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Columnist critique of rival newspaper overblown

Looks like a little counting of coup has broken out concerning Louisiana’s top two newspapers over Prisoner #03128-095, now known as Democrat former Gov. Edwin Edwards.

Next week he will celebrate his 90th birthday, and a number of overenthusiastic well-wishers will pony up big bucks to honor him. Headlined by admirer-in-chief Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards, donors include John Georges, former Democrat candidate for New Orleans mayor and no-party candidate for governor who now owns The Baton Rouge Advocate.

This raised the hackles of New Orleans Times-Picayune/ columnist Tim Morris, who wondered why a sitting governor should laud a convicted predecessor. He also questioned Georges’ explanation of his link the event, as Georges said he personally paid for his portion but put the newspaper’s name on it to generate publicity, and understood it was a charity event. Morris noted the prominence of The Advocate’s logo on the official website for the occasion, and that the event appeared to support no identified charitable purpose.


Defunding superior option to Cassidy overhaul

Another attempt, another stalled action to pare the bad aspects of the misnamed Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”). Where does that leave Louisianans and what does Sen. Bill Cassidy have to offer about this?

As to the first question, if you’re a more productive member of society, in a bad place. Keep in mind the law does little to improve health care access for the population as a whole, mainly achieving dramatic wealth redistribution. For Louisianans, health care insurance premiums for Affordable Care Act-compliant plans have increased on average between 10 percent to 20 percent in 2015; 6 percent to 30 percent in 2016; 23 percent to 41 percent in 2017; and scheduled for 2018 in a range from 12 percent to 36 percent.

In other words, in the worst of all scenarios, the law has helped triple non-group rates in Louisiana. Nationally, the average increase from 2013 to 2017 was 60 percent, well beyond the pace of medical inflation.


Offer shows merit of Shreveport water privatization

Maybe Shreveport should take a quick peek around the horse’s mouth on a deal that saves it hundreds of millions of dollars, and take this very seriously.

A local lawyer representing SUEZ’s North American operations pitched an idea to city government that the company would buy Shreveport’s water and sewerage operations for $508 million. SUEZ, a French corporation that also deals in environmental and energy matters, contracts for operation in or outright owns and runs about 100 municipal systems in America, making it the second largest firm doing that.

A deal like this would create a windfall for the city. Recent years have seen dramatic rate hikes endured by Shreveport consumers to pay for hundreds of millions of dollars in improvements mandated by the federal government. Not only would this relieve the city of this burden, it also could save money by Shreveport not having to run water and sewerage operations and this puts a lot of money into its coffers for other capital improvement needs.


Raising minimum wage subverts intended purpose

An outstanding argument against raising the minimum wage was delivered by one of its recipients, underscoring that this increase should not happen in Louisiana.

The Advocate recently asked Gov. John Bel Edwards about whether he still champions the idea of the state adopting a law moving Louisiana higher than the federal level of $7.25 an hour. Through a spokesman, he confirmed he did.

For the story’s introductory material, it gave comments rendered by a woman who apparently once had worked for some time at minimum wage. At age 27, she had two children and tried to go to community college while working at that wage. She eventually had to quit attending and picked up an additional job. Apparently, she has moved on to a more prosperous station in life since.