by Tom Aswell, publisher of Louisiana Voice
The news release by last September said that former Gov. Bobby Jindal had been appointed to the board of directors of by Wellcare Health Plans, Inc., of Tampa, Florida.
Yawn. Ho-hum. Has LouisianaVoice become so desperate for stories that it resurrects a nine-month-old news release?
Perhaps the most extraordinary thing about the 2019 legislative season was the lack of extraordinary sessions. For the first year since the governor and current legislators were elected in 2015, we had no special session. Whether the reason was fatigue or election politics, our leaders in the Capitol determined that seven special sessions over the previous three years was enough. One major factor - and the most important characteristic of this session - was the existence of a more stable budget outlook based on a sales tax revenue stream established last year after much political wrangling. The 2019 session was the least contentious fiscal debate since the post-Katrina era. There were no mid-year budget cuts to adjust around, no drawdowns on the state rainy day fund and no obvious short-term gimmicks to prop the budget. The main theme was which programs to expand, not which to cut.
Huey Long would have been right in the middle of the current presidential election if he were still alive. He began a legacy of a long list of Louisiana politicians who had national aspirations. Later governors John McKeithen, Edwin Edwards, Buddy Roemer and Bobby Jindal all fell by the wayside in the quest for national office.
Louisiana’s business voice, LABI, as well as the Louisiana Insurance Department each took a huge hit in the waning days of the recent legislative session. LABI, with the full support of Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon, pegged legislation to supposedly reduce insurance rates in the state as the most important proposed legislation of the session.
With election day down the track, less than a half-year away, what’s Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards going to do?
Attorney General Jeff Landry has achieved a significant win in the ongoing three and half-year battle between the Democrat Edwards and the Republican Attorney General.
With less than six months remaining until voters go to the polls to re-elect Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards or pick his replacement, there is no question the two Republican candidates have not made much inroads, although, it is still early.
Yet, in hoping to rebound, perhaps, the Republican Party seems to be looking for a bounce of some type, in this case, the growing query involves the Democrat Governor Edwards and the LSU basketball team.
Once again, Louisiana politicians are on the verge of passing another law that will restrict our freedoms and take money out of the pockets of hard-working Louisiana taxpayers, all in the name of safety.
For several years, LA State Representative Mike “Pete” Huval (R-Breaux Bridge) has tried to pass a bill banning the right of a motorist to use a handheld cell phone in a vehicle. The bill would prohibit both phone calling and GPS use by responsible drivers.
There’s more than one way to skin a cat, as Louisiana’s legislative Republicans showed on a controversial matter. But one of their own might employ the same to thwart them.
Yesterday, the House Insurance Committee had a light schedule of just two bills. One, SB 173 by Republican state Sen. Fred Mills, has generated much conflict. It regulates the state’s response in case the U.S Supreme Court declares unconstitutional part or all of the misnamed Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards actually opposed it, setting off skirmishes that continued in yesterday’s hearing where an administration representative softened that stance with the bill’s passage.
Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise says he is still struggling over whether to forgive the man wo shot him two years ago. “I’ve never, internally, formally forgiven the shooter from the baseball shooting,” he said. “It’s something I’ve struggled with as a Catholic.”
It would be hard for many, including me, to forgive such a transgression. I’m still personally quite bitter over wrongs that happened to me some years back. So I understand the reluctance to forgive.
The heavy spring rains have been incessant up and down the Mississippi River, and there are projections for more Midwest thunderstorms later on this week. And all this water has, over the years, been channeled in tight levee systems that are right now under massive pressure.
Author John Barry, who has been a guest on my radio show on several occasions, documented the dangers of flooding on the Mississippi in his award-winning book, “Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi river Flood of 1927 and How it Changed America.” I asked him about his concerns today. “I know the power of this river, and quite frankly it makes me nervous to see this much water on the move,” he says
It’s the kickoff for hurricane season and forecasters are predicting as many as 14 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:
“I’m a Catholic, so I certainly know a good bit about suffering,” she would say.
“Yeah, I’m a Louisiana homeowner, he answered.
“Oh, so you understand.”
if you think that the Louisiana Governor's race will be a virtual cake-walk in favor of the incumbent John Bel Edwards, think again. At least, according to a recent poll by John Couvillon of JMC Polling and Analytics, the governor's race is far from over.
With roughly six months left until elections day, Edwards leads his two competitors Rep. Ralph Abraham and businessman Eddie Rispone by large margins, however, about one-third of the voters are undecided. Rispone is self-financing much of his campaign and claims he can match the Edwards campaign money needed to win. Edwards leads with 38% of the vote, followed by Abraham's 23% and Rispone trailing with only 7%. A whopping 32% are undecided.
It’s been more than ten years since the Stanford Group was shut down, having bilked over 1000 Louisiana investors out of their life’s savings. Lawsuits have been filed against the Securities and Exchange Commission for not providing proper regulatory oversight. But a strong case can be made that there is major culpability on the part of a state agency, the Office of Financial Institutions. And we are talking about Louisiana taxpayers being potentially hit with a bill that could approach $800 million.
by Tom Aswell, Publisher of LouisianaVoice.com
I gave myself 24 hours to consider whether to write this or not because:
But after having mulled it over for a full day, I’ve decided to proceed because: