Political Chatter

— Gov. John Bel Edwards and First Lady Donna Edwards hosted their Christmas festivities at the Governor’s Mansion today.

— The First Lady’s also celebrating National Cookie Day with this tantalizing snapshot from the Mansion

— JBE’S CHRISTMAS-PACKED WEEK: Gov. Edwards road-tripped to Natchitoches this weekend to speak at the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors Meeting at Northwestern State’s campus, and made time for their Christmas festival and parade while he was in town.

— Michael Willis’ BAD XMAS JOKE OF THE WEEK: “What do you call a kid who doesn't believe in Santa Claus? A rebel without a Claus.”

— TRANSIENT CAJUN CHRISTMAS: The Louisiana State Society is throwing its Cajun Christmas Party at Southern Hospitality in Washington, D.C. tomorrow! TICKETS

— The Louisiana State Medical Society is partnering with KaMMCO Health Solutions to provide its members with a statewide health information exchange and new analytics tool. “Partnering with KHS to access new health information exchange (HIE) and analytics tools allows us to support the physicians of Louisiana with cutting-edge benefits relevant to both patient care and the successful transition to alternative payment models. This is a winning combination for our members,” said LSMS CEO Jeff Williams.

— The full text of ATRF’s Judicial Hellholes® report can be viewed here. Louisiana remains one of the worst states in this this report, which Gov. Edwardshas labeled as “fiction.”

— NFIB’s Dawn Starns on the Hellhole: “What we’re seeing, though, is a handful of plaintiffs who engage in ‘drive-by litigation.’ We’re seeing lawsuits from people who aren’t customers. We’re seeing lawsuits from people who simply are looking for opportunities to file a claim and, hopefully, get a quick settlement. That’s unfair, but it’s especially hard on small businesses. Small businesses can’t easily afford to settle, let alone hire a lawyer to defend itself in court, even though there’s a good chance it would win.”

— Rep. Pat Smith was named as the Louisiana Federation of Teachers’ “Friend of Education for 2017.”

— PR: “Representatives from 49 states, including Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs (LDVA) Secretary Joey Strickland, participated in the White House Veterans Affairs Conference held in Washington, D.C. this week.”

— Donaldsonville Chief: “Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon is pushing for the repeal of an insurance tax imposed under the Affordable Care Act. Donelon is urging members of Louisiana’s Congressional delegation to support legislation that would suspend the tax, which is a premium collected by health insurers.”

— Walter Kimbrough, president of Dillard University in New Orleans and a national expert on hazing, will speak to the Press Club of Baton Rouge on Monday.

— The Advocate’s Mark Ballard: “The Secretary of State’s office is seeking proposals to replace voting machines across the state and for software that will create a paper ballot on those machines that the voter can review before casting the vote.”

— Sen. John Smith cameos in a video about Louisiana rural health care access. WATCH IT

— LABI President Stephen Waguespack gives his two cents on taxes: “The costliest exemption in the state is the individual federal income tax deduction at $870 million. This allows Louisiana taxpayers to deduct their federal income tax payments from their state taxes. If Congress and the White House agree on a tax cut bill soon, this will go down.”

— Aspen Institute President and CEO Walter Isaacson is moderating a talk on politics and news between New York Times national political correspondent Jonathan Martin and former Meet the Press producer Betsy Fischer Martin at the Bureau of Governmental Research’s Annual Luncheon on Dec. 7 at the New Orleans Marriott. DETAILS

— The Livingston Parish Republican Leadership Luncheon is Dec. 7 at noon at the Greystone Golf & Country Club in Denham Springs. INFO

— LSU President F. King Alexander is the keynote speaker for the Central Louisiana Regional Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting on Dec. 7 at 11:30 a.m. at the Holiday Inn in Downtown Alexandria. INFO

— The Louisiana State Historic Preservation Office is a co-recipient of the 2017 Federal Highway Administration Environmental Excellence Award for Excellence in Programmatic Agreements for the Louisiana Historic Bridge Inventory project. 

— The New Orleans Health Department is now training New Orleans Public Library staff to administer Naloxone, which reverses the effects of an opioid overdose.

— New Orleans has first responders in Puerto Rico for relief efforts this week.

— NOLA City Council has agreed on its 2018 city budget. PRESS RELEASE

— Former Rep. Karen St. Germain, U.S. Marshall Genny May, Lafourche Parish Council Vice Chair Lucy Sposito, NAACP President Emeritus Eva Shanklin, and 1st Attorney as Executive Council to the Supreme Court Kim Sport are some of this year’s Louisiana Center for Women in Government and Business Hall of Fame Honorees.

