On the day last week when students across the country walked out of class to mark the one-month anniversary of the Parkland, Florida, mass school shooting that left 17 people dead, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise tried to signal that he hears th…
Saturday, March 17, 2018
Friday, March 16, 2018
If Louisiana lawmakers feel like they’re putting in more and more time and getting less and less done, well, that’s certainly the impression their constituents are getting as well.
Thursday, March 15, 2018
As beleaguered Secretary of State Tom Schedler explained Wednesday why he would serve out the rest of his term, despite allegations of sexual harassment by a longtime employee and his own disputed contention that the two had been involved consensu…
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Tuesday, March 13, 2018
Who would have guessed that the most dramatic endorsement in the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's race wouldn’t be of a candidate, but by a candidate?
Monday, March 12, 2018
It took House Majority Whip Steve Scalise just six years to rise from the lowliest position in Congress to the U.S. House of Representatives' upper echelons, so it's safe to assume that the Jefferson Parish Republican has a pretty good mind for le…
Monday, March 12, 2018
The pomp of the 2018 regular legislative session's opening felt a little perfunctory this time. All the players at the state Capitol went through the same drill less than a month ago, and what happened during the special session that followed hard…
Saturday, March 10, 2018
Let's start with the premise that adopting sound, predictable taxing policies is pretty much the definition of fiscal responsibility. Everyone can agree on that, right?
Friday, March 09, 2018
It might have been a dream show for Louisiana political junkies, or at least partly a nightmare.
Thursday, March 08, 2018
Throughout much of the modern era, politics in Jefferson Parish have been dominated by titans.
Every time we get a new president, it sets off a conversation about which locals are likely to play the biggest roles in the administration. And while President Donald Trump hasn't exactly mined Louisiana for talent, a few familiar names have seen…
Wednesday, March 07, 2018
If John N. Kennedy's really gearing up to run for governor, he's going to have to do better than his post-special session broadside against the man he'd hope to unseat, Gov. John Bel Edwards. Which is one reason my gut still tells me that, in the …
Tuesday, March 06, 2018
First the old news out of the collapsed special legislative session: There's still no plan to account for the coming loss of nearly $1 billion in tax revenue once that revenue drops off the books this summer.
Monday, March 05, 2018
The fight over how to keep Louisiana government running has been an epic battle, running two years, encompassing seven special and regular legislative sessions, and thoroughly preoccupying the executive and legislative branches of government.
Saturday, March 03, 2018
I'm not sure whether I'd argue that being a state senator is the easiest job at the state Capitol these days, or the hardest.
Friday, March 02, 2018
When they're not voting on anything that would bail the state out of its fiscal mess — and that's been most of the time during this special session called specifically to do just that — Louisiana lawmakers have been voicing their frustration in co…
Thursday, March 01, 2018
Before last month, who would have picked Secretary of State Tom Schedler, a well-regarded mainstay at the State Capitol for decades, as Louisiana's highest-profile political casualty of the Me Too era?
Lately it seems as if President Donald Trump and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise have started their own mutual admiration society. Trump recognized Scalise, who fought his way back after nearly dying in a mass shooting last summer, as the "Legen…
Wednesday, February 28, 2018
There's still a week to go before Louisiana lawmakers must adjourn the special session called to address the rapidly approaching fiscal cliff, widespread shorthand for the June 30 expiration of $1 billion or so in temporary sales taxes. Those taxe…
Tuesday, February 27, 2018
Even if it collapses, you can't say that the quick special legislative aimed at averting a $1 billion budget shortfall has been devoid of accomplishments. Several revenue raising bills have made it out of the conservative-tilting House Ways and Me…
Monday, February 26, 2018
With 435 members jostling for attention and influence, it's hard for a freshman congressman to make his mark through the legislative process. Instead, new members who draw headlines tend to do so from the outside, and often by saying something shocking.
Ideally, secretaries of state are best seen and not heard. As the overseers of elections in each state, these officials are supposed to protect the process, so that voters don't have to worry about the integrity of the franchise.
Thursday, February 22, 2018
The next big round of elections is more than a year away, but already, we're starting to see Louisiana's electoral future. It's a dreary sight.
Wednesday, February 21, 2018
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu leaves City Hall in early May, but he'll be logging some serious miles even before then.
Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Being average — not above average, but simply average — doesn't sound like much of an achievement. But when Kathleen Blanco was governor, her successful push to raise teacher pay in Louisiana to the Southern average was widely celebrated.
Monday, February 19, 2018
There wasn't a whole lot new in Gov. John Bel Edwards' opening address to the Louisiana Legislature's latest special session, because really, at this point what else can he say? This is the fifth special session in just over two years, and the sev…
Saturday, February 17, 2018
When Bill Cassidy challenged longtime U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu in 2014, one of her main arguments was that, despite her Democratic affiliation, she was the one who had a record of looking out for Louisiana's interests in Washington.
Friday, February 16, 2018
Yesterday, I wrote that U.S. Sen. John Kennedy is remarkably good at sensing how an issue is playing, and putting himself on the right side. The latest of many examples came this week, when Kennedy was one of the first Republicans to reject EPA ad…
Thursday, February 15, 2018
It took an ugly gubernatorial primary two years ago to expose the deep rift between now-former U.S. Sen. David Vitter and Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne, but the truth is that they've never been allies. Still, the two former Republica…
U.S. Sen. John Kennedy's getting a lot of ink these days for his plain-spoken, often amusing quips. Perhaps he deserves even more for being an increasingly reliable barometer how controversies are playing in public.
Wednesday, February 14, 2018
At some point, GOMESA will be acknowledged as settled law — not in a sense that it's survived court challenges, but in the sense that it's generally accepted and not subject to continuous debate.
Monday, February 12, 2018
There are lots of professional speakers who can shed light, not just heat. Many of them have a point of view in line the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry's low-tax, anti-regulation political leanings.
Saturday, February 10, 2018
It's probably fitting, given the constant threat of wet weather throughout this year's Carnival season, that the dominant theme of 2018's satirical floats can be summed up in a simple phrase: Water, water, everywhere. Especially in the streets of …
Friday, February 09, 2018
Thursday, February 08, 2018
Nobody would ever call either Steve Scalise or Cedric Richmond a political moderate. Not now, with the two Louisiana congressmen holding major leadership posts, Scalise as House Majority Whip and Richmond as chairman of the Congressional Black Cau…
The legislatively appointed panel created in 2017 to study the future of the popular but pricey TOPS scholarships asked the right question: How can the state make the program sustainable in the long term?
Wednesday, February 07, 2018
Sometimes I feel like a broken record, arguing repeatedly that Congress should stop leaving ordinary people in the lurch by using popular programs as bargaining chips in contentious negotiations. But then I think of the people who rely on these pr…
Tuesday, February 06, 2018
The latest word, first reported Tuesday by USA Today Network's Greg Hilburn, is that after blowing past two self-imposed deadlines, Gov. John Bel Edwards plans to issue a call on Friday for lawmakers to finally address the rapidly approaching fisc…
Monday, February 05, 2018
U.S. Sen. John Kennedy, as the Advocate's Bryn Stole reported in Sunday's paper, is becoming a bona fide media star and appears to be loving every moment of it.
Saturday, February 03, 2018
Democrats all over the country, not to mention plenty of independents and even some Republicans, are eagerly looking ahead to a time when the Trump administration will be history.
Friday, February 02, 2018
It wasn't much of a surprise to see Gov. John Bel Edwards' strong poll numbers in the latest 50-state roundup by Morning Consult, which was released this week.
Thursday, February 01, 2018
I've been through enough scandals involving public officials to know that, while each is different, there are definite patterns. Even when they're not strictly about public corruption.
With Louisiana's congressional delegation, there's always a good chance that there's a doctor in the house. Or in this case, on the train.
Wednesday, January 31, 2018
There are already plenty of wide-angle analyses of President Donald Trump's state of the Union address, so let me get parochial for a moment and note that Louisiana got some major play Tuesday night.
Tuesday, January 30, 2018
I'm perfectly willing to believe defense attorney Mike Magner's contention that the feds hoped their investigation of former Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office chief deputy Craig Taffaro might lead them to one of Taffaro's close associates, either …
Monday, January 29, 2018
It's not exactly breaking news that Gov. John Bel Edwards' 2105 election didn't usher in a Democratic wave in Louisiana.