Special Session Cat-and-Mouse Begins

— THE BOTTOM LINE… is a bit fuzzy. If you ask the top supporters of Gov. John Bel Edwards, the special session is a go. Working under that assumption (at last glance Feb. 15 was a date being tossed around), Republicans are saying that such call would have to be made without the governor actually knowing whether he has 70 votes in the House for key revenue measures.

— THE TRICK… for the administration will be communicating to the public that Edwards is not alone in wanting the revenue-raising session. Part of that messaging started to come together today with a small band of Republican legislators (mainly from the upper chamber) that’s working to develop a statement of support for Edwards calling a special session.

— THE FEEDING FRENZY… at the Capitol on Press Row today was over the release of a letter to the governor from Speaker Taylor Barras. It outlined “budget and spending reform measures” supported by the GOP membership that would have to be linked to any successful revenue-raising bills.

— INCLUDED IN THE GOP GET-LIST… were state spending limits, which LaPolitics Weekly subscribers first learned about in October; a Louisiana Checkbook based off of the Ohio Checkbook model, which LW subscribers first learned about in December; and “Medicaid program reforms.”

— WHAT WE NEED TO REMEMBER… is that the letter does not constitute what was formerly known at the Capitol as a “deal.” It’s nothing more than an overview of what Republicans want to see on the budget side of the equation, not the revenue side, which is the side that matters when it comes to a compromise.

— THE MEDICAID WORK REQUIREMENT… referenced in the GOP’s get-list serves as an invitation to U.S. Sen. John Kennedy to enter the special session fray. Kennedy has made an issue over work requirements and recently asked the governor to meet with him and federal officials to get the process moving. Edwards declined and Kennedy, instead, met with key Republicans from the state House during last week’s Washington Mardi Gras festivities. On Monday Kennedy said to Times-Pic reporter Julia O’Donoghue, “Speaker Barras and his members have good reform ideas, and I offered to help in any way I can to ensure that actual spending reforms become a reality this year.”

— THE CAT AND MOUSE GAME… is still over revenue and taxes. Not budget reforms. JBE boosters are telling reporters that the administration is still waiting on a communication from the House leadership outlining what revenue-raisers can be stomached by the lower chamber. Republicans, meanwhile, are saying that isn’t true and that they, in contrast, are waiting on the governor to provide more information on his revenue-raising plan.

— WHAT EVERYONE REALLY WANTS… are reliable fiscal notes and revenue estimates. Or at least that’s what both sides are saying. Republicans claim they want good numbers for the administration’s suggestions and the governor contends he’s looking forward to seeing the fiscal notes on what the House GOP wants.

Feeling Special: Day 2 Down, 15 To Go

— SPOTTED... The top hands of Gov. John Bel Edwards, at Sullivan's Steakhouse in Baton Rouge, just hours after their boss delivered his

ALFORD: Is Constitutional Convention Chatter Peaking?

This Louisiana Legislature’s upcoming session-palooza will host at least six legislative instruments, maybe more, calling for various forms

Political History by Mitch Rabalais: When Duke and Shaq Clashed

In 1991, the LSU Basketball team was one of the best squads in the country. Featuring the nation’s top player, Shaquille O’Neal, the Tigers

Political Chatter

— The Legislative Black Caucus has new officers: Rep. Randal Gaines was elected chair, Rep. Ted James is vice chair, Rep. Jeff Hall is first

Gamard’s Beltway Beat

Congress is in recess this week, but plenty has happened since we went on hiatus for the Gras. As folks down in Louisiana reveled in and


— Tuesday 02/20: Haley Jupiter, Emma Allain and Jason Berry — Wednesday 02/21: Former Congressman Charles Boustany — Thursday 02/22:

LOWDOWN: What NOT to Do When Reporters Come Knocking

In this episode of the Lowdown, we’re letting you in on five things you should avoid doing when you come in contact with a journalist —

HASHTAG LOUISIANA: Policing Chatrooms and Mastering Newsfeeds

 This episode of our digital-focused podcast is all about communication. We give you some simple guidelines for engaging with your

SPONSORED: What to Expect This Time Around

When the Louisiana State Legislature convenes on March 12, one issue will overshadow all others — the budget. It will be the absolute

Alford: Defining The Louisiana Mood

I was eating boiled crawfish last Friday night with my wife and children in Baton Rouge — Crawfish season! Finally! — when I received a text

Rabalais: That Year There Was No Mardi Gras

When the good times (and parades) didn’t roll for Dutch Throughout history, only cataclysmic events such as invading Yankees, Yellow

Political Chatter

— Congressional aide Michael Willis’ BAD JOKE OF THE WEEK: “How do you catch a unicorn? Unique up on it!” (P.S. Happy Mardi Gras!) —

Gamard’s Beltway Beat: Another Shutdown?

It’s a good thing our congressional delegation got their Carnival fill at the 65th Parish a couple of weeks ago, because pending votes on


— Tuesday 02/06: Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne, Laura Veazey, Stephen Waguespack, Kellee Hennessy, Tom Fitzmorris and Cindy

JBE SAVES MARDI GRAS: Not-so-special session delayed

LaPolitics embarking on annual Carnival break Friday is the new deadline (instead of tomorrow) for the GOP-led House and the

5 Hard-Hitting Campaign Ads

It’s time to review your opposition research, fire up your cameras and get ready to pay your media consultant extra. In this episode, we’re

POD: Liz & The Supremes

In our 48th episode of the LaPolitics Report, we talk to Louisiana Solicitor General Liz Murrill a few weeks after she gave oral arguments

SPONSORED: A Congress Divided

When President Donald Trump delivered his first State of the Union address this week, it arrived on a Congress as divided as Washington

Lowdown: Your German-Born Governor

We'd like to introduce you to Michael Hahn. He was Louisiana's only German-born governor, a close friend of Abraham Lincoln, the original

Capitol Gains: JBE, Re-Election Politics & Chicken Stuff

Gov. John Bel Edwards was the guest for our inaugural episode of Capitol Gains, Louisiana’s only Sunday morning political talk show. In

Hashtag Louisiana: Todd Graves & One Love For Mardi Gras

Our new podcast meets you at the intersection of Louisiana politics, social media and business with host Ira Wray. This first episode is

LaHistory: Foster and Buddy’s Comeback Bid

Foster and Buddy’s Comeback Bid In 1995, Louisiana’s political landscape was shifting. Frustrated with problems in the gambling


— Tuesday 01/30: Congressman Mike Johnson, Denise Thevenot, Matt Holliday and Sonny Cranch — Wednesday 01/31: Congressman Garret

A Very Looziana SOTU (and Other Chatter)

— In case you missed it last night, the Bayou State owned the first five minutes… — U.S. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise got one of the

Special Session Cat-and-Mouse Begins

— THE BOTTOM LINE… is a bit fuzzy. If you ask the top supporters of Gov. John Bel Edwards, the special session is a go. Working under that