Sep 292016
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

In a speech laced with religious references, Governor John Bel Edwards told 200 attendees at a dinner last night sponsored by the Jefferson Parish Democratic Executive Committee that he was pleased that the federal government has taken the first step in committing $500 million of what he hopes will be a multi-billion dollar aid package for Louisiana’s flood victims. The group honored Edwards with their 2016 Blue Horizon award.

“Louisiana has had significant challenges during the last year,” the governor said. But Edwards believes that the citizens of Louisiana benefit when Republican and Democratic elected officials “work together for the common good.”

Edwards said he will also continue to fight every year until the state’s minimum wage is increased. Edwards received a standing ovation when he cited the state’s recent expansion of Medicaid through which an additional 312,000 Louisiana residents received health coverage as one of his major accomplishments since being sworn in 10 months ago.

Edwards explained that Louisiana’s biggest asset is her citizens and that additional investments must be made in education, infrastructure, health care and other areas because it’s the “right thing” to do. “God has blessed Louisiana with the best people and plentiful natural resources, so why are we lagging behind?” he asked.

Edwards believes that with smart, strategic decisions, the state can move forward. “I am excited about Louisiana’s future,” Edwards told the crowd gathered which included State Senate President John Alario, State Senator Troy Carter, State Representatives Robert Billiot, Joe Marino, Rodney Lyons, Stephanie Hilferty, and the newly elected state representative Polly Thomas. Also in attendance were Jefferson Parish Council members Mark Spears and Jennifer Van Vracken, Gretna Police Chief Arthur Lawson and Kenner Councilman Greg Carroll.

Edwards praised the three democratic U.S. Senate candidates the group invited to make remarks for their willingness to fight for Louisiana in Washington.

Gov. John Bel Edwards poses for a photo with Wilma Heaton of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority East. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Gov. John Bel Edwards poses for a photo with Wilma Heaton of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority East. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

TRUMP DOWN BUT NOT OUT

While Donald Trump might have lost the first debate to Hillary Clinton due in large part to his lack of preparation and her superior knowledge of and ability to articulate the issues, the election is far from over. Generally, more women and minorities are moving to Clinton’s camp and more white men, evangelicals and blue collar workers are lining up behind Trump.

Though many women consider Clinton’s election a “cause,” pundits still believe that Trump supporters are more rabid than Clinton supporters and even more likely to vote. No matter what the voters tell pollsters, turnout will be key.

The Wall Street Journal calls this election cycle “atypical” and that pollsters are having difficulty deciding exactly which groups of voters will turn out. “Small changes in a demographic group’s share of the electorate can produce meaningful changes in the vote tally,” reported the Journal. Different predictions about who is likely to vote can yield very different results in opinion polls. The percentage of the white voting pool has steadily decreased in the past four presidential races while the percentage of Asian, Hispanic and African-American voters has steadily increased.

Social media was the biggest winner of the debate with tremendous side-patter on Facebook and Twitter. According to USA Today, Trump generated the most conversation (79% on Facebook and 62% on Twitter) – both good and bad. During the past month, more than 33 million Americans on Facebook have weighed in with posts related to Trump and 28 million Americans have commented on Clinton.

IS WTC CONSTRUCTON ABOUT TO BEGIN?

Even though the 5th Circuit Court of Appeal ruled last Friday that Civil District Court Judge Tiffany Chase could not throw out the lawsuit filed by Two Canal Street Investors for lack of a proper bond, it appears that the Four Seasons development team retained Eustis Engineering to begin preliminary tests at the site.

On Tuesday, Eustis mobilized equipment on the WTC front lawn that could be used to test soil samples in preparation for pile driving. A temporary fence was erected around the work site. By Wednesday evening, the fence and the equipment had been removed.

Two Canal Street Investors still claims that the New Orleans Building Corporation’s bid process was “rigged” and wants a chance to bring their “evidence” before the court. This case could drag on indefinitely and continue to drive up project costs.

SCHOOL BOARD INCUMBENT HOLDS MID-CITY FUNDRAISER

Algiers School Board member Leslie Ellison will hold a fundraiser tonight at the Half Shell, 3101 Esplanade Avenue, in Mid-City. Ellison has been an independent board member who holds strong views on education. The event begins at 5:30 p.m.

Danae Columbus has had a 30-year career in public relations, including stints at City Hall, the Dock Board and the Orleans Parish School Board. Among the recent candidates who have been represented by her public relations firm are Foster Campbell, Regina Bartholomew, City Council members Stacy Head and Jared Brossett, Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, former Sheriff Charles Foti and former Councilwoman Cynthia Hedge-Morrell.

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