Around the South for Aug. 17: LA, FL & TN

Louisiana: Vitter, Landrieu clash on crime. “David Vitter has been part of the problem in Washington for over a decade and has been wholly ineffective in delivering additional federal resources to local law enforcement agencies to fight crime,” New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu (D) said in a statement. In response, Vitter said that murder is the mayor’s responsibility, not the federal governments, reported WDSU News, and in a swipe at Landrieu’s effort to remove Confederate monuments from the city, added, “For goodness sake, focus on murders, not monuments.” ……. Florida: Scott adopts new public records policy. In response to the settlement of eight lawsuits against Gov. Rick Scott (R) for violating the state’s public records laws, Scott has adopted a new policy. From now on, his administration will post requested documents online. The new policy is “a very good step,” said First Amendment expert Andrea Flynn Mogensen, reports the Tampa Bay Times, but First Amendment Foundation president Barbara Petersen said, “I don’t think this policy improves transparency.” ……. Tennessee: Haslam expresses shock over Planned Parenthood. In a letter to the Republican Caucus in advance of an August 19 hearing on reports that Planned Parenthood had sold fetal tissue, Gov. Bill Haslam (R) expressing his “shock and concern at the callous disregard for life displayed in undercover videos of persons employed by Planned Parenthood,” reported The Tennessean. “You understandably want to make sure that the activities discussed in these videos are not happening in Tennessee.” …….