Around the South for Oct. 27: LA, TX & FL


Louisiana: Kelly lobbies Scalise. Retired astronaut Mark Kelly, husband of former USRep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), telephoned House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R) on his first day back at the Capitol, discussing some of the gun law reforms that he and his wife have promoted since she was shot in 2011. Scalise, who suffered severe gunshot wounds some 15 weeks ago, told The Hill that Kelly “has some things that he’s promoting, but it was a very cordial conversation.” Scalise told reporters that he is still a strong supporter of the Second Amendment ……. Texas: Straus won’t seek reelection. Joe Straus (R), Speaker of the Texas House since 2009 and a powerful force for moderation, announced this week that he will not seek reelection next year. He was known recently for killing a bill backed by Tea Partiers that would have regulated bathroom use by transgender persons. Straus did not rule out a run for office in the future, though not in 2018, reported the Texas Tribune ……. Florida: Rubio says we’re not Rome – yet. Commenting on the decision of US Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) to retire,US Sen. Marco Rubio (R) compared the United States to the Roman Republic. “One of the things that Rome did very well was it was able to include people … they had Britons, Spaniards, North Africans, Greeks, Egyptians; they were very good at integrating people,” a not-so-subtle reference to the nativist policies of the Trump Administration.  Rubio added that one factor that led to Rome’s collapse, reported Roll Call, was “a recalcitrant Senate that refused to address the issues of the day.” Sound familiar? …….