Rep. Ventrella’s “1,000 hour hair-only license bill” goes down in flames but, in the process, demonstrates Gov. Landry is a charlatan and exposes the hypocrisy of him, House Speaker DeVillier, and Rep. Mike Johnson.

On May 8, 2024, Louisiana Rep. Mike Johnson (R-Pineville), urged on by Louisiana House Speaker Phillip DeVillier (R-New Iberia), who lobbied House Members hard to kill HB-930 by State Rep. Lauren Ventrella, signals his “no” vote with a thumbs down signal directly to DeVillier.

In a recent feature, we stressed just how resolute Gov. Jeff Landry’s recent Cosmetology Board appointees have been in defeating HB-930 sponsored by State Rep. Lauren Ventrella (R-Greenwell Springs).  The bill would have created a new “hair only” license which students could obtain in a “mere” 1,000 hours rather than the current 1,500 hours required for a full-blown cosmetology license.  That cosmetology license includes being able to provide nail and facial services which many students indicate they have no intention whatsoever to provide.  In short, they just want to perform hair salon services.

On Wednesday, May 22, 2024, those newly-appointed Cosmetology Board Members, in concert with one holdover Member from the Edwards administration, Jill Hebert, who was so livid about a similar measure last year that she called upon the then-Chairman of the Louisiana State Board of Cosmetology (LSBC), Edwin Neill, to “immediately resign,” succeeded in defeating Ventrella’s bill.  We’ll provide more details on that defeat shortly.

In the defeat of Ventrella’s bill, Louisiana citizens obtained a genuine appreciation for the utter hypocrisy of Gov. Landry, House Speaker Phillip DeVillier, and Representative Mike Johnson.  Beyond that hypocrisy, the defeat of Ventrella’s bill cast a very bright spotlight on Landry’s charlatan nature.

In our prior feature on Ventrella’s bill, we stressed the fact that Landry’s Cosmetology Board Members, “apparently did not get the memo” regarding Landry’s bold proclamation on March 7, 2024 at the Pelican Institute’s Solutions Summit at which Landry committed to eliminate many of Louisiana’s overly-burdensome occupational licensing requirements such as the added 500 hours to obtain a full-blown cosmetology license when plenty of students simply want to attend school for 1,000 hours (as they can do in Texas for a full-blown cosmetology license) and obtain a “hair-only” license!

With the benefit of hindsight and the knowledge that Landry leaned heavily upon Louisiana House Speaker Phillip DeVillier (R-New Iberia) to kill Ventrella’s bill on the House Floor, we can easily draft the following hypothetical email that Landry could have easily drafted and distributed to his new Cosmetology Board Members:

To:  Newly Appointed Members of the LSBC

From:  Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry

Subject:  Dispelling Fears of My Statements About Occupational Licensing Before the Pelican Institute at its Solutions Summit of Yesterday, March 7, 2024

Date:  March 8, 2024


By now you have likely heard that yesterday, March 7, 2024,  I committed to about 300 or so attendees at the Pelican Institute’s annual Solutions Summit that I would reduce or eliminate overly-burdensome barriers to entry entailing occupational licenses in Louisiana, and I stated that doing so would enable more Louisiana citizens to go to work, pay taxes, and reduce their school debt burdens.

I just want to reassure you that my comments yesterday were nothing more than the typical horse manure that any Republican Governor would have to make when speaking before an audience like that!  Nothing more.  Pure and simple!

I am writing to reassure you that, just as I did for the eight years during which I served as your Attorney General, I have your back!  In fact, during my tenure as AG, it was me, Jeff Landry, who steadfastly enriched law firms in Louisiana as they defended legal attacks against your turf such as The Institute for Justice’s lawsuit against the LSBC regarding hair braiding in Louisiana.  That litigation is now in its fifth year, and as AG, I stood by all of you then, and I stand by all of you now as Governor!

