EWE Backing Con-Con

In a speech to the Crowley Rotary last week, former Gov. Edwin Edwards voiced his support for the ongoing efforts to call another constitutional convention. The remarks surprised some, given his lack of clarity on the issue and his status as the political godfather of the current Constitution that was ratified in 1974. In an […]

David Duke On The Big Screen

David Duke, the former Klan wizard and perhaps Louisiana’s most infamous politico, will soon be featured as a character in a movie (based on a true story) from director Spike Lee and comedian Jordan Peele.  The film, BLACKkKLANSMAN, recounts the successful infiltration of the KKK by African-American and Jewish police officers in the 1970s. Actor […]

The Senator Who Ran For Governor (And Won)

Newton Crain Blanchard owns the distinction of being the only U.S. senator to be relocated by Louisiana voters to a governorship, in 1904. Others have tried unsuccessfully, most recently former U.S. Sen. David Vitter in the 2015 governor’s race. But voters haven’t agreed to such a transfer in 114 years. As the 2019 gubernatorial election […]

They Said It

“We had a gentleman’s disagreement and settled it with our hands.”  —Rep. Stuart Bishop, on his altercation with Sen. Norby Chabert  “The next time it will be dueling guns.” —Bishop “It’s something you never want to have to live with. But when you do it, you have to own it.” —Sen. Norby Chabert, on his […]

Rabalais’ Political History: When a constitutional convention became a full-scale riot

By 1866, Louisiana had been devastated by the ravages of the Civil War. Almost 3,000 of the state’s citizens had been killed in the conflict, with bloody battles waged in Baton Rouge, Donaldsonville and the Red River region. Because occupation by Union troops had suspended the functions of state government, new elections had been held […]


“Smooth as a Peeled Onion,” or the Political Persistence of Mayor Morrison This month marks the 72nd anniversary of a New Roads native being sworn in as the mayor of New Orleans, which in turn gave way to Louisiana’s best tale of political persistence from the mid-20th Century. You may be wondering how a boy […]

Rabalais’ Political History: Mayor Maestri’s Lunch With Franklin Roosevelt

While this week marks the 300th anniversary of the founding of New Orleans, it is also the annual commemoration of a less heralded event in the city’s history that humorously embodies its unique flavors, particularly in politics and fine cuisine. On April 29, 1937, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt made his first official visit to the […]

RABALAIS’ POLITICAL HISTORY: Steve, JBJ & The Lanes To Leadership

Long before U.S. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was thrust into the developing race for speaker, and prior to subsequently endorsing his perceived opposition, there was another Louisiana politico making power plays on Capitol Hill in the hopes of landing a leadership gig. No, that wasn’t a reference to former Speaker-elect Bob Livingston or late […]

Rabalais’ Political History: Don’t Be A Sucker, Wear Seersucker

With the passage of the Easter holiday, seersucker suits and skirts and shorts are again making their routine appearances in the marbled halls of Baton Rouge and Washington, D.C. Seersucker may be fashionable now, but its history is rooted in the practicality of the fabric. According to reporting from National Public Radio, the traditional blue […]

RABALAIS: The Bogalusa Senator Known As Sixty

The Louisiana Legislature has seen many characters pass through its halls. But none were quite like Benjamin Burras Rayburn, who represented Washington and St. Tammany parishes for more than 45 years. According to his obituary in The Times-Pic, Rayburn, also known as “Sixty,” had varying stories about how he obtained his famous nickname. Most folks […]