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It’s getting close to redistricting time for legislators in Louisiana. By federal law, all election districts must be reapportioned every 10 years to reflect the latest census figures. But should legislators, who have a vested interest in how the redistricting lines are drawn, actually do th…

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It’s getting close to redistricting time for legislators in Louisiana. By federal law, all election districts must be reapportioned every 10 years to reflect the latest census figures. But should legislators, who have a vested interest in how the redistricting lines are drawn, actually do th…

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In January 1848, Seargent S. Prentiss – a Maine native, who practiced law in Natchez and Vicksburg before relocating to New Orleans – was challenged to a duel by the grandson of Henry Clay, the revered orator and statesman from Kentucky. Clay served three terms as U.S. Speaker of the House y…

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Down here in south Louisiana, where politics and football are too easily labeled as theater and where forgotten pirates and fallen pastors maintain high regards, the weather is a staple character of life.

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In 1811, two prominent Mississippi Territory citizens met on the dueling grounds of Concordia Parish -- George Poindexter, age 32, a lawyer and politician, and Abijah Hunt, age 58, possibly the richest man in the region.

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Last week’s Louisiana Supreme Court ruling curtailing immunity for judges sent shock waves through legal circles, particularly the judiciary. And rightfully so.

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On one side of the ballot, prognosticators and at least one poll are predicting that young voters will cast a long shadow over next year’s top tier federal elections, when President Donald Trump will stand for re-election. Closer to home, reporters and consultants have identified an unmistak…

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Captain Winfield Scott despised U.S. General James Wilkinson. When Scott came to Natchez with the U.S. Army in 1809, he insulted Wilkinson. Scott’s comments led to a court-martial and later a duel that played out along the Mississippi River at Vidalia.

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Editor’s Note: This column, which earned Sam Hanna Jr. a first place award for best regular column in the Louisiana Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest, was first published the week of April 2, 2018.

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Huey Long would have been right in the middle of the current presidential election if he were still alive. He began a legacy of a long list of Louisiana politicians who had national aspirations. Later governors John McKeithen, Edwin Edwards, Buddy Roemer and Bobby Jindal all fell by the ways…

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Louisiana’s business voice, LABI, as well as the Louisiana Insurance Department each took a huge hit in the waning days of the recent legislative session. LABI, with the full support of Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon, pegged legislation to supposedly reduce insurance rates in the state a…

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Just when it appeared the regular legislative session would come to a close last week amid little fanfare, along came what’s been dubbed the largest highway construction bill in a generation.

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We should have known, back during the first week of April, that this was going to be different kind of regular session.

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Whether school teachers and support personnel get a one-time or permanent pay raise appears to be the primary wedge dividing the House and Senate as the 2019 regular legislative session winds down.

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Congress isn’t accomplishing much lately, but Senate Republicans deserve credit for one thing they aren’t doing: Restoring the practice of earmarks. The Senate Republican conference on Thursday adopted a permanent ban on such parochial handouts, an effort led by Nebraska’s Ben Sasse.

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Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise says he is still struggling over whether to forgive the man wo shot him two years ago. “I’ve never, internally, formally forgiven the shooter from the baseball shooting,” he said. “It’s something I’ve struggled with as a Catholic.”

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By the early 1800s in the South, the construction and operation of sawmills helped provide stability to a frontier environment that was becoming more civilized.

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President Donald Trump’s promise of new I-10 bridge sort of stole the show when he visited Lake Charles last week. But several other stories, smaller in scope but just as politically interesting, have also bubbled up in the wake of Trump’s most recent swing through Louisiana.

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In 1798 when Congress formed the Mississippi Territory, the headquarters of this new territorial government was located in Natchez, which was separated from its nearest U.S. neighbor -- the state of Tennessee -- by a vast wilderness.

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Roughly three years ago, newly minted Gov. John Bel Edwards, a populist Democrat, convinced a Republican-controlled Louisiana Legislature to approve a new one-cent sales tax to pull the state out of a fiscal ditch.

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House Appropriations Chairman Cameron Henry turned heads last week when he pushed the state budget bill through the lower chamber and sent it to the Senate for further consideration. Legislatively, it was a notable feat, but what Henry suggested about the politics of the session was somethin…

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Methodist preachers traveling the Natchez Trace during the early 1800s almost always traveled in groups of three to five, relying on the safety of numbers.

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"The remarkable tenacity of the people here to their homes is beyond all comprehension," wrote a reporter for the News Orleans Times-Democrat on Saturday, March 25, 1882.

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If there’s anything senators like discussing more than politics, it’s themselves. That became evident last week when the Senate and Governmental Affairs Committee debated a resolution to create a special designation for former senators.

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With the water rising during the Great Flood of 1882, the steamboat Susie chugged up the Black River loaded with rations for flood victims and forage for their livestock.

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It has been nearly a year since I was sitting across from Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser, interviewing him for an episode of “Capitol Gains,” when he said something that genuinely surprised me. The show is our online video series over at LaPolitics.com, and Nungesser, a Republican, was doing his b…

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With the comeback in financial markets this year, we probably should have seen it coming. But the headline rebound in first quarter growth to 3.2% reported Friday is still a pleasant surprise that shows again that the U.S. economy is remarkably resilient when government doesn’t get in the way.

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The state House of Representatives killed legislation Tuesday that would have shed some sunlight on ethically challenged judges.

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There are two words that can be uttered inside the Capitol’s marbled walls that are capable of instantly capture the attention of any of its inhabitants: John Alario.

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The Easter Sunday slaughter of Christians in Sri Lanka is a jolting reminder that killers motivated by religious animus continue to be a threat to innocents around the world. Large-scale terror attacks outside the Middle East have been fewer in recent months, but that is due more to the West…

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In 2019, floodwaters once again pose a problem for those who live in the Mississippi River Valley. This is not a new problem and it’s not one that will ever go away.

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In 1803, during his first visit, Lorenzo Dow moved through Mississippi Territory like a whirlwind. Young, spiritually on fire and eccentric, his preaching was the most moving and powerful ever witnessed in Natchez country or across the river in Louisiana Territory.In 1804, at his urging, his…

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A year ago, state Sen. JP Morrell offered a bill to require unanimous jury convictions in Louisiana. When it came to criminal law, Louisiana was an outlier. Every other state but Oregon required jurors to all agree before shipping someone off to jail.

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For Christian believers, the Easter Story is no story at all. It’s a reality of transcendent and eternal proportions.

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Much has been made about the 90-day fundraising ban that Gov. John Bel Edwards has been saddled with during and after the ongoing regular session, but very little attention has been given to the backup fundraising structure that has been established to support the incumbent’s bid.

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