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2015 Baton Rouge Attorney Profiles
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Stephanie Grace: Governor candidates in 'remarkable' agreement on expanding Medicaid, as they should be

Gubernatorial candidates, state Rep. John Bel Edwards, D-Baton Rouge, left, and U.S. Sen. David Vitter, R-La., take their places before a debate, sponsored by WDSU television, at their studio in New Orleans, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

If you happen to catch the Republican Governors Association’s new ad attacking Democrat John Bel Edwards for wanting to “expand ‘Obamacare’ in Louisiana,” take the accusation with a big grain of salt. Not because he wouldn’t do it if elected. As head of the state House’s Democratic caucus, Edwards… Continue reading →

Our Views: Louisiana’s Board of Elementary and Secondary Education can make real progress by voting for ‘cut scores’ in its Tuesday meeting

On the surface, the state’s education board is going to make one more in a series of procedural decisions at Tuesday’s meeting, as part of a gradual transition to stronger academic standards in public schools. But the vote on so-called “cut scores” is of greater significance than it might appear. Cut scores… Continue reading →

Letters: I suggest we honor local World War II hero Andrew Jackson Higgins at Lee Circle

Advocate staff photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNON -- John C. Grout, right, receives an award from Andrew Jackson Higgins for his leadership of a war bond drive at Higgins Industries during World War II.

In a follow-up to Michael Chiasson’s letter to the editor suggesting that the Greatest Generation be honored in Lee Circle, I put up for consideration a person who, in light of his accomplishments, his connection to New Orleans, the monument’s location and even his name, is worthy of such honor: Andrew Jackson Higgins. Higgins was instrumental to… Continue reading →

Letters: I hope I can inspire my children to be like chef Paul Prudhomme

Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ-- The hearse leaves St. Louis Cathedral on Jackson Square after funeral for internationally know New Orleans chef Paul Prudhomme in New Orleans, La. Monday, Oct. 12, 2015. The precession proceeded down the block to K-Paul's Kitchen which is where he made a name for himself in the culinary world.

While I realize that in “newspaper time” I am perhaps late to the party, I remain compelled, by a sense of mourning, by homesickness, out of desire to celebrate and appreciate such an important life, to reach out today regarding the death of chef Paul Prudhomme. As a transplant to New Orleans (family originally from Iberville Parish; born… Continue reading →

Our Views: As Bobby Jindal touts 'balanced' budgets, Louisiana needs new revenues to clean up mess

Republican presidential candidate Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal  speaks during the Values Voter Summit, held by the Family Research Council Action, Friday, Sept. 25, 2015, in Washington. ( AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

While Gov. Bobby Jindal seeks to convince the people of Iowa that he has balanced eight budgets in a row, we’re quite sure that nobody in Louisiana is similarly deluded. If in technical balance, just about every budget over which Jindal has presided has ended in fiasco, either because revenues fell below estimates, forcing midyear budget cuts, or one-time… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise may not get to be House Majority Leader, but he gets something more important - longevity

Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La.,

If U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise is disappointed that he won’t be climbing yet another step up the GOP’s Congressional hierarchy any time soon, at least there’s a silver lining. Staying put as House Majority Whip — and not having to place his future in the hands of a wildly unpredictable, arguably suicidal, caucus — sounds like… Continue reading →

Jeff Sadow: Louisiana’s gubernatorial candidates should embrace state’s limits to its Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

Louisiana’s move to limit food aid to able-bodied adults without dependents who do not work, train to work or volunteer is an idea that all of this year’s gubernatorial candidates should embrace. By Jan. 1, regulations for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which handles what were once known as food stamps, will again require able-bodied recipients between… Continue reading →

Our views: In the case for expanding Medicaid insurance there is reason to worry that insurance for the poor may get lost

The solid case for expanding Medicaid insurance for the working poor has drawn significant support from business-led groups in recent weeks. New backing for the idea come from the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, one of the state’s leading business organizations; the nonpartisan Council for a Better Louisiana; and the business-led Blueprint Louisiana reform… Continue reading →

Our Views: Tiger classic gets spotlight in new Library of America book

The Library of America, a nonprofit publisher committed to preserving the best writing this country has ever produced, has just singled out for recognition a story that celebrates LSU football. The Library of America typically publishes definitive editions of works by classic authors like John Steinbeck, Mark Twain and Herman Melville. But earlier… Continue reading →

Pratt: Candidates should get real about budget

I am a journalist. Most folks who do what I do will confess that wringing out an answer from a bucket of numbers is a hard day’s work for us. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have some idea about numbers. It’s like my illiterate grandmother would tell me when, as a little boy, I brought her… Continue reading →

Letters: Urban League study questioned

I read with great interest the story in a recent Advocate concerning the Urban League study. While I understand that racial inequity still exists, I fail to understand how some of the items mentioned have anything to do with the hurricane. Furthermore, anytime a study is commissioned or undertaken by any entity, the results normally benefit the entity.… Continue reading →

Letters: New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu panders on issue of monuments

After all the discussion and articles concerning removing the long-standing memorial monuments to Civil War figures, the question is why? What really prompted the mayor to go on an all-out crusade on an issue that is as divisive as this is? When were historical monuments ever referred to as a “nuisance” in order to justify their removal?… Continue reading →

Letters: President blames rich as tax bills go up

Enough. The headline in a recent Advocate about President Barack Obama denouncing Republicans “for a constant attack on working Americans” and that he is using his executive power to force federal contractors to give paid sick leave to their workers is for the stupid. Federal contractors will simply up their bids to cover the cost of the sick… Continue reading →

Our Views: Louisiana, LSU fans should cheer South Carolina on Saturday, champion state's storm relief efforts

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- LSU student section fans wave as t-shirts are tossed into the crowd during a severe weather delay Sept. 5, 2015, in the first half of the LSU-McNeese State football game at Tiger Stadium.

