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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: Vitter brings his A game to campaign

You don’t have to like U.S. Sen. David Vitter — and let’s be honest, lots of people in politics don’t — to appreciate his strategic prowess, particularly around election time. And you don’t have to support Vitter’s gubernatorial aspirations to have noticed that he’s bringing his A game to the campaign’s early days. Vitter’s… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: Some candidates get loose on Twitter

When then-Virginia Gov. George Allen uttered the word “macaca” back in 2006, he changed American politics. The setting was a campaign event for his run for U.S. Senate, and Allen decided to rile up the crowd by singling out a young man of Indian descent, a volunteer for his opponent who was there to record his… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: New spotlight on Scalise’s politics

The last time a Louisiana lawmaker was elected to a top spot in the congressional hierarchy, there was joy throughout the 1st Congressional District. Were his constituents thrilled that Bob Livingston, the Metairie Republican chosen by his peers in late 1998 for the lofty role of House speaker, was… 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: Jindal right on birth control the first time

You know what? Bobby Jindal was right the first time. The governor was right after President Barack Obama was re-elected pretty handily and the Republicans failed to take control of the Senate. Back when he argued that the Republicans had been “stupid to let the Democrats demagogue the contraceptives issue and pretend, during debates about… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: Energy sector a big issue in Senate race

When U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu became chair of the powerful Energy and Natural Resources Committee, it was hard to envision a downside for her and her tough reelection bid. The new post played to her strengths, from her seniority to her advocacy for a vital local industry. What could go wrong? A few months and several… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: Jindal uses Sinatra as leadership model

Every national political candidate needs a theme song. And as Gov. Bobby Jindal continues to consider a presidential run, as he’s been putting it lately, one tune in particular keeps popping into my mind. It’s not “Love Me Do,” or any other variation on the eager-to-please theme. It’s not “Born on the Bayou,” even though that would… 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 →

Stephanie Grace: Nevers asks: Why not try Jindal plan at home?

It will probably never reach the point where it expands access to medical coverage or otherwise solves any of the state’s health care woes. But as a purely political maneuver, state Sen. Ben Nevers’ riff on Gov. Bobby Jindal’s recently unveiled, think-tank-produced health reform manifesto amounts to a minor masterpiece. Nevers introduced his bill, basically a cut-and-paste version… Continue reading →