There was an unmistakably hopeful note at the end of Gov. John Bel Edwards’ off-site speech to open the special legislative session on Tuesday.
Thursday, May 24, 2018
Wednesday, May 23, 2018
From his seat on the Judiciary Committee, U.S. Sen. John Kennedy has had the chance to show off his legal chops. His grilling of one nominee for federal judge, Matthew Spencer Petersen, was so exacting and brutal that it went viral and caused Pete…
Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Gov. John Bel Edwards’ opening address ahead of the latest special legislative session was a shake-things-up speech, away from the stodgy confines of the state Capitol, where these orations take on a ceremonial air. Out in the field at the Univers…
Monday, May 21, 2018
State Sen. JP Morrell is known for wearing sneakers around the State Capitol, a fashion statement that works just as well as a metaphor. If it seemed as if the New Orleans Democrat was always on the move during the legislative session that wrapped…
Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards doesn’t hide his frustration with the House Republican leadership’s long-running resistance to working with him to avert the coming fiscal cliff, and he’s not the only one. All along, there’s been a group of House …
Saturday, May 19, 2018
Friday, May 18, 2018
It’s somewhat interesting that Gov. John Bel Edwards decided to deliver the opening address to next week’s special legislative session from a remote location, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
Thursday, May 17, 2018
New Orleans city government features a strong mayor’s office and a relatively weak City Council, at least as far as official authority is divvied up.
Thursday, May 17, 2018
“It’s not you, it’s me,” is such a timeworn phrase that it’s become a cliché. Still, if delivered sincerely, the sentiment can go over well.
Wednesday, May 16, 2018
There’s an argument that Louisiana missed the boat, so to speak, when it let riverboat casinos come to town.
Tuesday, May 15, 2018
Monday, May 14, 2018
It was just a coincidence that the Louisiana Legislature’s unanimous move to prevent porn productions from receiving film state tax credits coincided with a visit home by the state’s most famous porn star.
Saturday, May 12, 2018
Of the many ideas out there to get as much bang for the buck as possible out of the popular TOPS college scholarships, state Rep. Gary Carter’s House Bill 399 may have made the most sense.
Thursday, May 10, 2018
In a frantic attempt to counteract the bad press they’re getting over his administration’s warning that 37,000 elderly and disabled residents could soon lose their coverage for nursing and long-term care, Louisiana House Republicans are accusing G…
Wednesday, May 09, 2018
A lot happened in the many months between last fall’s New Orleans municipal elections and Monday’s inauguration. So much that one of the winners has already run for, won and taken a new position in the interim.
Tuesday, May 08, 2018
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s inaugural address Monday was warm, welcoming, down-to-earth and infectiously optimistic. For anyone who might have forgotten how appealing a politician she can be, and how she rose from grass-roots community act…
The first time I cast a vote in Louisiana was in the 1995 statewide primary election, and I distinctly remember noticing something as I perused the ballot. Not only could I pick a well-qualified woman for each of the top two posts, governor and li…
Monday, May 07, 2018
In a short but rousing inaugural address, newly sworn-in New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell returned to her populist roots and declared the next four years not about “me,” but about “we.”
Saturday, May 05, 2018
Friday, May 04, 2018
When politicians get sworn in to high-profile positions, it's common for their peers to send their best wishes.
Thursday, May 03, 2018
Helena Moreno left the Legislature last month as the Capitol’s loudest voice on behalf of domestic violence victims.
It was a concern that New Orleans Mayor-elect LaToya Cantrell was apparently poised to offer a big City Hall job to Warren Riley.
Wednesday, May 02, 2018
It sounded like the perfect issue for a Democratic governor running for reelection in a conservative state: How about joining with small-government, free market types in pushing to remove what many view as excessive regulations?
Tuesday, May 01, 2018
So state Sen. Gary Smith has applied the brakes to the fast-moving legislation to give Harrah’s New Orleans Casino a 30-year-extension to run the monopoly gambling establishment.
