Rep. Badon blindsided by Sheriff's association opposition to his bill

Published: Apr. 3, 2014 at 10:35 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Sometimes things at the Capitol don't always go your way. You might "think" you have someone's support and then things go sour. It happens down here more than you think. Just ask New Orleans Representative Austin Badon after he voluntarily deferred his marijuana bill to reduce penalties.

"That was totally unprofessional and un-ethical. I don't like that and I would never treat someone like that," Badon barked to the House Criminal Justice committee.

Badon believed he had the blessing of the Louisiana Sheriff's Association. He knew he would not get them to go for the measure just not oppose it. They ended up testifying against it.

"We would respectfully ask that you would defer this matter," said Michael Ranatza, executive director for the association. "I'd be happy to work with Representative Badon and others in subsequent years after we look at the Colorado experiment for what it is and does it in fact cause an undercurrent of organized crime."

Michael Ranataza is the executive director of the Louisiana Sheriff's Association, a lobbying force that is to be reckoned with that carries a lot of stroke in the house that Huey built.

"They told me they were not against the bill but to be broadsided like I was a few moments ago ticks me off. Everybody has my phone numbe. I reached out to them over a year ago....I did not have to do it," said an angry Badon.

This bill is probably done for the session but there are other similar bills still out there.

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