Presidential primary qualifying starts Wednesday in Louisiana, but candidates not expected in state

Candidates who want to run in Louisiana’s presidential preference primary must qualify this week, but don’t expect to catch a glimpse of Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump at the Secretary of State’s office. “We don’t expect to see any presidential candidates here in Louisiana to qualify for the PPP,” Secretary of State Tom Schedler said in a news release. “Most will send a representative to qualify them by proxy or mail their paperwork into our office. Even though we’re just wrapping… Continue reading →

Bobby Jindal, John Bel Edwards meet to discuss transition

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Gov.-Elect John Bel Edwards, right, answers a question as he and Gov. Bobby Jindal, left, hosted a joint press conference at the Governor's Mansion after meeting to talk about the transition.

Gov. Bobby Jindal and Gov.-elect John Bel Edwards met for about an hour on Tuesday to discuss plans for the transition between their administrations. Edwards, a Democrat, takes office Jan. 11, following a landslide win in the Nov. 21 governor’s race. He and Jindal, a Republican, pledged during a news conference at the Governor’s Mansion following their meeting that they will work together to ensure a smooth transition over the next month. “I think… Continue reading →

Gov.-elect John Bel Edwards’ Medicaid expansion timeline hits bump in road; here's what's next

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Louisiana Governor Elect John Bel Edwards speaks about his plans after winning the election the day before at the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans, La. Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015.

On the campaign trial, Gov.-elect John Bel Edwards promised time and again that he would expand the rolls of Medicaid on his first day in office. His promise to reverse repeated rejections of expanded Medicaid by Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal and open the government health insurance program to more low-income workers was a cornerstone of the Democrat’s campaign. But legal realities have caused Edwards to back off, at least for the time being, while… Continue reading →

Our Views: The bills keep coming from Jindal’s budgets

With the investment of a full year or more of campaigning, and millions of dollars in ads, it’s a bit too late for John Bel Edwards to back out. Such is the hubris of politicians, though, that he still wants to be governor — when the state is facing a cascade of past-due bills from the outgoing administration. Just days before the runoff election, the Revenue Estimating Conference met and officially “recognized”… Continue reading →

James Gill: New John Bel Edwards administration might make us more civilized, but we’ll still be backward

Louisiana Gov.-elect John Bel Edwards addresses 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)

If, as Samuel Johnson averred, “a decent provision for the poor is the true test of civilization,” Louisiana might now be ready to enter a less barbarous age. The imminent expansion of Medicaid, fiercely opposed by outgoing Gov. Bobby Jindal, will cover some 400,000 people currently unable to afford health insurance. That would have to be regarded as a civilized move by the Johnson standard. Gov.-elect John Bel Edwards… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: 'Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead!' Election ends Bobby Jindal, David Vitter eras; now what?

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Gov. Bobby Jindal answers questions at a press conference in front of the Governor's Mansion about his decision to drop out of the U.S. Presidential race, the state budget deficit, Syrian refugees coming into the state and other topics.

Advocate reporter Tyler Bridges’ account of Gov.-elect John Bel Edwards’ resounding victory ended with a virtual tour of election night celebrations, from the Monteleone Hotel suite in the French Quarter, where Edwards had gathered with family and close friends, to nearby Galatoire’s, where Republican Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand toasted the rare Democratic triumph in conservative Louisiana, to the jam-packed Monteleone ballroom, where a brass band played “When the Saints Go Marching In.”… Continue reading →

Our Views: For Louisiana colleges, make Regents the top board

While fuzzy on details about where the money will come from, both candidates for governor want to spend more on state colleges and universities wracked by budget cuts during the administration of Gov. Bobby Jindal. The candidates share a significant disagreement with the Jindal record, but a recent debate brought out some differences in emphasis between Republican David Vitter and Democrat John Bel Edwards. Both deplore the cycle of budget cuts initiated… Continue reading →

Our Views: Top question now isn't Bobby Jindal's future, but Louisiana's future

We’re not worried about the future of Gov. Bobby Jindal, who announced on Tuesday that he’s ending his campaign for the U.S. presidency. He’s a bright and talented man, still young enough to enter other political races for years to come. His high profile within the national Republican Party also means that he might be considered for a Cabinet slot by some future GOP president or even as the No. 2 person on… Continue reading →

Jeff Sadow: Bobby Jindal plagued by poor timing

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Gov. Bobby Jindal answers questions at a press conference in front of the Governor's Mansion about his decision to drop out of the U.S. Presidential race, the state budget deficit, Syrian refugees coming into the state and other topics.

