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Quin Hillyer: Cassidy still owes some answers

Louisiana’s U.S. Senate race is blessedly over, but a few loose ends unfortunately remain. Each camp still should answer for allegations of misconduct. The first allegation — the most serious if true, although the least likely to have led to discoverable, punishable violations — was that Opelousas Mayor Donald Cravins induced voting fraud… Continue reading →

Quin Hillyer: Louisiana should escape the jungle

Regardless of how you feel about what happened in yesterday’s runoffs, this ought to be the final time that Louisiana suffers through another December runoff in a federal election. The Bayou State should return to a regular party primary, leaving behind its “open” or “jungle” primary that makes it a national anomaly. The jungle primary might have… Continue reading →

Quin Hillyer: Seeing Red about Black’s endorsement for D.A. in St. Tammany

Alan Black

Oopsie. The public is sick of two-faced politicians and already skeptical of political endorsements. And the public in St. Tammany and Washington parishes ought to be sick of the ol’-boy network of outgoing District Attorney Walter Reed, now enmeshed in scandal. So the last thing a candidate from that same ol’-boy milieu should want is the endorsement… Continue reading →

Quin Hillyer: Mary Landrieu should cut her losses

When your main campaign sales pitch is based on your “clout,” and you lose the basis of that clout, then your campaign is probably a goner. For that and other reasons, U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu has almost no remaining path to re-election. Landrieu’s self-proclaimed clout as chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Energy always was rather illusory.… Continue reading →

Quin Hillyer: Go vote or we’ll tell on you

In complaining about some innocuous postcards, Secretary of State Tom Schedler has created a Seinfeldian kerfuffle: a controversy about nothing. Indeed, with regard to mailers that list the recent ballot-participation history of individual voters, Schedler should thank the sponsoring group, Americans for Prosperity, not verbally spank them. As Louisiana’s chief election officer, Schedler… Continue reading →

Quin Hillyer: Jindal’s jobs record goes unappreciated

Rarely has American politics seen a governor so unpopular amid so many economic accomplishments. Bobby Jindal’s home-state approval rating has remained mired in the 30s in most polls for more than a year — but by almost every measure of state financial health during the Jindal years, Louisiana has made great strides. Start… Continue reading →

Quin Hillyer, John M. Barry: To supplement coastal trust, add a coastal levy

Photo provided by P.J. HahnPlaquemines Parish Coastal Zone Management administrator P.J. Hahn said he took a photograph Wednesday, above, of the same section of Cat Island as he took in September 2010. After two years, he found little vegetation left and a shoreline that continues to erode, although birds are still using what’s left of the island. Hahn said oil killed the mangrove trees, which led to erosion that has left the island less than an acre in size.Cat Island photo taken on April 11, 2012

Twenty-five years ago this very day, Louisiana citizens voted by an overwhelming 73-27 percent majority to create a constitutionally protected trust fund for wetlands preservation and restoration. That trust fund has achieved some notable successes but not nearly enough. Much more must be done to save this treasured resource and cradle of life. One of the co-authors… Continue reading →

Quin Hillyer: Jindal goes national while weak at home

Bobby Jindal is doing all the right things, among national Republican and media constituencies, to get into the serious conversation for the 2016 presidential race. But his deep unpopularity at home in Louisiana significantly undercuts those national efforts. On Sept. 30, a well-known survey company, Public Policy Polling, reported horrendous numbers for Louisiana’s governor:… Continue reading →

Quin Hillyer: Legislative auditor misses Common Core’s problems

The latest in useless Common Core disputes involves whether Louisiana’s legislative auditor indicated that the Core “drives” curriculum (Gov. Bobby Jindal’s version) or merely “guides” it (auditor Daryl Purpera’s own explanation). That’s a sideshow. What is more important, and more frustrating, is how the auditor’s report whitewashes Common Core’s true nature… Continue reading →

Quin Hillyer: Is Senate campaign Maness’ mess?

