Monday morning, as President Donald Trump was embarking on his instantly infamous encounter with Russian president Vladimir Putin, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise went on Twitter to insist that Trump was working “from a position of American stre…
Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Monday, July 16, 2018
I went shopping over the weekend, checked my receipts and saw that I was charged 4.45 percent of the price of my purchases in sales tax. Had I purchased the same items a month ago, I would have been charged 5 percent.
It’s way too early to handicap this fall’s special election for secretary of state, but by the time qualifying closes this week, one candidate will be able to claim a major victory just by making it to the starting line.
Saturday, July 14, 2018
Friday, July 13, 2018
If House Majority Whip Steve Scalise hadn’t already announced that he won’t challenge John Bel Edwards for governor next year, his fundraising activities would have told the same story. His latest numbers, released Friday morning, have national am…
Thursday, July 12, 2018
Thursday, July 12, 2018
Former U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite Jr. confirmed this week that he’s moving to Philadelphia, thus ending, or at least deferring, some political dreams.
Wednesday, July 11, 2018
U.S. Sen. John Kennedy said he had some tough words for the Russian officials during an all-GOP July 4 week congressional visit in advance of President Donald Trump’s hugely controversial meeting with Vladimir Putin.
Tuesday, July 10, 2018
If New Orleans native Amy Coney Barrett is feeling a little down this morning after being passed over by President Donald Trump for a U.S. Supreme Court nomination, she might take comfort in the fact that she’s not alone.
Monday, July 09, 2018
As Gov. John Bel Edwards returns from his summer vacation this week, he faces an unfamiliar landscape. Now that lawmakers have finally adopted enough revenue to guarantee that vital services won’t be threatened year in and year out, the budget cri…
Saturday, June 30, 2018
There’s a reason Gov. John Bel Edwards speaks of one of his proudest accomplishments, the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, in terms of how many Louisianans are benefiting.
Friday, June 29, 2018
Pretty much everything in Washington is contentious these days, and that includes many components of the farm bill that passed out of the Senate Thursday and must now be reconciled with a very different House bill. Causing the most rancor is a pro…
Thursday, June 28, 2018
The first big headline from this year’s third special legislative session was that lawmakers finally agreed on how to raise enough money to avert deep cuts to higher education and other state-funded services when the new fiscal year begins on Sunday.
Wednesday, June 27, 2018
When it comes to calling for political civility, Steve Scalise has some standing. The genial House Majority Whip is as partisan as they come, but he’s known for not making things personal. Hence his well-documented interparty friendship with congr…
Tuesday, June 26, 2018
Now that the great tax compromise of 2018 is on the books, what’s the next act in Louisiana’s never-ending political show?
Monday, June 25, 2018
Although there’s been considerable debate about who’s really been pulling the strings, Speaker Taylor Barras, R-New Iberia, is the official leader of the state House.
Friday, June 22, 2018
Many national groups hold big meetings in New Orleans every few years, but the American Library Association, which opens its national conference at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center Friday with a big-time speech by Michelle Obama, is special.
Thursday, June 21, 2018
In a vacuum, “We’re No. 49!” doesn’t sound like much of an accomplishment, let alone a rousing rallying cry.
Just when it seemed as if Louisiana’s fall congressional elections would be entirely humdrum, some unexpected drama has suddenly erupted in the fight for the state’s 3rd District.
Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Given the humanitarian crisis playing out on the country’s southern border and in the locked-down shelters and often far-off foster homes where children ripped from their parents’ arms are being held, it was probably inevitable that political pund…
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
You’d think lawmakers gathered in Baton Rouge for yet another special session would have a sense of urgency, that they’d want to finally take care of business and go home. After all, the fiscal cliff that they’ve been talking about for more than t…
Monday, June 18, 2018
Steve Scalise and Cedric Richmond argue — a lot. They did it on television this weekend, in a segment on CBS’s “Face the Nation” meant to highlight a longstanding friendship that dates back to their days in the Louisiana Legislature.
