R.I.P. C.B. Forgotston

C.B. Forgotston served as the conscience of government in Louisiana for decades both within the system and then later as a pioneer of digital media in the state. On Sunday (1.03) evening, he died at the age of 70 years old according to “The Advocate.”


fAfter earning, his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and his Juris Doctor degrees from Louisiana State University, the Tenses Parish native spent 13 years working for the Louisiana Legislature. Subsequently, he served Director of the Taxation and Fiscal Policy Council, Treasurer of the Louisiana Council for Fiscal Reform, and a lobbyist for the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry.


Throughout these years, he developed a sharp wit, an even sharper sense of morality, and a vast knowledge of the inner workings of Louisiana politics.


These skills and senses found a perfect outlet in the digital world. Forgotston launched a blog and a Twitter account. Combined with his frequent radio and television appearances, the former insider evolved into a watchdog for Louisiana media and politicians.


The self-styled curmudgeon was not shy about expressing his displeasure with some elected officials (he was no fan of Bobby Jindal’s) or pointing out errors in media accounts. Likewise, he was quick to offer support to young reporters in need of encouragement.


As NOLA Defender experienced the highs and lows of launching a new publication, Forgotston offered both raise and criticism. The attention from such a legendary figure always heartened our staff and editors. Forgotston will be missed.


Forgotston’s wife, E.J. Adams, requested that donations in Forgotston’s name be given to the Oak Forest Academy Patrons Club in Amite.


Funeral arrangements through McKneeley Funeral Home in Amite are pending.


The Year in Jindal

Bobby Jindal did not spend much of 2016 in Louisiana. Still, local voters received a hearty serving of soundbites from da Gov’. With his term nearing an end and his ill fated campaign rolled up, we won’t have too much Bobby in 2016. So, NoDef is looking back at our favorite Jindal quotes from 2015 on everything from Trump to discrimination.


On Discrimination in America (ABC News)

“The biggest discrimination going on in America is against Christian business owners.”


On Donald Trump (National Press Club)

“You may have recently seen that after Trump said the Bible is his favorite book, he couldn't name a single Bible verse or passage that meant something to him. And we all know why, because it's all just a show, and he hasn't ever read the Bible. But you know why he hasn't read the Bible? Because he's not in it.”


On Chris Christie’s Results (GOP Debate)

“Look Chris, I’ll give you a ribbon for participation and a juicebox.”


On the Confederate Flag (ABC News)

“We'll let the states decide that, but again, just like the gun issue — let's have that debate at the right time. And right now we should all be in mourning. I think flags should be at half-mast across our states across our country. Now's a time for mourning. Now's the time to tell our kids it really doesn’t matter, we're all brothers and sisters … I happen to be a Christian, and those are brothers and sisters of mine in my faith. Whether you're Christian or not — whatever you wish — those were our brothers and sisters, it doesn’t matter if in South Carolina, it doesn’t matter [if you are] Black or White, young or old — those were our brothers and sisters killed in that church.”


On Unproven Claims of No-Go Zones in England (Fox News)

”In Britain, it’s not just no-go zones, there are actual cities like Birmingham that are totally Muslim where non-Muslims just simply don’t go in.”


On his Election Chances (WSJ)

“When the front-runners are still clumped together around 10 percent, what that tells me there is a path wide open for folks. I get the sense that voters are saying this isn’t about just one good impression.”


On Evil (to Fox News)

“I’m a Christian, my faith teaches me there’s evil and sin in the world and no powerful government can eradicate that. I’m not saying government needs to give up — this president has the government doing too many things, but it’s not going to eradicate evil…”


On Obama’s Gun Comments Following a Mass Shooting (to Fox News)

“I think it was completely shameful, that within 24 hours of this awful tragedy, nine people killed at a bible study at a church. We have the president trying to score cheap political points. Let him have this debate next week. His job as commander in chief is to help the country begin the healing process… For whatever reason, he always tries to divide us. Today was not the moment.”


