In a building where political landmines abound, many state legislators are cautious about where they stand, and none in the State Capitol was more so than Sharon Weston Broome. In the House and Senate, she was the despair of lobbyists, who often d…
Tuesday, December 11, 2018
Monday, December 10, 2018
Thursday, December 06, 2018
For decades, candidates from north Louisiana dominated in races for the Governor’s Mansion, but since Edwin W. Edwards broke the string, and with the single exception of Buddy Roemer in a splintered field in 1987, a candidate north of the Intersta…
Tuesday, December 04, 2018
When I registered to vote for the first time, as a Republican, the nice lady at the courthouse tried to talk me out of it. For the best of motives: That was more than 40 years ago, when elections were typically decided by Democrats, who were almos…
Monday, December 03, 2018
Maybe, as a Democrat, Gov. John Bel Edwards is for once expressing the deepest feelings of hardcore partisans in the Louisiana Republican Party: "For Sen. Kennedy, this was never about the people of Louisiana. This was about focusing the spotlight…
Thursday, November 29, 2018
When East Baton Rouge Parish Metro Councilman Matt Watson talked up a pay raise for the city's police officers, it was a good idea whose time had not come. Other members of the Metro Council were not unsupportive of police officers, although there…
Tuesday, November 27, 2018
It takes a village to pass a tax, and Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome is at great pains to portray the backing of a coalition of supporters on behalf of her big increase for roads and bridges on the Dec. 8 ballot.
Tuesday, November 20, 2018
In Louisiana, we call ourselves an open primary state, although political scientists would argue that is not the precise nomenclature for an election without party primaries. Paying a qualifying fee is all that it takes to run for office, even gov…
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Maybe it's not surprising, but the news is that the number of international students coming to U.S. colleges and universities is down during the Trump administration.
Thursday, November 08, 2018
In 1995, when a Democratic developer in New York had delusions of grandeur about business and politics, a little-known state senator from Franklin ran for the open seat of Louisiana governor.
Wednesday, November 07, 2018
While the 2018 midterms have an important impact on Capitol Hill, the implications for the 2020 elections — and the 2020 Census — are probably what many political pros are pondering today.
Tuesday, November 06, 2018
Tuesday, October 30, 2018
Quarrel if you will with some of the tough stances taken over the last decade or so by the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, but few are likely to contest the architectural judgment of BRAC President Adam Knapp on his own building.
Tuesday, October 23, 2018
Tuesday, October 16, 2018
Is it better to ask forgiveness than permission? LSU President F. King Alexander has pushed that saying to an extreme, unsettling a decades-old consensus on higher education policy.
Tuesday, October 02, 2018
Thursday, September 27, 2018
Tara Wicker cannot be more wrong. The Metro Council member says it is "a challenge just to keep the decorum ... just to keep (the meetings) from becoming almost comical." In truth, decorum left the council long ago.
Tuesday, September 11, 2018
Tuesday, September 04, 2018
If there is one thing that the law enforcement community agrees upon, across the country as well as in Baton Rouge, it is that too many folks with mental health problems are locked up in jails.
Tuesday, August 28, 2018
The innocent believe that the Louisiana State Capitol is a battleground of ideology. But the realists see it as the chessboard, or stock exchange, or lottery of the special interests.
Tuesday, August 21, 2018
As the internal politics of city hall in Baton Rouge have become more polarized, like most everywhere else, the Metro Council has become a significant barrier to getting mayoral initiatives before the voters.
Friday, August 17, 2018
With the fire-breathing Republican advocates of the Second Amendment in full cry at the State Bond Commission, did anyone notice who gave them a lecture about what being a conservative means?
Tuesday, August 07, 2018
Who is the most popular governor at the White House, at least with a D behind his name? Maybe the case can be made that it's John Bel Edwards.
Thursday, July 26, 2018
Sick of the Legislature and politics and the State Capitol? Don't look now, but the jockeying for 2019 is well underway, and has been for months.
Tuesday, July 24, 2018
At one late-night shooting scene, all too familiar in Baton Rouge, the new chief of police got some encouragement: a young woman started to describe, not quietly, the getaway car and what she had seen of the driver and passengers.
