It's not like being mayor means never having to say you're sorry.
Monday, January 22, 2018
In Baton Rouge as well as Washington, budgets sent by the administration to the legislative branch are often considered dead on arrival. But rarely has a chief executive been as eager to bury his own proposal as Gov. John Bel Edwards was Monday.
Saturday, January 20, 2018
When people talk about former Gov. Bobby Jindal's role in creating the state's long-running fiscal crisis — and while he's been out of office for two years, they still often do — the conversation tends to focus on the damage caused by his use of o…
Friday, January 19, 2018
Lurking in the background of the long-running standoff over how to pay for state services has been a two-part question: Is Baton Rouge becoming more like Washington? And is that what we really want?
Thursday, January 18, 2018
For the past year, a legislative task force has been working away, gathering data and trying to come up with a proposal to curtail the future cost of the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students scholarships, or TOPS. This, it has long seemed, woul…
The concept of prime time, the evening window when television networks broadcast their biggest shows, is pretty dated. These days, when people want to watch something, they just call it up and hit play. And when they use the word prime, they're of…
Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Florida Gov. Rick Scott is nearing the end of his second term, and supposedly mulling a run for the U.S. Senate later this year.
Tuesday, January 16, 2018
These days, it often feels as if state politics is on an inexorable march toward the national model, with philosophical divisions hardening and common ground increasingly difficult to find.
Saturday, January 13, 2018
Friday, January 12, 2018
In his ritual bet with his Minneapolis counterpart, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu could have chosen any number of local treats to ante up in anticipation of this weekend's big game. Me, I might have gone with some gut-warming gumbo for a cold M…
Thursday, January 11, 2018
Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards has hit the halfway mark of his first term, so while his reelection bid is still nearly two years off, Republicans have already had that long to figure out who might challenge him.
Wednesday, January 10, 2018
Smoke-filled rooms are passé. These days it's much more common to run into local pols strategizing, dishing or just catching up over a cup of joe. And in Jefferson Parish, for some reason, the odds that those politicians might be recorded doing so…
Tuesday, January 09, 2018
Late last year, after a legislatively authorized panel had finished gathering data on how various tweaks would affect the number of students eligible for the state's cherished TOPS college tuition scholarships, I wrote that lawmakers now face the …
Monday, January 08, 2018
When he was elected mayor of New Orleans eight years ago, Mitch Landrieu got to celebrate by parading through the city's streets.
Monday, January 08, 2018
With less than two weeks to go before he's set to introduce a doomsday budget predicated on the imminent disappearance of about a $1 billion in revenue, Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards is almost singularly focused on cutting a deal with Republica…
Saturday, January 06, 2018
U.S. Sen. John Kennedy has never been one to hold back his feelings about government programs to help people who are struggling. Often, those feelings are harshly critical.
Friday, January 05, 2018
Outgoing New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu didn't endorse a candidate to fill his shoes, but he did make one preference perfectly clear: He hoped that his successor would break what he considers an unproductive pattern of new mayors making their ma…
Thursday, January 04, 2018
A few years back, I wrote a column centered on an admittedly cheeky thought, that U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy's 2020 reelection slogan could go something like this: “Bill Cassidy, protecting Mary Landrieu’s legacy since 2015.”
Hey, you know what would really restore New Orleans' trust in the troubled Sewerage & Water Board? What if we put a convicted criminal in charge?
Wednesday, January 03, 2018
It takes a lot to get LSU and Alabama fans to come together over football. But John Bel Edwards and Doug Jones have something pretty major in common off the gridiron.
Tuesday, January 02, 2018
The new year is going to be a big one in politics. Both the Senate and House could wind up in either party's hands, lots of state houses are up for grabs, and the guy in the White House has proven a potent rallying point for the resistance. The ve…
Monday, January 01, 2018
Sunday, December 31, 2017
I'm starting my annual New Year's prediction column with an easy one: If 2017 was a bad year for Mike Edmonson, the belatedly controversial former Louisiana State Police superintendent, 2018 will be worse.
