Should members of the LSU Board of Supervisors disclose who receives their scholarships?|
|Re-elect Hoffmann, Kostelka|
Two local lawmakers who will stand for re-election in the Oct. 22 primary should be returned to office for another four years.
They are Rep. Frank Hoffmann, R-West Monroe, and Sen. Bob Kostelka, R-Monroe.
When Hoffmann first sought the District 15 seat in the House of Representatives in the 2007 election cycle, we were leery of how Hoffmann would vote in the Legislature. Our concerns centered on whether Hoffmann's background as a career educator would prompt him to embrace a movement to raise taxes to pump more money into public education in Louisiana. We are not suggesting the state public education community is flush with cash. Instead, we simply oppose any increase in taxes under any circumstances at this time.
Hoffmann took his seat in the House in January 2008, and since that time, we have been impressed with how he has represented his constituents, delicately balancing the interests of the business community and the public sector. Hoffmann also has shown us that he clearly understands the problems facing the people in general in District 15 as well as the state as a whole.
Accordingly, District 15 voters should re-elect Hoffmann on Oct. 22 in his campaign against Wayne Trichel, a Democrat from West Monroe.
In the District 35 Senate race, Kostelka is a facing a spirited challenger in Jeff Guerriero, a Monroe Republican who practices law for a living.
Elected to the Senate in 2003 after a successful career as an assistant district attorney, district attorney, 4th Judicial District Court judge and as a member of the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeal, Kostelka has distinguished himself as an elder statesman in the Legislature where he most recently served as chairman of the Senate and Governmental Affairs Committee.
Standing by a pledge he made when the business community recruited him to run for the Senate in 2003, Kostelka has consistently voted to reduce taxes during his first two terms in office, but he hasn't been a push-over for the business lobby either. He's an independent thinker in more ways than one.
Though a conservative Republican, Kostelka crossed party lines to work with Rep. Jim Fannin of Jonesboro in authoring legislation that allows high school students to pursue a curriculum geared toward preparing them to enter the workforce after graduation. The career diploma law Kostelka and Fannin put together represented common-sense legislation that's hard to come by in the Legislature these days. We would like to see more of it in the future.
Two years ago, Kostelka was roundly criticized for voting for a pay raise for members of the Legislature. The criticism intensified when Kostelka refused to shy away from his vote for the pay raise measure.
Not only was Kostelka correct in arguing that compensation for state lawmakers should be increased, we admired his conviction in standing by what he thought was the right thing to do, even after Gov. Bobby Jindal vetoed the pay hike bill.
It takes guts for a lawmaker to stand by a controversial vote, especially when the general public and the media are in hot pursuit to make hay about it.
If there's one thing Kostelka has, it's guts.
And that's one of the reasons District 35 voters should return him to the Senate for a third and final term.