U. S. Rep. Garret Graves calls former Sen. Vitter’s 11% DOTD efficiency claim “sound,” while Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne readily admits to “not knowing” what the number is.

U. S. Congressman Garret Graves, R-LA.


Appearing before the Baton Rouge Press Club (BRPC) on Monday, August 7, 2017, U. S. Rep. Garret Graves, R-LA, emphatically stated that former U. S. Sen. David Vitter’s assertion that DOTD spends only 11% of the state-level funds it takes in on actual highway and road construction is “sound.”  Meanwhile, Gov. John Bel Edwards’ Commissioner of Administration, appearing before the BRPC on Monday, June 12, 2017 readily admitted that he has no idea what the number is:

Graves emphatically reinforces Vitter’s 11% DOTD state-level efficiency claim and refutes Gov. Edwards’ Revenue Secretary, Kimberly Robinson’s, claim that the figure is inaccurate.


Meanwhile, Gov. Edwards’ Commission of Administration, Jay Dardenne, despite making $230,000 a year to essentially serve as Louisiana’s Chief Financial Officer, and whose hiring by Gov. Edwards had an IMMEDIATE approximate $615,000 increase on the LASERS Unfunded Accrued Pension Liability, readily admits that he has no idea what the correct figure is.


Graves responds to a question by Sound Off Louisiana‘s Robert Burns entailing whether Gov. Edwards’ appointees’ actions of hiring convicted felon Larry S. Bankston to serve as legal counsel for critical flood recovery boards and commissions such as the Contractor’s Board and the Amite River Basin Commission (which directs and oversees the construction of the Comite River Diversion Canal) may send the wrong message to his colleagues in Washington, DC.


CLICK HERE for Congressman Graves’ 7/7/17 BRPC presentation in its entirety.

CLICK HERE for Commissioner Jay Dardenne’s 6/12/17 BRPC presentation in its entirety (perhaps he was too busy drafting a poem at the request of Public Radio’s Sue Lincoln to study up on DOTD’s efficiency level).  After all, that poem comprised the vast majority of The Advocate’s fluff piece on his BRPC appearance.

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Gov. Edwards experiences avalanche of “bad optics.”

Gov. Edwards up-close and personal with Arthur “Silky Slim” Reed.

Immediately upon former Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal winning re-election in 2011 and it becoming time to announce victory and take a victory photo, Taylor Huckaby, his Director of Media Operations, stated that Jindal staffers demanded that people of Indian descent, who had worked tirelessly on Jindal’s re-election effort, be removed from the stage for the victory photo because including them in the photo would constitute “bad optics.”


Such an action on Jindal’s part largely illuminates why his quest for the Presidency was such a dismal failure.  Not only was such an order a huge slap in the face to volunteers who were his most fervent supporters, but it generated animosity among them that Jindal had become ashamed of his heritage and no longer wanted to be associated with them or the Indian heritage at all for fear such an association would not play well toward procuring the nomination for President of the United States in 2016.


While Jindal’s “bad optics” existed only in the minds of him and his staffers and were in no way real had they permitted those Indian volunteers to remain in the photo, Jindal’s successor, Gov. John Bel Edwards, has garnered an avalanche of actual bad optics over the last several months, to wit:



Gov. Edwards smiles broadly while posing for a picture with Arthur “Silky Slim” Reed, who famously made this quote when speaking before the EBRP Metro Council in July, 2017 (see video below):  “Justice has already been served. An eye for an eye.  So justice came when Gavin Long came.”  Long was the gunman who came down to Baton Rouge from Kansas City, Missouri and ambushed Baton Rouge Police Officers, killing three of them:

Slim provides some of the worst “optics” possible for Gov. Edwards at the EBRP Council Meeting of July 2017.  CLICK HERE for U. S. Senator John Kennedy’s take on $9,800 of BRAVE money being allocated to Slim by current EBRP Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome, whom Gov. Edwards heavily endorsed in last year’s race for EBRP Mayor-President.


Slim, in demanding the resignation of former EBRP Mayor-President Melven “Kip” Holden, curses the very God he claims he now serves after having become a Christian upon release from his prison sentence.


