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Angelle: Simple Enthusiasm or Fudging the Facts

courtesy Louisiana Architects Association

A gubernatorial forum on coastal issues, put on by the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, was held Tuesday evening at Nicholls State University. It had all four of the major candidates in agreement on the importance of working to avert Louisiana’s land loss.

“For our very survival, one of those challenges is protecting, restoring and stabilizing the coast,” U.S. Senator David Vitter declared.

Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne noted, “We can address the problems that we face right now in coastal Louisiana, but we’ve got to be smart about doing it.”

“This is an immediate crisis, and it requires good leadership,” State Rep. John Bel Edwards offered.

“No one in this race has demonstrated more of a commitment to coastal Louisiana than I have,” declared Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle.

That statement might be heard as merely an abundance of enthusiasm for the issue, yet there were a few other statements made by the Breaux Bridge Republican that are worthy of scrutiny.

“Working together in the aftermath of Katrina and Rita, I knew we needed something radically different, and that’s why I brought forward something called the Coastal Restoration and Protection Authority,” Angelle stated.

The CPRA was created by the Louisiana Legislature in late 2005, in response to a congressional directive. At the time, Angelle was Governor Kathleen Blanco’s Secretary of Natural Resources, and a Democrat. He continued in that post under Governor Bobby Jindal, changing to Republican in 2010. Angelle resigned that Secretary position in 2012, just five days after the Bayou Corne sinkhole opened up. Shortly thereafter, Jindal appointed him to the LSU Board of Supervisors, and Angelle announced he would be running for Public Service Commissioner.

Angelle also referred to himself as “the person who drafted the legislation to create the Coastal Financing Corporation.”

But Angelle has never served in the legislature, and he is not an attorney. Former state Senator Reggie Dupre was the author of that particular bill, in 2007. Angelle did testify to lawmakers on behalf of that legislation, however.