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Page 4 - Friday, October 28, 2011
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Jindal puts himself into speaker race Melinda Deslatte The Associated Press
Gov. Bobby Jindal sparked upheaval in the usually behindthe-scenes wrangling for House speaker when he backed Lake Charles Republican Chuck Kleckley for the job Wednesday. A governor’s support for legislative leaders traditionally is the deciding factor in who gets the jobs when the new terms begin. The House speaker and Senate president are regularly chosen without any opposition after getting a governor’s endorsement. But Lafayette Republican Joel Robideaux accused Jindal of pressuring lawmakers to support Kleckley. Robideaux refused Wednesday to drop out of the race for speaker, saying he wants a House floor vote when the new term begins in January. In his formal announcement of support, Jindal said Kleckley has well above the 53 votes needed to get the job in the 105-member House. “These are unambiguous commitments,” Jindal said. The Republican governor said he threw his support to Kleckley,
currently chairman of the House Insurance Committee, because of his skills, his relationships with other lawmakers and his ongoing support of the Jindal administration. “Chuck is a true conservative. He’ll be a speaker for all Louisianians. He’s proven he can work across geographical and partisan lines to do the right thing for Louisiana. Chuck has been a strong partner,” Jindal said. At least five people had been vying for the speaker’s job. Kleckley acknowledged Jindal’s support was integral to get the position. “His leadership and his support are very important for me in becoming the next speaker. I look forward to working with the governor,” Kleckley said. Kleckley, 51, a small business owner, has been a low-profile member of the House since he won a 2005 special election to represent the Lake Charlesbased district. He had previously worked on the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury. Among the legislation Kleckley sponsored was a bill preventing insurance companies
photo by Arthur D. lauck/AP PHOTO
Rep. Chuck Kleckley-R, Lake Charles, right, speaks with members of the media Wednesday after Gov. Bobby Jindal, left, announced him as his choice for House speaker.
from charging more than one deductible per hurricane season, no matter how many named storms hit an area, after several homeowners were hit twice by hurricanes Gustav and Ike in 2008.
Texas rapist appears to target DST alumnae Jamie Stengle The Associated Press DALLAS — A Dallas-area rapist appears to be preying on members of a national black sorority, leading the organization to urge alumnae to remove any trace of their affiliation from cars, clothing and even their key chains. Delta Sigma Theta issued the warning this week, citing four sexual assaults, all involving black women in their mid-50s to mid-60s. Police say the assailant indicated during the attacks that he knew personal information about the victims. “We believe it’s more than just accidental,” said Matthew Kosec, deputy police chief in Coppell. Cynthia M. A. Butler-McIntyre, national president of the sorority, said it isn’t certain that the victims were targeted because of their sorority affiliation, but “we are erring on the side of caution” and advising members “to take the necessary precautionary measures.” The group urged members to avoid displaying any items identifying them as sorority alumnae, including vehicle stickers, jewelry, clothing and accessories. They also warned members to remove information such as their whereabouts from social networking sites. Detectives have not determined exactly how the rapist might be learning about the sorority affiliation. “We just don’t know if the suspect is identifying these ladies as they are out shopping in the area or if it’s something more advanced than that” such as using
social networking sites, Corinth police Capt. Greg Wilkerson said. The most recent attack was Oct. 14 in Shady Shores, said Corinth police, who are investigating the rape in the nearby community. The Coppell attack occurred Sept. 15. The other two assaults took place in Plano — one in April and another “prior to that,” said Plano police spokesman Andrae Smith, who would not elaborate on the earlier date. The attacker is described as a black man in his late 30s to mid-40s, 5 feet 7 inches to 6 feet tall and weighing 250 to 300 pounds. Police in Plano released a video shot in April from a surveillance camera showing an unidentified man who appeared to resemble the description. Authorities say they would like to question that man in relation to the attacks but declined to provide more details. Smith, who said the victims did not attend the same college, said investigators noticed the similarities after the second attack and shared the information with surrounding cities. “The pattern of the alumnae membership was the big flag that put this together,” Kosec said. “When you have a sexual assault like this, the detectives are very good about getting all sorts of details that could lead to the suspect.” Delta Sigma Theta counts more than 200,000 mostly black college-educated women among its members. Seventy-six percent of the group’s members are alumnae, while 24 percent are still in college. The group has more than 900 chapters located around the world.
Jindal and Kleckley said they are backing Democrat Jim Fannin to maintain his chairmanship of the Appropriations Committee, the budget-writing panel for the House. Fannin, D-Jonesboro, has
held the chairman’s job for the past four years and hasn’t always sided with the governor in budget disputes. Fannin recently had thrown his name out as a contender to be speaker, but now is supporting Kleckley.