The Hayride: Early Vote Favors Cassidy

11/26/2014

Rotten News For Mary From The Early Voting Statistics

By Scott McKay

Speaking of our buddy John Couvillon, whose polls of the 6th District and Senate races we posted about yesterday, here was an interesting email he circulated after analyzing the voting patterns from Saturday’s early voting results (Saturday was the first day of early voting in advance of the Dec. 6 runoffs)…

Republicans started off early voting on a good note yesterday:

(1) 49263 early voted yesterday (28% more than the early vote on the first day of primary early voting), and the racial breakdown was 72-26% white/black (it was 67-31% on Day 1 in the primary);
(2) The partisan breakdown was 46-41% Democrat/Republican (it was 54-33% Democrat/Republican after the first day of primary EVing)
(3) Given that we have two less days of early voting this time around, I’d like to have another day or two pass by before I make turnout projections, because I think the totals will be “front loaded” over three days (yesterday, Monday, and Tuesday).

And then Couvillon circulated another e-mail this morning after looking at the results from Monday…

Saturday was a good first day for the Republicans, and with a similar heavy volume yesterday, Republicans went “2 for 2″;.

(1) 45,097 early voted yesterday (52% more than the early vote on the second day of primary early voting), and the racial breakdown was 74-24% white/black (it was 67-31% on Day 2 in the primary);
(2) The partisan breakdown was 47-40% Democrat/Republican (it was 53-34% Democrat/Republican after the second day of primary EVing);
(3) To put this in perspective, black early vote volume on the second day was 18% higher than the primary, while the white vote was 36% higher. Similarly, Democratic turnout is 36% higher, Independent turnout is 46% higher, and Republican turnout is 80% higher. Republicans are definitely more enthusiastic about early voting this time around;
(4) From what I’ve seen after two days of early voting, I project a final early vote of 236K, and given that 16% of the November vote was early/absentee vote, that 236K represents an approximate voter turnout of 50%, or 1.477 million votes.

Those don’t look like Mary Landrieu’s voters. They look like Bill Cassidy’s voters. So far it looks like the black POE (percentage of electorate) for the Dec. 6 runoff might well be around 25 percent rather than the 31-32 percent Landrieu would have to have to be competitive.

If we’re looking at an electorate which is, say, 73 percent white and 25 percent black, and we apply the numbers from the Nov. 4 exit polls to the question (Landrieu got 94 percent of the black vote and 18 percent of the white vote in the primary, according to those exit polls), and you get a bad result if you’re for Mary.

94 percent of 25 percent of the electorate gives you 23.5 percent of the vote. And 18 percent of 73 percent of the electorate gives you 13.1 percent. Combine that and you get 36.6 percent. Let’s say Landrieu gets 70 percent of the rest of the vote (which is assumedly Hispanic and Asian), for an additional 1.4 percent.

Now she’s at 38. Which means Bill Cassidy is at 62. And it’s the worst electoral beating of an incumbent Senator since Republican James Glenn Beall was blown out of office by 25.6 points in Maryland in 1964 – fifth-worst for an incumbent in the history of American Senate elections.

Officials Confirm Jackson Parish Hospital Investigation

11/25/2014

Officials with the Jackson Parish Hospital in Jonesboro late this morning confirmed that the facility is being investigated by the Louisiana State Police (LSP) regarding “internal financial matters.”

Administrator Lloyd Munger and Chief Financial Officer David Sanders said the matter did not concern patient care, hospital operations, insurance payments, billing issues, or federal reimbursements.

Sanders added that the financial condition of the hospital is the best it has been in years.

Both said no accusations of wrongdoing have been made, nor have any arrests been effected. Lincoln Parish News Online can confirm that no arrests had appeared on the booking log of the Jackson Parish Sheriff’s Office as of late this morning.

Munger and Sanders said they expected a report by the end of the year, and depending upon the findings, would take appropriate steps.

Arrest made in the murder of Grover Brown

11/25/2014

By Jillian Corder, Reporter KNOE TV8

RUSTON, La. The Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Department has arrested Veronica Denice Jackson of Jonesboro, LA, in connection with the murder of Grover Brown.

