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U.S. Senate approves mental-health proposal backed by Bill Cassidy

The U.S. Senate has approved a bipartisan proposal to increase access to mental-health treatment that was co-sponsored by Bill Cassidy, R-La., and Chris Murphy, D-Conn. The unanimous agreement on the Cassidy-Murphy amendment came during a marathon Thursday might-Friday morning session as the Senate considered a Republican federal budget plan, which passed shortly before dawn Friday. The legislation is not binding, but… Continue reading →

Grover Norquist groups scolded Gov. Bobby Jindal in 2007 over massive, 'unacceptable' bill

Advocate staff file photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- La. Gov. Bobby Jindal

Gov. Bobby Jindal has gone to a lot of trouble to have an anti-tax group certify that all his dicey plans for next year’s state budget wouldn’t raise taxes. But as a congressman eight years ago, Jindal bucked Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform and he was scolded. The Washington, D.C.-based group in Continue reading →

Bobby Jindal's tax policy gets national attention in Washington Post, called 'a very good idea' in Forbes commentary

. Governor Bobby Jindal's tax rebates solution has some lawmakers and political commentators accusing him of selling out Louisiana's tax policy to Grover Norquist, according to an article on the Washington Post. Meanwhile, Forbes commentator David Brunori praises Jindal’s plan, which he says should be emulated by other states. Refundable tax credits “support activities… Continue reading →

Bill Cassidy, other senators continue calling for 'Obamacare' to go as the ACA begins its 5th year

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Sen. Bill Cassidy speaks during a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Louisiana Key Academy, a tuition-free charter school specializing in the education of students with dyslexia, Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015.

Washington — The Affordable Care Act has not solved the problems of health insurance cost and coverage it was supposed to address, U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., said Monday on the fifth anniversary of the day Democratic President Barack Obama signed the bill into law.

Not only that, the ACA is antithetical to Republican principles, Cassidy said at a news conference… Continue reading →

Experts: Decoding why Gov. Bobby Jindal will wait until June to announce whether he'll run for president

Advocate staff file photo by BILL FEIG -- Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.

At nearly the same time Monday that one high-profile Republican, Ted Cruz, officially announced that he’s running for president in 2016, a close political adviser to Gov. Bobby Jindal said the governor won’t declare his own intentions about that race until after the upcoming legislative session ends in June. The difference… Continue reading →

David Vitter holds closed-door meeting on combating corruption

U.S. Sen. David Vitter says Louisiana has a corruption problem — a holdout from the state’s colorful, long-standing culture of political cronyism. “I think it’s a serious problem,” Vitter told reporters Monday. “To change that culture takes a lot of work.” Vitter held a closed-to-the-media “leadership meeting” on the topic with nearly two dozen experts, including… Continue reading →

Board of Regents considers autonomy, fees among legislative priorities

The Louisiana Board of Regents will meet next week to adopt its priorities for the coming legislative session. Based on an early review of bills that have been proposed to get the board’s seal of approval, here’s a quick look at legislation the governor-appointed board is likely to seek: The board backs legislation that would give colleges and universities control… Continue reading →

Fox News’ Megyn Kelly to Bobby Jindal: Who gets to decide who's ‘radical’?

Fox News’ Megyn Kelly challenged Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal on his suggestion that those who support “radical Islam” should be banned from the United States. Pressed by Kelly on live television Wednesday night, Jindal repeatedly said “radical Islam” relegates women to second-class citizen status. Muslim groups have criticized Jindal’s frequent comments on the threat of “radical… Continue reading →

Gas leak scuttles 'Obamacare' speech by Bobby Jindal in Washington DC

Washington – A gas leak forced the cancelation Tuesday of a scheduled speech by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal to a conference on the 2010 Affordable Care Act, more popularly known as Obamacare.

The Obamacare at Five conference, sponsored by the conservative Washington Examiner news outlet, was planned for noon at 1200 17th St. NW. Many attendees had arrived and were savoring… Continue reading →

Secretary of State Tom Schedler: No money, no La. presidential primary

Gov Bobby Jindal, who is considering a run for president, didn’t fund a presidential preference primary for Louisiana and Secretary of State Tom Schedler said Wednesday he won’t hold one.

