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Supporters of ‘sanctuary cities’ bill say they will amend to ease concerns

Attorney General Jeff Landry

A bill that would punish cities that adopt policies favorable to illegal immigrants is expected to be tweaked to address concerns over the attorney general’s authority in determining which places in Louisiana should be labeled “sanctuary cities” and what happens to cities if they are found in violation. Attorney General Jeff Landry gave a preview of the… Continue reading →

Governor’s Mansion slated to be site of wedding reception for Gov. John Bel Edwards’ daughter Saturday

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Azaleas bloom in front of the Governor's Mansion.

The Louisiana Governor’s Mansion has hosted presidential visits, holiday galas and other events. This weekend, the mansion will play host yet again for a special event — the wedding reception of Gov. John Bel Edwards’ daughter Samantha. “The closer we get, the better the weather is looking,” the… Continue reading →

Banning Confederate flags in veterans cemeteries supported by La. Congressmen Steve Scalise, Cedric Richmond

A vote in the Louisiana's congressional delegation is split on whether or not to remove Confederate flags from flagpoles at federal veterans cemeteries. (AP File Photo/David Goldman)

Louisiana’s congressional delegation split on a resolution to remove Confederate flags from flagpoles at federal veterans cemeteries. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-Jefferson, and U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-New Orleans, were the only two of the six-member delegation to vote in favor of the effort, which passed the U.S. House in a 265-159 vote on… Continue reading →

Tulane, UL-Monroe grad among Donald Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court shortlist

At least one of the 11 people on Donald Trump’s shortlist for U.S. Supreme Court has close ties to Louisiana — U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge William H. “Bill” Pryor Jr., of Alabama. Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, made the surprise release Wednesday of a list of people he would consider nominating to fill… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge Mayor Kip Holden to challenge Congressman Cedric Richmond this fall

Advocate staff photo by Bill Feig -- East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President Kip Holden announced Wednesday morning that he is running for U.S. Congress.

East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President Kip Holden announced Wednesday morning that he is running for U.S. Congress. Holden, a Democrat, is finishing up his 12th year in office as the city-parish’s top leader, but he’s term limited and unable to run again. The 2nd Congressional District’s statistics indicate Holden may face stiff competition in… Continue reading →

Louisiana Democrats take aim at Donald Trump -- and use Republican Bobby Jindal to help

. The Louisiana Democratic Party has unveiled a new ad taking aim at presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. The man quoted in the ad: Former Gov. Bobby Jindal, a Republican and frequent target of the state Democrats. Louisiana Democrats Donald Trump Bobby Jindal
A new ad from the Louisiana Democratic Party uses clips of former Gov. Bobby Jindal… Continue reading →

‘Fair-minded,’ ‘big-hearted fellow’: Ex-Louisiana Lt. Gov. Bobby Freeman dies at age 82

Advocate file photo  --  This is a 1979 file photo of former  Bobby Freeman and his wife Marianne.

Former Lt. Gov. Robert “Bobby” Freeman, who ushered in tourism as a major industry for Louisiana, died late Sunday at the age of 82. Freeman died after suffering from an inoperable aneurysm, former Gov. Edwin W. Edwards said Monday. “His whole career he served the interests of the people,” Edwards recalled about his old friend. “He… Continue reading →

As Clay Higgins eyes public office, 'Cajun John Wayne' refutes claims of threats, violence; see court records

Advocate file photo by LESLIE WESTBROOK --  Capt. Clay Higgins, spokesperson for the St. Landry Parish Sheriff's Office, speaks into the camera as he and law enforcement personnel from various agencies and black community leaders create a video asking for the public's help in bringing members of the Gremlins street gang to justice.

Clay Higgins gained worldwide fame through his tough-talking videos as a St. Landry Parish sheriff’s captain. Called the Cajun John Wayne, his taunting on Crime Stoppers of criminal suspects — “If you raise your weapon to a man like me, we’ll return fire with superior fire” — landed Higgins a spot on “The… Continue reading →

Poll: Trump leads Clinton in La.

Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton (Associated Press file photos)

Louisiana voters overwhelmingly favor Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump over Democrat Hillary Clinton, according to a new independent poll on how the race is shaping up here. JMC Analytics and Polling found likely voters support Trump 52 percent to Clinton’s 36 percent in a hypothetical match-up. Four percent of respondents would pick an unnamed… Continue reading →

Gov. John Bel Edwards reviewing potential appointees to LSU Board; decisions expected next month

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND -- LSU Board of Supervisors Chairman Hank Danos speaks to concerned students and faculty during a board meeting in the LSU System Building Friday, Nov. 2, 2012.  The board discussed a consulting groups proposal to restructure the LSU System from the current separate and distinct campuses into a single university with multiple campuses, and authorized LSU interim President William Jenkins to form a transition advisory team.    MAGS OUT / INTERNET OUT/ONLINE OUT/NO SALES/TV OUT/FOREIGN OUT/LOUISIANA BUSINESS INC. OUT/GREATER BATON ROUGE BUSINESS REPORT OUT/225 OUT/10/12 OUT/IN REGISTER OUT/LBI CUSTOM PUBLICATIONS OUT/MANDATORY CREDIT THE ADVOCATE/ FIRST LAST NAME.

Gov. John Bel Edwards will have a chance in the coming weeks to dole out four coveted positions on the LSU Board of Supervisors. Four of the 15 governor-appointed board members’ terms are expiring June 1 — Hank Danos, Ray Lasseigne, Jack Lawton and Stephen Perry, who all were appointed by former Gov. Bobby Jindal. Edwards… Continue reading →

‘Simply no point for me to go’: Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal skipping GOP convention, says he's not boycotting

Republican presidential candidate, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal speaks at the National Press Club in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015.  (AP Photo/Molly Riley)

Former Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said Friday morning on CNN that he won’t be attending the Republican National Convention — not as a boycott or to express discontent, but because, “right now, there’s simply no point for me to go.” In an interview with Alisyn Camerota on CNN’s “New Day,” Jindal also described his plan… Continue reading →

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards on Donald Trump: ‘It’s hard for me to believe that’s the best we can do’

Count Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards among the people who remain surprised by billionaire Donald Trump’s status as the presumptive Republican nominee for president. “It’s hard for me to believe that’s the best we can do,” said Edwards, a Democrat, on Thursday, when asked his reaction to the latest development in GOP presidential politics. He didn’t elaborate.… Continue reading →

Video: Ex-Gov. Bobby Jindal: 'Not happy about it,' but his vote will go to GOP nominee – even Donald Trump

Advocate file photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Former Governor Bobby Jindal and his wife Supriya acknowledge applause as they are introduced during Gov. John Bel Edwards inauguration.

Former Gov. Bobby Jindal appears to be warming up to the idea of voting for Donald Trump in the presidential race, if the billionaire real estate mogul secures the GOP nomination. Jindal, who spent weeks attacking Trump during his own fledgling campaign for president last year, has consistently said that he’d vote in the general… Continue reading →

Louisiana congressman John Fleming: Voters frustrated by both Republicans and Democrats' leadership

Advocate Photo by MARK BALLARD -- U.S. Rep. John Fleming, R-Minden, addressed the Press Club of Baton Rouge on Monday.

The frustration being voiced by the electorate this year is rooted in a Democratic Party trending toward socialism and Republicans who won’t do anything about it, U.S. Rep. John Fleming said Monday. “The Democratic Party has moved so far to the left that it’s fully aligned with socialism,” Fleming, a Minden Republican who is running for the… Continue reading →

Who stayed? Who went? Who never left? People, groups, things after Gov. John Bel Edwards took over

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- On his 100th day in office, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards fields questions from callers on April 20, 2016, during his first "Ask the Governor" radio show with Jim Engster at Louisiana Radio Network in Baton Rouge, La.

Elections matter, goes the truism. As a result, Timmy Teepell, Stephen Waguespack, the Rev. Gene Mills and other Bobby Jindal insiders have lost their easy access to the governor’s fourth floor office in the State Capitol. Conversely, those on the outs with Jindal who are now in with Gov. John Bel Edwards include Sam Jones, Louis Reine and Kathleen and Raymond Blanco. To… Continue reading →

Congressmen push New Orleans as the ‘birthplace of Jazz,’ Kansas City as music style’s ‘home’

Advocate staff file photo by MATTHEW HINTON-- New Orleans native Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews finishes out his set and the final set of Jazz Fest 2013 with his band Orleans Ave. on the Acura Stage in New Orleans, Sunday, May 5, 2013.

