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 →

Stephanie Grace: Lawmakers fail test of common sense

The proposed repeal of Louisiana’s crimes against nature law really should have been a simple administrative fix. The law, as everyone knows, can’t be enforced because the U.S. Supreme Court deemed bans on specific sexual activities between consenting adults unconstitutional. That makes the portion of the measure criminalizing oral and anal sex the legal equivalent of clutter. … Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: Common Core support aligns with election bids

One way to gauge how quickly the politics surrounding Common Core have changed is to track Gov. Bobby Jindal’s journey from full support to abandonment to opposition so strong that he’s willing to entertain an end-run around his own allies in the Legislature, on the state education board and in the education department. Another entirely … Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: Bill eliminates board’s independence

Picture, if you will, a hypothetical Louisiana governor. He or she might be a good, responsible, public steward. Or the person could be a corrupt hack, determined to sell the state out to the highest bidder. Or maybe, just maybe, the governor in question is driven far more by his or her national ambitions than … Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: Bills aim to short-circuit judicial system

Critics of the lawsuits seeking restitution for the oil and gas industry’s damage to the state’s coast — particularly the suit filed by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East against 97 companies — have focused largely on the message the litigation sends to the state’s most important industry. Gov. Bobby Jindal, apparently … Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: Hypocrisy on McAllister predictable

U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister earned himself a prominent spot in the annals of Louisiana scoundrels last week, but before that, he was just a rookie trying to figure out the ways of high-level politics. And while he clearly relished all the attention that came with his unlikely victory over the GOP establishment — not to … Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: McAllister seems more expendable than Vitter

The last time I spoke with Vance McAllister, he was still marveling over how long his honeymoon had lasted. It was late February, and the brand-new congressman, the blunt-spoken, self-made, “Duck Dynasty”-approved Mr. Smith who’d never been to Washington before winning November’s special election, the self-described redneck and family values Christian, the GOP rebel … Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: Jindal, Edwards both oppose Common Core

Little noticed in all the hoopla over last week’s House Education Committee votes to effectively keep the controversial Common Core standards in Louisiana schools was a fascinating tidbit: Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal and the only Democrat who’s declared his intent to run for the office next time around, state Rep. John Bel Edwards, D-Amite, were on the same … Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: Looking to post-Jindal era

About a year ago, during a casual but far-reaching conversation about Louisiana politics, state Senate President John Alario said something that’s stuck with me ever since. No matter who winds up running to replace Gov. Bobby Jindal in 2015, Alario predicted, the conversation during the next campaign will be dominated by the current governor’s Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: For Common Core debate, Jindal focused elsewhere

Inside the committee room and out in the hallway, Wednesday’s hearing over two legislative proposals to water down Louisiana’s commitment to the Common Core education standards felt straight out of 2012, when lawmakers adopted Gov. Bobby Jindal’s all-encompassing plan to reshape public education. There was the throng of interested spectators trying to get in, so many … Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: Ex-govs agree on worth of lawsuit

Photo by Harold Baquet, Loyola University Office of Public Affairs -- From left, moderator Lee Zurik with former Govs. Buddy Roemer, Kathleen Blanco and Edwin Edwards at the Institute of Politics Ed Renwick Lecture at Loyola University in New Orleans.

Proponents of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East’s lawsuit against 97 oil and gas companies say that, in private, they’re not only getting a fair hearing from many politicians but sense some support for their effort to force the powerful industry to help remediate coastal damage. Ask them to name names, though, and … Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: Ex-governors mix it up on La. issues

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards announces he will run for U.S. representative of the Sixth Congressional District Monday at the weekly Baton Rouge Press Club luncheon.

Not long into Wednesday night’s panel discussion at Loyola University with Kathleen Blanco, Edwin Edwards and Buddy Roemer, it became clear that the event’s title, “One Louisiana, Three Perspectives,” didn’t quite describe it. Sure, each of the former governors has a distinct take on governing. Each led the state through interesting times, to put it … Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: Landrieu’s influence only goes so far

“You go to war with the Army you have, “ former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld once famously said. “They’re not the Army you might want to wish to have a later time.” The same, one might argue, can be said about politics and governance. Which brings us to last week’s runoff elections in New Orleans and … Continue reading →