On Sunday, November 23, 2014, at approximately 0730 hours, the Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Department responded to 172 Garr Road, after having been notified by family members that Mr. Grover Brown, age 58, was discovered deceased, in his home. Investigators determined that the victim had sustained a gunshot wound to the head.

Evidence gathered during the investigation led investigators to the suspect, Veronica Denice Jackson. Jackson and the victim were formerly acquainted. Jackson has been arrested and charged with second degree murder.

From Sheriff Stone: “From our department, I would like to thank the numerous law enforcement entities as well as the deputies assigned to the Criminal Investigations Division of our department that worked on this case. Tremendous working relationships make arrests in cases like this possible. Our department shares many great working relationships with our local and neighboring jurisdictions. We would like to thank the following L/E entities for their assistance: Jackson Parish Sheriff’s Department, Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Department, West Monroe Police Department, Ruston Police Department, Lincoln Parish Coroner’s Office.”

Monroe City Council Tuesday

11/24/2014

The Monroe City Council will meet Tuesday, November 25, 6:00 PM, Monroe City Hall, 400 Lea Joyner Expressway.

Here is the agenda.

Recently Seen Circulating in the Ruston Area

11/24/2014

Ticket (R)

Monroe City Marshall in Violation of Budget Law

11/24/2014

A just-released audit from the Louisiana Legislative Auditor (LLA) says the Monroe City Marshall is in violation of the Louisiana Local Government Budget Act (LA RS 39-1301, et seq). The audit was performed on behalf of the LLA by West Monroe accountant Cameron, Hines & Company.

See here the audit documents.

Finding 2014-02 states:

Condition: The Marshal’s Office did not prepare and/or amend a budget for the fiscal year.

Effect: The Marshal’s Office is in violation of Louisiana Revised Statutes 39:1305-39:1311.

Cause: The Marshal’s Office was unable to adopt a budget due to Louisiana Revised Statute 39:1305 – 39:1311, which states that in no event shall a budget be adopted and/or amended proposing expenditures which exceed the total of estimated funds available for the fiscal year.

Auditors’ Recommendation: We recommend budgeting expenditures in an amount that would correct the fund balance deficit based on the projected income for the next fiscal year and maintaining a monthly review of income and expenses throughout the year to determine the fund balance and if there are any necessary changes to make in order to keep expenditures at the right amount.

Views of Responsible Officials and Planned Corrective Action: The Monroe Marshal’s Office agrees with the above statement. The budget was not prepared and/or amended due to Revised Statute 39:1305 – 39:1311, which states that in no event shall a budget be adopted and/or amended proposing expenditures which exceed the total of estimated
funds available for the fiscal year.

This is the second consecutive year such a finding has been made. It is not likely that any investigation or prosecution will result, as Fourth Judicial (Morehouse, Ouachita Parishes) District Attorney Jerry Jones contributed $1,000 to incumbent Marshall Wince Highshaw, Jr’s re-election campaign.

See here the document.

Lincoln Parish deputies investigating Sunday morning homicide

11/23/2014

By Jillian Corder, Reporter

RUSTON, La. (KNOE 8 News) – Investigators are working a homicide in Lincoln Parish where the victim is a former GSU faculty member.

Sunday, November 23, around 7:30 a.m., the Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Department responded to 172 Garr Road, after family members discovered Grover Brown, 58, deceased in his home.

Brown, who we’re told is a retired Grambling professor, sustained what appeared to be a gunshot wound, but an autopsy will be conducted.

Deputies processed the scene and interviewed family and neighbors.

Meanwhile, No one in the Lincoln Parish “judicial system” seems concerned that Dr. Sue Hashway’s June, 2012 murder case still hasn’t been resolved.

