Art Lentini

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Arthur J. “Art” Lentini
Louisiana State Senator from District 10 (Jefferson Parish)
In office
1996 – January 14, 2008
Preceded by Hank Lauricella
Succeeded by Danny Martiny
Personal details
Born (1953-03-23) March 23, 1953 (age 61)
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Stephany Jones Lentini
Residence Kenner
Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, USA
Alma mater East Jefferson High School

Louisiana State University

Occupation Attorney
Religion Roman Catholic

Arthur J. "Art" Lentini (born March 23, 1953) is an attorney in Metairie, Louisiana, United States, who served from 1996 to 2008 as a Republican member of the Louisiana State Senate from District 10 in Jefferson Parish in the New Orleans suburbs.[1] For eight years he was the Senate parliamentarian.[2] He was term-limited in the nonpartisan blanket primary held on October 20, 2007, and hence ineligible to seek a fourth term in the Senate.

History[edit]

Lentini graduated in 1971 from East Jefferson High School in Metairie. He received his Bachelor of Arts and law degrees from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. He attended the United States Army infantry officer's school and was a member of the Army Reserve from 1974 to 1980. From 1978 to 1986, he was an assistant district attorney for Jefferson Parish. He served from 1988 to 1992 as the House District 79 member of the Republican State Central Committee. Lentini is Roman Catholic. His wife is the former Stephany Jones. The couple resides in Kenner.[3]

Career[edit]

On his Senate retirement, the New Orleans Times-Picayune declared that Lentini

"wore the white hat...His most visible display of integrity came not in lecturing lawmakers via the news media on their shortcomings, but in his eight years as Senate parliamentarian. In the frenzy of lawmaking, he had to decide who was and was not following the rules of debate, without regard to whether their politics agreed with his. So straight was he that he demurred on parliamentary questions when the subject at hand was one of his own bills, instead deferring to the Senate president."[4]

In his initial election for an open seat in 1995 created by the retirement of Democratic Senator Francis E. "Hank" Lauricella,[1] a former professional football player. Lentini defeated fellow Republican Betty Bonura, 17,327 votes (53.6 percent) to 14,992 (46.4 percent).[5] Bonura essentially did not live in the district.[4] Lentini was unopposed in the 1999 primary. In 2003, he handily defeated fellow Republican Stephen Rue, 21,018 (71.3 percent) to 8,474 (28.7 percent).[6] In the campaign, it was revealed that Rue was delinquent on the payment of $230,000 in federal payroll and income taxes.[4]

Lentini was the chairman of the Judiciary "A" Committee and served on the Finance and Insurance committees and the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget.[2]

As his term wound down, Lentini again pushed successfully for the abolition of cockfighting in Louisiana. The issue was not new to the lawmakers. In 1990, state Representative Garey Forster, a New Orleans Republican, had introduced two bills, one to ban the practice outright and another to reclassify fowl as "animals" so that they could secure the protection of animal-cruelty laws.[7] Upon his arrival in the Senate, Lentini sought to make gambling at cockfights a crime before he could finish Forster's work and obtain the legislative votes to outlaw the practice.[8] Lentini called the practice "very bad for our image, and it's cruel to the animals."[9] Louisiana was the last of the fifty states to ban cockfighting.[10]

A pro-life advocate, Lentini was in 2004 a visible Senate critic of both reproductive cloning and cloning for research purposes. He sponsored a bill that would ban both types of cloning; however, the legislature decided to forbade reproductive cloning but approve research based on the possibility of finding cures for Parkinson's disease, juvenile diabetes, and other diseases.[11]

In 2007, Lentini qualified to run for a second time as sheriff of Jefferson Parish on the death of the long-term Democratic incumbent Harry Lee. In 1987, Lee had defeated Lentini in the general election.[12] However, Lentini withdrew from consideration, and the Republican Newell D. Normand won the race with 91 percent of the ballots. Normand had the support of the Lee family, which is staunchly Democratic.[13] In the 1987 sheriff’s race, Lee polled 60,887 (53.9 percent) to Lentini's 52,142 (46.1 percent).[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Membership of the Louisiana State Senate, 1880-2004". legis.state.la.us. Retrieved December 9, 2009. 
  2. ^ a b "Arthur J. Lentini, APLC". artlentini.com. Retrieved December 9, 2009. 
  3. ^ "Senate District 10". enlou.com. Retrieved December 9, 2009. [dead link]
  4. ^ a b c "Drew Broach, "We'll miss Art Lentini's brand of service", February 4, 2008". nola.com. Retrieved December 9, 2009. 
  5. ^ "Louisiana election returns, October 21, 1995". sos.louisiana.gov. Retrieved December 9, 2009. [dead link]
  6. ^ "Louisiana election returns, October 4, 2003". sos.louisiana.gov. Retrieved December 9, 2009. [dead link]
  7. ^ "Garry Boulard, Regional Report: Custom Survives: Cockfighting Dies Slow Death in Tradition-Bound Louisiana". The Los Angeles Times, June 14, 1990. June 14, 1990. Retrieved October 17, 2009. 
  8. ^ ""Humane Society Calls on Louisiana Lawmakers to Stop Appeasing Cockfighting Interests", June 17, 2007". hsus.org. Retrieved December 9, 2009. 
  9. ^ "Maryann Mott, "Cokfighting's Days Are Numbered in U.S.", June 13, 2007". news.nationalgeographic.com. Retrieved December 9, 2009. 
  10. ^ "Louisiana State House Passes Cockfighting Ban". wafb.com. Retrieved October 17, 2009. 
  11. ^ "Louisiana Senate Committee Approves Cloning Ban Bill That Would Allow Cloning for Research Purposes, May 14, 2004". kaisernetwork.org. Retrieved December 9, 2009. 
  12. ^ "State Sen. Art Lentini qualifies for Jefferson Parish Sheriff's race". blognola.com. Retrieved December 9, 2009. 
  13. ^ "Louisiana election returns, November 17, 2007". sos.louisiana.gov. Retrieved December 9, 2009. [dead link]
  14. ^ "Louisiana election returns, November 21, 1987". sos.louisiana.gov. Retrieved December 9, 2009. [dead link]
Louisiana Senate
Preceded by
Hank Lauricella
Louisiana State Senator from District 10 (Jefferson Parish)

Arthur J. “Art” Lentini
1996–2008

Succeeded by
Danny Martiny