On Polls (to the Des Moines Register)

"I'm not going to base my decision off whether I'm going to run on poll numbers or fundraising or consultants. I think our next president has to be someone that wants to do something, not just be someone.”


On Dropping Out of the Race (Facebook)

"Now is the time for all those Americans who still believe in freedom and American exceptionalism to stand up and defend it. The idea of America – the idea that my parents came here for almost a half a century ago – that idea is slipping away from us. Freedom is under assault from both outside our borders and from within. We must act now, we do not have a moment to spare."


NoDef Nods

2015 is ready to fade into Carnival Season and it is once again time to look back at the past year. This year, we will be leading off the annual NoDef Nods with the politics edition. Louisiana had a big election this year and Governor Jindal fizzled out in an even bigger contest. Then, there was the smoking ban and the monumental fight. And, of course, crime.


The Smoking Ban – On April 21st, the City enacted a prohibition on smoking and vaping in bars. The legislation was the pet-project of Council-Member Latoya Cantrell who pushed the bill (which she likened to integrating Mardi Gras) through the Council. Critics claimed that Cantrell’s campaign ignored the voice of her constituents and several business owners. In most venues, ashtrays disappeared, but some pushed the butts to outdoor areas. Doomsday predictions proved a bit inflated, but several establishments reported significant reductions in sales. Harrah’s reported double digit declines in revenue and subsequently laid off 100 plus employees.


The Election – Christmas came early for blue Orleans Parish. In a shocking upset, a Democrat moved into the mansion in Baton Rouge and David Vitter’s political campaign came to an end. The jungle primary program split the state’s majority Republican voters between three candidates pushing John Bel Edwards into a runoff with Vitter. After a decade of skirting scandal, a vicious campaign ad returned to the Senator’s checkered history with prostitutes to the public conscience. This time, voters were not having it. Edwards won the race with ease. In the meantime, Vitter had already announced his retirement from the U.S. Senate leaving him unemployed and setting up another major contest for 2016.


The Monuments – After a six month debate, the City Council voted 6-1 to declare the monuments to Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, P.T. Beauregard, and the Crescent City White Leage a nuisance meriting removal. The public hearings leading up tot the vote were contentious and marked by shouting, accusations, and a heavier-than-normal police presence. The final resting place for the statues has yet to be determined. However, this is America; so, there will first be a lawsuit. A 51 page federal filing named everyone from Mayor Mitch Landrieu to the U.S. Department of Transportation as co-defendants. Legal experts have dubbed it a “spaghetti suit.”In other words, the plaintiffs are throwing lots against the wall and hoping that something sticks. The first significant hearing in the case is on the docket for early January.


Crime! – The NOPD is quick to point to stats showing a drop in violent crime, but that is not the perception on the streets. High profile shootings and stickups plagued every neighborhood in 2015. The shooting of a Tulane med student, 17 shot at a cookout in Bunny Friend Park, and a string of Uptown restaurant robberies put the City on edge. The fear was only complicated by the ready availability of surveillance footage of these crimes in the modern era. A surge of State Police downtown and SDT IV’s French Quarter Crimewatch program received accolades, but the problems persist. 


Candidate J – Bobby Jindal spent much of his last two years in office in Iowa. So, it was not surprise when da Gov’ announced his bid for the Republican nomination. What was surprising was the epic fail that followed. Beltway insiders speculated that Jindal was actually running for Vice President. He certainly worked hard to make himself relevant to the party Bobby J spouted about faith and adopted a radical right position on topics including immigration, same sex marriage, and national security. He warned that Obama was trying to turn America into Europe and demanded that immigrants assimilate faster. However, the appeal to the base fell on deaf ears. Jindal’s poll numbers settled around one percent and he became an easy punchline to election jokes. Faced with an empty war chest and a seat at the kiddy table debates, Bobby called it quits on November 17th.