“I want to have a presidential preference primary as long as you pay for it,” Schedler told the Louisiana House Appropriations Committee during the panel’s department-by-department tour of… Continue reading →

Louisiana gubernatorial candidates sound off on coastal erosion

Advocate staff photo by BRAD BOWIE -- Gifford Briggs, Vice President of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association, speaks during a State of the Industry session at the Petroleum Club in Lafayette on Wednesday. Five more of the LOGA forums will be held in the next seven weeks.

Gubernatorial candidates told an oil and gas audience Friday that Louisiana’s coastal loss is a problem and that repairs need to be funded now, but three of the four men vying for the office said they oppose local governments raising money for coastal repairs by suing energy companies. Three Republicans —… Continue reading →

Thanks for 'stupid,' U.S. Sen. David Vitter tells Minority Leader Harry Reid

Associated Press photo by J. SCOTT APPLEWHITESen. David Vitter, R-La., walks to the Senate at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. Vitter cast the lone vote in opposition to a bill designed to tighten government oversight of pharmacies that custom-mix prescription drugs.

Washington – For U.S. Sen. David Vitter, R-La., “stupid” is a badge of honor. At least it is when the distinction is conferred by Harry Reid, of Nevada, the leader of the Democratic minority in the Senate, according to the Roll Call web site. Reid took a somewhat gratuitous swipe Wednesday at a Vitter legislative proposal during discussion… Continue reading →

David Vitter tweets that 'birthright' legislation should 'be illegal'

It’s not always easy to communicate complete thoughts or positions in the 140 characters that Twitter allows per tweet. A tweet this week from U.S. Sen. David Vitter, a Republican running for governor, gave a pretty vague explanation of legislation he’s proposing: “When folks from other countries give birth in the US, their kids become American citizens.… Continue reading →

Louisiana joins 5 other states in lawsuit to challenge Obamacare

Louisiana has joined in a federal court challenge to President Barack Obama’s implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Attorney General Buddy Caldwell’s office announced Wednesday that Louisiana has joined five other states filing an amicus brief supporting the U.S. House of Representatives lawsuit over the federal healthcare revamp known as Obamacare. “I’ve been fighting for our citizens’… Continue reading →

U.S. Sen. David Vitter: Ban Iranian students studying nuclear engineering from American universities

Advocate staff file photo by BILL FEIG -- U.S. Sen. David Vitter, R-La.

Washington – The U.S. State Dept. is wrong to allow Iranian students to study nuclear engineering in American universities, U.S. Sen. David Vitter, R-La., says, according to a report in the Washington Post. Vitter wrote a letter to the department challenging the department’s waffling on the issue, in a situation involving the University of… Continue reading →

Labor group endorses Edwards in governor’s race

Advocate photo by ELIZABETH CRISP -- Louisiana state Rep. John Bel Edwards, D-Amite, speaks after Louisiana AFL-CIO announces its endorsement of his gubernatorial campaign.

Louisiana’s largest labor organization has endorsed Democratic state Rep. John Bel Edwards in this year’s governor’s race — giving the latest signal that the candidate lineup is unlikely to change much between now and Election Day. Edwards, of Amite, is the leading Democrat in the race, so far, but some have speculated that other, higher-profile Democrats could… Continue reading →

Bobby Jindal in Georgia for think tank's secretive summit

Associated Press file photo by Joe Skipper -- Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is in Sea Island, Georgia, this weekend for the American Enterprise Institute’s secretive World Forum, but he’ll be missing out on a different conservative cattle call in Iowa on Saturday. bobby jindal aei Jindal, who will speak to the AEI gathering on Saturday, is among several Republicans considering presidential bids in 2016 who are hitting… Continue reading →

Los Angeles Times' February analysis: Bobby Jindal's opposition to Obamacare causing Baton Rouge General Mid City ER closure

The closure of the Baton Rouge General Mid City emergency room is a direct result of Gov. Bobby Jindal refusing to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, according to a February analysis in the Los Angeles Times. The article states, "Jindal has tried to position himself as the last stalwart Republican opponent of the… Continue reading →

LSU President Alexander releases video on higher education budget cut threat

Advocate staff file photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- LSU President and Chancellor F. King Alexander.

