Stephanie Grace: President Obama right on climate change threat, because it is real and potentially devastating

President Barack Obama delivers remarks at Andrew P. Sanchez Community Center in New Orleans, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015, for the 10th anniversary since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Resilience. It was the official buzzword of the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, and I’m guessing plenty of people don’t want to hear about it again for a good long while. Before we stick it on the shelf, though, it’s worth considering the concept, not just in terms of our regional character, but in the context of our approach to the surrounding environment. That’s what President Barack Obama did last week, with a quick reference to… Continue reading →

Bobby Jindal at No. 13 out of 17 GOP candidates on USA Today's college-football-style power rankings

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has come in at No. 13 in the first week of USA Today’s new 2016 GOP Power Rankings.

Inspired by the college football “Coaches Poll,” the GOP Power Rankings rely on a diverse group of analysts, activists and other experts to size up the Republican presidential field.

Unsurprisingly, businessman Donald Trump came out on top in Week 1. See the full rankings and a list of the voters here.

Jindal is back in Iowa campaigning this week,… Continue reading →

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signs Grover Norquist-backed anti-tax pledge in presidential campaign

Though its adherence became a political football in the most recent legislative session, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has again signed the Americans for Tax Reform’s no-new-tax pledge — this time for his presidential campaign.

Bobby Jindal Grover Norquist ATR pledge
Gov. Bobby Jindal

ATR, in a Tuesday news release, applauded Jindal’s latest signing of the Grover Norquist-designed “Taxpayer Protection Pledge.”

“Gov. Jindal understands that government should be reformed so that it takes and spends less of the taxpayers’ money, and will oppose… Continue reading →

U.S. Justice Department joins fight against Gov. Jindal’s plan to end Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood

The Jindal administration has not given sufficient reasons to pull Medicaid funding from Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast’s Louisiana operations, attorneys for the federal government have told a Baton Rouge federal judge. That judge, U.S. District Judge John deGravelles, is scheduled to hold a hearing Wednesday afternoon on Planned Parenthood’s request for an order blocking Gov. Bobby Jindal’s efforts to end the state’s Medicaid agreement with the group’s Louisiana affiliate. Citing undercover videos that allegedly shows… Continue reading →

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal lags support from notables in presidential endorsement race

Associated Press file photo by Molly Riley -- Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal

When Iowa state legislator Matt Windschitl endorsed Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal this month in the race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, the Jindal campaign was quick to spread the word, posting an announcement on its blog and sending out the news via Twitter. The endorsement drew notice from the media, too, prompting an article in Iowa’s largest newspaper, The Des Moines Register, as well as… Continue reading →

Dispute over Gov. Jindal’s executive order on same-sex marriage is a ‘political disagreement,’ doesn’t belong in court, lawyers contend

Attorneys for Gov. Bobby Jindal are asking a Baton Rouge state judge to throw out a legal challenge by the American Civil Liberties Union and other gay rights supporters to his May 19 executive order that carves out protections for those who oppose same-sex marriage. Jindal has said the “Marriage and Conscience Order” applies only to the executive branch and will prevent the state from denying or revoking tax exemptions and deductions, contracts and… Continue reading →

Our views: Gov. Bobby Jindal’s master plan on coastal restoration ‘is the framework for an effective response’

If there are issues dividing the candidates running for governor, coastal restoration is not among them. In fact, there’s a striking level of agreement about the principles of a state plan to use Mississippi River water and sediments to rebuild the sinking coastline. This is an area in which the group — all of whom are seeking to put distance between themselves and unpopular Gov. Bobby Jindal — is likely to continue the… Continue reading →

Letters: Bobby Jindal’s actions are more harmful than Donald Trump’s words

The same week that Donald Trump belched up his predictable misogynist bile, Gov. Bobby Jindal defunded Planned Parenthood in Louisiana after Congress didn’t do so federally. During years of huge cuts in Louisiana’s health care budget (resulting in closed clinics and hospitals), in a state with some of the country’s highest rates of poverty, infant mortality and STDs, Planned Parenthood has been one of the only places for many Louisiana women (men, too) to obtain medical… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: Bobby Jindal's stance on education not that special in GOP

It can be hard to pinpoint the moment when Gov. Bobby Jindal’s presidential quest began, but it certainly dates back long before his official announcement in June. I’d probably point to early 2012, when Jindal launched a single-minded, heavy-handed drive to pass a set of ambitious K-12 education bills. The package, which expanded school choice and reined in tenure protection, not only overhauled education in the state but… Continue reading →

TOPS to cost $19 million more than budgeted; deficit could mean cuts to higher ed funding

