Who done it? Neil Riser! Monday, Jul 28 2014 

Neil Riser

Lying lege

Lee Zurik investigative reporter with WVUE-TV in New Orleans revealed last Thursday night that it was Senator Neil Riser who put the amendment into the Conference Committee Report on SB 294 that gave La. State Police Superintendent Mike Edmonson an extra $55,000 a year retirement benefit for the rest of his life. ( See story here.)

Riser’s lie

On July 16, 2014, I sent via email this message to Riser:

Neil,

You were a member of the Conference Committee that added an amendment to SB 294 of the 2014 Regular Session that granted special retirement benefits to certain members of the La. State Police.

I know that such changes don’t come from thin air or accidentally get into such reports. Please tell me:

1) Who asked you to put the amendment into the Conference Committee Report?
2) Who gave you the actual amendment to you to insert in the bill?
3) Who actually drafted the amendment?
4) Exactly what do you intend to do about the costly amendment?

Finally, are you aware of the constitutional requirements for making changes to the state retirement systems?

A response is requested.

Thanks.

C.B.

On July 17, 2014, Riser responded:

CB,

I returned from a family vacation last night around 10:30, and had Bond Commission this morning.  Otherwise, I would have gotten back with you on this sooner.

As you know, this was on that last hectic day of session. I first saw the amendment when I read the conference committee report drafted by staff. As the language was explained to me, I believed it fixed a retirement problem for the law enforcement community.

I understand the bill’s author is looking into this to see if any action needs to be taken, and I’ll support whatever he decides.

~Neil

Blatant liar

I began working for the Lege in 1968 and have continued to follow and work with them to this day. In all that time, I’ve never had a lege tell me such a bald-faced lie as Riser. Riser not only denied knowing about the amendment, but threw his own top staff person under the bus.

Solution

The only way to resolve this matter is for a lawsuit to be filed to declare SB 294 unconstitutional.

Anything less, will allow Edmonson and the other Trooper to take advantage of the extra benefits in the future.

As to Riser, his constituents will have to deal with him. My sympathy goes out to the Senate staffer who Riser threw under the bus.

Kudos to Lee Zurik for revealing Riser and his lies.

C.B.

“King of Subversive Bloggers” – James Gill
 

Public Records requests flying in Edmonson Amendment caper Friday, Jul 25 2014 

Sgt. Schultz

Lege leadership

In case anyone thought that Tom Aswell, who broke the story about the “Edmonson Amendment,” was going away they don’t know Tom. Here’s an update on his latest efforts to get to the bottom of the matter.

Tom also includes some poignant comments from a retired teacher about the matter. Mr. Fred Aldrich refutes much of what Colonel Edmonson said on the Jim Engster radio show on Monday. If one listened carefully, Edmonson refutes/contradicts much of what he said himself.

Benefit has increased

As you will recall, the Superintendent of the La. State Police Mike Edmonson received from the leges a retirement gift compliments of the taxpayers of an additional $55,000 a year for the rest of his life.

No, the $55k is not a typo.

Originally, we heard that the extra benefit were $30k per year, but even Edmonson admitted that was a guesstimate. The $55k figure was calculated by Steve Winham who served as the State Budget Officer beginning with Buddy Roemer and subsequent governors until he retired.

If anybody knows numbers, it’s Winham who prepared the state budget, annually, for a couple of decades.

Leges staying mum

Unfortunately, everyone directly involved in this sneak attack on our wallets is remaining mum. That is, except to throw a senior Senate staffer under the bus.

Speaker Chuck Kleckley turned down Rep. John Bel Edwards request for an internal investigation by the House of Representatives. Kleckley’s reasoning is that it is a Senate matter.

My question is, how does Kleckley know that it is a Senate matter until he investigates to make sure nobody on the House side was involved?

Three Representatives (Bryan Adams, Jeff Arnold and Walt Leger) were on the conference committee wherein the amendment was inserted.

Zurik now on trail

With Lee Zurik of WVUE-TV beginning his own investigation of the Edmonson Amendment, you can rest assured that all the facts will ultimately be revealed.

Where Lee goes the Federal Prosecutors are not far behind. Lee is the “pointer” and the Feds put the pointed in prison.

Stay tuned folks, as I said before, it’s just getting started.

C.B.

“King of Subversive Bloggers” – James Gill
 

Rep. Edwards asks investigation of “Edmonson Amendment” Thursday, Jul 24 2014 

John Bel Edwards

Rep. Edwards

Monday, at the Baton Rouge Press Club, Rep. John Bel Edwards called for a lege investigation into how an  unconstitutional amendment to SB 294 by-passed all the lege safeguards during the 2014 Regular Session. (See video here.)

For background on the amendment go here .  This amendment has implications far beyond the LSP Retirement System.  It threatens the solvency of all the state pension plans unless it is declared unconstitutional by the Judiciary.

Questions that need to be asked and answered by the lege investigation:

1) Which member(s) of Edmonson’s staff requested the amendment?

2) Which lege(s) requested the lege staff to include the amendment in the Conference Committee Report on SB 294?

3) How can such gross violations of the state constitution, statutes and public trust be prevented in the future?

Kudos to John Bel for stepping up to the plate in an attempt to protect the integrity of the lege process, the state constitution and the state retirement systems.

C.B.

“King of Subversive Bloggers” – James Gill

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