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In Toon with Walt Handelsman contest: Stand back!

Everybody loves fireworks, and this year we’re sure to have them all the way through the beginning of November. With Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in full attack mode, it’s becoming a very volatile situation. BOOOOM! So what happened to the poor guy in this cartoon? You tell me! Keep it clean. Be creative. Be witty. Be wacky. Avoid the obvious… Continue reading →

Louisiana Spotlight: Question marks remain for taxpayers after special session’s end

Associated Press star reporter Melinda Deslatte in Baton Rouge, La., Monday, April 13, 2015. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

After 19 weeks of work, Louisiana’s lawmakers have gone home, but it will take months to figure out what they’ve done and how it impacts the state’s finances. The more than $26 billion state operating budget crafted by the House and Senate largely operates on best guesses. The Legislature entirely skipped dealing with a projected deficit from… Continue reading →

Letters: PETA’s way isn’t the right one for Mike VI

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Mike VI, a Bengali-Siberian hybrid tiger and LSU's resident live mascot, grooms himself in his habitat, Thursday, February 25, 2016 on LSU's campus in Baton Rouge, La.

I am sitting down trying to figure out who appointed PETA to tell us what foods we shouldn’t eat and what type fur we shouldn’t wear. Don’t drink milk because it’s cruel to the cow. Now, they want to tell us that when this Mike The Tiger is gone, we shouldn’t get another… Continue reading →

Letters: Lee not a fitting name for Baton Rouge high school

Robert E. Lee fought to enslave selected children, not to educate them; his group even forbade educating selected children. Louisiana will be more historically correct and consistently responsible if Lee High School is renamed American Freedom High School, or something similar. More truth will be achieved if Angola Prison is renamed Robert… Continue reading →

Letters: Raising sales tax is a penalty for La. residents

I read in The Advocate that the weekly jobless claims increased in Louisiana. I think our state’s elected officials should take some business courses. Raising the sales tax discourages people from spending money. We need to get people to spend more money to help increase employment. Workers are not going to leave the state… Continue reading →

Letters: ‘Roots’ is historic example of African-American history

Cal Thomas should know that African Americans having survived slavery is an automatic “success.” His opinions in “Snoop Dogg hit the right notes” are callous, uninformed and misinformed, as is Snoop Dogg’s. African Americans are like every other American, working and striving to live a full and meaningful life.… Continue reading →

Letters: Clean up wasteful spending before raising taxes

I have been watching and reading about our state budget and how the broke we are. Gov. John Bel Edwards has increased taxes and is talking about doing this again. Before increasing any more taxes, Edwards and both state houses should take a look at several things. Let’s get to work… Continue reading →

Letters: Picking up the pieces of GOP’s principles

Your reader has noticed piles of discarded Republican and conservative principles laying out in residential yards. We will have trucks fanning out through various neighborhoods to pick up these discarded principles. Robert E. Gingles retired state employee Baton Rouge… Continue reading →

Sadow: With sessions over, Gov. John Bel Edwards can finally be a statesman for Louisiana

Now that Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards’ efforts to retain Louisiana’s oversized government have been somewhat stymied, he can respond as a statesman or a politician. Despite access to gubernatorial tools such as capital outlay horse trades and appropriations to reward friends and to punish enemies, Edwards found state government hundreds of millions… Continue reading →

Grace: Expect to see more of Gov. John Bel Edwards’ ‘Disappointed Dad’ face down the road

Advocate Photo by MARK BALLARD  Gov. John Bel Edwards told the state Board of Commerce and Industry on Friday that from here on he expects applications for exempting manufacturers from local property taxes to be tied to job creation and retention.

Following three consecutive legislative sessions, each of which ended in confusion over just what lawmakers were doing — or not doing — to address the state’s historic budget shortfall, Gov. John Bel Edwards on Friday once again donned his Disappointed Dad face and told the press that he’d hoped for better. At the end of the… Continue reading →

Our Views: LSU board should examine idea of Tin Roof official school beer because it sends 'bad message'

It’s certainly not a make-or-break financial issue for the university, but is it appropriate for there to be an official LSU beer? To be sure, the little Baton Rouge brewery started by LSU graduates, Tin Roof, is going to work with students on marketing plans via internships, and thus there are educational benefits… Continue reading →

Our Views: Brexit vote hits home in Louisiana

Louisiana has a striking reminder of the blood and treasure America has spent to advance a peaceful and prosperous Europe. It’s the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, which honors the warriors who did so much to nurture a Europe built on common ideals, not conflict and distrust. That goal continues… Continue reading →

Republican Party of Louisiana's executive director: More spending, taxing not things to promote

Your editorial board’s latest liberal bromide lobbying for more government spending and higher taxes left me scratching my head. When government spends more money than budgeted, it’s not a “time bomb” as your editorial board claims, nor a sinister plot by former Gov. Bobby Jindal to underestimate the amount of money government wants to spend, as you also… Continue reading →

Our Views: Collaborate on fiber network

Lafayette has benefited from a municipal fiber network that delivers high-speed internet service, but that is not the same as the proposal for a fiber network now being discussed in East Baton Rouge Parish. In the capital city, there is no city-owned utility system to create the same service as in Lafayette, but city-parish… Continue reading →

Letters: Louisiana taking big steps to rein in government

Louisiana made big steps in taking power away from an incoherent, disorganized, politicized government and bringing it back to “We The People” when it passed legislation regarding 1. New Orleans Charter Schools and 2. the call for a convention of states to propose amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Senate Bill 432 was signed… Continue reading →

