Clancy DuBos: Would a constitutional convention change much?

The forces that favor various aspects of the status quo will do all they can to make sure nothing changes
Talk of holding a constitutional convention to address Louisiana's structural deficit has gained momentum. The idea has merit on several fronts, but it's also an admission that our state legislators are either unwilling or unable to do their jobs.

Clancy DuBos: Chickening out on criminal justice

Lawmakers were intoxicated with locking up criminals. Now we spend millions jailing nonviolent offenders
Criminal justice reform was among the few bright spots in last year's dispiriting legislative session. Lawmakers adopted far-reaching laws that traded "tough on crime" grandstanding for "smart on crime" policies that have been proven to work.

Clancy DuBos: citizen engagement needed on Sunshine laws and domestic violence

The most effective form of lobbying is a barrage of phone calls from constituents
The Louisiana Constitution bars state lawmakers from considering revenue-raising bills in the current legislative session, but that hasn't stopped them from taking up gravely important matters that warrant citizens' close attention — and engagement.   Two cases in point:

Clancy DuBos: Tom Benson and the deal that kept the Saints in New Orleans

So long and thanks, Mister B
Tom Benson rose from a working-class childhood to the pinnacle of sports royalty as owner of the 2010 Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints. He left an indelible mark on the team, on his hometown, and on the NFL before his death last week at age 90.

Clancy DuBos: In the Louisiana legislature, it's always Groundhog Day

How many more can voters tolerate?
Since the collapse of the recent special session, many have called any attempt to get state lawmakers to fix Louisiana's fiscal problems "Groundhog Day." It's a reference to the movie in which a misanthropic character played by Bill Murray keeps waking up in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania on Feb. 2 until he finally gets his act together.

Clancy DuBos: Legislature a study in chaos

There’s no such thing as a 'fiscal conservative.' Lawmakers are either fiscally responsible or fiscally irresponsible
Anyone who wants to study the application of Chaos Theory to politics should examine the Louisiana Legislature, but it may help to do so with lots of mind-numbing substances. They won't explain anything, but they will dull the pain.

Clancy DuBos: Measuring our 'fiscal cliff'

To the surprise of no one, lawmakers failed to even consider long-term fiscal reforms
Exactly how high is Louisiana's "fiscal cliff" anyway? It depends on whom you ask.

Clancy DuBos: Once more, into the ditch

The only thing voters like less than taxes are cuts to education and hospitals
Gov. John Bel Edwards has summoned state lawmakers into a fifth special session in just over two years to deal once more with Louisiana's structural deficit. The session runs Feb. 19 through March 7.

Clancy DuBos: A tireless advocate — Johnny Jackson Jr.

The former City Councilman and state lawmaker died Jan. 24
There aren't many first- generation civil rights leaders left in New Orleans, and we lost another one Jan. 24 when former City Councilman and state Rep. Johnny Jackson Jr. died the age of 74 after a battle with cancer.   A tireless advocate for civil and human rights, Jackson reluctantly entered public life after serving as a community organizer in the Desire-Florida neighborhoods in the 9th Ward.

Clancy DuBos: One if by land, two if by air

Perhaps Mike Edmonson was just too busy looking for his own car keys
The latest news about former State Police Col. Mike Edmonson had me checking my calendar. When I heard the FBI was looking at his possible misuse of State Police helicopters — after earlier reports of Edmonson pressing troopers into service as overland couriers and personal chauffeurs — I could have sworn it was April Fools' Day.

Clancy DuBos: Big chill far from over

Nobody’s blaming Landrieu for the cold weather. But he bears a lot of responsibility for the current woes of the Sewerage & Water Board
For months, New Orleanians feared a sudden rainstorm more than anything else would overwhelm the city's antiquated infrastructure. Now we know that an extended cold snap can be just as ominous.

Clancy DuBos: Sick and tired yet?

Lawmakers talk about fiscal reform but do nothing about it.
When it comes to fiscal reform, voters should be getting sick and tired of seeing lawmakers do nothing — and I do mean nothing — about a serious problem that hasn't fundamentally changed in a decade.   In 2002, at the urging of Republican Gov. Mike Foster, voters approved the Stelly Plan, which lowered sales taxes and increased state income taxes.


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