Jim Brown is a Louisiana legislator, Secretary of State and Insurance Commissioner.
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.
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.
I hope everyone enjoyed their recent Memorial Day weekend. Many Louisianans were vacationing over the long holiday or enjoying a cookout with family and friends. Many stores held sales advertising for us to have a “Happy Memorial Day.” All well and good, but what about the real purpose of this special day?
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.
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.”
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.
Governor Jimmie Davis must be rolling over in his grave right now. Louisiana’s internationally acclaimed official state song is under attack by the Louisiana Legislature. There is an effort by some south Louisiana legislators to designate the Cajun classic Jambalaya as an official public ballad. And them’s fightin’ words for those who have embraced You are my Sunshine as the sanctioned formal melody.
Is there a gubernatorial election taking place in Louisiana this year? Based on the amount of current interest, you wouldn’t know it. Qualifications for statewide offices are less than four months away. Four months? And barely a peep out of candidates who want to run major offices in the Bayou State. What gives?
As the Louisiana legislature begins a new session, the focus—early on—concerns alligators, almond milk, marching bands, the Who Dat Nation, driverless cars, wrestling matches, crab traps, meatless burgers, and changing the name of the state song. By any objective measure, most of these proposals should go by the wayside and the focus should be on educating our kids, particularly at a very young age.