Also, please don’t forget that it was me, acting as Attorney General Jeff Landry, who devised a protection plan to shield Louisiana Boards and Commission members from personal liability.  You can bet the LSBC Members appreciate my efforts on that and, you can take it to the bank that the Members of the State Board of Veterinary Medicine appreciate it as the Pelican Institute (yes the same group before which I spoke yesterday) actually sued that Board recently over the denials of two veterinarian licenses.

Getting back to you all, surely you recall Kevin Martin, right?  He is a cosmetology instructor at the public W. D. Smith Career Academy against whom that pesky blogger, Robert Burns, accumulated enough evidence against that, not only did he (Burns)  convince KLFY (Channel 10 in Lafayette) to air a feature openly asking me what I would do about the situation, but he also managed to convince Lafayette parish DA Keith Stutes to refer the matter to me for criminal prosecution.  I’m sure that you all will recall that my office announced (as reflected on that KLFY feature I link above) that we at the AG’s Office would be, “opening a criminal investigation into the matter.”

What we didn’t tell KLFY, Burns, or anyone else is that we closed that criminal investigation only minutes after KLFY’s camera crew left!  My statements of criminal investigation fall under the category of more horse manure that you just have to spread sometimes when a television station seeks comment.  What happened in the end?  As I stress to you throughout this email correspondence, I had your back then!  Not only did we not open any criminal investigation, but then-Gov. John Bel Edwards subsequently appointed Martin to the LSBC!  Now I ask you, is that not the epitome of having your back?

Also, you see, Burns and other pesky reporters rely upon public records to be able to cause me and others problems such as the Kevin Martin situation outlined above.  That’s why it was me, Gov. Jeff Landry, who went to bat so hard to shield virtually everyone from being able to get any kind of public records.  Can you imagine how much easier all of your lives and mine and other State government officials’ lives would be if I only didn’t have people like Burns, Scott Sternberg, Chris Nakamoto, Lee Zurik, and others with those darn records?!  I’m fuming mad at all of them for blocking my diligent efforts on those public records, and Burns had the unmitigated gall to recruit my own cousin, Billy Broussard (and several others), to testify against the bill I was pushing!  Burns even referenced me as a, “used car lemon who needs to be returned to the car lot.”

Now, just like last year, you’re going to learn of a bill to do like Texas has done and reduce the number of classroom hours for obtaining a cosmetology license from 1,500 to 1,000.

Even if the bill’s sponsor agrees to make that lowered 1,000-hour requirement applicable for “hair only,” and even if she stresses that what would be removed from the cosmetology license requirements would entail nails and facials, I have your back!

In fact, I want to personally assure you that House Speaker Phillip DeVillier will lobby House Members to kill the bill on the House Floor!  You have my personal assurance of that!

Further, State Rep. Mike Johnson, who introduced me at the Pelican Institute’s Solutions Summit, has assured me that he will go out of his way to make it known that he opposes the bill!

Look, let’s not kid ourselves.  I know your concerns!  I know Louisiana Cosmetology schools entail big-time money!  In fact, I remember reading on Sound Off Louisiana where Gov. Edwards’ former LSBC Chairman, Edwin Neill, Jr., had to sue his financial savior!  What a read that was as I read where Neill couldn’t even get credit and was experiencing a “cash shortage.”

So, look, I know how crucial it is for cosmetology schools to keep generating bundles of cash for operations and, if those bundles of cash must come from members on the lower end of the economic spectrum, that’s just the way it is!

Look, I know you guys have hired a big-time lobbyist, Ryan Haynie, and I know he doesn’t come cheap.  At the end of the day, money flow from lobbyists is all we really care about at the Legislature, and you all have done your jobs in that regard, so trust me that, when I tell you that I’ve got your back, I mean it!

Now, I know what you’re wondering:  How can I defy my own comments to the Pelican Institute and other similar groups and ensure that I’ve got your backs and not risk losing an election?  That’s a very good question, and let me provide the secret formula we, as SOCIAL conservative Republicans, have utilized for a long time.

