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 of dollars short of his preferred spending levels after a regular legislative session sandwiched between two special sessions. Perhaps overly… Continue reading →

Tim Barfield named head of CSRS design, management firm

Tim Barfield

CSRS Inc., a Baton Rouge-based design and management firm, announced that Executive Vice President Tim Barfield will succeed Michael Songy as the firm’s president, effective July 1. Songy, one of the firm’s founding members and president and chief executive officer for more than nine years, will continue to serve as chairman of the board. He also will lead business development and strategic initiatives for the firm’s engineering and infrastructure efforts. Barfield’s experience includes a stint as… Continue reading →

Sadow: Science law prompts 'cottage industry' of liberal hysteria over creationism

This past regular session of the Louisiana Legislature was notable for the absence of a troublesome bill, featured in recent legislative sessions, that dealt with how science is taught in public schools. The bill involves issues that may surface this coming year during a review of the state’s science curricula. Throughout Republican former Gov. Bobby Jindal’s second term, Democratic state Sen. Karen Carter Peterson, of New Orleans, pushed a bill to repeal the… Continue reading →

Our Views: Bobby Jindal budget surprises could continue to hurt state in new fiscal year

Some of the reasons for today’s budget deficit have been in plain sight for a long time. The new Democratic governor pointed out some of them to lawmakers the other day in a speech to the joint House and Senate. But there has not yet been a full accounting of the problem. Why? Because some of the new costs are inevitably going to be projections that will change, but should be reasonably… Continue reading →

Letters: Smart society looks out for its own, provides for its people

Did Timmy Teepell really send that letter to the editor in which he accuses the editorial board of The Advocate of lacking ideological diversity? It’s almost too farfetched to believe. Was Mr. Teepell searching for that diversity when he and Gov. Bobby Jindal removed those professionals from the Southeastern Louisiana Flood Protection Authority and replaced them with Jindal sycophants? Wasn’t Mr. Teepell Gov. Jindal’s hatchet man when it came to threatening or firing anyone in state government who… Continue reading →

Letters: After Jindal's term as Governor, taxes a necessity to run functioning government

In Timmy Teepell’s recent letter to The Advocate, Gov. Bobby Jindal’s former chief of staff attempted to defend Jindal’s eight disastrous budget years. Teepell’s letter was as delusional as Jindal’s quixotic quest for the presidency. The facts are (1) that Jindal enacted his conservative economic policies as his platform for his presidential aspirations, and (2) conservative small-government economic policies have been disastrous wherever they have been tried. (See Kansas under Sam Brownback.) Taxes are a necessity for… 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 be sure, some folks or entities have been in with both governors, including the Catholic Church. Others were out with Jindal… 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 election for whichever Republican secures the party’s nomination -- though he typically hedged by saying he didn’t think Trump stood… 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. Edwards previously has said he voted for Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary in Louisiana. Earlier… 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 to vote for Donald Trump for president as the choice for the lesser of two evils. Trump “was certainly not… 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 spokesman Richard Carbo said the governor has not yet decided whom he will name to those four positions. He’s reviewing… 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 to attack GOP nominee Donald Trump. The ad, which was debuted on a new site called LATrumpTrain.com, splices clips of Jindal,… Continue reading →

Jeff Sadow: Democrats change tune on contract limits

My, what a difference a couple of years can make for Democrats in Louisiana’s House of Representatives, for whom the litmus test for legislation depends largely on whether their party occupies the Governor’s Mansion. Last week, when no-party state Rep. Dee Richard stumped for his House Bill 74 in front of the House Appropriations Committee, he should have had no reason to expect any difficulty in advancing the bill. Originally, it would have required the… Continue reading →

Our Views: A hard road for lawmakers

“The day of reckoning is at hand.” This was not the preacher opening the Legislature’s second special session of the year, but the governor himself, with the tone of Scripture — though very much of the Old Testament, replete with stern admonitions that lawmakers accept the stony path of tax increases leading to a promised land. John Bel Edwards’ statements reflect the urgency that he feels with the budget for the coming… Continue reading →