TOPS, Louisiana’s popular college scholarship program, is expected to cost about $19 million more this year than the state Legislature dedicated to spending on it. Leaders say they are working to resolve the issue — they promise students won’t be shortchanged on their individual awards — but the difference likely will translate into fewer dollars flowing to campuses this year. “TOPS has to be fully funded,” state Higher Education Commissioner Joe Rallo said. “It’s got… 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 →

Jindal blasts Obama for 'politicizing' Katrina anniversary in letter

Marking a major milestone in the recovery from Hurricane Katrina, city and state officials including Gov. Bobby Jindal celebrated the opening of the new, $1.1 billion University Medical Center in Mid-City on Wednesday, promising a world-class facility that will treat rich and poor alike. The event saw Jindal, who is running for the Republican presidential nomination, and local Democratic officials praising one another for following through with the construction of the new hospital. But just minutes… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: Confederate monument debate gives Bobby Jindal, David Vitter chance to take sudden interest in New Orleans

U.S. Senator David Vitter and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. (Advocate file photo by Arthur D. Lauck)

When, exactly, did Bobby Jindal and David Vitter become so concerned about New Orleans? The lame-duck governor and the senator who wants his job, both conservative Republicans, rarely focus on local matters in the most Democratic city they represent, and it’s safe to say that the indifference is mutual. Yet suddenly, both are all over the biggest municipal controversy of the day, the debate over whether to remove three Jim Crow-era statues… Continue reading →

Lanny Keller: Amid grumblings about state's direction, a vexing lack of interest in key state elections

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- With his family in attendance, Darrell Ourso, R-Baton Rouge, center, is sworn into office on the House floor on the first day of the legislative session.

The top-line result in the new poll from the LSU Public Policy Research Lab sounds right: People are paying little or no attention to the race for governor. Maybe a bit surprising, given that qualifying is Sept. 8-10 and the primary election is Oct. 24. No less than four major candidates for governor are beating the bushes, especially for money, but this is for Louisiana an uncharacteristically slow political season. One can recall races that… Continue reading →

Political Horizons: Norquist’s ghost, a fee that nobody sees

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Taking a quick sandwich break Wednesday, LSU president F. King Alexander, second from right, chats with student volunteer movers, from left, Biannca Pierre, Heather Duplessis, Alix Perry and Victoria Primeaux, right, at LSU West Laville Hall. They were all helping incoming students move into their dorms.

With eyebrows arched and her mouth formed in an O, Elaine Harmon was the picture of incredulity. The New Orleans mother had just dropped off Kaleb, her son, at West Laville Hall for his first semester in college. She had just been asked how she handled the roughly $1,500 SAVE fee tacked on to Kaleb’s LSU bill in July. Like many parents, Harmon knew nothing about the fee. She had… Continue reading →

Dispute over Gov. Jindal’s executive order on same-sex marriage is a ‘political disagreement,’ doesn’t belong in court, lawyers contend

Attorneys for Gov. Bobby Jindal are asking a Baton Rouge state judge to throw out a legal challenge by the American Civil Liberties Union and other gay rights supporters to his May 19 executive order that carves out protections for those who oppose same-sex marriage. Jindal has said the “Marriage and Conscience Order” applies only to the executive branch and will prevent the state from denying or revoking tax exemptions and deductions, contracts and… Continue reading →

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal tells President Obama in letter: 'Don't politicize Katrina'

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has penned a letter to President Barack Obama in advance of Obama’s trip to New Orleans for the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. In the letter, Jindal says he’s happy to welcome Obama to Louisiana, but he’s “disappointed” that the Democratic president has made the trip part of what Jindal calls “a tour for (Obama’s) climate change agenda.” Jindal is currently seeking the Republican nomination for president, and has been an outspoken critic… Continue reading →

Planned Parenthood sues over Bobby Jindal's order to yank Medicaid funding

Advocate staff file photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- From left, Lafayette's Julie Campeaux, Prairieville's Carter LeBlanc and daughter Gabby LeBlanc, 10, and Katelin Arabie, a Dallas resident studying at The University of Louisiana-Lafayette, hold signs at the 'Women Betrayed' rally outside Planned Parenthood Baton Rouge at 3955 Government St. on July 28, 2015.