Here’s what we do:  We whip Louisiana Christian Conservative Republican voters into a frenzy by flooding the Legislature with social legislation such as making abortion-inducting pills a controlled dangerous substance (hey, we made national news on that one!), concealed carry legislation, trans bathroom legislation, pronoun use in public schools, “don’t say gay” bills, posting the Ten Commandments in schools, and even immigration legislation and many, many others.  As a first-year Governor, I flooded the Legislature with just such legislation.

Is that legislation important?  Yes, but not only for the purpose of imposing the Christian values that I and many of my supporters champion, but perhaps the far more important reason for such legislation is that it helps greatly to cause voters to essentially take their eye off the ball when it comes to initiatives such as the ones which have been filed entailing your turf, the cosmetology school industry, in Louisiana!  It’s an utterly brilliant pattern that we’ve successfully used year in and year out!

Now, there is one guy who figured our formula for success out, and his name is Stephen Waugespack, but everyone calls him “Wags.”  As the President of LABI, in voicing the frustration of many of his business member organizations, Wags was known to say, “Look, just being pro life and pro gun is not enough!”  Darn good thing we were able to keep him down in the polls via a crowded GOP field, huh?

It gets worse though!  Do you realize that a sitting U. S. Congressman, Garret Graves, actually had the unmitigated gall to endorse Wags over me?!  Well, I took care of him, didn’t I?  Yep.  Going to redistrict him right out of office and replace him with State Sen. Cleo Fields!  Now there’s a man in whom all Louisiana voters can be proud.  By God, he helped suppress black voter turnout and thereby ensured I won in the primary!

That’s why, when a few disgruntled folk like State Sen. Alan Seabaugh sued over the map myself and Sen. Fields favored and actually won at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, I wasted no time calling up AG Liz Murill (she basically ran the office the whole time I was AG while I hung out at the hunting camps and entertained legislators) to file an emergency writ to stay the Fifth Circuit’s Order.  You see who ultimately won, huh?  So, when I tell anybody that, “I’ve got your back,” I mean I’ve got your back!  In that instance, it was State Sen. Cleo Fields, and Seabaugh can just live with Fields being his U. S. Congressman at least for a while!

So, I just wanted to take this opportunity to ensure everyone in the cosmetology school industry that you all know just how strongly I have your back and that you can let the comments I made at the Pelican Institute’s Solutions Summit yesterday go in one ear and out the other.  As I indicated above, that’s just the typical horse manure you have to say to those folk!  After all, attendees paid $100 – $150 each to attend, so I can’t get up there and say I’m going to block initiatives they back, can I?  No, I can’t, but you have my word that it is your back that I have and not their backs nor those fighting to make a living in Louisiana (those folk have no money to buy influence and, heck, by their own admissions, they’re in debt up to their eyeballs)!  So, by God, Texas is 1,000 hours, so let them move to Texas and pursue a cosmetology career over there!

So, there’s the hypothetical (though, as far as we’re concerned, it may as well be authentic) email Landry may as well have sent to the cosmetology schools in Louisiana.

Now, let’s drill down for that hypocrisy as we wrap up this feature.

First, as Gov. Landry referenced in his “hypothetical email” above, Johnson wanted to make triple-darn-sure everyone knew he voted to kill the bill on the House Floor.  Though we’ve illustrated that fact by the still photo for this feature showing him giving House Speaker Phillip DeVillier the thumbs down symbol to communicate clearly his opposition to the bill, let’s go ahead and give him his 41-seconds of fame to let him demonstrate that, just like a second-grader wanting to make sure the teacher knows he did his assignment, Johnson made sure everybody viewing knew of his opposition.  Furthermore, he appeared to stare directly at the vote tally very intensely trying to ascertain the bill’s fate.  Here’s that 41 seconds of fame for Rep. Mike Johnson:

 May 8, 2024:  Rep. Johnson makes sure everyone sees his “no” vote and then stares at the tally board assessing the bill’s fate.

