Jim Brown is a Louisiana legislator, Secretary of State and Insurance Commissioner.
Do energy companies have a responsibility to mitigate the damage caused by their drilling for oil and gas in Louisiana? That’s the issue now being litigated in the controversial levee board lawsuits now in the courts.
by Jim Brown
Forty years ago this week, Richard Nixon became the first and only president to resign from office. Those of you too young to remember the events surrounding Watergate missed one of the most riveting episodes of American history. Nixon survived a number of bitter political fights, but he had always been able to bounce back. However, it was his own words in secret recordings that he personally authorized in the Oval Office that finally led to his downfall.
by Jim Brown
If recent polls are any indication, Louisiana voters are not too keen on any of the choices for U.S. Senator in the coming fall election. A number of national surveys have found that every candidate running has a higher negative than positive rating in the Bayou state. Maybe it’s time for Louisiana to consider offering a third choice. None of the Above.
by Jim Brown
There is a reason the death penalty is rarely enforced anymore, particularly in the federal judicial system. Too many innocent victims are being convicted, based on cover-ups and the withholding of exculpatory evidence by some federal and state prosecutors. A recent study published in the National Academy of Sciences concludes that some 4.1 percent of inmates on death row are innocent. More than four percent. If that were the rate of airplanes crashing, would you fly?
What on earth is happening out there? Is a major hurricane churning in the Gulf and taking dead aim at Louisiana? Is the Mighty Mississippi on the verge of overflowing its levees and about to flood thousands of acres, driving hundreds of thousands from their homes? Something drastic must be up. After all, State Farm Insurance Company just raised its rates on Louisiana homeowners by as much as 20%.
The Queen City of the South is under siege. No, not from hurricanes. This time, the siege is from within. New Orleans is known as the city that care forgot. But it’s been hard to let the good times roll in the Big Easy when the dice keep coming up snake eyes.
It’s the kickoff for hurricane season and forecasters are predicting 8 to13 named storms with anywhere from 3 to 6 of these storms growing into major hurricanes. Here on the Gulf Coast, we certainly perk up when this time of year rolls around. For years, a good story in south Louisiana went like this:
Twenty-eight years ago this week, President Ronald Reagan traveled to West Berlin, and at the Brandenburg Gate admonished: “Mr.Gorbachev, take down that wall.” The Berlin Wall had been erected by the puppet Soviet state of East Germany. Unless you are over sixty-five or are a history buff, you may not understand the tensions that existed then had many observers feeling that we could be on the brink of war with the Soviet Union.
Iraq is imploding as Republicans and Democrats alike are scratching the heads as to what went wrong. Meanwhile, party gridlock in Washington has brought any sense of responsible governing to a standstill. The President faces what may well turn out to be his single biggest crisis during his time in office, and he spent most of last week vacationing on California golf courses. Are we observing a freak show or what?
Kids all over Louisiana graduated last week from kindergarten, grade school, high school, college and graduate schools. And there was always a commencement speaker. Most of you will never give a commencement address. But as a public official, I was called on to give a number of them. And guess what? I don’t remember any of the advice that I gave to these newly minted graduates.