Should members of the LSU Board of Supervisors disclose who receives their scholarships?|
Story Archives: Gallot called it correctly
- 2013 - 961 articles
- 2012 - 1954 articles
- 2011 - 2029 articles
- 2010 - 2139 articles
- December 2010 - 176 articles
- November 2010 - 187 articles
- October 2010 - 180 articles
- September 2010 - 198 articles
- August 2010 - 154 articles
- July 2010 - 197 articles
- June 2010 - 148 articles
- May 2010 - 167 articles
- May 31st, 2010 (Monday) - 1 articles
- May 27th, 2010 (Thursday) - 33 articles
- May 26th, 2010 (Wednesday) - 1 articles
- May 25th, 2010 (Tuesday) - 1 articles
- May 22nd, 2010 (Saturday) - 1 articles
- May 21st, 2010 (Friday) - 2 articles
- May 20th, 2010 (Thursday) - 42 articles
- May 18th, 2010 (Tuesday) - 2 articles
- May 14th, 2010 (Friday) - 1 articles
- May 13th, 2010 (Thursday) - 34 articles
- May 11th, 2010 (Tuesday) - 2 articles
- May 9th, 2010 (Sunday) - 2 articles
- May 8th, 2010 (Saturday) - 2 articles
- May 7th, 2010 (Friday) - 1 articles
- May 6th, 2010 (Thursday) - 41 articles
- May 5th, 2010 (Wednesday) - 1 articles
- April 2010 - 241 articles
- March 2010 - 170 articles
- February 2010 - 167 articles
- January 2010 - 154 articles
- 2009 - 2066 articles
- 2008 - 1757 articles
|Gallot called it correctly|
Rep. Rick Gallot of Grambling hit the nail on the head when he opined recently that creating super black and super white legislative districts was a "horrible idea."
Gallot's comment surfaced in a newspaper column over the weekend. The column touched on an ongoing flair-up between Gallot and House Speaker Jim Tucker. Though they're supposed to be allies, it seems some bad blood exists between Gallot and Tucker in light of Tucker removing two Democrats from House and Governmental Affairs Committee (HGA), which Gallot chairs.
Gallot is a Democrat. Tucker is a Republican, who, as Speaker of the House, has the authority to assign or remove members to or from any House committee. He carries a big stick.
Tucker removed the Dems from Gallot's committee and replaced them with two Republicans shortly after the contested Speaker Pro-Tem election at the onset of the Regular Session. The Tucker-backed candidate, Joel Robideaux, defeated Rep. Noble Ellington in a close vote among House members to become the No. 2 man in the House of Representatives.
Apparently, Tucker didn't appreciate so many members of the House that he oversees voting against his candidate. He leveled the playing field, so to speak, following the vote by stripping some lawmakers of their committee assignments.
As one might understand, Gallot didn't appreciate Tucker's meddling with the composition of HGA.
As chairman of HGA, Gallot will ride herd over the redrawing of state legislative and congressional districts when the final numbers are in from the 2010 Census. Senate and Governmental Affairs Committee (SGA) will juggle those responsibilities on the other side of the capitol, or in the Senate. Sen. Robert Kostelka of Monroe is chairman of SGA.
Back in the House, or in HGA, Gallot suggested that Tucker's move to assign two more Republicans to his committee was an effort to stack the committee with conservative lawmakers who may be inclined to draw those super black and super white legislative districts. Tucker denied the charge.
Regardless of the politics that may have been at play in molding the composition of HGA and what may or may not transpire concerning redistricting in the not-too-distant future, Gallot's "horrible idea" remark should not be overlooked. In fact, he's on to something that anyone who possesses even a passing interest in seeing the state move forward should pay attention to when redistricting gets under way in earnest later this year or in the spring of 2011.
We know from experience that a lawmaker who represents one of those super black or super white districts is prone to ignore the concerns of his or her minority constituents. Whether those minority constituents are black or white doesn't matter. A minority is a minority.
We also are fully aware of how responsive a lawmaker from a relatively racially balanced district can be in responding to the needs of his or her constituents regardless of the color of their skin. After all, a lawmaker who must represent a fair number of blacks and a fair number of whites tends to pay attention to everyone's needs and wants.
If the Legislature embarks on a path in creating super black and super white legislative districts you can rest assured that it will contribute to the polarization of the Legislature in general. If you doubt what I say, take a look at the Congress and ask yourself whether it's polarized. Ask yourself if the Congress works for you and for the betterment of the country as whole.
We've reached the point in Louisiana in which our politics now mirror the national scene. Bluntly put, party politics have taken over the state, and it's affecting the Legislature as well.
Close friendships among lawmakers are few and far between. Constructive working relationships are hard to come by, too.
Crafting super black and super white legislative districts would make it worse.