Jim Brown is a Louisiana legislator, Secretary of State and Insurance Commissioner.
Fifty year ago, the FBI opened widespread murder investigations into what was left of the Klu Klux Klan in Louisiana. The Klan had once held a significant presence statewide throughout the first half of the 20th century. But following the enactment of 1964 Civil Rights Act, the FBI was given the authority to crack down on what used to be unevenly enforced state violations, and Klan activity in the Bayou State slowed to a trickle.
The rancor and animosity of both political parties in Washington seem to be at an all-time high. Both sides are calling their opponents “liars,” and there are reports of tension building to the point where fistfights have nearly broken out within same party caucuses. Louisiana members of congress say they have never seen such bitterness and vicious personal attacks.
I picked up my daily newspaper on the first day of October, and three stories dominated the news. “The Government Shuts Down,” blarred one headline. We have been hearing about this possibility for months as Republicans and Democrats, alike, have dug in their heels, with little effort to avert the closure of numerous government facilities.
Football season gives pause in Louisiana for the rough and tumble politics ahead. 2014 brings another totally unpredictable Louisiana legislative session, and congressional elections highlighted by a highly contested U.S. Senator race. Then the state jumps into what most political prognosticators views as a barnburner of a gubernatorial election in 2015.
Congress is going “new law” crazy. In the nation’s capitol, hundreds of proposed new laws are being introduced every month, creating numerous new regulations and crimes. And Louisiana congressional members are joining right in this push for more federal intrusion into what was previously the purview of the states. Senator Mary Landrieu has proposed 29 new laws and resolutions in this current year alone. Her opponent in next year’s senatorial election, current Congressman Bill Cassidy, is right on her heels with 17 new offerings.
These guys at the Justice Department, led by top cop Eric Holder, just don’t know when to quit.
In the movie Guys and Dolls, gambler Nathan Detroit (played by Frank Sinatra) says: “How can it get any worse. What more can you do to me?” That’s what thousands of Louisiana property owners are saying about the state’s insurance climate for insuring their homes and businesses.
Property owners along the Gulf and East coasts are in a panic over projections of outrageous property flood insurance rates that, in some cases, could lead to increases of greater than 1000 per cent. Louisiana newspapers have reported proposed massive increases all over south Louisiana.
A few weeks ago, I began to think we had given up.
A lawsuit against Big Oil for environmental damage by the Bayou State? Are you kidding me?