Donald Trump

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Edwards joins bipartisan group of governors saying Senate should reject repeal of the Affordable Care Act

Posted By on Tue, Jul 18, 2017 at 4:12 PM

President Donald Trump said today, "Let Obamacare fail; it'll be a lot easier." - CREATIVE COMMONS/GAGE SKIDMORE
  • CREATIVE COMMONS/GAGE SKIDMORE
  • President Donald Trump said today, "Let Obamacare fail; it'll be a lot easier."

The Senate health care replacement for the Affordable Care Act may have collapsed (though Congressional GOP leaders and President Donald Trump have expressed support for "just repeal" rather than "repeal and replace"), but a bipartisan group of governors — including Gov. John Bel Edwards — has issued a statement calling for the repeal's rejection.

"The Senate should immediately reject efforts to 'repeal' the current system and replace sometime later," the statement reads. "This could leave millions of Americans without coverage. The best next step is for both parties to come together and do what we can all agree on: fix our unstable insurance markets."

Since Edwards implemented the federal Medicaid expansion in Louisiana one year ago, more than 400,000 Louisianans have gotten health care. The repeal would leave them in limbo. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) was set to reveal its analysis of the bill yesterday, but did not do so.

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Monday, July 3, 2017

Louisiana Sec. of State won't comply with voter info request

Posted By on Mon, Jul 3, 2017 at 2:15 PM

Louisiana Secretary of State Tom Schedler.
  • Louisiana Secretary of State Tom Schedler.
Louisiana joins a growing number of officials across the U.S. refusing to submit detailed voter information to a commission assembled by President Donald Trump.

In a letter from a presidential commission on "election integrity" sent to secretaries of state last week, commission vice-chair Kris Kobach asked states to submit a list of all voter names, addresses, party affiliations, dates of birth, the last four digits of social security numbers, and voting history. Louisiana Secretary of State Tom Schedler's office said staff and attorneys were reviewing the request. Today, Schedler said he doesn't intend to release that information.

"He bases his decision on a long-standing, consistent belief that voter’s private information including social security number, mother’s maiden name and date of birth should be vigorously protected by states," according to a statement from Schedler's office.

“The President’s Commission has quickly politicized its work by asking states for an incredible amount of voter data that I have, time and time again, refused to release,” Schedler said in a statement to Gambit. “My response to the Commission is, you're not going to play politics with Louisiana’s voter data, and if you are, then you can purchase the limited public information available by law, to any candidate running for office. That’s it.”

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Friday, June 30, 2017

Mississippi Sec. of State to commission asking for voter info: 'Jump in the Gulf of Mexico'

Posted By on Fri, Jun 30, 2017 at 7:14 PM

Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, right - MISSISSIPPI SECRETARY OF STATE
  • MISSISSIPPI SECRETARY OF STATE
  • Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, right

Officials across the U.S. are beginning to respond to a request from a presidential commission claiming to investigate voter fraud. Louisiana's Secretary of State Tom Schedler and attorneys working with the office are reviewing the contents of the letter — which requests large, detailed blocks of voter information, including the last four digits of social security numbers, addresses, and dates of birth.

In Mississippi, Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann says he has yet to receive the letter — but if or when he does receive it, "They can go jump in the Gulf of Mexico and Mississippi is a great State to launch from," he said in a statement.

"Mississippi residents should celebrate Independence Day and our State’s right to protect the privacy of our citizens by conducting our own electoral processes," he said.

Read his full statement below.

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Louisiana Sec. of State reviewing voter data request from Trump administration

Posted By on Fri, Jun 30, 2017 at 1:05 PM

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A presidential commission purporting to investigate voter fraud sent letters this week to all secretaries of state asking for a detailed list of voter information. As Gambit reported yesterday, Louisiana Secretary of State Tom Schedler's office received the letter June 28, and the office's staff and attorneys were beginning to review the letter and its demands. In a follow-up statement sent June 30, Press Secretary Meg Casper Sunstrom said the office will review the letter to determine the office's response.

"We have received the letter and are reviewing with staff and our attorneys to determine our response," Sunstrom said in email to Gambit June 30. "Our priority, as we've demonstrated in the past, will always be to protect voter's protected, personal information. This includes social security numbers, mother's maiden name and date of birth. As you know, voter lists are publicly available but only include limited information including voter history. Voter history is NOT how a voter cast their ballot, it's whether they participated."

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Thursday, June 29, 2017

Trump commission asking for state voter information, Louisiana still reviewing

Posted By on Thu, Jun 29, 2017 at 6:10 PM

reccomendations.jpg

Louisiana Secretary of State Tom Schedler’s office received a letter June 28 from President Donald Trump’s Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, asking for voter names, addresses, party affiliation, dates of birth, the last four digits of social security numbers, and voter history since 2006. The letter from commission Vice Chair Kris Kobach was sent to all 50 states to identify policies that “enhance or undermine the American people’s confidence in the integrity of federal election processes.” The information will be made publicly available.

Meg Casper Sunstrom, Press Secretary for Louisiana's Secretary of State, told Gambit June 29 that the office had not yet reviewed the letter with staff and attorneys.

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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Landrieu discusses Affordable Care Act, Trump, presidential ambitions in POLITICO podcast

Posted By on Tue, Jun 27, 2017 at 4:34 PM

Mayor Mitch Landrieu. - CREATIVE COMMONS/NICK PRETE
  • CREATIVE COMMONS/NICK PRETE
  • Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu, who was in Miami last week to assume the presidency of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, gave a half-hour interview to "Off Message," a podcast produced by POLITICO.  The POLITICO's Isaac Dovere begins the interview with the question "Should we call you Mr. President now?" to which Landrieu laughs and says, "I'm happy to be president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors."

