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Monday, October 26, 2015

What others are saying about Louisiana's suddenly interesting gubernatorial race

Posted By on Mon, Oct 26, 2015 at 5:33 PM


It's been almost 48 hours since the Louisiana governor's race got interesting — and statewide and national media are taking notice. A few samples of what the world is learning about politics in the Pelican State:

, "David Vitter lurches toward a humiliating defeat: A record of scandal and hypocrisy finally catches up to him"

Sean Illing explains the Louisiana "jungle primary" system and sums up the events of last week, including an explanation of why the auto accident in which Vitter was involved last Friday may be more than a simple fender bender. But Illing lays out the story and the players for a national audience (from a pro-Democrat point of view):
For months, David Vitter was the prohibitive frontrunner. He has name recognition, political clout, a plethora of cash, and a state whose demographics increasingly favor conservative Republicans. But this is a unique political climate. Jindal, one of the worst governors in the history of the state, has made toxic everything he touched, including the Republican brand. Running as a Republican gubernatorial candidate after Jindal was always going to be tricky. In addition to that, Vitter, as James Carville told Salon recently, is “one of the most flawed candidates in American politics.”

The Daily Beast
, "The Big Sleazy’s Insane Governor’s Race"

Writer Gideon Resnick calls GOP nominee David Vitter "a kind of dorky dad-figure who would fit perfectly in a Tim Allen sitcom role," and runs down the various stories of the last week: the candidates, the prostitute, the American Zombie, and the Big Chief vs. Spy Boy contretemps that took place last Friday on Metairie Road. 

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Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Louisiana governor runoff: no holds barred between John Bel Edwards and David Vitter

Posted By on Sun, Oct 25, 2015 at 11:44 PM

State Rep. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat (left) will face off Nov. 21 against U.S. Sen. David Vitter in the Louisiana gubernatorial election.
  • State Rep. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat (left) will face off Nov. 21 against U.S. Sen. David Vitter in the Louisiana gubernatorial election.

Louisiana’s statewide primary election on Oct. 24 provided lots of fireworks and a few surprises. In the governor’s race, state Rep. John Bel Edwards garnered an impressive 40 percent of the vote while erstwhile frontrunner David Vitter sputtered into second place with a mere 23 percent. Given the events and revelations of the primary’s final 10 days, if the election were this coming Saturday instead of this past Saturday, Vitter might have finished out of the money entirely. Timing is everything.

Here are the unofficial returns, according to the Secretary of State’s office:

John Bel Edwards, 40 percent
David Vitter, 23 percent
Scott Angelle, 19 percent
Jay Dardenne, 15 percent
All others, 3 percent

Before I dissect Saturday’s returns, I want to say that the gubernatorial runoff is anything but a foregone conclusion. Edwards’s strong finish gives him needed momentum going into the four-week runoff (the general election is Nov. 21), but anyone who underestimates David Vitter is a fool. Louisiana’s senior senator may be the most disliked politician in the state, but he’s also the most capable when it comes to waging electoral combat. And while Edwards clearly has momentum on his side, history in on Vitter’s side. Louisiana hasn’t elected a Democrat to statewide office since 2008.

That could change by Nov. 21. Indeed, the Edwards-Vitter runoff will be the ultimate test of the notion that a Dem cannot win statewide in Louisiana. Edwards is as close as the Democrats can get to a perfect candidate for governor — West Point grad, U.S. Army Ranger and 82nd Airborne commander, solid legislative record, history of working well with Republicans as well as Democrats, Catholic, pro-life, pro-gun, rural but with appeal to urban voters. Vitter, meanwhile, is about the most flawed Republican you could imagine — disliked intensely even by members of his own party, self-righteous, hypocritical, ruthless, hounded by scandals (note the plural these days). If you tried to invent a tainted candidate, you’d be hard pressed to come up with somebody worse than Vitter.

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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Jindal: Louisiana will comply with Supreme Court's ruling on same-sex marriage, but has no timetable

Posted By on Sun, Jun 28, 2015 at 2:05 PM


Gov. Bobby Jindal said today on NBC's Meet the Press that Louisiana would soon be acting in accord with Friday's U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage in America, but he didn't have a timetable.

Louisiana is now the only state in the union that hasn't issued a marriage license to two men or two women.

"Of course we're going to comply with the court order. We don't have a choice," Jindal told Meet the Press host Chuck Todd:

Jindal said he was waiting for the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse that ruling based on the Supreme Court's decision Friday.

As of Sunday afternoon, Louisiana was the only state in the nation that had not issued any marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

"As soon as [the courts] issue their ruling, I suspect it will be a matter of days. I don't know how quickly they will move," Jindal said when asked how soon he will comply with the law.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Gov. Bobby Jindal announces candidacy for President to cheering crowd

Posted By , and on Wed, Jun 24, 2015 at 5:13 PM

Gov. Bobby Jindal announced his candidacy for president this afternoon at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner. - CHARLES CODY SILER
  • Gov. Bobby Jindal announced his candidacy for president this afternoon at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner.

As expected, Gov. Bobby Jindal today announced he would seek the Republican Party's nomination for President in the 2016 election. His campaign made it official this morning, hours before Jindal was set to make the formal announcement at Kenner's Pontchartrain Center.

Though the "Geaux Bobby" logo announcement featured the words "New Orleans" and a silhouette of the city's skyline, Jindal actually made his announcement to a crowd of about 1,500 at the Pontchartrain Center, about a 25-minute drive from downtown New Orleans, in a speech carried live on Fox News and C-SPAN3. 