DOCTOR’S ORDERS: Abraham would prescribe limited convention

In yet another signal that Congressman Ralph Abraham will be on the ballot in 2018 and probably 2019, the veterinarian-turned-physician told

Rabalais: Slidell Mayoral Race (Plus Others) Is Anybody’s Game

In terms of the March 24 elections, no other city-wide race quite matches the dynamics of Slidell’s mayoral contest, which locals describe

They Said It – March 8

"One hump would be fine." —Senate President John Alario, when asked if he would prefer a unicameral legislature "I hope that will

Alford: Why LaPOLITICS Needs Your Help

A Personal Appeal from Jeremy Alford You may have heard about a fundraiser scheduled for next week (on Tuesday, March 27) for CC73, a

Rabalais: Hale Boggs Runs Afoul of Hoover and the FBI

In the spring of 1971, Congressman Hale Boggs of New Orleans, then the House majority leader, was making moves on Capitol Hill. A well

Waiting on HB2

Louisiana’s annual construction bill is expected to be read into the House later today, kicking off a process that is just as riddled with

Political Chatter

— Rep. Jay Morris is stepping up and speaking out about his concerns about a proposed constitutional convention. And he has a slick web

AS SEEN ON TWITTER: Lawmakers Split On Convention

— Rep. Jay Morris (@JayJaymorris3): Beware of a new constitution. All those pushing for it are aiming at the middle class. Noticeably no one

Alford: Looking for a Little Womentum

I was sitting inside Woman’s Hospital in Baton Rouge 11 years ago this week, holding my newborn daughter, Zoe, while watching then-Gov.

Gamard’s Beltway Beat

— U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy has had a busy week. He sent several messages across federal agencies, including one asking for healthcare payment


— Tuesday 03/20: Rep. Sherman Mack, John Williams, Tony Perkins, late Gov. Oramel H. Simpson (1870) and Blake Corley — Wednesday 03/21:

LOWDOWN: Our Jailhouse Politicians

These days, it seems there’s always either a politician going to prison or getting out of prison. As the saying goes, half the state is

POD: New Kids on the Block

In this week’s episode of the LaPOLITICS Report, we talk to members of the Louisiana Republican Party about the future of the GOP and the

SPONSORED: The Picard Group Welcomes Hunter Hall

We are proud to announce that Hunter Hall has joined the federal affairs team at The Picard Group. Hunter brings a wealth of knowledge on

What’s Up With Session Stuff and What It Means for Politics and Stuff

1.) The news: Gov. John Bel Edwards is asking Speaker Taylor Barras and President John Alario to pass a resolution that sets an early or

A Conversation With Wildlife & Fisheries Secretary Jack Montoucet

Jeremy Alford: I do want to talk fees with you, but I have to ask…  Do you miss it (serving in the Legislature) at all? Secretary Jack

Political Chatter

— The five managed care organizations (MCOs) that are contracted with the state to provide Medicaid benefits and services have created a new

Alford: The Pace Of Things To Come

What happens when you take a Louisiana Legislature that’s earning a reputation for disfunction and tell its members that they have just nine

Rabalais: Plaquemines Parish’s “Little War of 1943”

On June 1, 1943, the Sheriff of Plaquemines Parish, Louis Dauterive, died suddenly. Instead of an orderly transition amid a period of

Gamard’s Beltway Beat

— U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy is one of the lawmakers sponsoring a “school safety and mental health” bill that directs federal dollars for


— Tuesday 03/13: Former Congressman Joseph Cao, Rep. Valarie Hodges, Donald Hodge, Jessica Starns Debetaz and Phil Ranier — Wednesday

LOWDOWN: Louisiana’s Talented Politicians

We’ve finally reached the talent portion of The LaPolitics Lowdown. Which is fortunate. Because, believe us, you do not want to see all of

SPONSORED: Public-private hospital partnerships and their utmost importance to our state

Funding for Louisiana’s public-private hospital partnerships is in question, and it could have a dramatic effect on healthcare in Louisiana.

A Conversation With House Clerk Butch Speer

Jeremy Alford: So… Now what? House Clerk Butch Speer: Well, it’s true that legislatures all over the country — but this one in particular,

Rabalais: Rodrigue’s Reluctant Legacy

RABALAIS’ POLITICAL HISTORY Before George Rodrigue’s Blue Dog made Louisiana’s “I Voted” sticker a hot item, the late artist’s iconic