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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

Gov. Edwards delivers the medicine rather than a vision for the future

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Gov. John Bel Edwards makes his address Wednesday morning at the 52nd Annual Louisiana Governor's Prayer Breakfast at the River Center. Those seated, from left, include Sen. Gerald Long, R-Winnfield, his wife Rose Landry Long and the Rev. Father Mark Beard, pastor of St. Helena Catholic Church in Amite.

Huey Long, Louisiana’s most famous governor, promised to make every man a king. Bobby Jindal, perhaps its most politically ambitious governor since Long, pledged to govern Louisiana like a business and sought to win rave reviews for his efforts around the country. John Bel Edwards, in office for 100 days, is trying to clean up the budget mess that Jindal left behind. He’s doing that with a steady style, following the path… Continue reading →

Bill targeting last-minute salaries from out-going governors passes Senate

A bill aimed at banning last-minute salary increases from out-going governors was OKed by the Louisiana Senate on Monday and heads to the House for consideration. Senate Bill 57, by State Sen. Wesley Bishop, D-New Orleans, is seemingly a reaction to raises given to Department of Transportation and Development employees in the final few days of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration. Former DOTD Secretary Sherri LeBas gave a 4 percent… 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 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 →

Grace notes: Bipartisan agreement on Jindal’s excesses

The new legislative year has been marked by a series of difficult votes on money matters, but a few have been remarkably easy. The simplest way to unite all factions of the often warring Legislature these days, it seems, is to ask them to repudiate former Gov. Bobby Jindal. During the recent special session, legislators could hardly wait to repeal the gimmicky SAVE Act that Jindal insisted they pass last year. The… Continue reading →

Key school groups target part of Jindal education overhaul for repeal

Two influential public school groups are pushing a bill that would undo a key part of former Gov. Bobby Jindal’s education overhaul. The umbrella organizations for 69 district superintendents and 643 school board members want the Legislature to scrap a section of state law touted as a way to improve schools rated C, D or F. The law requires local boards in those districts to include performance goals in contracts with local superintendents covering student… Continue reading →

Louisiana Senate votes to curb last-minute pay raises from governors

Governors would have limited ability to dole out last-minute pay raises, if the House agrees to a measure that won unanimous support from state senators. Senate Bill 49 by Republican Sen. Gerald Long would require the joint House and Senate budget committee to approve any salary boosts in the executive branch during the last 90 days of a governor’s term. The Senate backed the proposal Wednesday without debate. Long’s bill is a response to millions… Continue reading →

After Republicans, Democrats alike disavow Bobby Jindal, what will he do next?

FILE - In this July 20, 2010 file photo, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal talks about the oil spill as he flies over the Deepwater Horizon oil spill site in the Gulf of Mexico, off the Louisiana coast. Jindal left the governor's office nearly two months ago, but his legacy permeates a special legislative session aimed at digging Louisiana out of deep financial troubles. Criticism of Jindal is bipartisan and widespread, with irritated lawmakers left sifting through the highly-unpopular choices of raising taxes or taking a hatchet to higher education and government services. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

The whiz is gone. For years, national reporters profiling Bobby Jindal and his political rise inevitably referred to him as a whiz kid — Rhodes scholar at 21, Cabinet secretary at 24, university system president at 28, governor at 36 in 2008. Not anymore. Not with Louisiana threatened by financial disaster after Jindal inherited a $1 billion budget surplus eight years ago and left Gov. John Bel Edwards with a $3 billion… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: Unpopular at home, Bobby Jindal grasps for national role

Advocate staff file photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Gov. Bobby Jindal talks about his tenure as governor in December 2015.

Advocate reporter Tyler Bridges, writing in Sunday’s paper, picked the perfect time to pose a burning question: What will former Gov. Bobby Jindal do next, now that he’s left office and dropped out of the presidential race? The story appeared just as Jindal’s Plan B came crashing down, days after the presidential candidate he’d endorsed and hit the road to campaign for, Florida U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, lost his home state primary in humiliating… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace notes: In wake of Brussels attacks, it’s time for Louisiana to get behind Real ID

Once upon a time in an earlier era, when I renewed over the Internet, the Office of Motor Vehicles sent me a sticker to paste onto my expired driver’s license. Over time, the sticker started to curl off. That was never really an issue — except for when I passed through security in out-of-state airports. More than once, the jury-rigged government seal of approval prompted long looks from federal transportation officials, and made me wonder if… 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 →

Letters: Why did people elect, re-elect Bobby Jindal?

I read with total dismay and shock that our poor, lost and, apparently, not very well-educated state senators feel so misled about our state budget and the fiscal situation that former Gov. Bobby (the bully) Jindal left our state in. The recent article about this in The Advocate should have been sent to Walt Handelsman for editorial cartoon of the year. Where were these idiots for the past eight years? Every year, once a year, Bobby (the… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: John Bel Edwards' order scolds Bobby Jindal for forfeiting cool $3B in Medicaid funds

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Gov. John Bel Edwards speaks Tuesday at the State Capitol at a  press conference with legislators, community leaders, and key stakeholders, just after issuing his first executive order, No. JBE 16-01, to provide for Medicaid expansion in the state of Louisiana.  Dept. of Health and Hospitals Secretary Dr. Rebekah E. Gee, MD, is at right.

John Bel Edwards’ first executive order actually reads kind of like an accusation. After a day and night of inaugural festivities Monday, Edwards got down to business Tuesday, put his pen to paper and kept his promise to accept federal money to expand Medicaid for 300,000 or more poor Louisianians under President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act. But Edwards did more than that. He spelled out in the official document how much his predecessor,… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: Governor warns about “parade of horribles”

Faced with a budget shortfall for this year and next that’s now hovering somewhere near the $3 billion mark, Gov. John Bel Edwards has been sending the same message at every stop: If critics don’t like his ideas for addressing the emergency, which include higher and more broadly applied state sales taxes and a higher cigarette tax, he’d be happy to consider theirs instead. Asked during an Advocate editorial… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: Gov. John Bel Edwards not trying to scare people? Sure looks like it

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Louisiana Governor-elect John Bel Edwards. ORG XMIT: BAT1601051615460496

Gov. John Bel Edwards insisted during his highly unusual address Thursday night that he wasn’t trying to scare people. Well, of course he was. Why else paint a doomsday scenario on statewide television three days before the Legislature will gather to deal with an immediate cash shortfall of nearly $1 billion and a hole twice that size for the fiscal year that starts in July? Why else talk of hospitals and colleges shutting their… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: Governors not faring well in White House runs

There was a time, not so very long ago, when Republican leaders thought they had the deepest, most impressive slate of potential presidents in ages. The sentiment owed largely to the fact that the huge early field was rich with current and former governors. It was these state leaders, the theory went, who were busy getting things done while Washington lay paralyzed by gridlock. It was they who presented the sharpest contrast with President Barack Obama,… 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 →

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 →

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 →