Jim Brown is a Louisiana legislator, Secretary of State and Insurance Commissioner.
Down on the Bayou in my home state of Louisiana, there’s a feeding frenzy going on. Now, if you live in the state but have been on vacation, say, in the Ukraine, you may not be aware that the Fifth District Congressman Vance McAllister is in a real pickle and has created quite a mess for himself. The vultures from his own Republican Party smell blood, and they’re already pouncing.
For the fourth year in a row, Louisiana is number one. That’s right! Once again, the Bayou State has been named as the home of the worst drivers in America.
Millions of rabid college basketball fans have been glued to their TVs over the past month as March Madness reaches its crescendo. And the big bucks have been rolling in. With coaches getting bigger salaries and colleges splitting huge TV and admission revenue, there are lots of winners. But one group is being exploited and shortchanged — the players themselves.
Louisiana’s congressional members of both parties were throwing cheers and high fives. They had done it. They had put an end to the proposed outrageous flood insurance rates. “I’m very proud,” beamed Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu. Her challenger in the coming fall election, Congressman Bill Cassidy, papered the state with press releases exclaiming, “This is a great day for Louisiana.”
It shouldn’t have surprised anyone paying attention to Louisiana politics. Former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards made it official this week. He will be a candidate for the U.S. Congress in the coming fall election. The political prognosticators say the congressional district has been gerrymandered by the Louisiana legislature to favor a republican candidate. Edwards feels otherwise.
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal threw a hissy fit in front of the White House earlier this month. He joined other governors in having a non-partisan luncheon with the president, then walked out on the lawn and began blasting away at what he perceived to be the Obama ineptitude. Connecticut Governor Daniel Malloy called Jindal a “cheap shot artist,” and even Jindal’s fellow republican colleagues rolled their eyes in dismay.
It could be the most recognized American song worldwide. Go to a small Asian community were little or no English is spoken. Then start humming “You Are MySunshine.” More likely than not, the locals will join in singing along. Everyone knows the words to a down home tune written by a Louisiana country singer and movie star. And he was sworn in as Louisiana Governor seventy years ago this week.
Just what is America’s favorite pastime? Is it politics or baseball? Politics has always been a major spectator sport, particularly here in my home state of Louisiana. But don’t sell baseball short. Not only has baseball been around longer than any of America’s professional team sports, the game’s highs and lows have been injected in national politics almost from the sport’s inception.
Last week’s column discussed the election of judges and the undue influence of campaign funds. A number of responses suggested doing away with judicial elections and following the federal path of presidential appointment. But is the appointive process really better than electing judges?
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?