Co-author of Louisiana death penalty ban trounces own bill

Bruno Cirelli
Mag 19, 2017

The bill was passed by the House after hours of debate.

The proposed "House Bill 71" would essentially ban the removal, renaming or adjustment of any military monument of any war, including what the bill dubbed as the "War Between the States", that's placed on public property - unless local voters approve of it.

All of this stems from ongoing controversy in New Orleans about Mayor Mitch Landrieu's plan, approved by the City Council, to take down four Crescent City monuments linked to the Confederacy. Although the vote comes too late to prevent the pulling-down of two more monuments in New Orleans, it does mark a significant roadblock against anyone taking action on any others.

For the Legislature's self-proclaimed conservatives, who are supposed to champion limited government, to meddle in how local communities manage their monuments is the height of hypocrisy. The amendments were dismissed.

"We were and are wounded because the bill attempts to rewrite history by honoring those who not only rebelled against the United States, but who fought to maintain man's greatest inhumanity to man", state Rep. Joseph Bouie (D) said at a press conference Tuesday, May 16, surrounded by several members of the Black caucus.

The gas tax boost is pushed by chambers of commerce and some business leaders, particularly in the Baton Rouge and Acadiana regions that struggle with gridlock. It's a shame we have to talk about it in this body. It should be believed. Black representatives had condemned the measure and walked off the floor following the vote. "But it's not honored or in history books today". The vote sends the proposal by Republican Rep. Steve Carter of Baton Rouge to the full House for debate. State Rep. Sam Jones, D-Franklin, said "we're here to refight the civil war that ended 150 years ago" while the state still is fighting to balance its budget. New Orleans-area Republicans Ray Garafolo, Stephanie Hilferty and Christopher Leopold voted in support.

We've criticized Landrieu's handling of the issue and think putting the removal idea on a local ballot in New Orleans would have been a good thing. Dan Claitor awaits Senate floor debate, but after Wednesday's vote Claitor said it would be pointless to bring it up. "It was done under the guise of celebrating war heroes, but exposed a deep-rooted belief in white supremacy and racial divisiveness", the statement said.

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