Friday, December 29, 2017
Former state Sen. Derrick Shepherd's hopefully brief reappearance on the public stage, where he caused a scandal by merely showing up to a transition meeting between New Orleans Mayor-elect LaToya Cantrell and the city's current legislators, was a…
Wednesday, December 27, 2017
One reason so many people were talking about Derrick Shepherd's presence at a recent meeting with New Orleans Mayor-elect LaToya Cantrell and the city's current legislators resonated is that, in the month-plus since her landslide victory, Cantrell…
Tuesday, December 26, 2017
Any landslide electoral victory has multiple explanations, but one factor that clearly worked to New Orleans Mayor-elect LaToya Cantrell's benefit was a third-party campaign to raise questions over some of opponent Desiree Charbonnet's associates.…
Thursday, December 21, 2017
It may have come a few days early, but Gov. John Bel Edwards just got quite the Christmas present. New poll numbers from Southern Media & Opinion Research of Baton Rouge are better than Edwards could have dreamed.
In his year-end news conference Wednesday, Gov. John Bel Edwards once again held out hope that legislators, particularly the House Republicans who've consistently fought him on budget matters, would agree on a plan to address the so-called "fiscal…
Wednesday, December 20, 2017
If all goes according to plan, the Ethics Review Board in New Orleans will soon choose a new inspector general to replace Ed Quatrevaux, who held the position for much of its decade-long existence.
Tuesday, December 19, 2017
A perfectly reasonable question has hovered over U.S. Sen. John Kennedy's recent headline-grabbing critiques of a handful of President Donald Trump's judicial nominees: Sure, he can make them squirm, but would he actually break from his party and …
Saturday, December 16, 2017
Louisiana has given the world enough disgraced public officials to fill up an entire federal prison, or at least a wing of one. But there should be a special place in the pen for one particular category of wrongdoer.
Friday, December 15, 2017
U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, a doctor, has sought to distinguish himself in Congress by focusing on medical issues. So it's probably fitting that his lawyer colleague, U.S. Sen. John Kennedy, is building himself a reputation on legal matters.
Thursday, December 14, 2017
One notable aspect of U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham's quasi-announcement that he may or may not run for governor in 2019 is that he's not really a household name in much of the state.
At this point, John Bel Edwards can consider himself a charter member of an informal, ever-evolving bipartisan group of governors who have spent much of the year urging Congress to pass responsible legislation on health care.
Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Several aspects of Alabama's just-completed U.S. Senate contest have been reminding me of Louisiana's own race from hell, the 1991 gubernatorial runoff between David Duke and Edwin Edwards. Now that the votes are counted, there's one more similari…
Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Pretty much since the day he took office almost two years ago, some Republican strategists have viewed Louisiana's Democratic governor as easy pickings, a fluke winner in a race against a GOP power player who turned out to be pretty distasteful to…
Monday, December 11, 2017
As she herself put it in a typically gracious column in Sunday's Advocate, former Gov. Kathleen Blanco is in the fight of her life against the cancer that she beat once, only to see it return and invade her liver.
It must have been nice to be former Louisiana State Police Superintendent Mike Edmonson all those years, as two successive governors who didn't agree on much else had his back even as he lived high on the hog on the taxpayer dime.
Saturday, December 09, 2017
Friday, December 08, 2017
There's an old tradition in this country of people writing to their members of Congress to ask them to vote a certain way; constituent mail is such a priority that there are full-time staffers assigned to open, tally and answer it — even if it's n…
Thursday, December 07, 2017
Ever since last month's runoff, New Orleanians have been waiting for word of incoming mayor LaToya Cantrell's first big hire.
Wednesday, December 06, 2017
Tuesday, December 05, 2017
Monday, December 04, 2017
It's been a quarter century since Louisiana-grown political consultant James Carville helped steer Bill Clinton under the guiding principle that "it's the economy, stupid." The line, though, remains an evergreen nugget of political wisdom.
'Tis the season for office parties, packed malls and high-stakes football, as usual. But for the first time in modern New Orleans history, 'tis also the season to let bygones be bygones.
Saturday, December 02, 2017
For years, former Louisiana State Police Superintendent Mike Edmonson seemed to have a magic touch.
Friday, December 01, 2017
As he nears the end of his first year in the U.S. Senate, John Kennedy is starting to get a reputation in the DC press corps as a good quote. His folksy quips may be old hat to his constituents, but they're new to Washington. Kennedy's willingness…
Thursday, November 30, 2017
Let's clear this up right off the bat: U.S. Sen. John Kennedy is not who Vanita Gupta wants him to be, even though the former head of the U.S. Justice Department's Civil Rights Division under Barack Obama has lauded him for being the first Republi…