Jim Brown is a Louisiana legislator, Secretary of State and Insurance Commissioner.
Special statewide elections in Louisiana are only a few weeks away. At the top of the ballot on November 6th will be an office second in line to the governorship. A number of the candidates are harping on the same theme. Each wants to be the business development voice of the state. Will the Governor let that happen? Fat chance.
The Secretary of State does have, under current law, some business duties. But the office serves primarily in that capacity as the filer and record keeper of corporations and partnerships. How can we gently say this....a glorified clerk of court. It would take a benevolent governor to turn over business development responsibility to another statewide official.
So just what should these candidates be talking about? Yes, there are some real problems to address. Here’s the list.
Voting Machines. All over the country, concerns are being raised over new electronic voting machines. Many critics say these machines are riddled with security leaks and are ripe for computer hackers to change numbers without elections officials knowing anything about it. And what abo
Brees’ story must include the man who drafted him
Here we go again with meddling federal judges. The 5th U.S Circuit Court of Appeals came down hard on Louisiana charter schools last week. Charter schools, that by definition are independent with major input from parents, now will have to bargain with teachers’ unions. The 5th Circuit is well known for questionable opinions that are often overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. Hopefully, this dubious decision will receive the same treatment.
Whatever the final result over the confirmation battle of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, one thing is becoming more urgent. The court itself has a crisis of legitimacy. And one way to restore its genuineness is to require term limits for all future judges.
The Supreme Court of old was more majestic with few periods of confrontation. Just a decade ago, 2/3rds of Americans had great confidence in the Court. No more. There’s trouble brewing in those marble temple walls. Confidence in the workings of the court and the Justices themselves have dropped to a mere 50% approval rating.
It’s been ten years since the financial crisis on Wall Street filtered down through the insurance industry. Many national insurance companies were under siege, and even though Louisiana is a small state in population, policyholders were affected proportionally at a much greater degree than in most other parts of the country.
I have a confession to make. And President Trump is not going to like it. I’m a southern country lawyer. Darn proud of it. In the President’s words, I may be a “dumb southern country lawyer.” I just hope the President does not have a sneering contempt for all of us Louisiana lawyers who cut our teeth practicing law in the rural areas of the Bayou State.
We all know that there is a crisis in the Catholic Church right now. Allegations of sexually abusive clergy are pouring in worldwide. Unfortunately, the roots of this terrible tragedy engulfing the Catholic Church have strong ties to the Bayou Sate. Here's how National Public Radio in Minnesota titled their investigative story on sexual abuse by priests: “It All Began in Lafayette, Louisiana.” And it did, back in 1984.
Current Louisiana Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser has brought up an interesting idea. Have the governor and the lieutenant governor run together on the same ticket. Such a system exists in a majority of states across the nation.
As Nugesser states: “The ticket idea seems to work well in other states. We ought to consider it. The only way I can do the best job I can do is to have a good working relationship with the governor.”
There seems to be a wealth of fabricators at the state capitol in Baton Rouge. Gov. Edwards is accusing U.S. Senator John Kennedy of making "untruthful comments" on the early release of state prisoners. Kennedy has countered back calling out the Governor for “bending the truth.” Two state senators physically squared off against each other in a local bar. And both Democrat and Republican legislators have accused each other of “hiding the truth” as to just whose at fault over the state’s perilous financial condition.
The Queen City of the South is under siege. No, not from hurricanes. This time, the siege is from within. New Orleans is known as the city that care forgot. But it’s been hard to let the good times roll in the Big Easy when the dice keep coming up snake eyes.
New Orleans is in a battle to stay afloat as it deals with major street crime, inept public officials, and a dysfunctional criminal justice system where even federal officials can no longer be trusted. Author James Lee Burke writes about this corruption and dysfunction in his novel Last Car to Elysian Fields. “One of the most beautiful cities in the Western hemisphere was killed three times, and not just by forces of nature.”