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2015 Baton Rouge Attorney Profiles
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Stephanie Grace: Ex-district attorney Walter Reed used funds to live the good life, epitomizes ‘corruption’

Walter Reed

“It’s important to remember that campaign funds are not public funds,” the lawyer for disgraced former St. Tammany and Washington Parish District Attorney Walter Reed said after his client was criminally charged last week. Duly noted. Speaking at an unusual press conference after U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite announced that a federal grand… Continue reading →

Our Views: Great to see new PAR report could help advance transparency in Louisiana government

Government transparency, like motherhood and apple pie, is something every political candidate professes to love, though politicians tend to lose their enthusiasm for openness once they’re elected. Gov. Bobby Jindal championed the idea of transparency when he ran for the state’s highest office, but since then, he’s successfully supported changes to the state’s public records… Continue reading →

Letter: Louisiana Nursing Home Association director says facilities make ‘special effort’ to change, provide quality care

As health care providers, we all want to provide the highest quality of care possible to our patients. Member facilities of the Louisiana Nursing Home Association have made a special effort to implement changes and best practices to improve quality of care. Data regarding quality shows great improvement by Louisiana nursing facilities:

Our Views: LSU Campanile: New reminder of an old war

Louisiana’s biggest memorial to World War I is LSU’s Memorial Tower, erected in 1923 as a monument to Louisiana residents who had died during what was hopefully — and inaccurately, as it turned out — called the “war to end all wars.” Upon entering the tower, visitors can find the names of 1,447 fallen Louisiana warriors.… Continue reading →

Louisiana Spotlight: Lawmakers hear about gaps in LSU hospital deals

Two years after Gov. Bobby Jindal began privatizing the state-run charity hospital system, problems and financial questions continue to appear as lawmakers and communities sift through the spill-out effect. The private managers that now operate the hospitals say they’re $159 million short in Jindal’s budget of what they need to provide adequate care for the poor and… Continue reading →

Letter: Hospitals undermine private practice doctors

I fully agree with Dr. Gerald Miletello’s views on the threat to independent oncology practice posed by 340B pricing. As another independent practicing oncologist, I too am upset over the abuse of 340B money to destroy the more cost-effective and more patient-friendly independent practice model for community oncology. When 340B was first… Continue reading →

Our Views: On Jindal’s clock, it’s always midnight

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Gov. Bobby Jindal answers media questions in an informal setting in his office Thursday.

With his state government facing a $1.6 billion budget hole, Gov. Bobby Jindal nevertheless found time last week to publish an op-ed in The New York Times suggesting that Louisiana is being oppressed by champions of gay marriage. Gay marriage isn’t even legal in Louisiana, and the state already has a religious liberty law to protect… Continue reading →

James Gill: Now, some equal time for the Creation story

Gov. Bobby Jindal opposed the annual attempt to repeal the creationism law because, his flack said, it is designed to “promote the discussion of different views.” There wasn’t much discussion Wednesday before a Senate committee decided to let the law stand, but the margin was only one vote. It’s never been anywhere near that close before, and… Continue reading →

Edward Pratt: Without support, we could see fewer success stories

There I was Wednesday standing in the energy-draining heat of midafternoon with about 300 Southern University students, faculty administrators, staff and supporters from all over the place. It was a rally on the steps of the State Capitol to let the state’s lawmakers know that deep budget cuts to higher education, and to Southern in particular, would have… Continue reading →

Letter: Louisiana should consider new solution to carp problem

Thanks for the article on Asian carp from Wednesday, April 8. The carp invasion in Louisiana is real, and the need to thwart their currently unfettered proliferation is pressing. Walls, dams, weirs and electric fences have proven ineffective and exorbitantly expensive. I believe most American taxpayers would be appalled by the amount of federal tax money… Continue reading →

Letter: Dig deeper: Common Core worth keeping in schools

The heated debate in our state over the Common Core State Standards Initiative in math and English could really benefit from clear and accurate information about what the new standards are and what they are not. Anyone weighing in on them, be it on social media or during school board meetings, and certainly anyone with… Continue reading →

Our Views: New ideas for metropolitan areas

If you want to talk about big savings in local government, it’s going to involve a decision that businesses face all the time: It’s going to cost money to save money. The costs involve more effective treatment of mental illness. The savings come from money and time spent on… Continue reading →

Letter: Special interests ruining state, with permission

What legacy have the current legislators left for the people of Louisiana during their last seven years in office? Bad roads, rusting bridges, poor public schools, uncertain health care for the poor, universities drained of quality, huge giveaways of state money with questionable returns, etc. The state is worse off today than it was seven years ago.… Continue reading →

Letter: Continued work needed to end veteran homelessness

This week, the city of New Orleans received high praise from first lady Michelle Obama for being the first city in the country to eradicate veteran homelessness. Volunteers of America Greater New Orleans were among the agencies honored by the first lady for helping to house more than 200 veterans last year as part of the mayor’s challenge… Continue reading →

Letter: ACLU of Louisiana has defended the rights of Christian protestors and Christians seeking religious accommodations

Wednesday’s letter from Gene Mills contains a host of inaccuracies that must be corrected. He references the earlier letter from ACLU Executive Director Marjorie Esman, in which she quoted directly from the text of HB707. Mills, who himself cites no provisions of that bill, claims that because he doesn’t like her interpretation of the provisions she quotes directly,… Continue reading →