Slim provides yet more “bad optics” for Edwards in an 8/10/17 meeting of the EBRP Metro Council.


Despite Gov. Edwards being in possession for over a year of a report by the Louisiana State Trooper’s Association calling for Edwards to remove Commissioner Calvin Braxton from the Louisiana State Police Commission for seeking preferential treatment for his daughter’s DWI, to include insisting that the trooper be reassigned to New Orleans for a period to “get his head right,” Braxton boldly proclaims, “The Governor did what he did.  I’m still here.”  CLICK HERE for more on Edwards’ Braxton debacle.  


Despite Rev. Freddie Lee Phillips being an ordained minister who has served as pastor of Jehovah Ministries in Baton Rouge and, in sharp contrast to Slim, has NO criminal record whatsoever, Gov. Edwards stands by and permits appointees of his to the Louisiana State Board of Interior Designers, led by Chairman Deborah Steinmetz, to continue a long-standing pattern of VERY OBVIOUS racial profiling.  CLICK HERE for Rev. Phillips’ thoughts on Edwards’ IDB appointees.  


On May 9, 2016, Gov. Edwards provides a TOTALLY FALSE explanation for why he terminated Rev. Phillips from the Auctioneer Licensing Board merely 20 days after having appointed him [appointment:  4/20/16  termination:  May 5, 2016].   CLICK HERE to see what REALLY transpired behind the scenes to prompt Edwards to terminate Phillips from the Board.



Nelda Dural and Louisiana House Speaker Taylor Barras, R-New Iberia


Speaker Barras makes emphatic point to Dural


Nelda Dural and Americans for Prosperity Regional Director John Kay


Now the preceding photos and brief videos bring us to the main purpose of today’s Sound Off Louisiana feature.  On July 12, 2017, Cosmetologist Nelda Dural attended the Republican Party of Louisiana’s legislative wrap-up for which the featured speaker was Louisiana Speaker of the House Taylor Barras (Dural is pictured with Barras above).  Dural indicates that, in sharp contrast to Gov. Edwards’ empty promises to assist her with what she asserts is an injustice of the Louisiana State Board of Cosmetology’s closing of her New Iberia (Barras’ home) Cosmetology Institute, Barras indicated an firm resolve to assist her in getting her school back open.  Dural, in providing a tour of her school in the video below, praised Speaker Barras, Rep. Julie Emerson, R-Carencro, the Institute for Justice (and its Senior Legislative Counsel, Lee McGrath), Americans for Prosperity (and its Regional Director, John Kay – with whom Dural is also featured standing by above), and Charles and David Koch, but expressed her disappointment and frustration in Gov. Edwards, his Head of his Boards and Commissions, Ellen Palmintier, as well as Edwards’ appointees to the Cosmetology Board, expressing particular frustration with Edwards’ Chairman, Edwin Neill:


Dural provides tour of her closed-down Iberia School of Cosmetology.

McGrath, Kay, and Rep. Emerson fought hard to pass Emerson’s HB-468, which would have freed hair braiders, who are predominantly, if not exclusively, African American, to practice their trade without the need for a license just as the Institute for Justice has been able to achieve in other states all over the nation.  However, for those who may not be aware, Sen. John Alario, “R” – Westwego, held that bill and others hostage in attempting to cram Edwards’ budget down Louisiana House Republicans’ throats.  It’s just another instance of Edwards and Alario being willing to stifle economic opportunities for minorities while publicly stating how much they strive to help the same groups, and frankly, Dural states that much better than we can, so we’ll let her do the talking as she emphatically does in the video above.

So, Gov. Edwards, you may want to get a new eyeglass prescription because, unlike the imagined (and irrational) “bad optics” of your predecessor, you REALLY DO have some “bad optics.”   With only two years to go before many of the same constituents who supported you in 2015 are provided the opportunity to judge you again in 2019, we at Sound Off Louisiana just figured we’d help you clear up some of your vision problems.  After all, Gov. Edwards, as that old saying goes, “There are none so blind as those who refuse to see!”


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