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New Orleans Attorney Profiles 2015
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U.S. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise tells supporters he has votes to win election Thursday as majority leader

. Washington – U.S. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, of Jefferson, told his supporters in a conference call Sunday evening that he has enough pledged votes from House Republicans to move up a slot in leadership to majority leader, the No. 2 post in the ruling House hierarchy, according to a source close to Scalise. If successful, Scalise,… Continue reading →

In Louisiana governor's race, critics say candidates’ transportation plans are short on specifics

John Bel Edwards furnished 092415

Despite prodding by advocacy groups, the four major candidates for governor have declined to offer any sweeping plans for solving road and bridge problems in Louisiana. All four of the contenders acknowledge the problem is huge, critics say, but they have not said what they plan to do if elected governor. “You don’t hear them… Continue reading →

Louisiana voter demographic continues to shift; more now choosing to be unaligned with major political parties

More African-Americans, more women, more of the elderly and fewer Democrats are eligible to vote later this month than in the last governor’s race. The number of black registrants has increased 5 percent to more than 905,000 compared to about 860,000 in 2011, while white voters remain about 64 percent of total registered… Continue reading →

Majority of state House, Senate face no challenge

Advocate staff photo by Travis Spradling -- The Louisiana State Capitol

A majority of the Louisiana House and Senate has been re-elected without opposition. State Rep. Johnny Guinn’s opponent dropped from the race, according to the election’s website. That made Guinn the 53rd out of 105 House members returning for another term unopposed. Guinn is a Republican from Jennings, representing House District 37. Daniel Ray Rutledge Jr.,… Continue reading →

Battle between business interests, trial lawyers part of Louisiana governor’s race

After years of skirmishes, the long-running battle in Louisiana between business interests and trial lawyers has burst into the open and is playing a central, if little-noted, role in this year’s gubernatorial and legislative campaigns. The dispute centers on the push by business interests to limit lawsuits that business leaders say discourage investment and… Continue reading →

Scalise vies for House leadership post

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of La., center, leaves the offices of Speaker of the House John Boehner shortly before the House approved a stopgap spending bill to keep the federal government open, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2015, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Just hours before a midnight deadline, a bitterly divided Congress approved the stopgap spending bill to keep the federal government open, but with no assurance there won't be yet another shutdown showdown in December.  (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Still short of his 50th birthday and just seven years after his election to Congress, Louisiana’s U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise stands on the verge of assuming the second most powerful position in the House of Representatives: majority leader. But a contentious vote on the U.S. House floor last week illustrates the difficulties the… Continue reading →

Poll: Two-thirds of Louisiana voters oppose removing Confederate monuments

The statue of Confederate Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard, recently spray-painted with the slogan "Black Lives Matter," stands in New Orleans on Sunday, June 28, 2015. The spray painting comes in the wake of a national movement to have Confederate flags and monuments removed from public places because they evoke racism. Beauregard gave the orders to fire on Fort Sumter in South Carolina. (Eliot Kamenitz/The Advocate via AP)

Though deeply divided along racial lines, about two-thirds of Louisiana’s voters oppose removing monuments and place names that honor Confederate leaders and soldiers, according to a statewide survey. The New Orleans City Council is expected to vote soon on removing four monuments that remember leaders who fought a war to keep slavery and a short… Continue reading →

WDSU defends handling of Louisiana governor's debate following criticism on social media but second-guesses one issue

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--WDSU Anchor Scott Walker, left, shakes hands with gubernatorial candidate Sen. David Vitter, R-La., next to State Rep. John Bel Edwards, D-Baton Rouge, Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, andLouisiana Public Service Commissioner, Dist. 2., Scott Angelle, after they took part in a debate at New Orleans NBC affiliate WDSU in New Orleans, La. Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015.

