the state’s capital.
Hollis stated, “Cuts to education is the fastest way to kill our economy, but seems to be the first place everyone cuts funding. If this state is to survive and grow, we need to put the focus back on building up our school system. " She remarked that very little progress was being made throughout the state, "Promises have been made to the people of Louisiana, and those promises have fallen short. Jindal promised education reform, economic growth, and more jobs. Instead over 169,000 Louisianans across the state have been let go, and funding for literacy programs, early and adult education programs, as well as cuts to higher education have left this state's school systems surviving only on life support." She indicated that her campaign will seek to inspire a public conversation on critical issues, “Our fellow citizens are suffering, our schools are ill equipped to meet the task of educating our youth, we are incarcerating citizens at an alarming rate without providing support to retrain and rehabilitate them; we are denying adequate medical care to our veterans, and over 129,000 college students will not be able to finish their degrees due to cuts in higher education. These problems are only the beginning."
Hollis added, "We’re going to run a campaign that will reach all people in the state, working together to foster progress without sacrificing the common good. It is time the people of Louisiana come together and fight back for the good of our children and the health of our state. Democrats and Republicans alike are tired of career politicians that make deals to promote their own agendas.” She said that she envisioned a brighter future for the state and believes that, through collaborative and inclusive efforts, the people of Louisiana can pull together and play a major role in determining the course of its future.
Hollis, 33, a proud resident of Haynesville, Louisiana, and a graduate of La Tech where she earned her Masters in Education, has worked extensively giving time and money back to the community. She served as a founding member of the Claiborne Parish Clover Buds 4H club, and worked after school sponsoring the Scripps National Spelling Bee and the Junior High Cyclone Cheerleading Squad. Hollis founded the Claiborne Animal Rescue in 2006, the Parish’s only animal shelter providing vaccination, spay and neuter services along with loving homes to over 389 of the parish’s abused and abandoned animals for a period of two years. She also proposed, to the Claiborne Parish police jury in 2008, a spay and neuter program that would provide spay and neuter vouchers to low income families with pets. Hollis currently serves on the School Building Level Committee at Haynesville Jr. High and is a member of Pi Lambda Theta, the most selective national honor society of educators. She also holds membership with The Golden Key National Honor Society and is a member of the Union Grove Church of Christ, one of the oldest congregations in the state, established in the 1850‘s.
Hollis further stated, “I believe it is time that someone steps up and challenges the current administration, we cannot continue down the road we are on. We need a change. I am taking a firm stand against the political corruption that has become a way of life in Louisiana, and I am asking the people of this great state to stand with me. Together we can provide more for our children, and better for our state."
As news spreads about the “Safe School Act”, I am utterly floored at the decision made by 54 of our elected officials that decided to kill the anti-bullying bill. I was appalled while reading, “House rejects anti-bullying bill opposed by social conservatives, backed by gay rights advocates”, written by Bill Burrows of the Times-Picayune. I fell sick at the logic that went into defeating this bill. House Bill 112 was to be a step in the right direction in protecting all children from unwanted mental and physical abuse. As a public educator, I have witnessed first hand the harsh and deliberate actions students pursue when measures are not in place to protect their peers from these attacks. The following quote from this article further exposes the flawed thinking of those that we have elected to make our decisions in Baton Rouge:
"This bill is intended to promote an agenda and teach alternative lifestyles," Rep. Alan Seabaugh, R-Shreveport said, ending the cautiousness that governed the discussion for a half hour. "Let's not delude ourselves about why we're here," he said, alleging that the bill came "straight out of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender legislative playbook." The next steps, he said, would be "lawsuits against your local school boards" and putting "books in elementary schools" that "you don't want them to read."
I have read the bill and cannot find any portion of the bill that singles out rights or the promotion of rights for gay students. The bill provides protection for all students against harassment or bullying from "any actual or perceived characteristic such as a race, color religion, ancestry, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, physical characteristic, political persuasion, mental disability, as well as attire or association with others identified by such categories." No child deserves to be bullied or harassed. I strongly believe that the point of this bill has been missed completely, in that House Bill 112 was a bill to protect ALL children within our school system from bullying behavior. This bill should have been in place long before now. Sadly, there are teachers in our schools systems that lack the backbone and integrity, much like those in Baton Rouge, to stand against the mistreatment of children harassed due to matters of sexual orientation. So I ask, at what point do we stand up as adults and protect all of our children from this mental and physical harassment? As for the “Religious Right” and “Social Conservatives”, I would beckon you to spend more time in your pews reading your Bible - “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 18:10 ESV). I am not an advocate of homosexuality, but injustice is wrong regardless of the reason given. No one should be denied his or her rights to live and learn in an environment that is safe and non-confrontational due to someone else’s personal beliefs. All children deserve our protection. It is my intention to ensure they get it, by whatever means necessary. This will not be an issue soon forgotten, and the fight for children’s rights to a safe learning environment is not over.
No more broken promises - Let's take back our state together!