U.S. senatorial candidate Rob Maness might be both a fine fellow and a solid conservative, but there are good reasons why some Louisiana conservatives wish he would exit his race. Most of those reasons involve conservatives’ desire to see incumbent Mary Landrieu finally evicted from office. The peculiar nature of Louisiana’s open primary makes it more likely Landrieu… Continue reading →

Quin Hillyer: Dems treat felon as embraceable EWE

It is long past time for the leadership of the Louisiana Democratic Party to get out of bed with Edwin Edwards. The very day in March that the disgraced former governor announced his candidacy for Congress in Louisiana’s 6th District, state party leaders should have issued statements distancing themselves and the party from him. They should have… Continue reading →

Quin Hillyer: In McAllister’s quarter, Tarpley campaigns sharply

Ed Tarpley is running for Congress from central and northeast Louisiana. He might not have the highest name identification, but he has serious bona fides as a solid, thoughtful, real-world conservative. When I was active in Louisiana Republican politics a quarter-century ago, very much as a strong conservative, I often was frustrated that too many activists… Continue reading →

Quin Hillyer: The comfort of shady politics

August is traditionally the slowest month in American politics — especially down South, where even political animals just want to sip lemonade in the shade. Where issues do burble up, like water overflowing a storm drain after a summer squall, Lemonade Guy may avoid full engagement, preferring just to kibitz from his hammock. In that tradition, let’s… Continue reading →

Quin Hillyer: Jindal’s privatization was good medicine

Critics of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s privatization of Louisiana’s charity hospital system should be pulling out the salt and pepper right now, preparing to eat their earlier words. State payments for indigent care through the privately leased hospitals came in under budget this past year, even as services increased and wait times were slashed. Meanwhile, federal government… Continue reading →

Quin Hillyer: Why the wetlands lawsuit is pure poison

Environmental plaintiffs’ attorney Gladstone Jones is taking Louisiana taxpayers for a very bad ride. Author/activist John Barry gave Jones the keys. Even if their intended destination is laudable, their chosen vehicle and operation thereof have both been unconscionably reckless. While serving on the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East (SLFPA-E), Barry led the effort to hire Jones to… Continue reading →

Quin Hillyer: Common Core’s fuzzy math, other problems

From The New York Times, of all unlikely places, comes a story that pricks a pin into the inflated pretensions of educrats, columnists and blathering business lobbyists who sneer at opponents of Common Core as if the opponents are buck-toothed yahoos rather than the collection of think tankers, well-educated parents and eminent educators that they are.… Continue reading →

Quin: Cassidy a formidable foe for Landrieu

After my first-ever sit-down interview last week with U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge, running for the U.S. Senate against Democrat Mary Landrieu in the fall, two overriding impressions emerge. Both impressions will make it harder for Landrieu to defeat Cassidy’s challenge. The first impression is that Cassidy speaks with a marked intensity… Continue reading →

Quin Hillyer: Steve Scalise on fast track to leadership

Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., walks through a staircase at the Capitol is Washington, Wednesday, June 11, 2014, the day after House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., was defeated in the Virginia primary at the hands of a tea party challenger. Jockeying has broken out among Republicans eager to move up the House leadership ladder and Scalise is viewed as a potential candidate to make an appeal for the majority leader post. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

When it comes to Louisianans with a chance to be speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Jefferson Republican Steve Scalise can only hope that the third time is the charm. With U.S. Majority Leader Eric Cantor losing his primary on Tuesday, Scalise is now openly campaigning for majority whip, just two spots below the speaker… Continue reading →

Quin Hillyer: On new terminal, questions must be aired

Something foul may be in the air. The biggest, most important New Orleans-area public contract in years, a $546 million project for a new terminal at the Louis Armstrong International Airport, seems on the verge of going to an international partnership over a significantly local bidder. Yet the local bidder’s proposal, by ordinary public contracting… Continue reading →

Quin Hillyer: Dardenne is a man of motion

Advocate staff file photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNON -- Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne.

Louisiana’s election for governor is still 17 months off, but Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne already seems to be everywhere, without ever going beyond his official duties. I caught up with Dardenne a few weeks ago, just before he started a weeklong, statewide tour promoting the Louisiana tourism industry in conjunction with National Tourism Week. But before I… Continue reading →

Quin Hillyer: The day an election stood still

Fifteen years ago today, national cable networks were running near-hourly updates on a story relating to a Louisiana election. The Bayou State, with its bizarrely entertaining political tradition, was not unaccustomed to such attention. The difference this time was that the politics were almost immaterial. A life itself, not just an election, hung in the balance.… Continue reading →