WDSU’s news director on Friday defended the station’s handling Thursday night of the first televised debate featuring the four major gubernatorial candidates, following a torrent of criticism on social media and blogs during and after the hourlong event. Jonathan Shelley, the news director at the NBC affiliate in New Orleans, did admit to second-guessing the lack of… Continue reading →

Despite positive evaluations, most state employees did not get their Oct. 1 pay raises

More than 35,000 of Louisiana’s rank-and-file classified employees received their favorable evaluations, but they’re not getting their pay raises. Officials at most state government agencies say they don’t have the money and would have to lay off employees to grant the 4 percent salary increases. The pay bumps were scheduled to take place Oct. 1, but… Continue reading →

State Capitol bollards damage staff attorney's Jeep; security device has damaged 15 vehicles this year

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Security bollards are a part of the new Capitol parking system...lowering when a car with a valid permit is scanned and rising again after the vehicle has moved past. Several accidents involving the security barriers have occurred since the start of the Legislative session.

It’s happened again. The security bollards at the State Capitol claimed another vehicle — the 15th incident of record. The wreck occurred early Thursday evening as Louisiana Senate staff attorney Martha Hess was leaving the Capitol parking lot, State Police Lt. J.B. Slaton said. Slaton said the accident report had not been filed by public… Continue reading →

In poll of Louisiana voters, Edwin Edwards gets nod as best governor, 42 percent say Bobby Jindal the worst

He may be a rascal, but Louisiana voters — at least a plurality of them — think Edwin W. Edwards was the state’s best governor. And the worst? The survey says: Gov. Bobby Jindal. “What something like this is intended to do,” pollster Ron Faucheux said, “is to kind of provide a rough indication… Continue reading →

'Win-win' or 'heartless'? New state Food Stamp policy means 64,000 must find work or be booted from program

DCFS Secretary Suzy Sonnier

A change in state policy could result in 64,000 Louisiana residents losing their food stamp benefits — nearly one-third of them in Mid-City New Orleans, northern neighborhoods in East Baton Rouge Parish and western areas of Jefferson Parish. The individuals must find part-time work or be involved in workforce training by Jan. 1, otherwise they will be… Continue reading →

Debate: GOP foes balk as David Vitter says he's the true conservative; John Bel Edwards says he differs with national Democrats

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--WDSU news director Jonathan Shelley, left, talks to gubernatorial candidates including Rev. Jeremy Odom, second left, Louisiana Public Service Commissioner, Dist. 2., Scott Angelle, State Rep. John Bel Edwards, D-Baton Rouge, Sen. David Vitter, R-La., Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, and attorney Cary Deaton, before they  take part in a debate at New Orleans NBC affiliate WDSU in New Orleans, La. Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015.

U.S. Sen. David Vitter aggressively portrayed himself as the true conservative Thursday night during the first televised debate featuring the four major gubernatorial candidates, but his two Republican rivals challenged his claims, with Lt. Gov. Dardenne at one point calling Vitter a “liar” and Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle calling him “Senator Pinocchio.” Vitter highlighted… Continue reading →

Louisiana treasurer refuses to transfer funds to help balance budget, says not enough money to go around

Advocate Photo by MARK BALLARD -- State Treasurer John Kennedy.

The state treasurer refused to move money from various funds to help balance the budget, saying the promised money just isn’t there. “They estimated $12 million that would come in, that didn’t come in.” said State Treasurer John N. Kennedy. Therefore, Kennedy said he was unable to transfer monies needed to cover spending for the fiscal… Continue reading →

Today's Rundown: Louisiana gubernatorial candidates debate Thursday; Bobby Jindal’s campaign isn’t happy with next debate criteria

. Today in The Rundown: Poll results in the presidential race; Louisiana gubernatorial candidates debate tonight; Jindal’s campaign isn’t happy with the next debate criteria; and much more Coming this week: More results from our independent poll conducted by Ron Faucheux of Clarus. Topics later this week will include what voters think about past Louisiana governors and Confederate… Continue reading →

Poll: In Bobby Jindal vs. Hillary Clinton, Louisiana voters say they want the Democrat

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and Hillary Clinton

Louisiana voters would pick Democrat Hillary Clinton over Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal to be the next president, a new poll finds — just four years after Jindal sailed to a landslide gubernatorial victory. Louisiana has not voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since 1996, but the latest poll from The Advocate/WWL-TV found Jindal also is viewed… Continue reading →

Candidates for Baton Rouge BESE slot air views on Common Core, suspensions and closing schools

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Ascension Parish educator Kathy Edmonston during a candidate forum for the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education seat currently held by Chas Roemer, Wednesday, September 30, 2015, at Woodlawn High School in Baton Rouge.

