A lege “Who-Done-It” Friday, Jul 18 2014 

hear-no-evil-see-no-evil-speak-no-evil1

Leges’ react to Edmonson Amendment

An unconstitutional amendment that was added to Senate Bill No. 294 in the waning hours of the 2014 Regular Session gave special retirement benefits to Mike Edmonson, Superintendent of the Louisiana State Police, and at least one other person. The Edmonson benefit alone amounts to an increase in his retirement pay of $30,000, annually, for the rest of his and his family’s life.

I, individually, contacted each of the 6 members of the Conference Committee in which the amendment was added. Sens JP Morrell, Neil Riser, Mike Walsworth and Reps. Walt Leger, Bryan Adams and Jeff Arnold each said they didn’t know the source of the amendment.

All had very similar responses, but none took responsibility for or ownership of the amendment. It appears that all six leges coordinated their stories.

Each of the six leges claimed to be waiting on someone else to do something about the rip-off. That means that none of the leges will do anything to stop this rip-off of the Louisiana State Police Retirement System.

Even Colonel Edmonson denied asking for the amendment.

Bastard amendment

I refer to the Edmonson amendment as the “bastard amendment” because nobody claims to be the father.  Some have suggested that the amendment came about through artificial insemination, others said immaculate conception. My money’s on it being a hand job.

Lege process integrity further damaged

The fact that none of the conferees claim the amendment serves to further destroy the integrity of the lege process.  If the leges want to attempt to mitigate the damage to the lege process there needs to be an internal investigation to determine how an amendment can get into legislation without a lege offering it.

AG Opinion not appropriate

Arnold wrote that he and Morrell had requested an Attorney General’s Opinion on the constitutionality of the rip-off of the LSP Retirement System.  That’s merely a dilatory tactic.

As I told Arnold, the AG cannot render an opinion on the constitutionality of any legislation.  The reason being is that the AG is required by the constitution to defend all Acts of the lege regardless of constitutionality or how dumb the legislation is.  Therefore, it is a conflict of interest for him to rule on a matter in which he may be called on to defend in court.

Action needed

The only way to make sure this rip-off doesn’t go forward is for the Board of the LSP Retirement System to litigate the constitutionality of Act 859 of the 2014 Regular Session. A first-year law student could win the case. Maybe the AG will hire Jimmy Faircloth to defend the state. That would make it the closest thing to sure winner as it gets in the courts.

The retirement system’s board has a fiduciary obligation to protect its assets.  It’s time for them to do so. To see the members of the board go here.

If you know any State Troopers please forward this information to them; they are, 0bviously, better at getting people to confess than I am. That said, I have to admit getting that the truth from leges is no job for rookies.

C.B.

“King of Subversive Bloggers” – James Gill

 

 

How not to explain legislation Thursday, Jul 17 2014 

Jeff Arnold

Rep. Jeff Arnold

To learn how to sneak a special, unconstitutional, retirement benefit past the House of Representatives see Rep. Jeff Arnold demonstrate. For those who are not familiar with the background on this scam, go here.

Go to this link scroll down to “June 2, 2014” and then to “House Floor” and then to “Part 1.”

Click on Part 1. When the video loads move the guide ahead to 2 Hours 52 Minutes and 48 Seconds.

What you see is Rep. Arnold explaining how the Superintendent of the La. State Police will get an extra $30,000 per year on top of his full retirement compliments of the hardworking taxpayers of Louisiana.

Based on that seconds long explanation, not a single representative present voted against this huge giveaway of taxpayer funds.

Folks, you can’t make this stuff up.

C.B.

“King of Subversive Bloggers” – James Gill
 

 

Leges sneak in unconstitutional benefits Wednesday, Jul 16 2014 

kleptocracy

Kleptocracy: government by those who seek chiefly status and personal gain at the expense of the governed

This is a follow-up to a previous commentary. ( See here.)

Section 2 of Act 859 of the 2014 Regular Session by Senator J.P. Morrell gives the Superintendent of State Police an additional $30,000 a year in retirement benefits for the remainder of his life and his family’s life at the expense of the Louisiana taxpayers.

Unconstitutional

Section 2 of Act 859 violates at least 6 provisions of the state constitution:

– It was not introduced 45 days prior to the opening day of the 2014 Regular Session. (La. Const. Article III, Section 2, Paragraph (2)(c))

– It was not advertised prior to being introduced. (La. Const. Article X, Section 29C)

– It does not contain a recitation that it was advertised. (La. Const. Article X, Section 29C)

– No funding source cited. (La. Const. Article X, Section 29F)

– As amended contains two objects. (La. Const. Article III, Section 15, Paragraph A)

– Language to provide the extra benefits is not germane to bill as introduced. (La. Const. Article III, Section 15, Paragraph C)

Culprits

Here are the names and email addresses of the leges that sneaked this special interest legislation through the lege process:

Rep. Bryan Adams: badams@legis.la.gov
Rep. Jeff Arnold: larep102legis.la.gov
Rep. Walt Leger: wleger@legis.la.gov
Sen. J.P. Morrell: jpmorrell@legis.la.gov
Sen. Neil Riser: nriser@legis.la.gov
Sen. Mike Walsworth: mwalsworth@legis.la.gov

Worst than sausage

The lege process is often compared to watching sausage being made. That is meant to convey the idea that the process is ugly, but the end product is worth it. In this case, even the end product is horrible.

This is the type of legislation that is referred to by insiders as “snakes” that crawl out in the last days of a session. For most snake is much less appetizing than sausage.

Action needed

There’s only two ways to prevent these unconstitutional benefits from being paid and restoring integrity to the lege process.

The head of the State Police can refuse the benefits or by someone filing a lawsuit. In the latter case, the above listed leges should institute the lawsuit.

Finally, if you know an active or retired member of the La. State Police, please pass this on to them.

C.B.

“King of Subversive Bloggers” – James Gill
 

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