“The Killer” needs to take a break from Rock and Roll. Jerry Lee Lewis had a recent stroke and will spend the coming months in a rehab facility near his home in Nashville. I was looking forward to his April 28th concert at the Jazz and Heritage Festival in New Orleans, and had already lined up my tickets for his show. But that’s been cancelled. So let me look back on a few memories about Jerry Lee.
Qualification for this fall’s gubernatorial election is less than five months away. So far, there are only two races at the statewide level that are competitive. The governor’s race always draws a crowd, with Governor Edwards being challenged so far by two major and well-funded opponents. The other major contest pits the incumbent insurance commissioner in the run for his political life against well-funded newcomer Tim Temple. Incumbents in the other statewide offices have no opposition so far.
It’s Tuesday afternoon and time to check the email box to see what the Louisiana political world has to offer.
Let’s see. Governor John Bel Edwards claims that one of his opponents, Rep. Ralph Abraham is praising the governor’s business climate because the Congressman, for one, said that Louisiana is open for investment. Elections are over six months away and the political climate is beginning to come to a slow boil, especially for the governor's race.
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?
Although a decision on the matter will apply to many fewer defendants across Louisiana now, a needed challenge to a badly flawed decision on jury sentencing points out in passing an unintended consequence of recent change to this policy.
Last year, voters amended the Constitution to sweet away the state’s requirement – shared now only by Oregon – that juries decide cases with only 10 of 12 votes (except, according to the criminal code, cases that could carry a capital sentence). However, the change to unanimity didn’t affect cases already in the pipeline.
U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy has stirred up a hornet’s nest back in the Bayou State over his Facebook comments of eating a Louisiana delicacy. The Senator had this to say: “Found this raccoon in my backyard. We ate him for breakfast.” He even included a photo of the raccoon. And his Facebook friends went nuts with comments. Who on earth would even consider eating a raccoon?
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.
BATON ROUGE, LA (February 20, 2019) – More than two dozen new laws permanently affect the taxes paid by small and large companies conducting business in Louisiana, ultimately leading to an additional $3 billion in state taxes over just three years. That startling statistic is one of many outlined in a summary released today by the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI), reviewing business taxes enacted in Louisiana since 2015.
With less than eight months until the primary election, Louisiana Republicans are facing an uphill climb to defeat incumbent Governor John Bel Edwards.
As every campaign operative knows only too well, “money is the mother’s milk of politics.” In recent years, it has become ever more expensive to run an effective statewide race. The upcoming Governor’s race may be the costliest race in Louisiana political history. To compete, a serious candidate will need to spend $5 million at a minimum.
With that figure as a starting point, only two gubernatorial candidates are currently serious contenders in the upcoming race. Governor Edwards reported a very impressive $8.4 million campaign war chest at the end of the year. In terms of cash on hand, his nearest competitor is almost $3 million behind as Republican businessman Eddie Rispone reported $5.5 million in his campaign account in the same period.
Blackface mania has consumed voters in Virginia and is seeping into other states. Are their closeted politicians in Louisiana who are perusing their old yearbooks and scrapbooks to see if there are any blackface photos lurking in their past? Actually, no, since blackface parodies have been part of the Louisiana mode de vie for a number of years.
Remember the echo can chamber? Way back, before Al Gore invented the Internet, one way that kids would talk to one another would be by stringing two cans together. The words would go out of the mouth of the speaker, hit the back of the can, vibrate along the string, hit the other can's end and within micro-seconds, and somewhat miraculously, enters the ear of the other guy holding up the can.
Things have changed.
Nowadays, one can say something and before one can look for a string, the words are dissiminated around the world, via email, twitter, facebook post and yes, even by cell phone and snail mail.
Today at the Annual Meeting in Baton Rouge, the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI) formally announced its officers and Board of Directors for 2019, along with the members of the 2019 LABI Emerging Leaders Council, a group of distinguished entrepreneurs and young professionals. LABI is pleased and proud to be guided by some of the top leaders and talent from the Louisiana business community from every corner of the state.
It’s that time of year, once again for politics and business. Some say it's the business of politics. Others go with the politics of business. Nonetheless, they're here, this February, in Baton Rouge.
On Tuesday February 12, the largest Louisiana business organization holds its always-packed annual event. Later this month, the State of Louisiana is hosting the Governor's Economic Development Summit.