Standardized testing, out-of-school suspensions and closing troubled public schools all came under fire Wednesday night during a forum in the race for an open seat on Louisiana’s top school board. The contest is for the Baton Rouge-based District 6 slot on the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education held by Chas Roemer, who opted not to… Continue reading →

Louisiana State Senator Karen Carter Peterson among lawmakers who met with President Obama on Wednesday

. Louisiana state Sen. Karen Carter Peterson was among the group of state lawmakers from across the country who met with President Barack Obama at the White House on Wednesday. A White House pool report lists the New Orleans Democrat and chairwoman of the state Democratic Party as one of about 53 legislators who took part… Continue reading →

Replay top moments from Thursday's Louisiana governor debate

Louisiana gubernatorial candidates speak at the Southeast Super Region Committee Gubernatorial Forum in New Orleans, Friday, Sept. 4, 2015. Left to right are Louisiana Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle, Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, Sen. David Vitter, R-La., and state Rep. John Bel Edwards, D-72nd Dist. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

WDSU hosts the first debate in the Louisiana governor’s race Thursday night. Here’s what you need to know: Time: The debate kicks off at 6 p.m. at WDSU’s studio in New Orleans. Watch: The debate will air live on WDSU television in New Orleans and on Louisiana Public Broadcasting will air the debate state-wide three… Continue reading →

Report: LSU’s Pennington Center the top recipient of Coca-Cola health-related research grants since 2010

LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center found itself in the cross-hairs in an ongoing ethical debate in August when The New York Times raised questions about the relationship between Coca-Cola and obesity research it has funded — including a study at Pennington in Baton Rouge. Last week, when Coca-Cola recently released a Continue reading →

Two ex-Louisiana auditors face ethics charges alleging misuse of public funds for events like Mardi Gras, NBA All-Star game

Two former Department of Children & Family Services auditors joined their boss in facing ethics charges related to the misuse of public funds. The Louisiana Board of Ethics alleges Kaneasha Goston and Corey Polk violated state law by receiving things of economic value to which they were not entitled for the performance of their jobs.… Continue reading →

The Rundown: Poll finds Louisiana voters still undecided in some races; Steve Scalise seeks No. 2 House spot

. Today in The Rundown: Poll results in the lieutenant governor and attorney general races; the state could see a large increase in how much it spends on a lawsuit over abortion restrictions; Steve Scalise continues his quest to move up the U.S. House ranks; and much more. Coming this week: More results from our independent poll conducted… Continue reading →

Poll shows high percentage of voters have made no decisions in Lt. Gov. and Attorney General races

Both of the main undercard contests for statewide office — lieutenant governor and attorney general — have clear leaders, but the high percentage of voters who are undecided means those races are up for grabs. The race for the state’s second-highest office, lieutenant governor, appears to pit the heads of local governments in the state’s… Continue reading →

Democratic governor candidate backs expanding Medicaid, GOP candidates have some conditions

State Rep. John Bel Edwards gave strong support for expanding health care to the working poor in Louisiana, while Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne offered his cautious backing, at a gubernatorial forum in New Orleans Tuesday night. Edwards, a Democrat from in Amite in Tangipahoa Parish, would expand Medicaid under the Obama administration’s health care act… Continue reading →

These 3 candidates' campaign war chests outweigh the rest in key BESE races

Advocates for the changes that have swept public schools in recent years, including Common Core, enjoy wide money leads in key races for Louisiana’s top school board. Incumbents who have huge financial advantages over their challengers are Jim Garvey, of Metairie; Holly Boffy, of Youngsville; and Kira Orange Jones, of New Orleans. All three… Continue reading →