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Quin Hillyer: Don’t use Common Core math to count the Core’s deficiencies

Now that Gov. Bobby Jindal is actually engaging the Legislature in his fight against the Common Core (mis-)educational standards, it’s time for a refresher course on why the standards are so misguided. First, though, there’s this: Some usual Jindal allies, such as Speaker Chuck Kleckley, say they particularly object to Jindal’s idea of reverting back… Continue reading →

Quin Hillyer: Tax reform can’t wait another year

Louisiana’s system of taxes and budget desperately needs some short-term tourniquets to stem the gaping wound of a $1.6 billion deficit — but the system also needs long-term reforms, and the effort ought to start this year. A large part of Louisiana’s long-term budget problem, which will require another whole column to discuss, involves the state’s practice… Continue reading →

Quin Hillyer: Jindal plays semantics on taxes

Gov. Bobby Jindal’s proposal to raise the burden of business-inventory taxes is an awful idea. The Legislature should ignore it. Everyone knows state government faces a serious fiscal crunch next year. In his budget document released Feb. 27, Jindal proposed to close a whopping $1.6 billion shortfall with a mixture of lower spending and higher revenue. But,… Continue reading →

Quin Hillyer: Perfidy and poison: What’s left of the levee lawsuit

When opponents of a Louisiana levee board’s lawsuit against energy-related companies wanted to kill the ill-advised legal action last year, they were right to be frustrated by a hideously expensive, so-called “poison pill” in the board’s contract with its lawyers. But if the poison pill was bad, there’s a separate, perfidious provision that’s even… Continue reading →

Quin Hillyer: Obama carbon rule would choke Louisiana

A soon-to-be-released report from the conservative Pelican Institute tallies the damage to Louisiana from yet another initiative of President Barack Obama’s administration, which seems to be at permanent war against Louisiana interests. The report, a joint project with the Beacon Hill Institute of Suffolk University in Boston, tallies the projected costs of the Environmental Protection Agency’s new… Continue reading →

Quin Hillyer: This Louisiana levee board’s rejected lawsuit ‘the equivalent of Cumberland College’s 0-222 loss to Georgia Tech in 1916’

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Jay Lapeyre, left, chairs a meeting of the nominating committee of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East on Thursday, September 18, 2014.

Now that a major levee board’s lawsuit against as many as 88 energy-related companies has been thoroughly rejected even by a judge appointed by the famously anti-oil Barack Obama, the levee board ought to drop the suit it never should have filed in the first place. As I wrote 10 months ago, the Southeast Louisiana… Continue reading →

Quin Hillyer: Who is Jay Lapeyre?

More than 40 years ago, when I spent three summers at Jena Day Camp in New Orleans, the camp’s founder and head counselor, Jay Lapeyre, would joke around with anybody. But woe betide any kid Jay thought had deliberately broken the rules of any particular game. Several incidents are seared in my memory: In competition, Lapeyre was a… Continue reading →

Quin Hillyer: Southern bragging about Rev. Jeremiah Wright speaking on campus ‘even more obnoxious’ than Bobby Jindal’s prayer rally

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- A woman holds her arms up in prayer as Gov. Bobby Jindal speaks during his prayer rally, "The Response", at LSU's Pete Maravich Assembly Center, Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015, in Baton Rouge.

Those who hate hatred coming from the right should hate hatred coming from the Wright as well. If they don’t, then the rest of us are right to hate their hypocrisy. Background: For more than a month, the grievance-mongers on the left and the media tut-tutters have fulminated against Gov. Bobby Jindal for hosting a… Continue reading →

Quin Hillyer: In defense of Bobby Jindal, his 'no-go zone' comments are an inconvenient truth based on ton of facts

Associated Press file photo by JONATHAN BACHMAN -- Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.

What is wrong with you people? I mean, really, what is your problem? You people, you media jackals, are having crazy attacks because Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal dared say there are areas in Europe, heavily populated by Muslims, which effectively are “no-go zones” because police and other non-Muslims are largely unwelcome.… Continue reading →

Quin Hillyer: Ease up on Scalise

Context, context, context. That’s what’s missing in the breathless reports about Steve Scalise speaking to a white supremacist group back in 2002. People here in Louisiana, more than others, should understand the context that makes Scalise’s explanation perfectly plausible. I’ll add some background context most people don’t know. The most believable conclusion is that Scalise… Continue reading →

Quin Hillyer: Might Louisiana Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne make a run at U.S. Sen. David Vitter? Race for governor could surprise

Advocate staff photo by BRYAN TUCK -- Louisiana Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne leads a town hall meeting on tourism and economic growth Wednesday at Vermilionville in Lafayette.

Unhatched political chickens? Don’t count them, of course. Especially in a Louisiana governor’s race, like the one about to kick into gear early in 2015. In early spring of 1987, a Tulane law student and former intern in Bob Livingston’s congressional office named Bob Eitel produced a thoughtful memo for his friends in Livingston’s campaign for… Continue reading →

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: 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 →