Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Desiree Charbonnet resigns judgeship, expected to run for mayor

Posted By on Wed, Apr 19, 2017 at 6:13 PM

Desiree Charbonnet.
  • Desiree Charbonnet.

The race for mayor of New Orleans just got a lot more interesting. Municipal Court Judge Desiree Charbonnet will resign her judgeship effective midnight Friday so she can officially run for mayor. She had been rumored as a possible candidate for at least a month. Starting Saturday morning, she will be one.

Charbonnet, 48, first won elective office in 1998 when she unseated incumbent Michael McCrossen to win the citywide Recorder of Mortgages post. In 2007, she easily won a special election for a seat on Municipal Court with 57 percent of the vote. She ran on a platform of partnering with local agencies to reduce domestic violence.

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Thursday, April 6, 2017

Leger in no hurry to announce for mayor

Posted By on Thu, Apr 6, 2017 at 4:23 PM

Sate Rep. Walt Leger.
  • Sate Rep. Walt Leger.

State Rep. Walt Leger III, D-New Orleans, has been mentioned in many quarters as a possible candidate for mayor later this year, but he says he’s in no hurry to announce his intentions. The lawmaker had hired a team of consultants, but they’re on hold until after the annual legislative session ends June 8.

“There will be a time in the future when my attention will shift more keenly toward local political and policy issues,” Leger said in an emailed statement to Gambit. “However, at this time, as the Speaker Pro Tempore of the House and a member of the Appropriations Committee, the most important thing that I can do for our city and state is to focus on my near-decade-long crusade for criminal justice reform, ongoing efforts to stabilize our budget and tax situation, fighting for equal pay, access to quality healthcare, fair wages and working closely with Gov. Edwards on generating revenue for and investing in crucial infrastructure….

“There is plenty of time to focus on local political campaigns and issues, but for me the next few months is a time of real action, not campaigning.”

Qualifying for mayor, City Council, sheriff and clerks of court will be July 12-14. The primary will be Oct. 14; runoffs, as needed, will be Nov. 18.

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Monday, March 27, 2017

Y@ Speak: briefly

Posted By on Mon, Mar 27, 2017 at 7:30 PM

Before we enter the fifth season (Festival), we prepare the trinity: Disaster capitalism, football stuff and Ken Polite dancing his way out of court. Also this week: Most of New Orleans didn't vote, and Louisiana's members of Congress were first in line to console the president.

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Friday, February 24, 2017

Budget fight is all politics

Posted By on Fri, Feb 24, 2017 at 6:51 PM

Gov. John Bel Edwards (left) and state Attorney General Jeff Landry tussled over budget cuts in the special session, but Landry's motivation is more political than economic.
  • Gov. John Bel Edwards (left) and state Attorney General Jeff Landry tussled over budget cuts in the special session, but Landry's motivation is more political than economic.

On the surface, the special legislative session that ended last week resembled a small step in the right direction. Gov. John Bel Edwards and recalcitrant ideologues in the House of Representatives hammered out a budget deal to cover a $304 million hole in the current fiscal year's budget — without any last-minute votes on hastily cobbled compromises.

Beneath the surface, however, the partisan divide is as wide and as deep as ever between Edwards and leading House Republicans, with the GOP-controlled Senate generally in the governor's corner.

If you think fiscal policy drives Louisiana's budget discussions, think again. It's all politics.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Special election for Troy Brown's vacated Senate seat set for April 29

Posted By on Tue, Feb 21, 2017 at 12:23 PM

Louisiana Senate President John Alario.
  • Louisiana Senate President John Alario.
Since Troy Brown stepped down last week as state Senator from District 2 (covering parts of several parishes south of Baton Rouge), the seat is empty heading into the regular legislative session that begins in April. Today Louisiana Senate President John Alario, R-Westwego, called a special election to fill the District 2 seat.

Qualifying will be held March 15-17, and the election will be April 29. Should a runoff be needed, it will be held May 27.

In the year and a half before his resignation, Brown, D-Napoleonville, pleaded no contest to charges involving physical abuse of his wife and another woman described as a "side friend" during two separate incidents. Until last week, Brown had vowed to stay in office, despite competing resolutions in the Senate calling for his expulsion and suspension.

