Search This Blog


Gubernatorial campaign moves already on display

The game is afoot for governor, Republican Treas. John Schroder let the attentive public know after GOP Atty. Gen. Jeff Landry formally entered the race.

Schroder, who at the beginning of the year said he would be in with a formal announcement some time in the future, yesterday proclaimed that in the more than 30 state trust funds over which he has control he would drop investment firm BlackRock products over the next three months. He said he would divest around $800 million worth because of the company’s outspoken support of investment goals that include discriminating against corporations in the fossil fuel sector, noting that introducing politicized investment objectives interferes with a fiduciary responsibility to maximize the value of state deposits on behalf of its citizens.

The announcement was very welcome, if not long overdue. Almost a year ago West Virginia made the same move, adding that BlackRock’s problematic Chinese holdings contributed to the decision, and like Louisiana is a part of a coalition of states that pledged to investigate investment firms that practiced viewpoint discrimination. That move came about a month after the pledge, with its subject matter Schroder saying back then he would review and take action.


Favorite Landry's entry puts race into full swing

He fell a few months short of the coyness record, but the favorite for assuming Louisiana’s governorship in 2024 finally made it official, refreshing the contest’s dynamics.

Republican Atty. Gen Jeff Landry today joined fellow GOP members Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser and Treas. John Schroder in the field in what already has turned as the highest-profile clash of statewide elected officials in the state’s history: never have three of the five currently elected top officers of the state contested for the state’s top job. Ever since winning reelection in 2019, widespread speculation had Landry running, who did nothing to discourage that, and with one of his chief deputies declaring months ago for his job, his entrance was inevitable. However, he didn’t come close to Republican former Gov. Bobby Jindal’s marathon of waiting until a mere three months prior to the election, months after Democrat former Gov. Kathleen Blanco announced she wouldn’t run for reelection, to make it official.

No matter, as in the case of Jindal grass hasn’t grown under Landry’s feet either in the interim. As of year’s beginning, he had raised more money than either of the other two, both directly and indirectly and likely has distanced himself further since. Moreover, compared to the other two Landry has had much greater opportunity to place himself in the public consciousness by virtue of his position. Here and there an issue has come up for Nungesser and Schroder that they could leverage to publicize their credentials for higher office, but Landry has capitalized on an avalanche of these, chiefly because he had the bad political fortune but good electoral fortune of having Democrat John Bel Edwards in office during his entire tenure, piled on by Democrat Pres. Joe Biden assuming office in 2021. Both have engaged in policy-making, often overstepping their bounds, inimical to Landry’s solid conservatism that has given him plenty of opportunities as the state’s chief legal officer to dispute judicially, and that often has led to victory.


We don't need to care about no LA Senate debate

The Council for a Better Louisiana’s head hit the nail on the head about why it’s unlikely there will be any televised candidate forum — often imprecisely called a “debate” — for this fall’s Louisiana Senate race. And it doesn’t matter.

CABL has tried to sponsor one — the way it works legally is some organization puts one together and then news outlets can “cover” it as a news event — with the three candidates likely to receive more than a couple percentage points of the vote: incumbent Republican Sen. John Kennedy, Democrat community organizer and past congressional candidate Gary Chambers, and Democrat pilot Luke Mixon. It even had a date set, Oct. 20.

However, it won’t happen because Kennedy’s campaign won’t commit exactly then. That’s completely understandable from a strategic standpoint. A heavy favorite in part because of high popular approval, someone in Kennedy’s position has everything to lose and nothing to gain by participation, while his opponents operate under the reverse dynamic. Even allowing them to appear on the same stage elevates their status comparatively, which an overwhelming favorite wouldn’t want to encourage.


Reject most LA Nov. 8 constitutional amendments

Louisianans face a mixed bag of constitutional amendments coming up on Nov. 8 that mostly deserve rejection.

Amendment #1 – would allow an increase to 65 percent from 35 percent in most cases the proportion of money in equities that seven trust funds worth $3.4 billion at present may invest. The state historically has engaged sober-minded firms to advise here, so this change should increase the overall levels of these over time without undue risk. YES.

Amendment #2 – would expand the property tax exemption for totally disabled veterans and to those partially disabled and surviving spouses. Disabled veterans already enjoy the most generous exemption in a system riddled with all kinds whose exceptions erode more and more local government tax bases. This is an issue that local voters should decide and not have imposed on a statewide basis. NO.


BC quality-of-life: pay for parking at your arena

Of the many questions Bossier City councilors have failed to ask during its budgeting process, certainly now the most public has become the decision to charge $12 event parking at the money-losing Brookshire Grocery Arena and the disposition of those dollars.

This week, the Council will have introduced its 2023 budget ordinances, due for final passage two weeks after that. The salient theme has been a significant increase in group insurance costs without, excepting the Department of Parks and Recreation and legally-mandated increases for public safety personnel with at least three years on the job, allowing for a salary increase for city employees it might afford otherwise if not so indebted.

From the city’s end, the introduced ordinances offered, in all but a few instances, two to three percent reductions in group insurance from numbers floated at the budget workshop in early September. However, these savings didn’t translate into salary boosts with that instead spread to other kinds of spending.