Monday, April 30, 2018
When U.S. Sen. John Kennedy joined a small chorus calling for Secretary of State Tom Schedler to resign last week, I had two thoughts.
Even without outside intervention, the smart money would be on the next incarnation of the already Republican majority state Senate becoming more conservative. Term limits will take a heavy toll on the current membership of the upper chamber, and …
Saturday, April 28, 2018
When LaToya Cantrell won the New Orleans mayoral runoff way back in November, nobody knew quite how the unusually long transition would be.
Friday, April 27, 2018
Thursday, April 26, 2018
There’s something awfully powerful about unanimity. When a large, diverse group of people come together over a weighty matter, it makes a statement. You could almost say it demonstrates an absence of reasonable doubt.
It’s not clear quite how far Louisiana’s two Republican U.S. senators would take things, given that Bill Cassidy’s rare criticisms of President Donald Trump’s administration tend to be subdued, and John Kennedy’s are noisier but also markedly selective.
Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Update: The House Ways & Means Committee sent out a statement Wednesday afternoon saying that the Girl Scout project raised concerns because the group had been perceived to have missed the application deadline, based on documentation from the …
Tuesday, April 24, 2018
A new national poll about who should lead the House Republicans now that Speaker Paul Ryan is retiring had some good news and some bad news for local entry and Majority Whip Steve Scalise.
Monday, April 23, 2018
With an invitation to the big White House state dinner for French President Emmanuel Macron and some flattering national profiles to his credit, there’s no question that Gov. John Bel Edwards is making a name for himself out there in the larger po…
In Louisiana, Republican partisans are working feverishly to paint Gov. John Bel Edwards as an outlier, a Democrat in a conservative state whose commanding 2015 victory owed more to the weakness of once-invincible opponent David Vitter than to his…
Saturday, April 21, 2018
The Louisiana House spent a tense five hours in debate Thursday before finally, narrowly, passing a budget that calls for deep spending cuts, mostly to health care.
Friday, April 20, 2018
Back at the start of the legislative session, when Gov. John Bel Edwards urged lawmakers to pass a ban on so-called “lunch shaming” of students, I wondered aloud on social media how anyone could oppose a law preventing kids from being publicly hum…
Thursday, April 19, 2018
Until Louisiana’s longstanding, nearly unique system of allowing divided juries to issue criminal convictions emerged as one of the legislative season’s hot-button issues, a lot of lawmakers admit that they hadn’t given it much thought.
Wednesday, April 18, 2018
With House Speaker Paul Ryan on his way out and the fall election season rapidly approaching, there’s a theory that the current Congress won’t be taking on major policy initiatives for the rest of the year. One possible exception, though, is an is…
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
A recent dispatch from North Dakota, where Democratic U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp faces a tough reelection race this fall, gave me flashbacks.
Monday, April 16, 2018
Even before she flubbed her response to what should have been an easy question during her Senate confirmation hearing last week, Wendy Vitter’s nomination for a lifetime appointment as federal judge in New Orleans was contentious. It was always go…
Lots of Louisianans are keeping an eye on how House Majority Whip Steve Scalise fares in Washington now that House Speaker Paul Ryan has announced his departure from Congress. One local who has more than a passing interest is surely Gov. John Bel …
Saturday, April 14, 2018
Friday, April 13, 2018
Louisiana state Rep. Sherman Mack picked the wrong kid to brush aside last week. Although he was not allowed to speak to the House Administration of Criminal Justice Committee, which the Albany Republican chairs, 10- year-old Sam Peter of Harahan …
Thursday, April 12, 2018
When I think of Portland, Oregon, I think of a quiet morning in New Orleans soon after local residents starting trickling back to the lucky unflooded neighborhoods after Hurricane Katrina.
Wednesday, April 11, 2018
November’s congressional elections have been looking momentous for some time now, except here in Louisiana, where things are shaping up as pretty ho-hum. While both houses are up for grabs, neither of the state’s U.S. Senate seats is on the ballot…