Okay.  Now on to House Speaker Phillip DeVillier’s off-the-charts hypocrisy!  The day before DeVillier and Johnson voted against the bill (at the direct behest of Gov. Landry), DeViller gave a presentation in support of Landry’s call for a Constitutional Convention that would put any televangelist to shame.  We have captured three minutes of this award-winning televangelistic performance; however, we will also provide a link  for the approximate 9-minute entirety of his performance in case anyone would care to watch it.  Here we go:

 May 7, 2024:  Louisiana House Speaker DeVillier gets an Academy Award for his televangelistic message encouraging his colleagues to vote in favor of Landry’s Constitutional Convention.  Please be aware that your audio IS WORKING during the first nine (9) seconds as Televangelist DeVillier seeks guidance from God.  CLICK HERE for DeVillier’s performance in its entirety.

Can anybody believe the hypocrisy of the above video?  He talks about 50,000 school age children (public and private) moving out of Louisiana then, on the very next day, he votes against a bill that would have helped level the playing field for Texas vs. Louisiana and thereby sent a direct message of, “keep going to Texas!”  That has got to be the absolute epitome of hypocrisy!

Also, this whole tearful display of “missing Cooper’s tennis matches to be here,” is absurd!  The reality is that these guys (and ladies) congregate at some of the finest restaurants and are whined and dined by lobbyists like most Louisiana citizens can only dream of.  DeVillier and all the other Louisiana Legislators are never going to give those opportunities up!  They relish the meals and such too much!  Even if DeVillier’s arguments are true, however, nobody put a gun to his head and forced him to run for the office; furthermore, if all the commemorative proclamations (we’re surprised there hasn’t been a “Louisiana Grasshopper Day of Recognition”) were eliminated, these folks could be out in about half the time!

Now, despite Gov. Landry, Speaker DeVillier, and Representative Johnson’s best efforts to kill the bill, it passed out of the House (see Johnson video above) by a margin of 60-38.

Now, on to the Louisiana Senate where we not only want to stress the bill being killed in the Senate Commerce Committee by a Motion to Involuntarily defer by Sen. Mark Abraham (R-Lake Charles), but we want to demonstrate via brief videos the utterly despicable comments made by Abraham and one other opponent of the bill (we’ll get to her shortly) regarding Jeremy Aydell, who is a highly successful businessman owning 16 Sports Clips locations throughout Louisiana and who also is a CPA holding a Master’s Degree in accounting from LSU (full disclosure:  Burns is also an inactive CPA).

We want to begin by reminding everyone that it was Sen. Abraham (though then a State Representative) who then-Americans for Prosperity’s Executive Director, John Kay (who now serves as Senior Policy Advisor to Landry), first inducted into AFP’s “Taker’s Dozen.”   Here’s a screen-shot just in case the preceding link is deactivated:

So, in the following video, Abraham falsely accuses Aydell of, “probably paying lower” thus causing “high turnover” at his Sports Clips shops.  Once Aydell authoritatively shot Abraham’s false claim down (just watch how he does so!), Abraham was forced to go “off script” (because, trust us, he’d been provided with accusatory material against Aydell prior to the Senate Commerce Committee hearing), and resorted to a completely nonsensical argument that Aydell should abandon direct employment of cosmetologists and providing strong benefit packages like health care, 401K, etc., in favor of an independent contractor model.  We are NOT kidding, folks!  Just watch it for yourself:

 May 22, 2024:  Sen. Abraham falsely accuses Aydell of underpaying his employees then, when confronted with the fact Aydell provides 401K benefits, health care, and other benefits, Abraham is forced to go “off script” and resort to the utterly nonsensical argument that Aydell should abandon providing such benefits and adopt an independent contractor approach.

We watched the above video repeatedly before uploading it because we wanted to make sure we heard Abraham correctly, and we did!  So, Abraham is the very sort of legislator that Landry, DeVillier, and Johnson have aligned themselves with in opposing Ventrella’s bill.  Presumably, Americans for Prosperity’s admonitions about Abraham (remember, he was the first inductee into AFP’s “Taker’s Dozen”) are now meaningless to Landry et. al.