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Friday, January 20, 2017

Landrieu statement on Trump inauguration: "I am concerned he paints cities with too broad of a brush"

Posted By on Fri, Jan 20, 2017 at 6:24 PM

Soldiers and Airmen from the Florida National Guard look on as President Donald Trump takes the oath of office during the 2017 Presidential Inauguration. - CHING OETTEL/U.S. NATIONAL GUARD
  • Soldiers and Airmen from the Florida National Guard look on as President Donald Trump takes the oath of office during the 2017 Presidential Inauguration.

Tonight, Mayor MItch Landrieu responded to the inauguration of President Donald Trump with a statement that seemed to take issue with Trump's "America First" message during his inaugural speech.

"Like he did on the campaign trail, President Trump painted a picture of poverty and crime in our 'inner cities.' Unfortunately, I am concerned he paints cities with too broad of a brush. And it is not just his view of cities. America is not the dark and ominous place he describes," Landrieu wrote, adding, "And while America must always come first, we can never be about America only. Because as important as our pure self-interest is, our enlightened self-interest requires us to lift one another up."

Full statement under the jump.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Y@ Speak: and now we elect a new treasurer

Posted By on Tue, Dec 13, 2016 at 9:30 AM

Louisiana and everyone else suffer a post-election comedown and forthcoming withdrawal. Meanwhile: Donald Trump in Baton Rouge, Newell Normand on TMZ, the Hayes trial and more in this week's edition.

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Monday, December 5, 2016

Y@ Speak: "fake news"

Posted By on Mon, Dec 5, 2016 at 6:15 PM

The U.S. Senate race is closing, short-term rentals are going to explode, Louisiana mourns Joe McKnight and fights for justice, Mike Pence stumps in New Orleans, and the Saints are a very fun, anxiety-free football team.

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Friday, November 25, 2016

Editorial: Gambit ballot recommendations for the Dec. 10 runoff election

Posted By on Fri, Nov 25, 2016 at 9:00 AM

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. On Dec. 10, the local ballot features a half-dozen important tax propositions — most of them renewals — and runoffs for U.S. Senate and mayor of Kenner. Early voting begins Sat. Nov. 26 and ends Sat. Nov. 3.

We previously endorsed Jefferson Parish Councilman Ben Zahn for mayor of Kenner. We still support him as he he faces Kenner City Councilman Gregory Carroll in the runoff. In the Senate primary, we recommended both Republican Congressman Charles Boustany and Democrat Caroline Fayard, neither of whom made the runoff. We make no further recommendation in that contest.

Meanwhile, we make the following recommendations on the ballot propositions in New Orleans and Jefferson Parish:

New Orleans voters will see two citywide propositions — a new 2.5-mill property tax increase for fire protection services and renewal of an existing property tax for drainage services. We support both propositions.

The fire protection proposition would yield nearly $9 million a year for 12 years, beginning next year, and would not be subject to the homestead exemption. Revenue from the tax will help pay for tens of millions of dollars in legal judgments the city owes firefighters and their pension fund. If voters reject this tax, the city will still have to pay the judgments — by cutting vital services elsewhere. We urge our readers in New Orleans to vote YES on the fire projection millage proposition.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Editorial: Our pledge to you

Posted By on Wed, Nov 16, 2016 at 9:00 AM

President-elect Donald Trump. - CREATIVE COMMONS/GAGE SKIDMORE
  • President-elect Donald Trump.

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. For now, we can only go by the man’s words and how they may affect Louisianans.

In the weeks and months to come, we will be keeping an eye on the following:

• The president-elect has promised to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) but has provided few details. As of mid-November, more than 339,000 previously uninsured Louisianans are receiving health care through the ACA. We promise to outline their options and find out from doctors which screenings, tests and procedures they should get done now should the ACA go away — with a special focus on women's health care. (Meanwhile, the open enrollment period continues through the end of January; visit ldh.louisiana.gov.)

• The president-elect has made it clear that he does not believe in climate change and promises to dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency and key environmental protections. We promise to speak out for clean air, clean water and Louisiana’s fragile coast.

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