I have a sad announcement to make. Politics is just no fun anymore in Louisiana.
Reams of books have been written about the colorful characters that ran the Bayou state throughout its history. And the average citizen got involved, attended rallies and actively supported their candidate of choice. Few states could match the intensity and enthusiasm that was a part of Louisiana campaigning. The state’s two favorite pastimes were LSU football and Politics.
In 1999, I launched a career on radio and television, and started writing regular political columns. A frequent guest on my programs was Steve Sabludowsky, attorney and founder of Bayoubuzz.com. While we disagreed on some issues, we both agreed that there was a need for much more political humor in our state.
In Louisiana, our politicians, usually unwittingly, regularly provide plenty of comic material. Thus, along with our friend Betsie Gambel, we started Politics with a Punch, Louisiana’s version of Politically Incorrect. While the old show with Bill Maher is long gone, our program is still rolling along. Tomorrow night, we will be celebrating our 17th anniversary at the Eiffel Society, 2040 St. Charles Avenue.
According to several watchdog organizations, Louisiana has one of the worst judicial climates in the country. The state has been given the dubious title of the nation’s judicial hellhole by several neutral watchdog groups. Campaign funds given to a judicial candidate are often cited as possibly influencing future judicial decisions. Some are advocating the appointment of judges in order to do away with the pressure on judicial candidates to raise campaign contributions. So is this the solution? Is appointing rather than electing judges the way to go in Louisiana?
Presidential election season has kicked off earlier than usual with new democrat candidates appearing almost daily. Fourteen announced candidates so far with others like former Vice President Joe Biden waiting in the wings. The President is unopposed for now, but anti-Trump forces are searching for several good candidates. So how relevant is Louisiana to the presidential primary process? Not much. But that could change.
According to Pollster and political analyst John M. Couvillon of JMC Polling and Analytics, early voting in America and yes, in Louisiana, has been a smash hit.
In this state, the early voting, (mail and in person) broke all prior records for non-presidential races. It did surpass the 2008 Obama-McCain presidential count. What makes this remarkable is the very fact that the top of the ticket is just a Secretary of State race, not a US Senate conflict or Governor’s race.
Remember the 1970 song by Chicago; “Does anybody know what time it is, does anybody really care?” Well it’s close to Election Day in Louisiana, and it would seem by early voting projections and general lack of interest that Louisianans are not holding their breath to cast their ballot. Why the lack of attention to an event that affects the future of the state and the entire nation? There are a number of reasons.
A few minutes ago, I browsed through my email box as I do frequently. Unfortunately, this time, I saw a heading that I should have known was coming.
It was from Jeffrey Sadow, a political science professor. The email said, “Lou Gehrig Burnett, 1941-2018”.
As the great John Maginnis, used to say, “I owe it all to the material”, so does political cartoonist like Fred Mulhearn,
Earlier this week, I interviewed Mulhearn, about his work and his new book “Looziana Political Cartoons”, that is a compilation of his cartoons.
Is Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy, taking on Trump like he did Governors Blanco, Jindal?
It appears that Louisiana Senator John Kennedy is beginning to show the type of independence that made him popular when he was State Treasurer. Despite substantial bombarding of ads over the airwaves urging voters to support President Donald Trump’s judicial nominee, Kyle Duncan, he opted not to do so. But, it might be some of the questions he asked that gives rise to his current departure of voting along party lines, particularly, supporting President Trump.
Louisiana is rich in natural resources and super rich in opportunities for all of us to laugh at our political figures as they deal with the issues before them.