Hall of Fame induction in Winnfield
Of the six men being inducted into the Louisiana Political Hall of Fame on Saturday, February 7, 2015 in Winnfield, Louisiana, Attorney General Buddy Caldwell is the only political figure currently holding office. One other member of the Hall's class of 2015 is still active in a Louisiana state level political environment, Noble Ellington.
Ellington currently serves as Deputy Commissioner of Insurance in Louisiana under Commissioner Jim Donelon. The Louisiana Commissioner of Insurance is one of five Louisiana State offices elected statewide. Ellington served 24 years in the Louisiana Legislature, serving in both the House of Representatives and the State Senate.
Also being inducted is a former State Representative from a New Orleans District, Charles "Peppi" Bruneau. Bruneau was an eight term (32 consecutive years) representative from District 94. His service in the Loluisiana House ended upon his retirement in April 2007 at the start of the LA Legislative session. Bruneau wrote landmark sunshine laws to open government meetings and records to the public. However, he also sponsored the law that legalized video poker in the state.
Inductee John C. "Juba" Diez began his service during the second term of overnor Edwin Edwards in 1975. He retired after 28 years of service in the Louisiana House of Representative in 2003. During his tenure, Diez served four years as Vice-Chairman of the Transportation Committee, Chairman of the Transportation Committee for over three years and Legislative Liaison for the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development.
While in office, Diez authored legislation to extend the TIMED highway constrution program and to create the Louisiana Toll Road Authority. Juba Diez was instrumental in the establishment of major transportation projects and strategic transportation and highway planning, including the design build legislation.
Charles A. "Corky" Marvin earned his undergraduate degree from Louisiana Tech University where he was a cheerleader, editor of the Tech Talk and was named the Outstanding Journalism graduate. After service in the Air Force, he earned his Juris Doctor degree from Louisiana State University Law School in 1957.
Prior to his election to the bench, Marvin was elected District Attorney of the 26th Judicial District in 1971 and was re-elected without opposition in 1972. He took the bench as judge for the Second Circuit Court of Appeal in 1975 and was re-elected in 1978 and 1988 without opposition. He served as Chief Judge of the Second Circuit from 1990 until his retirement in 1999.
The recent death of John Maginnis, legendary Louisiana Political Writer has left a vacuum in Louisiana journalistic circles that has not yet been filled. Maginnis was a writer of columns and commentaries on current political events in his native Louisiana. Maginnis' column, always the most current analysis of a political event in Louisiana, appeared in newspapers and other media statewide.
His website, LaPolitics.com, is read by political analysts nationwide as a barometer of governmental trends and events in Louisiana. Even though Maginnis passed away, his LaPolitics.com is still alive. Maginnis was known for having sources in every nook and cranny of state government. LaPolitcs.com is now operated by Jeremy Alford. Whether Alford can establish the political contacts to level enjoyed by Maginnis remains to be seen.
Maginnis' syndicated opinion column appeared in 21 newspapers around the state and he was a regular guest on programs such as "Informed Sources" and "The Jim Engster Show". He was also a featured speaker for civic groups and organizations across the Gulf Coast. In 2000, Maginnis was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the LSU Manship School of Mass Communications. When complimented on his work, Maginnis was fond of saying, "I owe it all to the material."
Current Lopuisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell could be considered a maverick of mavericks. He was the first District Attorney in Louisiana to be elected State Attorney General. Former LA Governor Earl K. Long once said in a political dispute with then LA Attorney General Jack Gremmellion, "If you want to hide something from the Attorney General, just put it in a law book."
This would not be an appropriate introduction for Caldwell, as he has mastered the finer point of Louisiana law. Caldwell earned his Bachelor of Arts Bachelor degree in psychology, with a minor in history, from Tulane University in New Orleans, where he played football and ran track. In 1973, he received his law degree from the Tulane University Law School. Caldwell thereafter established his solo law practice in Tallulah, which he maintained until becoming district attorney six years later.
Caldwell was the district attorney for Madison, East Carroll and Tensas parishes from 1979-2008. As district attorney he personally tried most major felony cases and achieved a 99% conviction rate in his three-parish area. Caldwell helped to establish pre-trial diversion programs for adult and juvenile first-time offenders and increased funding for the indigent defenders program in the 6th Judicial District.
Even Caldwell's pedigree was somewhat different from most Louisiana political figures. His father J. D. Caldwell, the great-grandson of the man for whom Caldwell Parish was named, obtained a master's degree in music from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. J. D. Caldwell also sang at one stage in his career with the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. After moving to Tallulah, the senior Caldwell became a farmer and clothing merchant. Mrs. Caldwell, a registered nurse, held a degree from Touro Infirmary of New Orleans. She was a public health nurse and later a Madison Parish School Health nurse for thirty years.
Snagging the prestigious Political Family of Officeholders' Award for 2015 was The Nauman Scott and Jock Scott Family. Nauman Steele Scott II was a rare figure in Louisiana in 1970. He was a Republican-appointed federal judge in the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana. Judge Scott served on the federal bench from 1970 until his death in 2001.
Nauman Scott's grandfather, Albin Provosty, was a Louisiana state senator. His great-uncle Olivier Provosty, was Chief Justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court.
Nauman Scott's son, John W. "Jock" Scott, followed his father's footsteps and received a law degree. Jock ran for and won the District 26 Seat of the Louisiana House of Representatives in 1975, in the first-ever Louisiana nonpartisan blanket primary.
Jock Scott served three terms in the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1976 until 1988. In 1986 Jock wrote "To The Victor: A Novel of Louisiana Politics".