Early Voting Begins Today

11/22/2014

EARLY VOTING BEGINS SATURDAY, RUNS THROUGH NOV. 29TH

Secretary of State Tom Schedler is encouraging all Louisianians eligible to vote in the General Congressional Election set for December 6th to consider voting early. Early voting begins this Saturday, November 22nd and continues through Saturday, November 29th from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, excluding Sunday, November 23rd, Thanksgiving Day: Thursday, November 27th and Friday, November 28th.

“Because of the Thanksgiving holiday, early voting is shortened by two days for this election,” Secretary of State Tom Schedler reminded voters. “This is always a busy time of year with families traveling and time off of work, but it’s important not to forget about the December 6th election, especially with the congressional runoffs as well as many important local races. By casting your ballot early, you can vote on your own schedule when it’s most convenient. Don’t make excuses. Go vote!”

Voters should utilize Louisiana’s award winning smartphone app, GeauxVote Mobile, to find out where to vote, what’s on their ballot and their voting districts. Citizens who want to vote early may do so in person at their parish Registrar of Voters’ Office or at other designated locations. For a complete listing of early voting locations, visit: http://www.sos.la.gov/ElectionsAndVoting/Pages/EarlyVotingLocations.aspx.

For more information about the Secretary of State’s Elections Division, visit http://www.GeauxVote.com or call 225.922.0900.

Lincoln Detention Center Budget Draws Questions

11/21/2014

Introduction of an amended 2014 and proposed 2015 budget for the parish jail at this morning’s meeting of the Lincoln Parish Detention Center Commission drew a couple of questions about the format as presented.

Commission Chair Joe Henderson, who is also District Nine’s Lincoln Parish Police Juror (LPPJ) noted that the proposed amended 2014 budget didn’t show the original budget for 2014 to make a comparison.

Said Henderson, “We don’t see the original numbers by each category. Where is the original column?”

Jury Treasurer Dr. Bobby Gray noted that the center’s capital expenditures weren’t included in the agencies chart of accounts, nor were the source of revenues for the capital expenditures included.

Said Gray, “I think you have to roll the capital expenditures into this budget, and then offset if from the revenues coming from the city (Ruston) and from the (Lincoln Parish) Police Jury.” He added, “The auditors specifically need to see it.”

Louisiana’s Local Governmental Budget Act is specific on how budgets are to be prepared. LA RS 39:1305 – Budget Preparation states in part:

(2)(a) A statement for the general fund and each special revenue fund showing the estimated fund balances at the beginning of the year; estimates of all receipts and revenues to be received; revenues itemized by source; recommended expenditures itemized by agency, department, function, and character; other financing sources and uses by source and use; and the estimated fund balance at the end of the fiscal year. Such statements shall also include a clearly presented side-by-side detailed comparison of such information for the current year, including the fund balances at the beginning of the year, year-to-date actual receipts and revenues received and estimates of all receipts and revenues to be received the remainder of the year; estimated and actual revenues itemized by source; year-to-date actual expenditures and estimates of all expenditures to be made the remainder of the year itemized by agency, department, function, and character; other financing sources and uses by source and use, both year-to-date actual and estimates for the remainder of the year; the year-to-date actual and estimated fund balances as of the end of the fiscal year; and the percentage change for each item of information.

Commission member Lincoln Parish Sheriff Mike Stone said the corrections would be made and distributed to each member.

Said Stone, “Mr. Chairman, if it’s ok, well just email all the members the corrected budgets, and then do a phone call.”

We pointed out that such a “phone meeting” would be a violation of the state’s Public Meeting Law.

The members realized that another meeting would be necessary for final adoption, and for the required public hearing. It was set for 10:00 AM, Friday, December 12.

See here the budgets as presented this morning.

The commission also approved minutes from the 9/22/14 meeting.

Asked about potential capital expenditures for 2015, Warden Jim Tuten said that a boiler replacement might be necessary, some of the kitchen equipment needs replacement, and that additional emergency electrical generating capacity is needed.

The total cost would be about $300 thousand, Tuten said.

Detention Center Commission Meets Friday

11/20/2014

The Lincoln Parish Detention Center Commission will meet Friday, November 21, 10:00 AM, Lincoln Parish Court House, third floor.

Here is the agenda.


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