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It’s no big secret that the Louisiana Legislature has been undergoing significant changes over the last few election cycles, and that both the House and Senate have been in a constant state of transition. Few political observers, however, recognize that the transition will conclude with the …

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Supreme Court Justice Jeff Hughes’ handling of a couple of child custody cases when he was a district court judge in Livingston Parish almost 20 years ago prompted The (Baton Rouge) Advocate to take a deep dive into why Hughes’ actions were kept secret from the public.

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“If you go into the Northern States,” exclaimed prosecuting attorney Ben Hardin in a Kentucky courtroom in 1839, “it is a rare thing if you can find a man in ten thousand with a deadly weapon on his person. Go into other states that shall be nameless, and you will hear of them as often as of…

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Lobbyists, candidates, incumbents and consultants have been on pins and needles this week. They’re ready for qualifying to come and go, for the sign-up process for elections brings with it some certainty.

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All credit goes to state Rep. Sam Jones, who probably stole it from someone else before I stole it from him and made it a staple of LaPolitics’ annual election reporting.

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Republican gubernatorial candidate Eddie Rispone has quashed any doubts that he would actually spend a sizable share of the more than $10 million of his own money that he’s already pumped into his campaign for governor.

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Until December 15, 1838, Edward Wilkinson’s life had been bright and promising. He was in Louisville, Kentucky, getting ready to marry the love of his life when an argument over a suit of clothes led to a deadly brawl at the Galt House hotel. The bloody event turned his life upside down.

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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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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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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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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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