Louisiana is near a state of revolution; our citizens are crying out for change. A storm has formed on the horizon of our state’s future - we are that storm. We are the backbone of the economy, we are the layoffs, the rising unemployment rate, we are the foreclosures, and the failing school systems. It is time we stand up together, and send a clear message to Baton Rouge that we are no longer hiring career politicians. We want our communities back, we want our state back, and we want our lives back. We want government the way it is suppose to be - a government for the people by the people. I am asking you to make a stand with me. I am asking you to send a clear message to Baton Rouge, the storm is here, and we are ready to take back what is rightfully ours.
What happen to Jindal's Promise?
Jindal set out a plan to save Louisiana's education system in 2007, but on the eve of his re-election the state's education system is in worse shape then ever. With teacher layoff's and the cost of higher education at an all time high, the people of Louisiana are left asking -What happen to your promise?
Jindal Should Reimburse Taxpayers for Misuse of Security Detail Friday, April 1, 2011
State troopers stand guard as Jindal aide holds secret back room meeting with legislators, travel with Jindal to promote book, collect campaign cash
Baton Rouge – Calling it the latest in serious of improper uses of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s Louisiana State Police security detail, Louisiana Democrats are pointing to a report today that Jindal’s chief of staff ordered a highly-trained state trooper to keep the public out of a legislative conference room while he secretly huddled with Republican lawmakers during committee hearings on redrawing the state’s six congressional seats.
Louisiana Democrats Chairman Claude “Buddy” Leach, Jr. is calling on the Jindal campaign to reimburse Louisiana taxpayers for the cost of using state troopers for political purposes.
“The taxpayers of Louisiana rightfully provide the Governor and his family with a security detail of dedicated professionals who put their lives on the line every day,” Leach said. “The highly-trained state troopers assigned to protect the Governor should not be used for political purposes.”
Today, veteran journalist John Maginnis reported that Jindal’s chief of staff secretly huddled with GOP lawmakers during committee hearings on redrawing Louisiana’s congressional districts, while a state trooper stood at the door. Earlier this week, state troopers accompanied Jindal as he attended a fundraiser at the corporate headquarters of a company working on behalf BP.
Last month, an Associated Press review of publicly available records found that Jindal’s travels outside of Louisiana have cost Louisiana taxpayers at least $134.000, much of which was used to pay the Governor’s state police security detail. More than half of the taxpayer’s money was used for trips that did not involve official state business.
“When Bobby Jindal is traveling around the country promoting his book, attending fundraisers sponsored by a company working for BP or holding secret, back door meetings on redistricting, Louisiana families should not be expected to pick up the tab,” Leach added. “The Jindal campaign should immediately reimburse Louisiana taxpayers for the misuse of Governor’s state police security detail.”
Report Raises Ethical, Legal Questions about Jindal’s Regents Appointments Friday, March 4, 2011
8 of 9 appointees to Board of Regents contributed to Jindal’s campaign, timing of contribution coincides with appointments
Baton Rouge - A report by a Baton Rouge television station that 8 of the 9 members of the Louisiana Board of Regents appointed by Governor Jindal have contributed heavily to his campaign raises troubling questions that remain unanswered by the Governor’s office, Louisiana Democrats say.
The investigative report by WAFB’s I-Team found that all but one of Jindal’s appointees to the Board, which oversees public higher education in Louisiana, contributed to the Governor’s re-election effort, some within weeks of the date of their appointment.
“8 out of 9 is never a coincidence,” said Louisiana Democratic Party spokesman Kevin Franck. “Louisiana families deserve to know if appointments to the Board of Regents are for sale to the highest bidder.”
Louisiana Democrats have asked Governor Jindal to answer these basic questions regarding his appointments to the Board of Regents:
$16M in Louisiana education cuts outlined POSTED: 10:22 AM Tuesday, January 12, 2010 BY: The Associated Press
BATON ROUGE – Louisiana’s education department has announced more than $16 million in budget cuts for programs in elementary and secondary schools.
They include a nearly $2.3 million cut to a program aimed at improving reading and math skills and more than $3 million for adult education programs. More than $825,000 will be cut from a popular prekindergarten program.
The $16 million in cuts follow Gov. Bobby Jindal’s December executive order calling on all state agencies to make cuts to deal with a $247.9 million budget shortfall. The reductions come in the middle of the state fiscal year that ends June 30.
“These decisions are difficult, but necessary, considering the significant midyear shortfalls,” Superintendent Paul Pastorek said in a news release. “All districts and most charter schools will be impacted by the reductions in some way, but our aim has been to identify cuts that are the least burdensome for them.”
The department stressed that the cuts have no bearing on the state’s
per-pupil spending formula known as the Minimum Foundation Program, but instead come out of block grant and other special programs that fall outside that basic formula. The education department itself will lose about $4.1 million by eliminating vacant positions and trimming contracts, supplies and travel.
The reading and math program has been described by Pastorek as being a key to improving student achievement. Kerry Laster, executive director of literacy and numeracy in the state Department of Education, said she hopes school districts will shuffle funding from other programs to keep the initiative intact.
“I would try to hold this program together because kids cannot read,” she told The (Baton Rouge) Advocate newspaper. The decision to cut the reading and math program was a last resort, she said.
Laster said a bill before Congress may increase funding for literacy efforts in the future.•