Guns. That’s where we left off, and the dialogue has only grown angrier since our last issue. Congress returned to work yesterday to what some fear are the dying flames of a firearm debate, which flared and fizzled out once again after a school shooter in Parkland killed 17 people and injured several others earlier this month.

Some members braided potential solutions, from gun control to arming teachers, into town halls at home. Others have been restating their stance over and over on national television. If you were an American politician — or, for that matter, an American — it was a hard conversation to avoid. The question now isn’t just whether this latest shooting, which has made a particular dent on Capitol Hill, will make any federal changes. It’s also what’s going to happen eventually at the state level when legislatures go into session.

On the periphery of the Parkland aftermath was the so-called Schiff Memo (i.e., the Democrats’ rebuttal to the FBI-scathing Nunes Memo from a few weeks back), more FBI charges from Special Counsel Robert Mueller (this time against President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort and former adviser Rick Gates) and SCOTUS orders temporarily preserving the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Our delegates spent last week in recess, which critics have long said is misleadingly named. (Some went home to do some Louisiana politicking, others went far out of town.) Here’s some of what their not-so-rested breaks from Capitol Hill looked like:

— U.S. Sen. John Kennedy was with fellow U.S. senators in Colombia to speak with Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos about “eradicating the coca crop that is vital to the development of cocaine.” He also traveled to Puerto Rico to see the damage from Hurricane Maria.

— U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy has a new bill aiming to prevent opioid overprescription: “In Louisiana, there is about one opioid prescription for every person… Some doctors are selling these prescriptions for profit.”

— House Majority Whip Steve Scalise has been talking guns, especially the armed deputy who didn’t confront the Parkland school shooter, on Fox & Friendsand Fox Business: “You just want to go strangle this guy. I mean, come on… The first thing that any of these victims need is prayer.” In other news, here’s Scalise’s op-ed arguing that offshore royalties are “essential” to the coast.

— Congressman Cedric Richmond has been celebrating Black History Month with daily historical snapshots on Twitter.

— Congressman Clay Higgins was in Morgan City with oil and gas leaders and in Lake Charles speaking to the Republican Women of SWLA about the new I-10 Calcasieu River bridge project and President Donald Trump’s infrastructure plan. He threw out the first pitch at this weekend’s UL Ragin Cajuns game. Via Elizabeth Crisp’s Twitter: “He’s planning a ‘fundraiser motorcycle ride’ in May with former reality TV star and self- proclaimed bounty hunter Duane Chapman.”

— Congressman Mike Johnson held a few town halls in his district. Here’s a reel from his one in Bossier Parish, where he talked about arming “qualified teachers” and preventing children from being “sitting ducks” in schools.

— Congressman Ralph Abraham spent last week at the Avoyelles Farm Bureau Annual Meeting, at lunch with the Monroe Chamber of Commerce and finally in St. Landry Parish before returning to D.C., where he gave a birthday shout-out to his Beltway barber, Joe Quattrone, on the floor.

— Congressman Garret Graves looks like he’s rooting for a Livingston Parish contestant to become the next American Idol. His Baton Rouge and D.C. offices are also accepting internship applications until the end of this month, and here’s a GIF of sorts that he made after speaking at the Dufrocq School Career Day last week...

LOWDOWN: The Price of Politics & Politicians

   What would you do for $16,800? Would you take a stressful, full-time job for $16,800 annually? Probably not. But guess who would? If you

SPONSORED: Louisiana Primary Care Association Announces Positive Step Forward In Healthcare

The Picard Group client Louisiana Primary Care Association (LPCA) recently announced an impressive step forward for healthcare in Louisiana.

POD: Politics According to Alton

He’s a staple of Capitol life and an influencer in Louisiana politics. He's lobbyist Alton Ashy of Advanced Strategies, and he's our guest

LOWDOWN: How A Podcast Gets Made

Here at LaPolitics, we like to use our videos and podcasts to teach you something you don’t already know. So in this week’s Lowdown, we’re

Ronnie, Riverboats & Re-Election Campaigns

His father pitched for The New York Yankees before gaining his political chops in Bunkie, Louisiana, just like his son did. So who is it

SPONSORED: Celebrating 25 Years Of Burkenroad Reports

Twenty-five years ago, Professor Peter Ricchiuti founded a unique learning opportunity for Tulane University graduate students that has not


LaPolitics: That final Finance vote in HB 1 was such a break from the session rhythm. Quick, unemotional and transactional. Was that

ALFORD: The Capitol’s Dirty Little Secret

The governor of Louisiana is not politically omnipotent. (I’m referring to the storied position of governor, not the man or the woman who

RABALAIS’ POLITICAL HISTORY: John Breaux’s Last-Minute Win Over Henson Moore

U.S. Sen. Russell B. Long’s announcement that he would retire after 36 years in the upper chamber was unexpected, as he had been building

PHOTO GALLERY: The Final Four Hours Of The Special Session That Never Was


“Members, It Is 12 a.m.”

It’s called a photo finish for a reason, not that the House, Senate and Edwards Administration would need photographic evidence to help sort

VIDEO: Who’s The Man Behind The Tree?

When politicians want your money, the idea is bound to come up. "Don't tax you. Don't tax me. Tax the man behind the tree." But who is

The LaPolitics Report: Meet Monty

This episode features Monty Sullivan, the president of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System, who provides a political read

LaPolitics Weekly Special Edition: FISCAL CLIFFHANGER

THE RUNDOWN Weekend action slated at Capitol… Sunday is budget-tax day on Senate floor… Sales tax amendments doomed… But the rate is still

LaPolitics Weekly: THEY SAID IT

“I didn't write the Constitution. I’m just trying to follow it.” —Appropriations Chair Cameron Henry, during HB 1 floor debate “I’m trying

Major Moves In SOS Race: Free announces, Werner out & JNK wades in

Like he did during last year’s special election for state treasurer, U.S. Sen. John Kennedy is picking sides again in the special election

FISCAL CLIFFHANGER: A Political Melodrama Told In Three Acts

FISCAL CLIFFHANGER A POLITICAL MELODRAMA TOLD IN THREE ACTS How a failed sales tax bill set the special session’s tone, bridged a deep

What The Heck Is John Alario Saying?

Have you ever listened closely to the words being said into the mic Senate President John Alario while he’s overseeing the business of the

SPONSORED: CGI Announces Major Louisiana Expansion

During his special session speech on May 22, Gov. John Bel Edwards, along with IT company CGI executive Dave Henderson, announced that CGI

#LA: John F. Jones & Social Media Advertising

“Social media is not magic. It’s just one of our many channels that we can use.” That’s the view of CenturyLink Public Policy and

JBE, Mitch & The Donald

This story was originally published in LaPolitics Weekly on May 18, 2018. Wish you had read it then? Become a part of our elite community by

SPONSORED: Congratulations to Bruce Greenstein and LHC Group!

Congratulations to Bruce Greenstein on this week’s announcement that he will return to Louisiana to lead innovation at LHC Group as Chief

THE LaPOLITICS REPORT: Picard, Politics & Ponies

In our latest podcast episode of The LaPolitics Report, Tyron Picard of The Picard Group drops in for a conversation about a bygone era in

CAPITOL GAINS: At Home with Clay

 “This is what America wants to see.” That was the promise from a beer-toting Congressman Clay Higgins in this episode of Capitol

SPONSORED: The 106th First Lady’s Luncheon

The Picard Group was honored to attend the 106th First Lady’s Luncheon, honoring The First Lady of the United States, Melania Trump. Held on