Quin Hillyer: Throw Common Core out the door

As public policy, Common Core is uncommonly poor. Louisiana ought to jettison all formal affiliation with these controversial, counterproductive, national “standards” for (mis)education. While students struggle with incomprehensible approaches to simple arithmetic and are poisoned with “Core-aligned” smut readings that would give Grandma the vapors, the Bayou State should produce its own indices of school success… Continue reading →

Quin Hillyer: Obama plays politics with Louisiana’s health

The Obama administration strikes again. Again, ordinary Louisiana citizens are the victims of the president’s petty politics. That’s the ultimate takeaway from the Obama team’s May 2 letter disapproving the state’s new management system, implemented by Gov. Bobby Jindal last year, for Louisiana’s so-called “charity” hospitals. Granted, this federal-state dispute, potentially devastating for… Continue reading →

Quin Hillyer: Mary Landrieu courts cultural leftists

If Louisianians want radical-leftist judges in federal courts, they will vote this fall to re-elect Mary Landrieu to the Senate. If they want judges who won’t rule in favor of bankrupting gun companies, won’t denigrate patriotism, won’t support extreme racial preferences and won’t coddle terrorists by providing them all the legal rights of U.S. citizens, then they’ll end… Continue reading →

Quin Hillyer: Board shouldn’t sue, but should be independent

The state Legislature is considering several wrongheaded bills to undermine the political independence of some levee boards — but that doesn’t mean all the bills reining in the levee boards are misguided. The Legislature would be right to explicitly limit the boards’ authority to file outrageous lawsuits, such as the suit trying to hold oil companies liable for… Continue reading →

Quin Hillyer: Don’t fall for Obamacare’s Medicaid bait

Quin Hillyer

Louisiana’s editorial boards and other opinion leaders all seem to agree that Gov. Bobby Jindal is wrong to reject the Medicaid expansion offered by Obamacare. But Jindal is right. Obamacare’s Medicaid offerings glitter like fool’s gold. Before doing the math, let’s study some history. It’s not just that President Barack Obama has broken almost every… Continue reading →

Quin Hillyer: These lawsuits are all wet

Advocate columnist Quin Hillyer

Some well-motivated people working for a good cause have filed a lawsuit almost absurd in its contentions, without authority to file such a suit, while hurting, in both political and practical terms, the very cause they intend to advance. These lawsuits should sink into the swamp from which they came. At issue is the dreadful loss… Continue reading →

Quin Hillyer: Scalise advances with energy

There’s a later column begging to be written about how Louisiana’s U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, R-Jefferson, has quietly become one of the most influential members of the entire House of Representatives. What’s of immediate interest, though, is how that status subtly puts Louisiana interests high on the congressional agenda. Scalise chairs the Republican Study Committee, a mammoth,… Continue reading →

Quin Hillyer: Jindal jujitsu, budget bust — or both?

Back in 1989, I was junior-most of a four-person team running a statewide campaign to create a coastal wetlands trust fund. So, when I heard the Jindal administration was raiding the constitutionally protected trust, I was ready to go ape. As it turns out, there’s little need to summon my inner gorilla. The administration is monkeying with… Continue reading →

Quin Hillyer: Jindal shows clear national appeal

Associated Press photo by SUSAN WALSH -- Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal speaks Thursday at the Conservative Political Action Committee annual conference in National Harbor, Md. Thursday marks the first day of the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, which brings together prospective presidential candidates, conservative opinion leaders and tea party activists from coast to coast.

A speech by Gov. Bobby Jindal in Mobile, Ala., Thursday night showed why some national conservative audiences are fitting him for a presidential mantle. The Mobile speech, sponsored by the Alabama Policy Institute, was just one of a flurry of Jindal out-of-state appearances and column submissions obviously intended to raise his national profile even as his home-state… Continue reading →

Quin Hillyer: For criminal sentencing, a conservative alternative

Lock the door and throw away the key. Or maybe not. For decades, the let-’em-rot approach was how conservatives nationally and in Louisiana typically addressed issues of crime and punishment. But for less serious offenses, a growing conservative backlash has rallied support for more creative, constructive policies.… Continue reading →

Quin Hillyer: Gov. Jindal was justified in jamming President Obama

Advocate columnist Quin Hillyer

It was rather amusing to see so many of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s home-state critics, including Advocate editorialists, get the vapors recently when Jindal dared criticize President Barack Obama while standing on the very grounds of the White House. Jindal’s “bad manners” and “questionable judgment” merited a “time out,” according to various professional tut-tutters. Poppycock.… Continue reading →