Gov. John Bel Edwards opened the latest special legislative session – the third this year and seventh since he took office in 2016 – by promising to be brief, because, really, what more is there to say? And indeed, he largely skipped over the numb…
Saturday, June 16, 2018
Maybe it’s time to come up with a new word and stop calling these unscheduled legislative sessions “special” — or to use the formal governmental language, “extraordinary.” Is something really special when nothing new, let alone exciting, comes out…
Friday, June 15, 2018
Thursday, June 14, 2018
Even as U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise enjoyed a much-deserved moment this week — his triumphant return to the Congressional baseball diamond a year after he was nearly fatally shot during practice for the game — the majority whip also made some big news…
Hands-down, U.S. Sen. John Kennedy has emerged as Congress’s most prolific quipster. Surely some Louisianan voters have tired of the Vanderbilt, University of Virginia and Oxford-trained lawyer’s folksy sayings by now — please, can we retire the b…
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
John Kennedy, Louisiana’s junior U.S. Senator, has become a celebrated talker during his short time in Washington. But sometimes you’ve got to wonder whether he even listens to the words coming out of his own mouth.
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
Political capital is a fleeting thing. New leaders have it, particularly when they win by the sort of landslide that New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell earned back in November. But they can also easily lose it. So maybe it wasn’t wise for Cantrell …
Saturday, June 09, 2018
Follow politics long enough, and you can get inured to the all the little things that might have once given you pause, but that you come to understand as business as usual. Sometimes it takes some truly shameless behavior to really get your attention.
Friday, June 08, 2018
As always, one of the big-ticket items eligible for cuts when the state comes up short is higher education. Money for elementary and secondary education comes from a separate pot, and is protected.
Thursday, June 07, 2018
After more than two years of pretty much open resistance to Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards from the harder-core conservatives who run the state House, state Rep. Lance Harris, the Alexandria representative and GOP caucus chair, tried to claim th…
It’s not often that a state like California takes its cues from the Deep South. So it was a little unexpected to see the Golden State emulate Louisiana and ditch party primaries a few years ago, and instead open its elections to all comers, with t…
Wednesday, June 06, 2018
Tuesday, June 05, 2018
Circumstances notwithstanding, Gov. John Bel Edwards generally plays the optimist in public. He talks about the great things in store once lawmakers finally get the state’s fiscal house in order, fund basic needs and steer away from the self-impos…
Monday, June 04, 2018
Back when Steve Scalise and Mitch Landrieu served together in the Louisiana Legislature, people would sometimes get the two mixed up. Makes sense. They have similar statures, hairlines, gregarious personalities, even New Orleans area roots. Pretty…
This time tomorrow, the great fiscal cliff debate of 2018 – and 2017, and 2016 – will be over. Or maybe it won’t be. That’s up to legislative leaders, who have until midnight to finally hash out a taxing and spending plan now that those temporary …
Saturday, June 02, 2018
Friday, June 01, 2018
House Appropriations Chairman Cameron Henry turned some heads earlier this week when he said he’d been talking to Attorney General Jeff Landry and Treasurer John Schroder about the long-delayed budget, but hadn’t spoken to Gov. John Bel Edwards’ a…
Thursday, May 31, 2018
When the bill to extend Harrah’s New Orleans Casino’s exclusive license fell apart at the end of the regular legislative session, the gambling hall’s general manager, Dan Real, suggested that parent company Caesars would take the $350 million it h…
In vetoing a bill that would have banned cities from requiring developers to include affordable housing in new projects, Gov. John Bel Edwards gave officials in New Orleans and Baton Rouge a reprieve.
Wednesday, May 30, 2018
A gleaming, modern hospital has replaced the old, abandoned Big Charity, and it will hopefully survive the budget standoff in Baton Rouge. All around the hulking art deco edifice, downtown New Orleans is booming.
Tuesday, May 29, 2018
The Louisiana Legislature is still a long way from fully funding priorities, reforming and stabilizing the tax structure and avoiding yet another fiscal cliff. Still, Monday marked a milestone in the long-running quest. House members who gathered …
Thursday, May 24, 2018
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.
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…