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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 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 →

Seven U.S. Senate candidates meet voters, make their case at Saturday events

Advocate Photo by MARK BALLARD  Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate stump to a crawfish-eating crowd at a Baton Rouge event Saturday hosted by Americans for Prosperity.

Seven candidates in Louisiana’s open U.S. Senate race spent time appealing to their bases in Baton Rouge on Saturday. Democrats Foster Campbell, Caroline Fayard and Josh Pellerin stumped at the Democratic State Central Committee meeting at the Renaissance Hotel, while across town, Republicans John N. Kennedy, Charles Boustany, John Fleming and… Continue reading →

John Bel Edwards encourages Democrats to back Foster Campbell in U.S. Senate race

Public Service Commission Chairman Foster Campbell

Gov. John Bel Edwards, attempting to strengthen the Democratic Party’s chances in this fall’s U.S. Senate race, urged the state Democratic Party leadership to back one candidate on Saturday. His personal pick in the race: Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell, of Bossier Parish. “It’s not just theory or conjecture that we can win races… Continue reading →

Donald Trump calls GOP primary politics 'unfair,' challenges Louisiana delegate distribution

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally Saturday, March 19, 2016, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump’s concerns that he may lose the GOP nomination in a contested convention this summer have brought new focus to Louisiana’s 46 delegates. Trump and his top campaign advisers have said that they will challenge the delegate distribution here, following reports that U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, who took second place in Louisiana’s… Continue reading →

New Orleans lawyer, entrepreneur Caroline Fayard: These 2 big accomplishments would make me successful as U.S. Senator

Advocate staff photo by LIZ CONDO -- Caroline Fayard greets voter Jane Rousseau before a Baton Rouge campaign event in October 2010 when she ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor.

New Orleans lawyer and entrepreneur Caroline Fayard said her real-life experiences negotiating settlements from the 2010 BP oil spill and building a new charter airline have given her the skills necessary to break down barriers in Congress as Louisiana’s next U.S. senator. Fayard is the underdog Democrat in the crowded race to fill U.S.… Continue reading →

Population estimates give idea of what parishes could gain, lose House seats in 2020

If Louisiana census statistics continue as they are now, then Orleans and St. Bernard parishes will pick up seats in the state House of Representatives come 2020 – probably at the expense of Jefferson and East Baton Rouge parishes, according to political pollster John Couvillon of JMC Enterprises of Louisiana. Additionally, robust growth from Lafayette to Slidell along the… Continue reading →

La. GOP fundraiser goes after the reporting of fund raising effort

The Advocate posted an article online Wednesday night reporting that the Louisiana Republican Party was raising dollars by attacking Gov. John Bel Edwards for tax hikes during the just-completed special session — even though a majority of Republicans in both the House and the Senate voted for the two major tax measures that became law and… Continue reading →

Report: 3 big positives states seeing by expanding Medicaid

States that have expanded Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act are saving millions of dollars, while providing health care access to previously uninsured people and growing jobs in the health care industry, a new report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation revealed this week. “Evidence from states that have expanded Medicaid consistently shows that expansion generates… Continue reading →

Survey results show Louisiana may be in 'nightmare scenario,' closer to national gridlock than many think

At the end of the special legislative session earlier this month, Gov. John Bel Edwards said he worried that Louisiana could soon face the same partisan gridlock that has ground the nation’s capital to a halt. The latest installment of the Louisiana Survey may back up his fears. Based on the LSU Public Policy… Continue reading →

Bob Livingston backs Donald Trump: We haven’t seen 'unusual appeal' like his since Ronald Reagan

Former House Speaker Bob Livingston-designate leaves after a closed-door meeting with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, Monday, in Washington. ( AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Former New Orleans-area Congressman Bob Livingston was one of several Republican establishment members to throw their support Monday behind Donald Trump’s presidential bid. Now partner in the Livingston Group, one of Capitol Hill’s most influential lobbying groups, Livingston attended a gathering Trump allies put together in hopes of wooing members of the GOP power structure… Continue reading →

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards’ energy opponents now friends, especially when it comes to fundraising

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS --Gov. John Bel Edwards delivers the keynote address at the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association (LMOGA) annual meeting.

Newly-minted Gov. John Bel Edwards already has begun raising money for his re-election campaign, turning to one-time foes for the initial infusion of cash. Oil, gas and chemical interests that had nothing good to say about Edwards when he was running last year have held two fundraisers for him since he occupied the Governor’s Mansion two months… Continue reading →

Bill Clinton stumps for Hillary Clinton’s campaign in Baton Rouge

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Former president Bill Clinton speaks to supporters of his wife, democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, Thursday, March 3, 2016, at the LiUNA! facility in Baton Rouge, La.

Former President Bill Clinton rallied an enthusiastic crowd of about 250 people in Baton Rouge Thursday night, urging them to vote for his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and touting several planks on her campaign platform. Clinton drew several laughs with his trademark self-deprecating humor. “Having lost it, I can tell you youth matters,” he joked after… Continue reading →

'Flying a little bit in the dark': Louisiana's Republican primary Saturday could be wild one

Ted Cruz

Louisiana’s Republican presidential primary is getting more attention in the run-up to Saturday’s vote, but the race has largely been ignored by outsiders and pollsters, leaving little indication which way the state will go or how competitive it remains. Two leading Republicans who are angling for another state to add to their “win” columns — front-runner Donald… Continue reading →

Marco Rubio campaign cancels Baton Rouge appearance, cites using 'time as efficiently as possible' before Saturday

Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., poses for a photograph at a campaign rally in Shelby Township, Mich., Wednesday, March 2, 2016. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio has cancelled a campaign stop that was planned in Baton Rouge for Friday, his campaign has confirmed to The Advocate. Rubio was slated to rally supporters from the Galvez Plaza stage in Baton Rouge in the run-up to Saturday’s presidential primary here. A campaign spokesman said he didn’t immediately… Continue reading →