Gov. Bobby Jindal hit the nail on the head when he ended the most serious presidential campaign ever by a Louisianan in saying, “This is not my time.” When Jindal burst onto the elective politics scene with his gubernatorial run in 2003, he already had an impressive résumé of government service despite his youth. An articulate, principled conservative, he surprised many by finishing first in the general election, overwhelming the Republican backed… Continue reading →

Our Views: John Bel Edwards deserves cordial support of all to make good on his promises for Louisiana

If the hard work is just beginning, John Bel Edwards and his supporters got to enjoy the thrill of victory this weekend. In days of increasing partisan divisions among voters, Edwards overcame the weak track record of Democrats in Louisiana, winning the state’s most powerful office in what is — in today’s terms — a landslide victory. It was remarkable not only in the overall margin but in Edwards’ strong run in Republican strongholds, including Ascension,… Continue reading →

Our Views: Here are some tough, early issues John Bel Edwards will face

The appointment of a veteran legislator from the Florida parishes as the next governor’s chief of staff underlines both the opportunities and the steep challenges facing Gov.-elect John Bel Edwards. Edwards, from Amite, asked term-limited state Sen. Ben Nevers, of Bogalusa, to head his team during the transition and the administration. Nevers served five years in the House and 12 in the Senate, where he was a committee chairman and respected by his peers.… Continue reading →

Pollster Ron Faucheux: Why history repeated itself with Louisiana electing John Bel Edwards instead of David Vitter

Ron Faucheaux

History repeats itself––at least in Louisiana gubernatorial elections. When John Bel Edwards defeated David Vitter in Saturday’s runoff, voters once again did what they have been doing for decades––they picked a new governor who offered the clearest contrast to the outgoing governor. A walk down memory lane tells the story of the cycles of change. After eight years of the flamboyant, quick-witted Edwin Edwards in the governor’s mansion, voters were ready for the buttoned-up David… Continue reading →

Letter: With Syrian refugee executive order, Bobby Jindal uses fear to manipulate public

Gov. Bobby Jindal issued an executive order to block the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the state. Jindal, a politician who considers himself a Christian, has shown again that he is willing to go to any lengths to pander to the gullible and ignorant with the sole purpose of gaining political support. Jindal’s manipulating tool of choice: fear. When we allow fear to keep us from being kind to others, we become the enemy. With our… Continue reading →

James Gill: After disaster in national campaign, Bobby Jindal takes a victory tour around Louisiana

As Gov. Bobby Jindal prepares to leave office with a 100 percent record for midyear budget crises, he announces that he will say farewell with a lap of honor. He was due to be feeding red meat to evangelical Iowans right now, but because that didn’t pan out, he plans to spend the dying days of his term touring Louisiana “talking to folks” about “the progress we’ve made.” Although the… Continue reading →

Louisiana Spotlight: With weeks remaining in term, Bobby Jindal shows up at home, expecting praise

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Gov. Bobby Jindal answers questions at a press conference in front of the Governor's Mansion about his decision to drop out of the U.S. Presidential race, the state budget deficit, Syrian refugees coming into the state and other topics.

With only weeks remaining in office, Gov. Bobby Jindal has returned home to try to shore up his Louisiana legacy after his presidential campaign ended unsurprisingly with him headed to a new home in Baton Rouge, rather than the White House. A statewide tour and press releases touting his accomplishments might be too little too late to win kind thoughts from the folks in Louisiana, where his approval ratings have dropped to record lows.… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: To describe David Vitter's plight, this Allen Toussaint lyric is perfect

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- Sen. David Vitter concedes to John Bel Edwards in the runoff for governor Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015, during his election-night party at the Airport Hilton in Kenner.