When the Tiger Band strikes up the South Carolina fight song, we hope that LSU fans will let loose a huge cheer in Tiger Stadium. We know how it feels, South Carolina. Saturday’s big game should have been in Columbia, but the University of South Carolina leadership felt — and we agree… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: Bobby Jindal takes it too far with harsh 'sermon' over Umpqua shootings

Republican presidential candidate, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal speaks at the Defending the American Dream summit hosted by Americans for Prosperity at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio, Friday, Aug. 21, 2015. (AP Photo/Paul Vernon)

Are there some lines that a presidential candidate, even one unlucky enough to run in an era when outrageousness reaps only reward, simply can’t cross? Let’s hope so. And let’s hope that Gov. Bobby Jindal, a candidate so blinded by his quest for attention, has finally stumbled across it. Jindal, who long ago abandoned… Continue reading →

Letters: Stick to the facts in front-page reporting

On Sept. 17, the large headline on page 1A above the fold read “Policy issues stump Trump.” The news that was reported in this article was the second Republican presidential debate. Whether or not anyone was “stumped” or not is a matter of opinion. There is a place for opinion in your newspaper. It is well-written and is… Continue reading →

Letters: Kentucky clerk violates laws

There has been a lot of chit-chat about this county clerk in Kentucky who refused to issue marriage licenses after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects everyone’s (including gay folks’) right to marry. Her opposition is supposedly based upon her religious convictions. This, in spite of the fact… Continue reading →

Letters: Teachers, politicians need education

Holy classroom, Batman! What is the real problem with our educational system? A brilliant child is handcuffed because he wanted to show the clock he made and a 7-year-old booted for his mohawk haircut! And the Democrats’ best friend, Sarah Palin, on the wrong side again! How are we supposed to improve the educational process… Continue reading →

Letters: Displacing controversy doesn’t eliminate it

Regarding the controversy over Confederate monuments, I think renaming streets named for, and/or removing Confederate monuments is an attempt to change history. I thought the idea was to move forward in a different way. To me, it’s like bringing a cancer victim back to life without destroying the cancer. What is the point? Emile… Continue reading →

Our Views: Voters in East Baton Rouge should renew the local millages in the Oct. 24 election

East Baton Rouge Parish voters have several tax renewals to consider for the Oct. 24 election, and the proposals deal with basic quality of life issues for the community: education, library service and downtown development. We believe these property tax renewals deserve support. By… Continue reading →

Our Views: French Quarter tax vital to protecting entire city

Amid heightened public concern about crime throughout the city of New Orleans, every positive step toward enforcement deserves the support of the public. That is why we encourage voters in the French Quarter to back a city-proposed sales tax for increased police protection. The 0.2495 percent sales tax would raise about $2… Continue reading →

Letters: Each school should post course offerings on its websites to help with transparency

How difficult would it be for each school, particularly high schools, to post a list of course offerings on the individual school websites? This would accomplish several objectives. It would allow the community to see what sets schools apart by unique course offerings and allow schools to feature strong curricular areas. It would help parents provide guidance to… Continue reading →

Letters: When it comes to eggs there are plenty of good alternatives to end chicken suffering

McDonald’s recent pledge to start using cage-free eggs is only a small step in preventing staggering suffering endured by millions of birds. Hatcheries that annually supply 200 million female hens for U.S. egg production, including cage-free, also kill the same number of male chicks at birth by grinding them up alive in industrial macerators or suffocating them… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: So far U.S. Sen. David Vitter’s gubernatorial campaign has been sadly lacking in substance

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Sen. David Vitter, R-La., talks before the gubernatorial candidates debate at WDSU in New Orleans, La. Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015.

The frenetic end to this year’s governor’s race has gotten me pining, strangely enough, for its beginning. Months before the airwaves filled to the brim with nasty attack ads, the four major candidates spoke to an industry gathering of engineers and contractors about how Louisiana government works and doesn’t. Here was my take at the… Continue reading →

Our Views: Nothing 'heartless' about pairing work with food stamps

Formally called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, food stamps are a huge success in this country, where malnutrition amid wealth was commonplace little more than a generation ago. But what is the rationale for food stamps for a healthy working-age adult without children? We don’t know that there is one, although the U.S.… Continue reading →

Letters: A yes vote on two Louisiana constitutional amendments on the Oct. 24 ballot can improve transportation

Do we need transportation issues solved with common sense and money we already have? I say yes. You asked your Legislature for innovative transportation financing solutions to make improvements without impacting your bottom line. You also asked that we re-establish your trust and spend transportation dollars only on transportation infrastructure. We… Continue reading →

Letters: It’s crucial that Louisiana candidates, citizens invest in the future of the state’s children

Your editorial “The Future in Children” (Sept. 30) directs our attention to the right place as we consider candidates for elective office — our children’s future. The Louisiana Platform for Children, recently released by the Louisiana Partnership for Children and Families, shows that almost 70 percent of births in our state are paid by Medicaid, one-third… Continue reading →

Political consultant James Carville: WDSU gubernatorial debate can only be described as 'disgraceful'

James Carville

The first time I ever watched TV as a young boy, it was WDSU. I was sitting in my grandmother’s house, watching a snowy picture on a small round screen. The first time I appeared on national television, I was sitting in WDSU’s historic studio on Royal Street in the French Quarter, as the signal beamed from New… Continue reading →