Letters: New bill will protect living organ donors

Many living organ donors today experience higher premiums or denial of insurance coverage based solely on their status as a donor — but hopefully not for long. In late February, the Living Donor Protection Act was introduced in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. This bill will protect living organ donors by prohibiting insurance companies from denying… Continue reading →

Our Views: Old sheriff but new boss

There’s only one sheriff in town, but it is clear enough that Marlin Gusman is giving up much of his responsibility for operations of the long-troubled Orleans Parish Prison. A new appointee, approved and answerable to the U.S. District Court, will take over operational control of the new jail.… Continue reading →

Letters: Rehab, not jail, could help some offenders

I was watching the news and viewed a man who had just been arrested for DWI. The man had 12 prior arrests. Instead of putting these people in jail, a “rehab” institution would prove more helpful for that person. This could free up jail space for more serious crimes. Same should be considered for… Continue reading →

Letters: Fine all drivers to solve budget woes

I have a good idea as how the state can solve all the budget problems. Forget all those expensive red light camera contracts. We have all at some time or another broken the posted speed limits or not come to a complete stop at a red light to turn on red. Just get a… Continue reading →

Letters: Shared burden can put Louisiana back in black

As everyone knows, poor planning and ignoring the state’s future have put us in our current fiscal mess. Certainly, no one wants to be singled out to pay higher taxes. So, a solution might be a tax that affects everyone equally. This would be done with the understanding that as the state gets out of… Continue reading →

Letters: Legislature needs time to receive accurate budget information

At the Capitol, legislators are asked to make informed decisions regarding numerous issues. Items concerning anti-abortion policies, the budget, taxes, capital outlay and guns are presented each and every year. When we are deciding these important issues, every question we have to answer is accompanied by facts and figures from legislative staff and by interested parties on both… Continue reading →

Grace Notes: Irvin Mayfield’s $1,435 breakfast hard to achieve, even harder for New Orleans Library Foundation to swallow

Irvin Mayfield

I used to think I knew something about expensive New York hotel breakfasts. I learned it the hard way, when I invited an interview subject to breakfast during the 2004 Republican National Convention. Louisiana’s delegation had just finished up a morning meeting at the tony Plaza hotel, and since we were pressed for time, we decided… Continue reading →

James Gill: Britain’s EU exit wouldn’t hurt Louisiana

It’s Brexit day, and here I am in London, where, thanks to dual citizenship, I have a vote. My colleagues at The Advocate will be displeased that I am voting for out. In an editorial the other day, they argued that Louisiana will suffer economically if Britain leaves the European Union. Indeed, my colleagues at The… Continue reading →

Our Views: It's a shame TOPS -- a long-established, incentive-based program -- will be 'eroded'

When Pat Taylor famously promised a class of students at a poor New Orleans school that he would pay for their college tuition, there was a catch: The students would have to earn it, with good grades. The nobility of the Taylor promise was that lack of money would not stand in… Continue reading →

Lanny Keller: Louisiana GOP legislators to colleges, universities: Drop dead

On Thursday in Lafayette, a home-grown technology company announced its expansion in the Hub City of Acadiana. The firm, Waitr, will add 100 employees to its existing workforce. The expansion was cheered at the ABiz State of the Economy luncheon. The restaurant delivery app was invented in Lake Charles, and the company benefited from state programs to… Continue reading →

Grace Notes: Having averted takeover, Orleans Sheriff Marlin Gusman tries to put positive spin on jail settlement

So Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman can walk away from the threat of a federal takeover with his head held high, while the deeply troubled jail he oversees will get a new leader who’ll have unprecedented operational and financial control and answer mainly to a federal judge. Sounds about right. The seizure… Continue reading →

Grace Notes: No harm, no foul? We’re left hanging on bizarre 'Spygate' episode

On the level of pure law and order, the public doesn’t lose much from Jefferson Parish District Attorney Paul Connick’s decision to drop charges against the private investigator caught spying on Sheriff Newell Normand on behalf of U.S. Sen. and then-gubernatorial candidate David Vitter. The investigator, Robert Frenzel, had been booked with trespassing when he fled… Continue reading →

Grace: Once a 'sacred cow' for Louisiana politicians, TOPS becomes unreliable source of college help

For the longest time, the TOPS college scholarship program, which offers free public college tuition to in-state students who meet relatively humble benchmarks, has been a sacred cow for Louisiana politicians. Even amid reports that the program was on a financially unsustainable path, due not just to its widespread use but also to rising… Continue reading →

Letters: How is Hillary Clinton fighting for us? Seems pretty condescending...

I read Cokie and Steve Roberts’ Bernie Sanders piece in a recent Advocate and was astounded by a certain phrase. To simply term Hillary Clinton’s actions as “missteps” is truly amazing! Everything Clinton does is calculated, and much of it condescending and disingenuous. I’m no right-wing radical, but her catch phrase, “Fighting for us” is a perfect… Continue reading →

Letters: Hillary Clinton’s political 'missteps' like Benghazi could be opportunity for Bernie Sanders

Here’s the problem: Cokie and Steve Roberts call Hillary Clinton’s problems “missteps.” Hiding and destroying emails, accepting millions in contributions from foreign countries and leaving four Americans behind to die in Benghazi must be just “missteps.” Is Bernie Sanders wrong to want to wait for it all to play out? Gene Wagner… Continue reading →

Letters: Governor John Bel Edwards' top lawyer says Advocate editorial distorts his stand for open government

This letter is in response to a June 16 editorial (Our Views: “Gov. Edwards flouts transparency by keeping Avoyelles credit card records in the dark”). The Edwards administration has taken unprecedented steps to ensure transparency with the public and the press by ending the previous administration’s practice of routinely fighting — or simply ignoring — requests for public… Continue reading →