Clancy DuBos: Newton's First Law of Bad Government

A proposed law's awfulness is geometrically proportional to the number of lobbyists hired to secure its passage
Sir Isaac Newton reduced much of what we know about the universe to a handful of precise mathematical formulas. Good thing Sir Isaac isn't around today to try to make sense of the Louisiana Legislature.

Clancy DuBos: SMOR poll — no easy answers

Mixed news for state politicians in latest voter survey
The annual spring survey of Louisiana voters by Southern Media and Opinion Research (SMOR) has mixed news for our state's politicians. That shouldn't surprise, given the mixed signals coming out of Baton Rouge.

Clancy DuBos: Disarm all abusers

House Bill 223 prevents domestic abusers from possessing guns
I'm a lifelong hunter and outdoorsman, and I believe in the right of citizens to own firearms — responsibly. What I don't believe are the National Rifle Association's (NRA) distortions on behalf of letting violent abusers possess guns.

Clancy DuBos: Getting smart on crime

Sentencing reforms save taxpayers money
The yearlong push for criminal justice reform in Louisiana will reach a critical point this week when a state Senate committee considers a handful of bills that reverse decades of overreaction to nonviolent crimes. It's a small but vitally important step, and it's encouraging that opposing sides are finding common ground.   Crime and justice are always hot-button issues, but effectively dealing with incarceration and rehabilitation requires a clear head — and politicians with the guts to stand up for what's right in the face of demagogues who will assail them for being "soft on crime."

Clancy DuBos: An alternative to gridlock

If lawmakers can't even agree on the simple things, maybe a constitutional convention can address the big picture
The Louisiana Constitution of 1974 was far from a perfect document when voters approved it more than four decades ago. Proof of that is the fact that it has been amended more than 180 times — and lawmakers currently are considering still more amendments.

Clancy DuBos: Pat Taylor's legacy

A message to lawmakers who tinker with TOPS
Amid the hoopla over state funding for the beloved TOPS college scholarship program, it's worth remembering how — and why — the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students got started in the first place. Spoiler alert: It was never intended to be an entitlement for families of means.

Clancy DuBos: Agents of change

Remembering Lolis Edward Elie and Ralph Miller
Change doesn't come easily. It typically requires great risk by people willing to take on the status quo against daunting odds.

Clancy DuBos: Edwards' CAT is out of the bag

The governor unveils his "commercial activity tax" plan
A lot has already been said about Gov. John Bel Edwards' proposed "commercial activity tax," or CAT, but the early rumblings against it are noth-ing compared to what's to come. The governor undoubtedly knows that, which explains why he quickly promised to find ways to reduce the tax's adverse impact on low-margin businesses.

Clancy DuBos: Recalls shouldn't be this difficult

Ridiculously high signature thresholds explain why few efforts succeed
Recalling an elected official is a drastic remedy; it should not be so easy that it becomes a cudgel wielded for mere political spite. On the other hand, it should not be so difficult as to be virtually impossible when clearly warranted.

Clancy DuBos: Getting smart on crime

Locking up nonviolent offenders only makes us dumb on crime
Louisiana lawmakers will struggle to make sense of our state's fiscal mess when they convene next month, and that struggle will overshadow all other pressing matters. Yet there's one overarching issue on which legislators of all stripes ought to agree: the need for meaningful criminal justice reform.

Clancy DuBos: Our monumental challenge

Between 1820 and 1860, New Orleans was an epicenter of the American slave trade. A century later, from the 1950s through the 1970s, New Orleans was an epicenter of the civil rights movement.

Clancy DuBos: With FEMA, don't give up. Ever.

When they say "no," go back and ask again
It comes as no surprise to those who dealt with FEMA after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita that the agency denied Gov. John Bel Edwards' requests for additional federal assistance to area residents, businesses and parish governments hit by the Feb. 7 tornadoes. Despite upgrades to the agency after the 2005 storms, the default response of many bureaucrats is still "no."


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