If the past couple of weeks around south Louisiana had a soundtrack, it would be the music of Allen Toussaint, the beloved New Orleans songsmith who died earlier this month, and whose vast catalogue has saturated the airwaves ever since. Maybe it’s fitting then, that one of Toussaint’s most pointed songs could double as the theme to the last few weeks of Louisiana’s gubernatorial race. Toussaint wrote “On Your Way Down” back… Continue reading →

Book offers up-close look at Bobby Jindal: 'Gordon Gekko' influence, path to Christianity, presidential campaign

Photo provided by the Des Moines Register  --  Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, right, talked with Davin Bernstein, 48 of Dallas, Texas, as Jindal and his family visited the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines on Saturday August 9, 2014.

A new book coming out this week gives some insight into Gov. Bobby Jindal’s background and his ultimately unsuccessful run for president. “The Wilderness: Deep Inside the Republican Party’s Combative, Contentious, Chaotic Quest to Take Back the White House” by Buzzfeed reporter McKay Coppins will be released Tuesday. It takes readers deep inside the crowded roster of GOP presidential hopefuls. Jindal ended his campaign Nov. 17, but several chapters of Coppins’ book… Continue reading →

Group of 130,000 retired Louisiana employees putting pressure on legislators for veto session to override Bobby Jindal

The Retired State Employees Association is trying to put some political pressure on legislators to override Gov. Bobby Jindal’s veto of a cost-of-living raise for retirees. The association circulated a message pointing out that many of the legislators are up for re-election and adding that support for a veto session should be the litmus test at the voting booth this fall. About 130,000 retirees were affected by Jindal’s veto to increase — by an… Continue reading →

How Bobby Jindal's meteoric rise in GOP ended with him crashing down to earth with failed presidential bid

Advocate Staff Photograph by Travis Spradling.Picture shot on 2-12-98 Secretary of the Louisiana Dept. of Health and Hospitals Bobby Jindal talks on camera  Thursday, discussing the new  gambling hotline billboards (like one background, on Florida Blvd. near Wooddale Blvd. ) while making a video feed for news stations around the state. The crew in the foreground includes (from left)  Randy Knaps,and David Landry, both of the local production company Digital FX, and DHH spokesman Rusty Jabour. (Knaps is correct) The project is sponsored by the La. Dept of Health and Hospitals, and the Lousiana Lottery Corporation.       Keyword Gambling abuse aid advertising

At 24, Bobby Jindal, an Ivy League graduate and Rhodes scholar, was picked by Gov. Mike Foster to head the state Department of Health and Hospitals, commanding an agency with 12,000 employees that accounted for 40 percent of the state budget. At 28, he was appointed the youngest president of the University of Louisiana System. A couple years later, President George W. Bush named him… Continue reading →

With Bobby Jindal exit, GOP candidate Jeb Bush names Louisiana campaign team

Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush’s campaign on Tuesday named his Louisiana steering committee and finance chairs. St. Tammany Parish President Pat Brister; state Sen. Conrad Appel, of Metairie; state Rep. Nancy Landry, of Lafayette; and former state Commissioner of Elections Suzie Terrell will work to build Bush’s grass-roots infrastructure. Fundraising efforts will be led by New Orleans developer Joe Canizaro, Lockport shipbuilder Boysie Bollinger and Ruston businessman James Davison. Political consultants Jason Hebert and Scott… Continue reading →

Bobby Jindal and ... twerking elephants? Special animation shows how governor is trying to dance to White House

Here’s the latest animation from Advocate cartoonist and animator Walt Handelsman. In Walt's new song-parody animation, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal tries to sing and dance his way to the White house.… Continue reading →

Report: Bobby Jindal’s presidential campaign cost the state at least $400K

Louisiana taxpayers spent at least $400,000 this year on travel and other expenses for State Police troopers who accompanied Gov. Bobby Jindal across the country as he campaigned for president, according to a new analysis from Fox 8 of New Orleans. Jindal abandoned his bid for the Republican presidential nomination last week, after making frequent trips to campaign in other states. Troopers travel with Jindal whenever he leaves Louisiana. The Continue reading →

Plenty of cash spending, mud slinging gives way to Gov.-elect John Bel Edwards' historic win over David Vitter

Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ-- John Bel Edwards gets hugged by his wife Donna after at the Monteleone Hotel in New Orleans, La. Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015 after defeating David Vitter to become governor of Louisiana.