Grace Notes: Lawmakers still hoping for magic to solve budget mess

State Health Secretary Rebekah Gee’s committee testimony Wednesday refuting the notion that the administration hasn’t tapped into the all the federal money available through Medicaid expansion was just a footnote in a long day of hearings. Still, the incident tells us a lot about the painful budget negotiations that have been happening nonstop ever since her boss, Gov. John Bel Edwards, took office. The most striking takeaway is that some lawmakers and lobbyists are… Continue reading →

Grace Notes: Lessons to be learned from how once-red-hot Common Core battle was resolved

Advocate Photo by MARK BALLARD -- The Louisiana House and Senate Education committees heard testimony Tuesday on revisions to the long-debated Common Core academic standards. Senate Education Committee Chair Dan "Blade" Morrish, R-Jennings, and House Education Committee Chair Nancy Landry, R-Lafayette, sit on the raised back row dais. Also considering testimony, front to back, are Sen. Bodi White, R-Central, Rep. Julie Emerson, R-Carencro, Rep. Reid Falconer, R-Mandeville, and Rep. Rick Edmonds, R-Baton Rouge.

The big news about the once-high temperature Louisiana battle over the Common Core education standards is that it appears to be over. The bigger news, arguably, is that the issue itself long ago dropped off the front page. Not that this week’s approval of Common Core revisions by both chambers of the Legislature, along with a stated endorsement from Common Core critic Gov. John Bel Edwards, isn’t a major deal. It is, in fact, an… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge judge says lawsuit alleging mismanagement of Office of Group Benefits can move forward

A year-old lawsuit that claims the Jindal administration mismanaged the state health insurance program and illegally implemented changes to it can move forward, a Baton Rouge state judge decided Monday. Six retired state employees allege the state Office of Group Benefits — which provides coverage to some 230,000 state workers, teachers, retirees and their dependents — failed to follow approval procedures required in Louisiana law that call for prior notice and public comment.… Continue reading →

Our Views: Bring budget stability with Gov. John Bel Edwards' tax plans, don't prolong 'agony'

The problem with Gov. John Bel Edwards’ tax increases in the new special session is not only that they cost taxpayers more, but they also don’t fix the long-term problems of Louisiana. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a good alternative out there, even with many legislators reluctant to take the heat for raising taxes that will balance the budget. It is about $600 million short by the governor’s count. Also unfortunately,… Continue reading →

Letters: Former Bobby Jindal chief of staff: Saying presidential hopes motivated ex-governor's opposition to raising taxes is 'completely wrong'

Advocate staff photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNON Campaign advisor Timmy Teepell, left, shows his boss, La. Gov. Bobby Jindal, his 'war room,' adjacent to Jindal's suite at the Renaissance Hotel in Baton Rouge on election night, Saturday, October 22, 2011. Aides throughout the room were there to monitor results for different elections that the governor had a vested interest in throughout the state.  MAGS OUT/LOUISIANA BUSINESS INC./GREATER BATON ROUGE BUSINESS REPORT OUT/225 OUT/10/12 OUT ORG XMIT: LABAT

Your editorial page’s repeated reference to former Gov. Bobby Jindal’s “presidential campaign-driven fiscal policies” in making your case for raising taxes is intellectually lazy. It is true that Jindal refused to raise taxes, and it is true that Jindal did, in fact, run for president. However, your editorial board’s insistence that his dogged opposition to raising taxes was motivated by his campaign for president is completely wrong. This may come as a surprise to you, but… Continue reading →

In Toon With Walt: Check out our winner! If only our politicians could be this creative ...

