Politics

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

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is one of two independents in the Senate. Now, the self-described socialist says he may run for president.

Sanders is aligned with Senate Democrats, but he has spoken lately of a problem with the Democratic coalition that elected President Obama. He says working-class white voters have abandoned Democrats in large numbers. The party, he says, has "not made it clear that they are prepared to stand with the working-class people of this country, take on the big money interests."

With the Louisiana Senate runoff driving votes in both chambers of Congress on the Keystone XL pipeline, here's a question: How many of those jobs will actually be in Louisiana?

The answer: zero.

Two bills that would authorize building the controversial Keystone XL pipeline will soon come to a vote in Congress, as their sponsors — Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., and Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La. — head toward a runoff election next month to decide who will win the Senate race.

NPR's Debbie Elliott reports:

"On the Senate floor, Landrieu called for action on the Canada-to-Texas pipeline project, saying, 'I believe with a push we could actually get the votes that we need to pass the Keystone pipeline.'

The election may be over, but at the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday, the justices grappled with an Alabama case that may have a big impact on the next one.

The case tests what kinds of gerrymandering are and are not acceptable under the Constitution. In the past, the court has said that if the primary motive for drawing legislative lines is to limit a race's influence, that's unconstitutional — but if it's to create a partisan advantage, that's OK.

The trouble is, it's often hard to tell the difference.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday takes up the thorny question of what kind of gerrymandering is acceptable, and what kind is not. The court is being asked to decide whether a 2010 state legislative redistricting in Alabama overloaded some districts with black Democrats on the basis of race or party.

The Republican Party made historic gains during this week's midterm elections. Among their victories were three wins by black Republicans, who seem to be building momentum for diversifying the GOP ranks.

Mia Love — who is Mormon and Haitian-American — is one of those three, and Republicans in Utah's 4th District will be sending her to Congress next year.

"Many of the naysayers out there said that Utah would never elect a black, Republican, LDS woman to Congress," Love told a crowd on Tuesday. "And guess what? Not only did we do it, we were the first to do it!"

Louisiana has gone immediately from a primary campaign to a runoff campaign.

Sen. Mary Landrieu will again be at the top of the ticket Dec. 6 fighting for reelection. Congressman Bill Cassidy is continuing to battle to win her seat.

Jeremy Alford, publisher of LaPolitics.com, says with Republicans taking control of the Senate Tuesday, both candidates have new war cries. 

 

 


The Democratic Party's last hope rests with Mary Landrieu, who is locked in a runoff with GOP Rep. Bill Cassidy. She survived rematches in 1996 and again in 2008.


Louisiana Secretary of State

On election day, Louisiana voters said yes to protecting state funding for healthcare, and a firm no to measures that would expand the size and reach of state government.


Much as expected, Rep. Bill Cassidy and Sen. Mary Landrieu were the top finishers in a field of eight, and will be squaring off in a Dec. 6 runoff election.

“We have 32 more days. This is not over yet,” said a smiling, energized Cassidy to a campaign party crowd of several hundred supporters in Baton Rouge.

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