A crowd that organizers estimated at 1,500 picked up "Geaux Bobby" signs and American flags at the door, massing in front of a giant American flag in front of which the candidate would speak. (Some who had RSVP'd for the event reported getting cancellation notices just hours before Jindal was set to speak.) In the crowd: Tea Party stalwarts state Rep. Lenar Whitney, R-Houma and Col. Rob Maness, as well as Stephen Waguespack, head of the Louisiana Association of Business & Industry.

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Bobby Jindal tell his kids he's running for president — on what appears to be hidden video

Posted By on Wed, Jun 24, 2015 at 12:21 PM

Candid camera in the Jindal family backyard.
  • Candid camera in the Jindal family backyard.

Gov. Bobby Jindal announced his presidential campaign today with a video — not the usual sort of policy or campaign video, but what appears to be hidden camera footage of Jindal and his wife Supriya telling their children about the decision.

The footage, which seems to have been shot with a camera secreted in a tree in the Jindals' backyard, appears to show the Jindal parents breaking the news to Slade, 8; Shaan, 11; and Selia, 13, extracting a promise from them that they won't tell their friends yet.

About 54 seconds in to the video, Jindal asks one of his sons, "So was it a surprise? ... Oh, you pretty much figured it out."

"Maybe if you behave, you'll get a chance to go back to Iowa," Jindal adds. The kids seem to like Iowa.

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Saturday, June 20, 2015

Watch: Gov. Bobby Jindal says of the Confederate flag "The states decide that"

Posted By on Sat, Jun 20, 2015 at 2:46 PM

Asked about the Confederate flag by ABC News, Gov. Bobby Jindal said, "Look, the states decide that — and, again, just like with the gun issue, let's have that debate at the right time."
  • Asked about the Confederate flag by ABC News, Gov. Bobby Jindal said, "Look, the states decide that — and, again, just like with the gun issue, let's have that debate at the right time."

In the wake of the Charleston, South Carolina church shooting that killed nine people, there have been renewed calls to remove the Confederate flag from the grounds of some Southern statehouses, including the one in South Carolina, which — due to some complicated legal language — is still flying high even as the American flag and the state flag are at half-mast. A protest against the Confederate flag is scheduled tonight in Charleston.

Some Republicans, including former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, have called for it to be taken down, and Republican South Carolina State Rep. Norman “Doug” Brannon says he'll prefile a bill calling for its removal in December before the state legislature goes back into session. Other South Carolina politicians don't agree or are tiptoeing around the issue, including Gov. Nikki Haley and Sen. Lindsey Graham, who told CNN Friday that "You could probably visit other places in the country near some symbol that doesn't quite strike you right," but for South Carolina, "It works here, that's what the statehouse agreed to do."

Also speaking up for the Confederate flag: Gov. Bobby Jindal, who was asked about it by ABC News. Jindal indicated he thought flying the Confederate flag was a states' rights issue:

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Monday, June 15, 2015

Y@ Speak: #lalege's out, for, summer

Posted By on Mon, Jun 15, 2015 at 12:31 PM

The chalkboards have been cleared, the erasers dusted, and yearbooks and slam books signed as the 2015 Louisiana Legislature comes to a close. What we found out is that each one of them is a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess, and a criminal, also a pack of wolves and a Muppet. Don't you [doo foo] forget about me. Also in this week's Y@ Speak: TED talks, Morrissey and U.S. President Bobby Jindal.

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Monday, June 8, 2015

Y@ Speak: brand new

Posted By on Mon, Jun 8, 2015 at 1:45 PM

Demolitions, road construction, presidential campaigns — this week's Y@ Speak looks at what's new and what's old, like pet bears going for a stroll, 300-year-old pottery, and the ol' favorite Gentrification. Also: some impressive #NOLAscanner entries, Stephen Colbert's new sidekick, and Popeye's.

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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Unclaimed casino winnings will pay for rape kit testing in Louisiana with new legislation

Posted By on Tue, Jun 2, 2015 at 4:30 PM

Without a single "nay" vote in their time in the Louisiana Legislature, a pair of bills that prevent rape victims from paying for their hospital exams are now headed to the desk of Gov. Bobby Jindal, who is expected to sign the legislation.

House Bill 143 from state Rep. Helena Moreno, D-New Orleans, collects unclaimed gambling ticket winnings for the Crime Victims Reparations Board and creates a funding mechanism that hospitals can use to pay for rape exams and other treatment, while House Bill 835 standardizes sexual assault response in hospitals statewide. Last year, Jindal used two executive orders, following investigations by The Time-Picayune, to prevent victims from paying for those exams, which is in violation of the federal Violence Against Women Act. Despite some pushback from the Louisiana Casino Association, which absorbed those unclaimed winnings, the measures cleared the Louisiana House and Senate.

According to Moreno, unclaimed winnings could result in up to $1.5 million added to the victims fund each year, and hospitals will be able to bill the board for charges associated with a sexual assault exam.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Y@ Speak's executive order in response to the executive order's response to the executive order

Posted By on Tue, May 26, 2015 at 11:45 AM

Following a short Memorial Day break, Y@ Speak hereby declares a roundup of New Orleans' week on Twitter, from Mayor Mitch Landrieu's sick burn to asking the age-old question of why we aren't infested with tarantulas.

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