Politics

Coverage of politics from the Louisiana statehouse in Baton Rouge and beyond.

Louisiana Governor's Office

State House Speaker Chuck Kleckley returned from a trip to the U.S.-Mexico border earlier this week. He traveled there with Gov. Bobby Jindal and Louisiana’s state police superintendent Col. Mike Edmondson to get a first hand look at the nation’s immigration crisis, and what it could mean for Louisiana.


Texas Gov. Rick Perry got some good news last week. In a FOX News poll, Perry moved from an also-ran in the contest for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination to a tie for first place with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

This is undoubtedly a reaction to Perry's decision 10 days ago to send 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to the border in response to the deluge of Central American children that have been showing up there.

A few months back, Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon, brought a bill to the floor that basically offered tax incentives to businesses and individuals. Those incentives are called tax extenders.

They include big stuff and small stuff — tax breaks for wind farms, tax breaks for schoolteachers who buy their own supplies. Tax breaks for rum producers in Puerto Rico, people who make movies, race track owners, even some breaks for people who bike to work. In other words, something for every lawmaker to take home.

The sixth annual CityStats report is out.

It shines some light on where people are on some of the biggest debates in East Baton Rouge Parish at the moment— including the rights of gays and lesbians, and the state of the public schools.

Mukul Verma of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, which produced the report, reads between the lines a little bit.


Several new surveys show voter interest is low, anti-incumbent sentiment is high, and voters from both parties are questioning whether their elected leaders should return to Congress next year.

In short, the electorate is disengaged and disgusted with politics.

Voter turnout in the 2010 primaries was only about 18 percent, and now it's even lower. Less than 15 percent of eligible citizens cast ballots in the 25 states that have held statewide primaries this year, according to a new report from the Center for the Study of the American Electorate.

Competing lawsuits were filed over the Common Core state standards in Louisiana this week, and specifically over the contracts for testing related to those standards.

Melinda Deslatte, capitol correspondent for the Associated Press, has been following the back and forth.


Barrington Neil, who spoke of experiencing discrimination for being in an interracial marriage, listens to the hearing on the "Fairness Ordinance" at the Baton Rouge Metro Council meeting, July 23, 2014.
Amy Jeffries / WRKF

The Baton Rouge Metro Council heard hours of public comment Wednesday on an anti-discrimination ordinance. But the meeting time expired before the council could vote. 


A couple of this fall’s congressional races could be particularly entertaining — with the “kissing Congressman”, Vance McAllister running for re-election in the 5th District in northern Louisiana, and ex-con/ex-governor Edwin Edwards running here in the 6th District. Jeremy Alford, publisher of LaPolitics.com, says both will be asking voters for forgiveness. 

Meanwhile, the Republican field in the senate race got a little thinner this week, with State representative Paul Hollis of St. Tammany dropping out. Congressman Bill Cassidy, of course, is still the GOP frontrunner to unseat Mary Landrieu. But another Republican, retired Air Force Col. Rob Manness, who has Tea Party support, is proving to be a factor. And Alford says this Senate race is already the most expensive Louisiana has ever seen.


A Democratic effort to override the Supreme Court's recent ruling on contraceptive coverage failed in the Senate on Wednesday.

Bill sponsors fell four votes short of the 60 votes needed to cut off debate on the measure.

If kicking the can down the road were a competitive sport, the championship trophy would never leave Washington.

When the need to make a difficult choice collides with an unyielding deadline, the tendency in a city where partisan gridlock is the norm is to put the tough decisions off for another day.

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