The interview's entire first half rehashes the flap over the recent Confederate monument removal and Landrieu's much-lauded speech as the Robert E. Lee statue was removed — which some have speculated was really an address to a national audience by a term-limited and ambitious mayor. "I was really speaking to New Orleans and the historical record," Landrieu insisted, adding, "a mayor spoke — and a country listened."


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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Congressional Black Caucus, led by U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond, declines Trump's request for meeting

Posted By on Wed, Jun 21, 2017 at 6:17 PM

The executive board of the Congressional Black Caucus meeting with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office in March. The group now has formally rejected a Trump administration request for another meeting. - THE WHITE HOUSE/BENJAMIN APPLEBAUM
  • THE WHITE HOUSE/BENJAMIN APPLEBAUM
  • The executive board of the Congressional Black Caucus meeting with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office in March. The group now has formally rejected a Trump administration request for another meeting.

The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), a group of 49 lawmakers led by New Orleans-area U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond, today formally rejected a 12-day-old request from President Donald Trump to meet with the president.

According to POLITICO:
Lawmakers in the 49-member group each received an invitation last week from Omarosa Manigault, the-reality-TV-star-turned-White-House-aide who has pitched herself as an unofficial liaison to the CBC.

“As requested by the president, we would like to schedule a follow-up meeting with the entire membership of the Congressional Black Caucus to discuss issues pertinent to your members,” Manigault wrote in the invitation, obtained by POLITICO.

But multiple CBC members said they were put off that she signed the invitation as “the Honorable Omarosa Manigault,” saying she hasn’t earned that title nor has she helped raise the profile of CBC issues within the White House as promised.

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Monday, June 19, 2017

As Senate quietly drafts health care bill, Louisiana senators remain mum on its contents

Posted By on Mon, Jun 19, 2017 at 5:00 PM

U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy at a February town hall, where constituents peppered him with questions on health care. - CHERYL GERBER
  • CHERYL GERBER
  • U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy at a February town hall, where constituents peppered him with questions on health care.

In March, a group of doctors and nurses — some in scrubs and lab coats — second-lined their way down Basin Street, rallying behind the imperiled Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. There were demonstrations at congressional offices and die-ins; many citizens came forward to tell their personal health stories and explain their opposition to the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the legislation meant to repeal Obamacare that passed the House May 4.

In recent weeks, and as the bill has passed to the Senate for revision and consideration, the ruckus has died down somewhat. But it's not because lawmakers have crafted a bill that appeases the public. Rather, the Senate has offered an unusual lack of information about the drafting of the bill, in a process some observers think was designed to chill public outcry. To date, no public hearings on the bill have been held or scheduled, and as reported by The New York Times, CNN and Vox, even some Republican senators aren't sure what's in it.

Speaking to CNN, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) expressed her confusion — and frustration.

"I have no idea if we even have a bill," she said. "I learned more from you all in this conversation that there may have, in fact, have been [a draft bill] submitted to CBO (Congressional Budget Office), but if that's the case, I don't know what it is nor what it says."

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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Editorial: Trump and London — no way to treat a friend

Posted By on Wed, Jun 7, 2017 at 12:57 PM

London Mayor Sadiq Khan (center) at a vigil for victims of the London Bridge bombing June 3. - GARRY KNIGHT/CREATIVE COMMONS
  • GARRY KNIGHT/CREATIVE COMMONS
  • London Mayor Sadiq Khan (center) at a vigil for victims of the London Bridge bombing June 3.

On June 3, when seven people in England were killed in a terrorist attack on and around London Bridge, New Orleans saw a mass shooting on Tulane Avenue that killed three people and injured two others. The shooting total for that day around our city: 13 people. Now imagine if the Prime Minister of England had used that example of local bloodshed as a pretext to call out Mayor Mitch Landrieu for America’s rate of gun violence.

That’s pretty much when President Donald Trump did to London Mayor Sadiq Khan after the London Bridge attack. While most of the rest of the world (including Gov. John Bel Edwards, Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser and Landrieu) expressed sympathy and support for England, Trump tweeted, “At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is ‘no reason to be alarmed!’”

Actually, Khan had said Britons had “no reason to be alarmed” if they saw extra security presence on the streets in coming days, but Trump — in advance of a planned state visit to England — doubled down, calling Khan’s explanation a “pathetic excuse.”

Is that the way America treats an ally and friend who has experienced a misfortune?

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Thursday, June 1, 2017

Louisiana officials react to Trump's withdrawal from climate agreement

Posted By on Thu, Jun 1, 2017 at 5:53 PM

A March for Science in New Orleans on April 22 brought attention to climate change and other environmental and health issues. - PHOTO BY KAT STROMQUIST
  • PHOTO BY KAT STROMQUIST
  • A March for Science in New Orleans on April 22 brought attention to climate change and other environmental and health issues.

As Louisiana and coastal states prepare for the first day of the Atlantic hurricane season, President Donald Trump announced plans to withdraw the U.S. pledge to reduce emissions under the international Paris climate accord. Paricipating countries under the agreement — which President Barack Obama joined in 2015 along with dozens other countries — have committed to lowering emissions to shrink the global footprint on climate change.

It's another potential blow to the future of Louisiana's coast following Trump's proposed 2018 budget. Trump — who has said global warming "was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive" — glimpsed potentially devastating rollbacks to Louisiana coastal protections in his budget plans, revealed last month.

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