Lagniappe: Judge Frank Marullo will retire at the end of the year which also coincides with his 76th birthday. Marullo is the City’s longest serving judge and the sometimes polarizing figure has been an institution on the bench for decades.


DA Calls Out NRA

Whether the catalyst was San Bernadine massacre of the mass shooting in Bunny Friend Park, it is clear that Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro is once again ready to push for an unpopular policy in red Louisiana. On Thursday (12.03), Cannizzaro issued a statement for calling for tighter gun control.


“As an elected leader in this community, I am unwilling to simply throw up my hands in despair and say that there is nothing that can be done,” Cannizzaro said.


The DA cited the Bunny Friend Park shooting as evidence that guns have become “too prolific” in the city. 17 people were shot during an impromptu party in the park on November 22nd. The statement invoked the tragedy as a case where “firearms find their way into the hands of individuals who are far too willing to perpetrate wanton violence on the community.”


However, Cannizzaro was careful not to trample on too many sacred cows. His release was careful to affirm his support for the Second Amendment, but then warned that it can become “a rock that violent criminals should be allowed to hide behind to ensure a steady supply of their tools-of-the-trade.”


The letter went on to suggest that reform can be enacted if the powerful, pro-gun National Rifle Association (NRA) assisted in the process. Cannizzaro explicitly invited the group to “be part of the solution,” but the diction makes it doubtful that he harbors any hope of that happening. 


“If the NRA truly wants to protect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens, then I invite them to come to the table and be a part of the solution rather than an organization with a single word vocabulary – ‘No,’” the DA wrote.


Lame duck Governor Bobby Jindal took issue with the proposal. He issued a rebuttal, writing, “It is just wrong to believe that more gun-control laws for law-abiding citizens will do anything to stop criminals or terrorists. More gun control does not work, and we should be focused on enforcing and strengthening the laws we already have that punish criminals and protect the rights of law-abiding citizens.”


In 2012, Jindal and Cannizzaro clashed over an amendment to the state’s constitution designed to make gun-control laws more difficult to pass.


Colbert Skewers Jindal in “Hungry For Power Games” (Video)

The end of Bobby Jindal’s campaign did not mean the end of Candidate J’s national role as a punchline. After news of the ended effort broke, Stephen Colbert delivered a “Hunger Games” style sendoff to da Gov’.


Colbert played a character that was lots of Caeser Flickerman and a little Carnac to bid adieu to Jindal. “The Hungry For Power Games” is a five minute greatest hits tape of the campaign with some snarky commentary.


The host pays tribute to Jindal, stating, “Farewell, Governor Jindal. You may be gone, but we will always remember—I’m sorry, I've already forgotten.”


The spot even includes that weird hidden camera intro of Jindal’s family and his attempts to pick a fight with Trump. However, it is best to simply watch for yourself.


Check it out below.


Jindal Out

Well, that’s four years down the drain. On Tuesday (11.17) afternoon, Bobby Jindal announced that he will be suspending his presidential bid. With poll numbers in the low single digits and flagging finances, the move came as a surprise to few.


“I’ve come to the realization that this is not my time. We spent a lot of time developing detailed policy papers. Given this crazy, unpredictable election season, clearly there wasn’t an interest in those policy papers,” Jindal told Brett Baier during a FOX News interview.


Jindal can to be blamed for a lack of effort. Da Gov’ drew fire for spending nearly as much time on the campaign trail as he did in-state. However, despite the effort, Bobby J found himself confined to kiddie table debates and unable to rise in the crowded field.


On Facebook, Jindal posted a photo of himself silhouetted in fron of a crowd with the words "Thank You." A lenghty accompanying text read very much lie one of Candidate J's stump speeches. The note ended with a call to action, "Now is the time for all those Americans who still believe in freedom and American exceptionalism to stand up and defend it. The idea of America – the idea that my parents came here for almost a half a century ago – that idea is slipping away from us. Freedom is under assault from both outside our borders and from within. We must act now, we do not have a moment to spare."

