Another Round Of Musical Chairs At The Capitol

Who needs term limits with this kind of turnover? Almost two months have passed since I last utilized this space to discuss the Legislature’s surprising number of open seats and the low morale inside the Capitol. Politicos who not long ago were begging for dollars and running for their lives to get elected to the […]

The Legislative Guide To Winning Friends & Influencing People

As of the writing of this column, the Louisiana Legislature and the Edwards Administration still had a little more time to throw down all shields in a grand display of cooperation. (The special session, which has once again pitted the House against the Senate and governor, must adjourn by midnight on Wednesday, Feb. 23.) By […]

GOP Leadership Change Could Be Vision-Shifting

When Roger Villere became the chairman of the Louisiana Republican Party 14 years ago, the only statewide GOP official was late Secretary of State Fox McKeithen. Today, of course, Gov. John Bel Edwards is now the only Democrat in statewide office, representing a sort of bookend for Villere in the unpaid position of chair.   […]

All Politics Are Local — And Sometimes Shameful 

Two parish presidents in Ascension and Jefferson are facing recall efforts for allegedly doing things that would make any good, church-going rotarian blush. Another president in Lafourche, meanwhile, is still reeling from a “no confidence” vote that was delivered by his council last week over perceived violations of the parish charter. On the municipal level, […]

Mayoral Race Should Hold State’s Attention

At any given time of the day, it’s both the best elected job in Louisiana and the worst. One moment you’re leading a second line in a city that long ago captured the imagination of the world and the next you’re trying to explain to said world why people keep getting shot on Bourbon Street. […]

Doomsday Budget Preppers Have Arrived

Higher education officials, public school teachers and health care providers would like nothing more than an avalanche of state money to suddenly appear some time before the end of the fiscal year on June 30. Many are instead coming to grips with the fact that additional funding is unlikely to emerge in time to block […]

Waters Being Tested With Special Session

Calling a special session at the height of Mardi Gras season is a surefire way to get the attention of Louisiana’s legislators. And that indeed appears to be the course Gov. John Bel Edwards is plotting thanks to a $313 million deficit in the current fiscal year. Perhaps because the state has been here before […]

There’s A New Party In Louisiana

While you were gathering with family and friends and celebrating the holidays last month, a new political party was very quietly established in Louisiana. It hopes to one day compete with the Republican and Democratic parties, which may be a bit of windmill-tilting, but for now it’s being touted as part of a new “independent-minded” […]

Musical Chairs At The Capitol

More than a third of the lawmakers now serving in the Louisiana Legislature will be forced to abandon their seats in 2019. That means 36 representatives out of the 105-member House will be making their exit at the end of this term, along with 16 out of 39 senators. This deadline has many lawmakers racing […]

They Said It In 2016

From intellectually honest to bitingly sarcastic, the remarks delivered by state Rep. Rob Shadoin, R-Ruston, during this year’s record run of legislative sessions almost helped us forget just how rough 2016’s budget negotiations actually were. At one point, he told the entire House membership that “my brain explodes” when faced with the chamber’s combined and […]