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Stephanie Grace: Edwards doesn’t help Democratic brand

The first thing Edwin Edwards told audience members at last week’s congressional forum before the Central Chamber of Commerce was that they were right, and he was wrong. Edwards said he’d had serious reservations when the city incorporated in 2005 and created its own school district separate and apart from East Baton Rouge Parish. But seeing what they’ve… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: Funding for disease research in decline

The ice bucket challenge to raise money for and awareness of ALS has been a thing to behold. Countless people around the country have opened their hearts, minds and wallets to combat the devastating, and at this point incurable, neurological disease. After watching Saints star Steve Gleason wage his own battle in public, Louisianans were particularly primed to… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: Vitter’s subtle message: I’m no Jindal

On paper, Gov. Bobby Jindal and David Vitter have so much in common that a stranger might have trouble telling them apart. Both are Louisiana natives who went to Ivy League colleges, then won prestigious Rhodes Scholarships. Both are conservative Republicans who generally hew to the far right. Throughout their careers, both have practically oozed political… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: Serpas era was a tough slog

When Mitch Landrieu was first elected New Orleans mayor in 2010, he said that selecting a police chief would be the most important decision he’d make. His choice, to nobody’s surprise, was Ronal Serpas, a New Orleans native who’d risen through the NOPD ranks, served at hugely successful superintendent Richard Pennington’s side and then left town to lead… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: Would-be successors bucking Jindal on Core

Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne’s phone started ringing first thing Thursday, and it’s no wonder. Dardenne had penned a blistering letter in that morning’s Advocate condemning Gov. Bobby Jindal for injecting “D.C. style political games” into the state’s peaceful, orderly and long-planned transition to the Common Core standards and their associated tests. So far so… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: Reedcare, for the whole family

A hospital’s primary mission is to take care of people, and I’ll give St. Tammany Parish Hospital this: For years, it sure took care of Walter Reed. The details remain somewhat muddled, but the picture of an inappropriately cozy relationship between the public hospital and the controversial district attorney is growing clearer… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: Legal reasoning getting ridiculous

I think everyone can agree that the U.S. Attorney commenting scandal revealed an alarming “gotcha” attitude held by several of the Eastern District of Louisiana’s now-disgraced former top prosecutors. But can we also, finally, agree that two wrongs don’t make a right? That appalling, unprofessional and utterly undignified behavior on the part… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: A tale of two governors

Gov. Bobby Jindal, left, and former Gov. Edwin Edwards

It’s official. The national media can’t get enough of a certain Louisiana governor. And no, it’s not that governor. The politician who’s captured the imagination of at least some out-of-state junkies is governor-turned-inmate-turned-congressional candidate Edwin Edwards — who, unlike a certain current occupant of the office, has a knack for attracting… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: Jindal fails leadership test on Common Core

Early in his first term, Gov. Bobby Jindal found himself backed into a corner. Although he quietly opposed legislative efforts to roll back income tax hikes established by the voter-approved Stelly tax swap, Jindal failed to quell a move to repeal them. Then some legislators, eyeing huge but temporary Hurricane-Katrina-and-oil-driven surpluses, started talking about repealing the… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: Film chronicles Head’s political journey

The tantalizing title of a new documentary about post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans, which airs Monday on PBS, is “Getting Back to Abnormal.” It could just as well be called “The Education of Stacy Head.” The filmmakers take us back to 2010 and the sharp-tongued, and white, New Orleans city councilwoman’s re-election campaign in a majority-black district… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: Vitter signals shift toward pragmatism

Years from now, when we look back at Louisiana’s 2015 gubernatorial race, I suspect we’ll view this week as the campaign’s real beginning. U.S. Sen. David Vitter’s acknowledgement that, if elected governor, he’d consider the Medicaid expansion that Gov. Bobby Jindal absolutely, unequivocally refuses to entertain marks a genuine turning point. It’s… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: St. Tammany as ground zero for green movement?

If Louisiana is finally going to have an environmental moment, maybe it had to happen in a place like St. Tammany Parish. Sure, things have been slowly building for some time. The Bayou Corne sinkhole produced some horrifying video, but it affected hundreds, not thousands, of homeowners. The Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East lawsuit seeking… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: GOP keeping tea party at bay

Across the country, one of the main political stories of the season is about how, for the most part, mainstream Republican candidates focused on taking control of the U.S. Senate are holding tea party insurgents at bay. In the recent Kentucky primary, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell swatted away his GOP challenger. In North Carolina,… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: Jindal’s message seems out of step

On Saturday, an American governor made a clear, concise and powerful statement about tolerance. The governor was Jay Nixon, of Missouri. The medium was Twitter, so the message was necessarily short but sweet. “A heartfelt congrats to #MizzouMade @MikeSamFootball, drafted by our own @stlrams,” Nixon wrote. “A talented athlete of courage & character.”… Continue reading →