While the rest of America prepares for a (hopefully) peaceful holiday season after a divisive, often toxic election season, Louisiana has one more Election Day left.
America's political landscape will change dramatically after the inauguration of President-
elect Donald Trump in January
2017. Already there are mixed messages coming from his transition team as to some of the promises he made while running.
"A little blue dot in a big red state." That's a description often applied to Austin, Texas by national politicos, but it's just as applicable to New Orleans.
Last week's U.S. Senate debate, sponsored by Raycom Media and staged in the rented Georges Auditorium at Dillard University, was a disservice to everyone concerned — the students and faculty at Dillard, the serious candidates and the public. Not just because of the inclusion of former KKK leader, neo-Nazi and convicted swindler David Duke, but also because of the exclusion of on-campus voices that will matter long after Duke returns to fleecing haters on the world's fringes.
Louisiana voters elected Jeff Landry attorney general last year, but he seems to think he
won the governor's race. Landry
has spent his first year as AG be-
having as though he's running the state with — or against — Gov. John
Early voting starts this Tuesday, Oct. 25 and continues through Nov. 1 for hundreds of local, state and federal elections on the Nov. 8 ballot. Topping the ballot, of course, is the bitter presidential contest between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton — a race that has become so toxic that many voters can't wait for it to end.
Election Day, Nov. 8, is now just three weeks away — and early voting starts next Tuesday, Oct. 25. The ballot in Louisiana features much more than hotly contested presidential and U.S. Senate races.
Last week, Louisiana took one more step toward common sense when the state Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV) began issuing REAL ID-compliant drivers' licenses and identification cards. The federal REAL ID law requires applicants to present more stringent forms of identification than in years past (such as a certified copy of a birth certificate, a Social Security card and proof of residence) to get a state-issued license or ID card.
In May, when we last examined New Orleans' largely illegal short-term rental (STR) market — fueled by online companies like Airbnb and VRBO — there were an estimated 3,621 STRs in the city. By June (the latest month for which statistics are available), there were 4,316 — an increase of more than 600 in just one month (and that's just Airbnb).
In 2010, one month after former Mayor Ray Nagin left office, new Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced that the city budget shortfall — which had been estimated between $25 and $30 million — was far worse than expected: New Orleans would have to cut nearly $100 million to balance its budget. The city had been on shaky financial ground since Hurricane Katrina and the levee failures of 2005, after which the credit rating agency Standard & Poor's (S&P) had lowered the city's bond rating to "B" — a non-investment grade or "junk bond" rating.
A month after devastating floods swept through parishes on the Northshore and around Baton Rouge, the urgency of providing help for affected Louisianans has eased. In the days after the floods, people around metro New Orleans pitched in with money, food and supplies — but now that the waters have receded (and many in the national media have moved on), the need doesn't seem as great.
We hear a lot of noise these days about immigration, but not a lot of objective information. Let's start with the basics: Immigration is a federal matter, not a local one.