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If you are a sports fan living in Louisiana, you are well aware of the rise to the top by LSU’s basketball team that won the SEC championship and made it to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament.  But then the bubble burst. Not because the Tigers were defeated by Michigan State. No, the team was undermined by the irresponsible action of the LSU administration itself.

Now this is not a sports column, but a commentary of the dysfunctional leadership at the state’s flagship university.  The basketball fiasco is just one more misstep. Here is the latest in a long line of rash actions.

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If you are Businessman Eddie Rispone or Congressman Ralph Abraham (one of the two Republican candidates) intending to unseat Governor John Bel Edwards for the rights to the state capitol’s 4th floor, you have some heavy lifting to do.

And, if you are running for political office this year or working on a political campaign, reading the just-released 2019 Louisiana Survey, a project of the Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs of LSU, is a must-do.

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The ever-so unhealthy John Bel Edwards vs. Jeff Landry feud has emerged, once again. The on-again, off-again legal wrangles between the two top state lawmakers broke skin today. The issue?  Healthcare.

In other words, a pre-existing hostile condition has spread into the Louisiana legislative healthcare arena over the uncertain and most-controversial issue of pre-existing conditions coverage. 

 

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?

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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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