Planned Parenthood went to federal court Tuesday to try to block Gov. Bobby Jindal’s attempt to yank Medicaid funding from its Louisiana operations. Planned Parenthood estimates more than 5,200 of its patients using Baton Rouge and New Orleans facilities could lose access to health care on Sept. 2, if the court doesn’t step in and stop Jindal from ending the state’s Medicaid agreement with the group’s Louisiana affiliate. Terminating the contract also threatens the future… Continue reading →

Our Views: Louisiana ought to take advantage of Medicaid expansion

When the new governor and Legislature take office next year, they will have a chance to reconsider one of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s decisions that has caused a lot of heartburn, perhaps literally in some cases. That is the expansion of Medicaid insurance coverage for the working poor. Lawmakers this year, led by the governor and Republican majorities in the House and Senate, balked at expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, aka… Continue reading →

Young artists exhibit at Governor’s Mansion

Photo provided by Mike Cottingim -- Fourth-graders at Zachary Elementary glue Mardi Gras beads onto their George Rodrigue 'Blue Dog' painting in May.

Students attending Zachary Elementary School during the 2014-15 school year had a hand in creating artwork that is now part of the Jindal family’s initiative to feature young artists. On Aug. 3, Supriya Jindal announced the artwork selected for display in the Louisiana’s Governor’s Mansion throughout August. The list includes Holly Marchiafava’s and Danye Pelichet’s third-grade classes, Kathleen Bridwell’s and Maegan Brown’s third-grade classes and ZES fourth-graders. Their work — which includes a George Rodrigue “Blue Dog”… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: As Louisianans clamor for a new path, governor's candidates struggle to be noticed

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Gubernatorial candidates, from left to right, U.S. Sen. David Vitter, State Rep. John Bel Edwards, D-Amite, Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle and Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne participate in a forum hosted by Louisiana State Troopers Association at the Crown Plaza hotel Saturday.  Retired La. State Police Chief of Staff Lt. Col. Mark Oxley, the event moderator, is in background.

There are three main messages out of the LSU Public Policy Research Lab’s new political poll. One is to national voters, and it amounts to yet another cautionary note about Gov. Bobby Jindal and his presidential ambitions. The poll of 1,023 residents, including 879 registered voters, shows that the 59 percent of residents think Louisiana is headed in the wrong direction. That’s up from 45 percent in January, which suggests that the… Continue reading →

Report: Rick Perry's Iowa chairman quits, looks at joining other campaigns

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s Iowa chairman has reportedly quit, after the cash-strapped presidential campaign stopped paying its staffers. Sam Clovis, who has sought elected office in Iowa, told The Washington Post that he has fielded offers from several campaigns and expects to sign on with a new candidate in the coming days. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal was previously among the finalists that Clovis had considered backing. Jindal has helped campaign for Clovis in the past, even going so… Continue reading →

Our Views: High costs for pre-K expansions are worth it

In a time of budget deficits, the payback from early childhood education ought to be one place where Louisiana’s new governor and Legislature should look to spend more money, not less. That is a widespread view. Even during a time of slashing of many budgets, Gov. Bobby Jindal often found ways to fund a few more slots in the Louisiana-4 program for prekindergarten. The educators believe in it. Hollis Milton, school superintendent in West Feliciana,… Continue reading →

Gov. Bobby Jindal stumps in Iowa

Advocate Photo by ElLIZABETH CRISP -- Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal spoke to about 70 people crammed into the Sioux City Elks lodge on Monday night as he campaigned for the Republican presidential nomination.

Gov. Bobby Jindal was standing in a Elks lodge Monday night in a small city in a rural, northern part of the state, trying to woo potential voters. It may sound like a story out of the 2007 run for governor that had Jindal on countless tours across Louisiana, but this time, Jindal’s in northern Iowa and the stakes are much higher. Since launching his campaign for… Continue reading →

White House, Plan B? Bobby Jindal building new home in University Club in Baton Rouge

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- A truck enters the University Club, where custom homebuilder Traditions is constructing a home for Gov. Bobby Jindal, his wife, Supriya, and their three children. The house is expected to be ready in December, before Jindal leaves office.

Gov. Bobby Jindal may have his eye on moving into the White House, but, for now, his Plan B is a home being built in University Club in Baton Rouge. Jackie Braud said her family-owned, custom-home-building company, Traditions, is constructing a home for Jindal, his wife, Supriya, and their three children. The goal is to have the home completed by December, before Jindal’s second term is up and his family has to move out of… Continue reading →

Our Views: Louisiana’s next governor needs to make sure managed care plan doesn’t stall again

Advocate Photo by MARK BALLARD -- Louisiana Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle speaks July 29, 2015 to a group in Central. He is running for governor.

It’s not clear just how willing candidates for governor are to take on a powerful State Capitol lobbying force, the nursing home industry, which has balked at the managed-care model that Gov. Bobby Jindal has imposed on other providers in the Medicaid program. Unfortunately, as so often with Jindal’s administration, the facts are in dispute about whether managed care has saved the state money and boosted health care outcomes for Medicaid recipients. What is certain is… Continue reading →