Jim Brown is a Louisiana legislator, Secretary of State and Insurance Commissioner.
The Governor of Louisiana called me last night. I was just about to doze off when the phone rang. And can you believe it? He wanted my advice on how to deal with his plummeting poll numbers and his growing list of governing and political problems. The conversation went something like this.
The 34th President of the United States was assassinated 50 years ago this week under controversial circumstances that leave a number of questions unanswered to this day.
During the past month, a number of publications have profiled potential Republican candidates who could be major contenders for the 2016 presidential nomination.
Has the final shoe dropped on Louisiana insurance policyholders who are seeing their insurance costs skyrocket, and who continue to pay the highest insurance costs in America? Can it get any worse? Well, I hate to tell ya, but yes it can, and it will.
When I was a kid growing up, I was a dreamer. I would share with my father some off-the-wall idea that I was absolutely sure would become life changing.
There are certain things you don’t forget. Where you were on 9/11, or when President John Kennedy was shot. Down here in the Bayou State, add to those special dates Halloween night 54 years ago when Billy Cannon made football history with his 87 yard run to beat Ole Miss and keep the Tigers undefeated. His story is the rise and fall, than the rise again by LSU’s all time sports hero. And guess what? I played a minor role in what became Billy’s personal nightmare and fall from grace.
Fifty year ago, the FBI opened widespread murder investigations into what was left of the Klu Klux Klan in Louisiana. The Klan had once held a significant presence statewide throughout the first half of the 20th century. But following the enactment of 1964 Civil Rights Act, the FBI was given the authority to crack down on what used to be unevenly enforced state violations, and Klan activity in the Bayou State slowed to a trickle.
The rancor and animosity of both political parties in Washington seem to be at an all-time high. Both sides are calling their opponents “liars,” and there are reports of tension building to the point where fistfights have nearly broken out within same party caucuses. Louisiana members of congress say they have never seen such bitterness and vicious personal attacks.
I picked up my daily newspaper on the first day of October, and three stories dominated the news. “The Government Shuts Down,” blarred one headline. We have been hearing about this possibility for months as Republicans and Democrats, alike, have dug in their heels, with little effort to avert the closure of numerous government facilities.
Football season gives pause in Louisiana for the rough and tumble politics ahead. 2014 brings another totally unpredictable Louisiana legislative session, and congressional elections highlighted by a highly contested U.S. Senator race. Then the state jumps into what most political prognosticators views as a barnburner of a gubernatorial election in 2015.