Friday, July 20, 2018
With apologies to the president of the United States, the current titleholder, if we could combine Chauna Banks and John Schroder into a single public official, we'd get a Republocrat whiner of epic proportions.
Tuesday, July 10, 2018
Is a power play worthy of the U.S. Capitol the right way to approach the Metro Council in East Baton Rouge Parish? No, and it is that lack of proportion that has led four members of the council into a boycott that makes the Democratic members look petty.
Monday, July 09, 2018
A motto for the new city of St. George, should it come into being, would be appropriate from a historian of Britain's Conservative Party, the late Lord Blake: "It is the tendency of government expenditures to increase."
Tuesday, June 26, 2018
Throwing the bums out is unfortunately not entirely possible with this Legislature, in large part because term limits mean that a significant number will not face the voters again, at least not in the same districts.
Friday, June 22, 2018
An old story from the U.S. Capitol is that of a young representative who is flattered to be invited for drinks with the old bulls of the House Democratic leadership, talking legislative strategy. The green young man offers an idea about how to con…
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Perhaps because he is a bit younger than the general run of legislators in the Great Silo of Statesmanship in downtown Baton Rouge, Ted James is catching on to the new lingo of state politics quicker than the rest of us.
Wednesday, June 06, 2018
Tuesday, June 05, 2018
If you want to campaign on God, country and patriotism, the usual stuff, don’t run for secretary of state in Louisiana.
Tuesday, May 22, 2018
"A change of scenery," Gov. John Bel Edwards called it, to contemplate the "end of the road" for the Legislature that has refused to deal with the "fiscal cliff."
Tuesday, May 15, 2018
In 1950, Baton Rouge's consolidation of city and parish government was considered all the rage in progressive circles, a way to make public services more efficient and provide a broader tax base. Lafayette government made the same decision in 1996.
Tuesday, May 08, 2018
There's no inherent contradiction between being nice and being persistent, but the combination of the two words used most often to describe urban planner Elizabeth "Boo" Thomas understate the case.
Tuesday, May 01, 2018
Few politicians do not enjoy attention, and Mitch Landrieu has been getting a lot as he winds up eight years as mayor of New Orleans. It has been an era of turnaround for the city, flooded after Hurricane Katrina.
As leader of the state House Republicans, state Rep. Lance Harris of Alexandria is often at odds with Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, and even with Jay Dardenne, the Republican budget officer for the state.
Wednesday, April 25, 2018
For the economic analysts, the location of a giant new Formosa plant in St. James Parish, promising 1,200 permanent jobs, is a function of objective factors. There is the Mississippi River and Louisiana’s network of pipelines, the neighboring petr…
It’s all conservative all the time, with Gov. John Bel Edwards himself joining in the avid discussion of work requirements for Medicaid recipients, almost all of whom are elderly, disabled or children.
Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Monday, April 23, 2018
For the economic analysts, location of a giant new Formosa plant in St. James Parish, promising 1,200 permanent jobs, is a function of objective factors. There is the Mississippi River and Louisiana’s network of pipelines, the neighboring petroche…
Monday, April 16, 2018
Of the frauds making the rounds of the State Capitol, the notion of a fresh start on a new Louisiana Constitution is one of the most durable.
Tuesday, April 10, 2018
When the Pilgrims found dry land at Plymouth Rock, the outcasts had to start the political thing from scratch. After all, as Puritans, they were dissenters, the second-class citizens of Britain, ineligible for most offices and functions in society.
Tuesday, April 03, 2018
Tuesday, March 27, 2018
With party divisions entangling the Legislature in the State Capitol, the body's approval ratings have to be in the single digits, and that is particularly annoying to state senators, who feel dragged down by the collisions over budget and taxes i…
Tuesday, March 20, 2018
Last week, Jay Dardenne’s long and distinguished career was one of those featured in a video for his induction into the Louisiana Political Hall of Fame, including his early activity as a Republican candidate and then officeholder.
Tuesday, March 06, 2018
The Daily State-Times of Baton Rouge bannered the news in 1909: “Five Million Dollar Company to Build Two Million Dollar Plant Here.”