Letter: Louisiana not getting much in return for solar tax credits

The solar industry has poured a startling amount of effort and funding into attempting to gain the legislative favor needed for it to survive. Nationwide, the growth of the solar power industry is dependent on a combination of big-government mandates, tax credits and subsidies — making it the perfect target of wrath from limited-government, free-market and/or… Continue reading →

Lanny Keller: Gov. Bobby Jindal has mixed message on progress

Gov. Bobby Jindal has wrapped himself in Big Blue, at event after event bragging about snagging an 800-job IBM service center for downtown Baton Rouge. Another IBM center is going up in Monroe. Now, he claims that the company is falling victim to “smears and misconceptions” for believing an anti-gay bill is exactly what it is. The… Continue reading →

Guest commentary: Dues issue distorted by business lobby

Advocate staff photo by ARTHUR D. LAUCK -- Steve Monaghan, president of Louisiana Federation of Teachers, said Monday that public school teachers  are being unfairly targeted for criticism by Gov. Bobby Jindal, Louisiana's top school board and state lawmakers. Monaghan addressed the 48th annual meeting of the LFT, which is holding a three-day meeting in Baton Rouge.

This year, lawmakers are facing one of our state’s biggest challenges at least since the oil bust of the 1980s. A $1.6 billion budget hole must be filled by June 11. Colleges and universities threaten to close their doors. A health care house of cards puts federal funding in jeopardy. Crumbling roads and bridges pose a risk to… Continue reading →

Letter: Bill targets discrimination by state on religious expression

On Thursday, Marjorie Esman, executive director of the ACLU of Louisiana, warned of a coming wave of spousal beatings on the bayou if House Bill 707, the “Marriage and Conscience Act,” becomes law. Citing a litany of outlandish hypotheticals, it’s hard to believe Ms. Esman has even read the bill. The ACLU and the homosexual activists… Continue reading →

Letter: Congress should bring privacy laws into 21st century

Cloud storage and electronic communication have become a way of life for most Louisianians. You post details of your life on Facebook or Twitter, manage your calendar on your smartphone, share digital photos online and keep financial information in Dropbox for easy access. Unfortunately, our nation’s privacy laws have not kept pace with the ways Louisianians store… Continue reading →

Our Views: Louisiana agricultural sector posts gains

Louisiana farms, fisheries and timberlands contributed $12.7 billion to the state’s economy in 2014, a gain of more than 7 percent over the previous year, according to figures compiled by LSU. That’s a welcome piece of news for a state that continues to heavily rely on farming to advance its fortunes.… Continue reading →

UNO professor guest commentary: How ‘doing more with less’ punishes students at Louisiana’s public universities


Several years ago, when the regular cuts in state appropriations to public higher education commenced, we were told to “do more with less,” and the University of New Orleans, like other state schools, diligently complied. We looked for all the efficiencies we could find, and in English, the department I have chaired since 2004, we have long since… Continue reading →

Letter: In Cuba, America lost chance to advance cause of freedom

This month included the 54th anniversary of the Bay of Pigs invasion. It is important that we remember this military operation and say something about it because had this operation succeeded, the first communist dictatorship in the Western Hemisphere would have been liquidated and we would not have had so much trouble in Central America, and today, Cuba… Continue reading →

Guest commentary by U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise: Five years after the BP spill, beginning a new chapter

Steven J.  Scalise

Tuesday, April 20, 2010, is a day that will be forever etched in our hearts and minds. On that day, 11 people lost their lives, and we watched an environmental tragedy unfold that profoundly impacted Louisiana and its people. Five years later, we are still feeling the effects of the Deepwater Horizon disaster. These hardships have made us… Continue reading →

Our Views: Five years after BP blast, Gulf Coast still hurting

Fire boat response crews battle the blazing remnants of the off shore oil rig Deepwater Horizon in this April 2010 file photo. (AP Photo/US Coast Guard, File)

Five years ago today, an oil rig operated on behalf of the BP oil company exploded off Louisiana’s coast, killing 11 workers and creating a leak that dumped millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico over 87 days. Today’s anniversary is an occasion to hope that the BP tragedy won’t be forgotten, but the… Continue reading →

Louisiana Spotlight: Lawmakers start looking at tax proposals

As they look for ways to solve next year’s budget problems, Louisiana lawmakers are getting a crash course in the state’s tax system: the loopholes they’ve created, the tax cuts they’ve given and the price tag for the myriad tax breaks they’ve approved. Now, Democrats and Republicans worried about deep reductions to health care and colleges are… Continue reading →

Letter: Much has changed in 5 years

A lot can happen in five years. In April 2010, the people of south Louisiana and across the Gulf Coast suffered through the tragedy of the Deepwater Horizon incident, including the tragic loss of 11 lives. Louisiana’s relationship with the oil and gas industry goes back more than 100 years. Companies have explored the waters of the… Continue reading →

Letter: National Tax Freedom Day is April 24

Though no one likes paying taxes, we all know that we must pay them if we are going to have a society that functions effectively. We all want good roads, a quality education system, an adequate police force, a clean environment and a health care system that adequately cares for all of our citizens. The question,… Continue reading →