rates shh

Statewide elections are six months away, so after ignoring Louisiana’s outrageously high insurance rates for the past three years, legislators are running for cover.  Two study commissions have been created, one by the Governor and another by the Insurance Department, for the purpose of finding ways to lower the cost of auto insurance. So to be of help and having a bit of background in dealing with insurance issues, I have the solution.  Don’t reinvent the wheel. Do one thing. Enforce existing laws. 

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“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.

 

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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. 

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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.

lady justice 3According 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?

court justice

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.

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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?

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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.

going out of business sign

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.

enter mansion risk

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.  

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