Stay with NoDef for updates.


Jindal: No More Syrian Refugees

Louisiana will not be providing a home for any more Syrian refugees in the near future. On Monday (11.16), Governor Bobby Jindal issued an executive order forbidding the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the Pelican State.


Executive Order No. BJ 2015 – 27 cites the recent massacre in Paris, emergency powers and a lack of information from the Feds as underlying justification for the action. Jindal then proceeds to declare, “All departments, budget units, agencies, offices, entities, and officers of the executive branch of the State of Louisiana are authorized and directed to utilize all lawful means to prevent the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the State of Louisiana while this Order is in effect.”


For lagniappe, the order also authorizes the Louisiana State Police to monitor immigrants already in state.


1,809 Syrian nationals have been resettled in the United States. Despite social media alarmism, the number of Syrians resettled in Louisiana totals only 14. 13 of those immigrants were placed in the Greater New Orleans area. The newcomers are being assisted by the Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans' Refugee Resettlement Services, 


Texas, Michigan, Indiana, Arkansas and Alabama also have taken steps to prevent refugee placement. California, Texas, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Florida have the highest number of refugees from the war torn nation.


Jindal’s Juicebox

Bobby Jindal is not making much of a splash on the national stage as evidenced by his one percent poll numbers. Candidate J tried to change that last night at Fox Business’ kiddie table debate. Unfortunately, da Gov’ wound up a punchline again. Instead, of garnering attention for policy, he set social media aflame for a moment about “juice boxes.”


While attacking NJ Governor Chris Christie for an alleged lack of results, Jindal quipped, “Look Chris, I’ll give you a ribbon for participation and a juicebox.”

The one-liner elicited some laughter in the auditorium, but the real treat came on social media. Bobby J’s comment went viral, prompting thousands of tweets riffing on the comment.


When Jindal appeared on Fox News today, it was not his policy but his rhetoric that took center stage. The candidate found himself explains the comment, pleading, “People need to lighten up.”


“Just trying is not enough," Jindal said. "If somebody hasn't cut government spending in their state capitols as governor, they haven't cut it as a senator, what makes us think they'll cut it as a president?”


Ansari Gives Full One Percent to Playing Jindal

In Louisiana, Bobby Jindal has long provided comic fodder. Recent single digit poll numbers have given national comics a few opportunities to get in on the fun(nies). In a Wednesday (11.04) night segment, Jimmy Fallon interviewed Jindal. More to the point, Fallon interviewed Aziz Ansari playing Jindal. 


The satire focused on Candidate J's struggling campaign. Ansari said, "I'm used to appearing on C-SPAN at 1a.m. right before those nutra-bhullet commercials." The piece proceeds to skewer Jindal for his refusal to embrace several scientific theories.


Watch it below.


Vitter Fight

The enemy of my enemy is my friend? Republican Jay Dardenne crossed party lines today to endorse Democrat John Bel Edwards in the runoff election against Senator David Vitter. 


Dardenne, who netted 15 percnt of the vote in the "jungle primary, declared, "The Republican brand has been damaged by the failed leadership of Bobby Jindal during this last term. David Vitter's governorship will further damage that brand as I and others have pointed out during the campaign. I cannot and will not sit idly by and refuse to speak truth to power."


The endorsement provided a temporary reprieve from the Alabama agme hype on LSU's Baton Rouge campuse. Dardenne, a former student body president, returned to his alma mater to make the announcement. Press crowded into "Free Speech Alley" by the student center for the joint announcement.


Dardenne, Edwards, and Scott Angelle were all subject to a vicous mud-slinging campaign by the Vitter Camp. Angelle has not spoken out about his support for either of the remaining candidates.


Vitter picked up an endorsement from former governor Mike Foster yesterday.