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Bought Edwards tries to sell out LA ratepayers

Too much political debt and enough possible upside has put Louisiana Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards on a collision course with the Republican-led Legislature that could break or keep alive his policy-maker relevance for the next three-plus years.

Edwards set up this huge rendezvous with his veto of SB 418 by Republican state Sen. Kirk Talbot. That bill would introduce a number of changes to the state’s tort law regarding vehicle accident disputes that would put the state in line with the laws in others that have far lower vehicle premium insurance rates.

In the final analysis, Edwards had to do it. With the bill having passed with two veto-proof majorities in the Senate and once with the same in the House although the other time a bit shy, it’s close enough of a margin that he might be able to avoid an override.


Propaganda turned into helpful resolution

With real life frustrating the preferred narrative of some, Louisiana legislators wisely didn’t sign on to the growing hysteria among some of their own regarding police behavior, but instead made a positive step forward.

Earlier this week, the House and Governmental Affairs Committee sent to the floor a resolution to have a House-sponsored committee study law enforcement and policing, presumably in the state. Typically, bills like HR 13 by Democrat state Rep. Ted James would zip through committee and the chamber.

It didn’t because originally in part it read like this:


Cancel culture threatens LA universities

Cancel culture is appears alive and well in Louisiana universities both public and private, calling into question whether they have a genuine commitment to nondiscrimination and free inquiry and expression.

In the north, the University of Louisiana at Monroe is investigating the social media posts of two veteran faculty members. A tenured professor, Dennis Bell, recently made social media posts about the narrative pushed by the political left in the protests over the death in police custody of alleged bad money passer George Floyd, a black man, at the hands of two white and two Asiatic officers.

Bell opined that the political left’s support of protesting of a reputed nationwide systemic police brutality against blacks – a demonstrably false proposition – was a strategy to “keep blacks on the democrat [sic] plantation.” Additionally, a longtime assistant professor, Mary Holmes, posted in a manner that implied Democrat former Pres. Barack Obama was a simian.


Get ready for new LA leftist news outlet

The political left isn’t happy about its eroding influence in Louisiana media, and has plans to fight back.

Nationally, the number of newsroom employees at newspapers has dropped a stunning 51 percent in the last decade. Increased hiring into digital platforms has curbed this a bit, although much of that went to outlets outside of newspaper publishing. Together, all newspapers have seen a roughly 40 percent drop in circulation since 2012, but only a few of the largest (with more than 200,000 Sunday circulation, a level twice that of any Louisiana paper) have been almost the only able to offset this partially with increases in digital subscriptions.

Smaller local papers have experienced the worst of this, with the highest percentage paring of newsrooms and revenue losses. They particularly have struggled to entice online readership. This means a cutback in their reporting of state and local news.


When "at least" doesn't mean "at least"

Louisiana’s elected district judges have a history of rendering poorly-reasoned decisions, and Republican 19th District Judge Chip Moore didn’t disappoint last month with his argumentation about a case dealing with the state’s unclaimed property fund.

This year and last year, Republican Sec. of State John Schroder refused to hand over to state budgeters a portion of unclaimed property funds held by the state in escrow. Traditionally, the Legislature with gubernatorial assent had grabbed a portion of these funds sitting idly, which the state doesn’t own, in order to pay for current operations.

R.S. 9:162 and R.S. 9:165 spells out the treatment of this money. The former clearly abrogates any state claim to the funds involved, with exceptions granted in the latter: diversion of a portion to fund Interstate 49 construction debt and up to seven percent of annual gross collections in administrative fees. The remainder, the latter states, the treasurer “shall promptly deposit in the Bond Security and Redemption Fund of this state all funds received” this way, except that the treasurer “shall retain in a separate trust fund at least five hundred thousand dollars from which the administrator shall pay claims duly allowed.”


LA catches break on reduced protest violence

Compared to some parts of the country, Louisiana hasn’t seen any violence (besides the fruits of what New Orleans Police Chief Shaun Ferguson terms “outside instigators”) over protests in the state against the death of alleged passer of counterfeit currency George Floyd in the custody of Minneapolis police, which has brought the arrest of two white and two Asiatic policemen. The state’s political culture and national politics explains why.

Strong Second Amendment rights. Noticeable from the start, a pattern has emerged where states with restrictive guns laws, and particularly cities with these, are more likely to have protests turn to violence. The simple logic here (which too often even is beyond the brainpower of gun control advocates) is that the greater the ability to arm oneself to protect self, family, and property, the less chance someone will threaten those objects with violence. Louisiana has some of the best Second Amendment protections in the country and ones that local governments can’t override. Protesters know this and thereby don’t know that nobody’s health, home, or business they threaten with violence will be met with a defense of people and property by force of arms.

Policy-maker sympathy with radical policy goals of protesters/rioters. While some have spoken in ways that egg on mischief makers, with the exception of Democrat New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell (and perhaps not coincidentally New Orleans has seen the only instances of violence), politicians in Louisiana have restrained from publicly signing on to police defunding, belief in institutionalized police racist activity, and removing law enforcement from areas where rioting could occur, among others. Those places have seen violence, sometimes extensive, break out.