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What must a candidate running for public office do to get noticed? Does it make a difference whether the candidate is new to the political scene versus someone who has tire marks of experience?  Has the Internet changed this process and if so, how? What role does polling have for those who are new to the campaign trail, compared to someone who has a track history of electioneering? Are polls necessary in all races?



ELECTIONS CAMPAIGNS 3Has technology replaced the need for shaking hands, kissing babies, making country fairs, often described as "retail politics"?  How should campaign officials and candidates optimize the “retail politics” experiences?  What are some of the issues all politicians should consider when considering whether to employ a pollster and when determining whom to hire? What is the political climate--has it changed over the past year and if so, what should candidates with upcoming races do to position themselves in their next election run?

Published in State of Louisiana


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There seems to be a wealth of fabricators at the state capitol in Baton Rouge.  Gov. Edwards is accusing U.S. Senator John Kennedy of making "untruthful comments" on the early release of state prisoners.  Kennedy has countered back calling out the Governor for “bending the truth.”  Two state senators physically squared off against each other in a local bar.  And both Democrat and Republican legislators have accused each other of “hiding the truth” as to just whose at fault over the state’s perilous financial condition. 

Published in Louisiana legislature

help friends jbe 2What’s a governor to do? What’s a Louisiana governor to do?

Which was somewhat the issue discussed yesterday. That’s when long-time State elected official and political observer Jim Brown and equally long-time political writer Tom Aswell (publisher of LouisianaVoice) and I got together online to talk about the current budget mess up in Baton Rouge.  That mess might also be known as the “second special Louisiana Legislative fiscal session of 2018”.  If the mess is not cleaned sufficiently over the next seven days, there is talk about a third crack at getting it right.

The Governor in question, of course is Democrat John Bel Edwards.  He has started his third year in office and is trying to get his agenda and budget plans through the Republican-dominated legislature. His approach is a blend of taxes and spending cuts.

Published in Louisiana legislature

jbe alario speaker henry 4stepAnother spring, another special session.

Is it the sixth since Governor John Bel Edwards took over from Bobby Jindal?  Like Sally Bowes sang in Cabaret, "maybe this time"?

As the Louisiana regular session comes to an abrupt close this week, the special session focused upon a gaping $650 million hole, begins Tuesday. After two successive shoo shoos fiscal sessions meant to make up the difference in what the state spent this year and what it has money to spend next year, it is hard to be very confident that a solution will come at hand.

Published in Louisiana legislature

brown 78 4There is a disturbing article in a recent issue of Atlantic Magazine by a prominent physician at the University of Pennsylvania. Ezekiel J. Emanuel is an oncologist, a bioethicist, and a vice provost of the University, and is the author or editor of 10 books, including Reinventing American Health Care. So he is a bright guy who knows a lot about health. His premise is that no one, in this day and age, should aspire to live longer than 75 years of age.

Published in State of Louisiana

constitution laAs we know, Louisiana is, has been, and probably will be in a fiscal mess, year after year, until and unless we identify and then fix the problem. 

For the past ten years, and at times prior to the start of the Bobby Jindal administraton, the budget has been unbalanced until the magic, smoke and mirrors took over to create a false balanced budget, financed often with one-time money.

Published in Louisiana legislature

 state unrest 4We have teachers leaving their classes, protesting low pay and inadequate financial support for schools; Kids are taking off from class in droves, making sure their once muted voices are being heard on matters such as gun-control and weapons in schools. Once again, the state budget is a total mess and the voters are up in arms.

Published in Louisiana legislature

laconservWhy is the Louisiana budget so much higher than the budgets of the other states, even the Southern states which Louisiana is often and justifiably compared?

Wait. You mean, the comparisons being made--claiming Louisiana spends so much more than other states with comparative larger populations, are, perhaps, not correct?

Published in Louisiana legislature

color capitolAt a moment in which money is short and tempers are long, what role does race play as the Louisiana legislature continues to iron out its budgetary and political differences during this spring 2018 legislative session?

In a prior article and segment of an interview with Elizabeth Crisp, the reporter for the Advocate, we discussed an incident last week that occurred in which the issue of race nakedly appeared during a Senate Education committee hearing.     In part three of the interview, Jim Brown probed further into the more general topic and that incident when Metairie Senator Conrad Appel, a Republican, took issue with comments being made by an African American New Orleans legislator during a hearing on the impact of charter schools. Here is how the Advocate reported the incident:
Published in Louisiana legislature
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