What is also frustrating about Abraham’s commentary is that he, along with many other legislators, have repeatedly (and we do mean repeatedly) ignored Rep. Ventrella’s repeated instances of emphasizing that the hours reduction entails nails and facials and NOT hair!  Obviously, these legislators, along with Gov. Landry, have selective hearing or else they don’t want to counter Ventrella’s argument (most likely because they know they can’t).  Of course, the reality is, as expressed in Landry’s “hypothetical email,” they don’t care!  It’s a simple case of “follow the money,” and the cosmetology schools flood lobbyists (one in particular) to drown out everyone else, the strength of arguments notwithstanding.

Now, as bad as Abraham’s “arguments” against Aydell were, they can’t remotely compete with what we’re about to present by one of the bill’s opponents, Lynn Glaze.  In fact, Glaze’s comments, which we believe are, at best, reckless, and at worst, blatantly slanderous, constitute something we had reservations about even presenting because they are simply not even worth dignifying.  Nevertheless, just to demonstrate how ruthless and malicious the attacks against Aydell have become, we have made an editorial decision that we are presenting her commentary, as reckless (and likely slanderous) as we assess that commentary to be.

Before we do that, however, we want to stress that we very much like State Sen. Beth Mizell (R-Franklinton).  Her only fault, to us at least, is that she’s simply too nice.  Mizell serves as Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee and, based on her opening remarks as Glaze begins to speak, we have to believe Mizell was forewarned that Glaze’s commentary would likely veer way off from the bill.  If she was forewarned, Glaze lived up to the forewarning and then some and, being honest, we believe Mizell really should have shut the following garbage down.  With that forewarning of our own, here are highlights of Glaze’s personal attacks on Aydell:

5/22/24:  Glaze engages in reckless (and likely slanderous) commentary about Aydell.

Beyond the absurd comments about Aydell, Glaze also references someone receiving hair care service on Friday and dying two days later.  She also then expects sympathy because of a Texas school owner who, at least according to her, committed suicide after Texas reduced its hours to 1,000 because he couldn’t keep his school afloat!  What an utterly asinine argument!  So, unless the government mandates this extra 500 hours, he can’t make it!  Well, that’s the way the free enterprise system works; furthermore, if the owner of that school was that mentally unstable, students and instructors of that school are lucky he didn’t come into the school in a blaze of glory and take a bunch of them out with him.  Hopefully anyone can see why we said Glaze’s commentary isn’t worth dignifying.

Nevertheless, that is the nature of the folk with whom Landry has aligned himself in defeating this bill in direct contradiction to his commitment to attendees on March 7, 2024 at the Pelican Institute’s Solution Summit!  Glaze wraps it up by saying Aydell should, “move away from Louisiana.”  In our opinion, with charlatans like Jeff Landry and hypocrites like Mike Johnson and Speaker DeVillier running the show, maybe Glaze’s admonition to Aydell applies equally to all of the rest of us!

Finally, with the obvious hypocrisy and deceit Landry and others have demonstrated above, they’re soon (presumably) going to ask us to vote in favor of an overhaul of Louisiana’s Constitution based on a hurried and haphazard “Convention” Landry is pushing.

We can only speak for ourselves, but we don’t feel, after watching Landry’s words on March 7, 2024 and his contradictory actions thereafter, that we can trust anything that comes out of his mouth!  Not one word!

Thus, right now, we are a “hard no” on whatever alterations this group wants to make to the existing Louisiana Constitution when it comes time to cast our votes on the matter in November, and we’ve explained exactly why above, with DeVillier’s televangelistic performance outlined above solidifying our decision more than anything else on the matter!



2 thoughts on “Rep. Ventrella’s “1,000 hour hair-only license bill” goes down in flames but, in the process, demonstrates Gov. Landry is a charlatan and exposes the hypocrisy of him, House Speaker DeVillier, and Rep. Mike Johnson.”

  1. No wonder you took a couple weeks off! Should have known you were ready to kick some a–. You took a 2 x 4 and slammed the living daylights out of these clowns! I’m with you! I can’t vote for a new constitution coming from this crew… how, no way!!!!!

  2. Look to me like the only people Landry want to have any prosperity is the damn school owner. The woman on that video is certified/

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