Ailing municipalities in Louisiana have caught
the eye of the Legislative Auditor, but need to grab greater attention from policy-makers.
Recently, the Auditor began publicizing a list
of 18 such cities, towns, and villages. It doesn’t include a half-dozen
that already have had or will have the state take over their functions precisely
because of an inability to pay bills or to provide services. This posting reflects
number of entities that have run into trouble.
While municipalities that make the unfortunate
grade fell prey to a number of factors that put them in fiscal peril, almost
all of these are self-inflicted. The only one that isn’t, more than trivial depopulation,
among these two dozen applies in only half of the cases.
Even as Louisiana’s 2019 state elections fade
temporally, imprecise analysis continues to obscure its larger electoral
patterns and consequences.
A previous post
dispensed with the notion that Louisiana followed a supposed national trend of
suburbs indiscriminately lending support to Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards’
narrow reelection. That view presupposed that some suburbanites converted their
However, as previously noted, whatever new support
Edwards picked up came disproportionately from the changing demographic
composition of some state suburbs, almost exclusively Jefferson Parish.
Compared to other less mature suburb parishes, Jefferson had substantially higher minority population while its median household income tracked
more to the state average than the higher number seen in most other suburban
The slim hopes of Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards to
advance his agenda in a second term became even more microscopic if one media
The Baton Rouge Advocate reported that
enough votes have lined up behind Louisiana state Sen. Page Cortez to make him Senate president
for the next four years. No other independent source has confirmed this yet,
nor has Cortez himself.
If this comes to fruition, it will mark the first
instance in decades of the chamber electing its leader without gubernatorial
interference. It did, midway through Republican former Gov. Buddy
Roemer’s term, replace Roemer’s backed leader with one of its own choosing supported
by Democrat former Gov. Edwin
Edwards who would defeat Roemer two years later.
So, did Louisiana Republican Sen. John Kennedy finally
step off the ledge this time?
week, Kennedy provoked commentary on two national media appearances. In the
first, he said that the Ukraine may have sponsored hacking of former Sec. of
State Hillary Clinton campaign computers. In the second, he said he had
misunderstood the question to be one of general election interference, that he
never meant to say Ukraine backed hacking, and that he would stand by a characterization
that the Ukraine did try to interfere in that 2016 election.
This clarification brought partisan attacks from
the media, both nationally and in the state, long on assertion but short on
factual basis. In essence, meticulously compiled investigative journalism
reports which never have been refuted (although recently one of the original reporting
media outlet tried to downplay the information by relying
heavily on semantics) support Kennedy’s stance.