We’re Sunk!!! With over 270 entries, this toon really seemed to hit home with folks. There were so many strong punch lines to choose from! People are angry and frustrated and concerned about this fiscal mess… And they have every right to be. We had lots of ideas about drowning in debt as well as Jindal ideas and Rainy-Day Fund snark. I went for the shorter punch lines that cut right to the chase. Clean,… 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 →

Stephanie Grace: Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s ‘mission’ to Louisiana shows what a sucker he is

If there’s one thing that just about everyone watching should be able to agree upon, it’s that Louisiana’s budget situation is a real mess. But where others see a multimillion-dollar problem, Florida Gov. Rick Scott sees opportunity. Not for Louisiana but for himself. Scott, a Republican, announced on Twitter this week that he would embark upon a business-poaching “domestic trade mission” to Louisiana this summer, “to… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: Donald Trump’s big-name critics are in the GOP

The big-name Republicans who populate the first major ad of Democrat Hillary Clinton’s presumed general election campaign have two things in common. One, they’ve shared some choice words about Clinton’s all-but-official opponent, reality TV mogul Donald Trump, on camera. Clinton’s web-only video takes more than a minute to let Trump’s former primary foes —- plus the guy who uncomfortably accepted his endorsement four years ago — characterize the party’s shocking new standard-bearer in their… Continue reading →

Grace Notes: He called Donald Trump shallow, weak, unstable; now Bobby Jindal favors him for president

Republican presidential candidate, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal speaks at the National Press Club in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015. Jindal said GOP front-runner Donald Trump is an egomaniacal madman who has no principles and who risks costing the party its chance to regain the White House.  (AP Photo/Molly Riley)

Donald Trump is shallow, insecure and weak. He’s an unserious and unstable narcissist. Has no understanding of policy. He’s full of bluster but has no substance. He lacks the intellectual curiosity to even learn. He clearly hasn’t read the Bible, because he’s not in it. That’s not my take on the now-presumed Republican presidential nominee, although I can’t say I disagree with any of it. They’re the words, more or less verbatim, of Bobby… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: Perhaps hard to believe, but there's one set of ex-Gov. Bobby Jindal’s ideas still in play in Louisiana

If there’s one thing that seems to unite the warring factions that make up the state’s political class, it’s the firm belief that many of former Gov. Bobby Jindal’s policies should be undone. Legislators, Republican and Democratic alike, are in the process of enthusiastically passing bills that can be read as direct rebukes to the former governor. During the special session, they reversed the gimmicky SAVE Act adopted last year to allow Jindal to… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: Here's why Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards shifted right on food stamps policy

AP file photo: Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards

During his winning campaign for governor last fall, John Bel Edwards sharply criticized outgoing Gov. Bobby Jindal for trying to cut benefits provided through the Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program, commonly referred to as food stamps. Once elected, Edwards successfully petitioned President Barack Obama’s administration to reverse Jindal’s move and keep the benefits in place. Yet last week, in what sure looks like an early sign of how the… Continue reading →

Letters: Show readers who sided with Jindal

I think the names of all the members of the Legislature who voted with former Gov. Bobby Jindal should be on the front page of The Advocate so we can identify our enemy. With this information, I can decide how I vote the next time I see their names on a ballot. Jindal was a absolute failure, but he did not do it alone. Sheila LaBorde… Continue reading →

Letters: Lawmakers culpable in state’s fiscal crisis

Listening to the radio and reading the newspaper (yes, I stop at a store and pay for a paper), I finally realized why people say that Jindal bankrupted the state and how politicians screw up on hypothetical questions about laws. These people need to go back to grammar school or high school and take or retake (if they ever took it to begin with) social studies or civics classes. People forget the… Continue reading →

Grace Notes: Louisiana’s dismal health-crisis ranking shows another lost opportunity from past 8 years

Former Gov. Bobby Jindal loved to talk about lists. He particularly loved to talk about lists that give Louisiana credit for having achieved some benchmark or risen in some ranking, usually in the area of ethics or business-friendliness. If he were still in office, I doubt he would be going around citing the results of a new Robert Wood Johnson Foundation report ranking the states on how well prepared they are to handle a major… Continue reading →

Jeff Sadow: Medicaid expansion sounds like a lemon

If Gov. John Bel Edwards sold used cars the way he pitches Medicaid expansion, he would be out of business already. Last week, Edwards proclaimed to a state Senate panel that expansion would “save” Louisiana $1 billion over the next decade. This builds upon what he asserted last month, when initially he said about $100 million extra would come the state’s way this fiscal year as a result of expansion, later bumping that total higher. These… Continue reading →