LSU President and Chancellor F. King Alexander has released a video message to reassure the university’s supporters, following the release of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s budget recommendation that threatens to cut higher education funding by more than $500 million if state lawmakers don’t approve a plan that would reduce some tax credits. “We will weather this storm together,”… Continue reading →

Bloomberg political pundit: Bobby Jindal earns B- for CPAC performance

Associated Press photo by CLIFF OWEN -- Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Md. on Thursday

Bobby Jindal desires to be the anti-Washington, anti-Common Core, anti-Obamacare candidate among the GOP nominee hopefuls but Jindal’s temperament and style create difficulties for him as Jindal sets out to contrast himself from the edgier Ted Cruz and others. Mark Halperin, managing editor of Bloomberg Politics, graded the Louisiana governor’s performance along with Ben Carson, Chris Christie,… Continue reading →

Political expert: There's something unusual about Bobby Jindal, David Vitter's icy relationship

Associated Press photo by CLIFF OWEN -- Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Md. on Thursday

Gov. Bobby Jindal let an open secret slip during an interview with a national media outlet this week: He and U.S. Sen. David Vitter aren’t exactly friends. “If you turn (your recorder) off, I’ll tell you what I really think about him,” Jindal reportedly told the National Journal when asked about Vitter, who is running… Continue reading →

State Sen. Elbert Guillory stumps GOP message on Hip-Hop airwaves

Advocate staff file photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNON -- Sen. Elbert Guillory, D-Opelousas

Louisiana state Sen. Elbert Guillory is marking Black History Month by hitting the airwaves to promote the Republican Party on hip-hop and R&B stations in 11 cities across the country. Guillory, an Opelousas Republican and candidate for lieutenant governor, will be on radio stations in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, as well as Memphis, Birmingham, Miami, Jacksonville,… Continue reading →

Bobby Jindal at CPAC: Repeal Obamacare; remove Common Core from every classroom; we are at war with radical Islam

Associated Press photo by CLIFF OWEN -- Gov. Bobby Jindal speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., this past February.

Gov. Bobby Jindal took aim at the Affordable Care Act, Common Core educational standards and President Barack Obama’s leadership in the fight against Islamic terrorism in a speech Thursday that stuck to familiar ground at the Conservative Political Action Conference. The 2015 CPAC is a significant… Continue reading →

Bobby Jindal on David Vitter: ‘Turn the recorder off, I’ll tell you what I really think about him’

U.S. Sen. David Vitter; Gov. Bobby Jindal

It’s no secret that Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and U.S. Sen. David Vitter, a Republican hoping to succeed him in the state’s top office, have an icy relationship. The reason for their reported feud? “If you turn [your recorder] off, I’ll tell you what I really think about him,” Jindal told The National Journal in a recent… Continue reading →

Politics blog: Bobby Jindal pulls 2 percent in latest Iowa poll

If the Iowa Republican Caucus were held today, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal would get support from about 2 percent of participants, according to the latest poll on the potential GOP 2016 presidential slate. The Quinnipiac University Poll released this week found Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker as the favorite among likely Iowa GOP Caucus goers in the… Continue reading →

Our Views: Something strange and wonderful in Louisiana? Smart, accomplished governor's candidates willing to debate the issues

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- First 2015 gubernatorial forum sponsored by the American Council of Engineering Companies of Louisiana. From left at table, John Bel Edwards, David Vitter, Jay Dardenne and Scott Angelle. Topic was transportation issues.

Something strange — and welcome — is happening in the early days of Louisiana’s gubernatorial race. Although the primary election won’t be held until this fall, the four announced candidates are already vigorously debating the issues. Four rivals for Louisiana’s top political job — Democratic state representative John Bel Edwards and Republican candidates U.S. Sen. David… Continue reading →

Louisiana Democrats call on Bobby Jindal: Come home to fix budget

Associated Press file photo by Charlie Neibergall -- Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal speaks August 2014 during The Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa.

Louisiana Democrats have slammed Gov. Bobby Jindal for focusing on non-state issues and are calling on him to spend more time in Louisiana to help solve the state’s budget crisis. “We need him here in the state of Louisiana,” state Rep. Barbara Norton, D-Shreveport, said in a conference call with reporters Wednesday morning. “I’m hoping and praying… Continue reading →