. John Bel Edwards, a former U.S. Army Ranger and small-town lawyer, soundly defeated once-invincible Republican David Vitter to become the first Democratic governor elected in the Deep South in more than a decade. The two-term legislator, who was elected to his first office in 2007, also ended the Democratic Party’s losing streak of 15 statewide races. He replaces term-limited Republican Bobby Jindal, who steps down on Jan. 11. “I didn’t start the breeze of hope, but… Continue reading →

David Vitter, John Bel Edwards both seek to reject Gov. Bobby Jindal's plan to plug $500 million deficit

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Louisiana Representative John Bel Edwards applauds next to U.S. Senator David Vitter during a governor debate at the New Orleans Jazz Market in New Orleans, La. Friday, Sept. 4, 2015.

Both candidates for governor are urging the Joint Legislative Budget Committee to reject Gov. Bobby Jindal’s plan for plugging the state’s $500 million deficit this week. But neither Democratic state Rep. John Bel Edwards nor Republican U.S. David Vitter has offered up an alternate plan for state lawmakers to consider, and the clock is ticking. The state has 30 days to come up with a solution that rebalances spending with available revenue. The budget committee… Continue reading →

Lanny Keller: The forgotten man in the 2015 race for governor

A few days from now, the banging away at each other will cease; either John Bel Edwards or David Vitter will be elected governor and take office in January. What happens then? Outgoing Gov. Bobby Jindal will make a comeback. Not in the presidential race which he exited Tuesday, and certainly not in power in the State Capitol, but in the blame game. The catastrophic budget situation facing the new governor will require that somebody… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: Bobby Jindal 2015, say hello to the popular, genuine, inclusive Bobby Jindal 2003

Advocate staff file photo by Mark Saltz -- Bobby Jindal explains why he decided to run for governor in August of 2003.

You know all those people who met Gov. Bobby Jindal early in his career and figured he could be president one day? I have to confess. I used to be one of them. Long before the governor’s all-wrong campaign for the Republican nomination, which he ended Tuesday after five futile months on the trail, Jindal showed the makings of someone who, even in defeat, could get an awful lot right. In hindsight, people… Continue reading →

New Orleans City Council president Jason Williams: Gov. Bobby Jindal should waive food stamp work requirement

This Thursday, my staff and I will participate for one day in a fast organized by Stand with Dignity and the New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice to draw attention to another instance of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s dangerous incompetence. Activists and religious leaders across the city are taking part in what will total 15 days of fasting, ending Nov. 25. Jindal has refused to apply for a waiver of work requirements for food stamp… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: Sen. Lindsey Graham asks Bobby Jindal to grow up during GOP debate

Wednesday night’s two-part GOP talkathon produced some memorable exchanges among the party’s 15 candidates for president, but for my money, one of the sharpest came during the so-called junior varsity debate preceding CNN’s three-hour main event. It was when U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham told Gov. Bobby Jindal to grow up. That’s not how Graham put it, of course, although his actual words were tough enough. Jindal started the exchange when… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: Networks didn't do Bobby Jindal any favors with undercard debates

Republican presidential candidate Bobby Jindal, governor of Louisiana, speaks Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015, during the Faith & Freedom Coalition fall dinner at the Paul Knapp Center in Des Moines, Iowa.  (Michael Zamora/The Des Moines Register via AP)

The suits at Fox News and CNN surely consider the two recent Republican presidential debates smash hits. Both attracted record audiences, 24 million and 23 million, respectively, the kind of numbers that major sports broadcasts often draw. Both spawned memorable moments, most of them involving show-stopping frontrunner Donald Trump. That doesn’t mean they weren’t also failures, in at least one important way. It was the networks that decided to divide the unwieldy field into two,… Continue reading →