New Orleans is home to a national park celebrating its role in the history of jazz music and the storied JazzFest that draws thousands of revelers each year. But a proposed Congressional resolution would designate Kansas City, Missouri, as the official “Home of Jazz.” The resolution, which is jointly sponsored by Louisiana Congressman Cedric… Continue reading →

USA Today: With eyes on Senate race, GOP says Louisiana ‘a little less-than-solid’ Republican after election of John Bel Edwards

Louisiana Gov.-elect John Bel Edwards holds up an umbrella as he reacts with supporters at his election night watch party in New Orleans, Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015. Edwards won the runoff election for Louisiana governor Saturday, defeating the once-heavy favorite, Republican David Vitter, and handing the Democrats their first statewide victory since 2008. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

National Republicans say they aren’t taking this fall’s U.S. Senate race in Louisiana lightly, following last year’s election victory for Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards. USA Today reports that U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi, who chairs the National Republican Senatorial Committee, described the open Senate race here as “a little less-than-solid” Republican.… Continue reading →

First lady Donna Edwards working on book; Gov. John Bel Edwards’ family also now recycling, farming

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- As Jonathon Jones with Republic Services watches, First Lady Donna Edwards, left, talks about a new recycling initiative coming to the Governors Mansion.

Louisiana first lady Donna Edwards is working on a book, she acknowledged on Thursday, though details remain limited. Edwards described her book as one that will come from “journaling along the way.” She said she hopes it will offer insight into Gov. John Bel Edwards’ first term in office. The first lady had a… Continue reading →

Spokeswoman for Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser quits, says 'it was not a comfortable environment'

Advocate staff file photo by MATTHEW HINTON-- Jefferson Parish public information officer Kriss Fortunato holds the U.S. flag on a windy opening of the newly redesigned Family Gras site across form Lakeside Mall on the Veterans Boulevard neutral ground in Metairie, La. Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014.

About three months after taking office, Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser lost his top communications aide. Kriss Fairbairn Fortunato said she resigned from her post as Nungesser’s communications director, effective immediately, last Monday... Continue reading →

Poll: Louisiana residents support government transparency but not for all records equally

Louisiana residents are largely supportive of the principles of transparency and public access to government records, but a new survey has found that they also are sensitive to the types of records that should be made public. The sixth report from the 2016 Louisiana Survey looks at Louisiana residents’ views on government transparency. Other portions… Continue reading →

John Bel Edwards signs executive order barring LGBT discrimination in state government

Opponents of House Bill 2 protest across the street from the North Carolina State Capitol in Raleigh, N.C., Monday, April 11, 2016 during a rally in support of the law that blocks rules allowing transgender people to use the bathroom aligned with their gender identity. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

Citing his desire to send a signal “to the rest of the country that discrimination is not a Louisiana value,” Gov. John Bel Edwards on Wednesday signed an executive order that prohibits discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. The executive order immediately bars state government from discriminating against gay and… Continue reading →

Poll: Louisiana residents say economic system unfairly favors wealthy, disagree on how to help the poor

Most Louisiana residents think the United States economic structure unfairly favors the wealthy, but the public is deeply divided over how the state should try to help the poor, a newly released survey has found. The fifth report from the 2016 Louisiana Survey looks at Louisiana residents’ views on issues related to poverty. The survey, Continue reading →

Gov. John Bel Edwards transition, inauguration cost $1.11M, records show; see how money was spent

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- The West Point Glee Club performs patriotic tributes during the Jan. 11 inauguration of Gov. John Bel Edwards on the steps of the State Capitol.

Gov. John Bel Edwards spent about $1.11 million on his inauguration festivities and other expenses as he prepared to take office earlier this year. Edwards, by law, was required to fund transition and inauguration activities with private dollars — not taxpayer funds — and to disclose details about how much was spent and who helped cover the… Continue reading →

Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser, GOP Chairman Roger Villere work to recruit unlikely Iraq-to-Louisiana business -- without telling Gov. John Bel Edwards

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser testifies on SB148 concerning monuments in the Senate and Governmental Affairs Committee.

With the state facing an estimated $750 million shortfall in next year’s budget, Republican Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser rolled up his sleeves to work on finding a solution of his own. The result: an ambitious, potentially transformative arrangement that on paper proposes reviving Louisiana’s once dominant shipbuilding industry, creating more than 30,000 new jobs and investing nearly… Continue reading →

Grace Notes: Odd couple Gov. John Bel Edwards, Attorney General Jeff Landry could be on same page on big lawsuits

They are, on paper, the oddest of couples. And they may have found common ground on the most unexpected of topics. John Bel Edwards, the Democratic governor, strongly backed environmental lawsuits against oil and gas interests when he served in the Legislature. In his run for governor, he and some supportive Super PACS drew lucrative contributions… Continue reading →