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.
Thursday, February 22, 2018
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.
The causes of Louisiana's fiscal rot have been diagnosed over and over: The repeal of the Stelly Plan. Rampant carve-outs in the tax code. And the dedications that protect most budget lines from cuts, and thus leave the same few areas, primarily h…
Saturday, January 27, 2018
Watching Congress try to get things done — and usually failing — can be an infuriating experience. On one specific issue, though the prospect of a delay is actually promising news.
Friday, January 26, 2018
Thursday, January 25, 2018
It's great that Congress has finally reauthorized the Children's Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, for six years. Really, it is.
In terms of popularity among his constituents, U.S. Sen. John Kennedy's about in the middle of the pack, according to a new set of surveys by Morning Consult measuring all 100 senators' popularity among their constituents. Kennedy got a thumbs-up …
Wednesday, January 24, 2018
For a politician who was never particularly popular with his peers, David Vitter had some of the longest political coattails in memory.
Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Monday's big reveal was Gov. John Bel Edwards' doomsday budget, the one that slashes health care and higher ed to the bone if the Legislature doesn't finally deal with the reality that some $1 billion is temporary tax revenue is about to disappear.
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.
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…