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.
Tuesday, July 10, 2018
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.”
Tuesday, February 27, 2018
Contrary to the popular image of the legendary leader during the Great Depression and the Second World War, President Franklin D. Roosevelt was a politician who could be shiftier than Bill Clinton, more unreliable than Donald Trump and more brutal…
Tuesday, February 20, 2018
A famous and very mistaken assessment of a politician was made by columnist Walter Lippmann, who wrote before the 1932 election that Franklin D. Roosevelt was a pleasant man without apparent qualifications who very much wanted to be president.
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
A spokesman for Ohio’s state treasurer, Josh Mandel, wowed the crowd at the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry with a demonstration of Mandel’s pet project: the Ohio Checkbook.
Tuesday, February 06, 2018
After a decade of irresponsible budgeting and recurring crises, Gov. John Bel Edwards has won the argument at the State Capitol with one sentence: "This is entirely a self-inflicted wound."
Tuesday, January 30, 2018
When John Kirwan was recruited from the Cleveland Clinic, one of the premier medical institutions in the world, he came to Louisiana just in time for a doomsday budget — exactly the kind of problem that the new head of LSU's Pennington Biomedical …
Tuesday, January 23, 2018
With the decision of state officials to borrow $600 million from future federal highway revenues to jump-start three big projects, the allocation of more than half the money to Baton Rouge's interstate system shows how big the capital city's conge…
Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Thursday, January 11, 2018
Even in the hothouse atmosphere of the Louisiana State Capitol, and with a new legislative session weeks away at least, tempers are getting short.
Tuesday, January 09, 2018
Former Gov. Edwin Edwards, at 90, has many times demonstrated the wisdom of one of his favorite sayings, a Chinese proverb: Wait by the river long enough, you’ll see the bodies of your enemies float by.
Tuesday, December 26, 2017
With two out of three respondents approving of John Bel Edwards’ performance in office, surely it was a happy Christmas at the Governor’s Mansion.
Tuesday, December 19, 2017
After much huffing and puffing to little purpose, the House GOP folded its poor hand in a showdown in the State Capitol over managed-care contracts for Medicaid.
Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Tuesday, December 05, 2017
When you talk about the State Capitol becoming as bad as the nation's Capitol for wrangling, add to the list of similarities a growing disdain for the referees, particularly from the GOP coaches at both levels of the game.
Thursday, November 30, 2017
In politics, as in sports, an ugly win is still a W. And an L is still an L, which is where Cameron Henry of Metairie appears to be leading the House GOP caucus. Again.
Wednesday, November 29, 2017
"He's one confused politician." Or John N. Kennedy was so portrayed, in a sharp commercial against him in the 2008 race for U.S. Senate. Kennedy, then a Republican, had run in 2004 as a Democrat, and probably not the most centrist Democrat in that…
Tuesday, November 28, 2017
The official position of LSU is that the renaming of streets has nothing to do with the debate over Confederate memorials, even if the street in question is the one in front of the much-used Student Union building.
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
With due regard for the independence and vast powers of the Metropolitan Council of East Baton Rouge Parish, maybe there are lessons they could learn about getting their ducks in a row when it comes to taxes.
Tuesday, November 14, 2017
If you were less than riveted by the spreadsheets about recidivism rates from the Pew Institute, presented at the lengthy meetings over the last 18 months or so of the Justice Reinvestment Task Force, things might get even more tedious if the disc…
A former state legislator from New Orleans and candidate for mayor, political analyst Ron Faucheux publishes a daily rundown of the national polls, indispensable for political junkies. It noted the latest polls from Alabama, where one poll has emb…
Tuesday, November 07, 2017
However much one can enjoy a mudslinging political debate, the battle over industrial tax breaks that's broken out between the Baton Rouge Area Chamber and Together Baton Rouge provides an unusual amusement.
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
When Davis Rhorer started the Downtown Development District in 1987, there were probably meetings at which the commissioners on the board outnumbered civilians in the audience. No longer.
Friday, October 27, 2017
Today, there is no shortage of websites devoted to intelligent urban planning, and one of them — Planetizen — listed the 100 most important urbanists. Some of them are of course gone to the Great Charrette in the Sky, such as Daniel Burnham and Fr…
Tuesday, October 24, 2017
Almost a calendar year after taking office, East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome’s administration is starting to take shape.
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Tuesday, October 03, 2017
In the Baton Rouge area and down the bayous to Houma-Thibodaux, a sprawling district of the Public Service Commission will get a new member this fall — chosen by a sliver of the electorate.
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Yet another Louisiana politician displays an obsession with the Oval Office, looking ridiculous the whole time.
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
In the old days, the Legislature would run out of time for its session but the mere vagaries of physics meant nothing to those Lords of the Universe: The president of the Senate would just stop the clock, so that the last-minute bills could get through.