Columns

More privacy intrusions unearthed

Every day seems to unearth more claims of unwarranted privacy intrusions upon private citizens by the National Security Administration (NSA) and the myriad other agencies and contractors that comprise its national security apparatus. Almost as soon as President Obama, members of his administration and key members of Congress deny claims of privacy violations, more evidence appears challenging the veracity of those statements. […]

Columns

Flood protection district files surprise lawsuit

In a surprise move, the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection District- East filed a lawsuit against scores of oil and gas companies to try to force them to pay what could be many billions of dollars to remediate deteriorated sections of Louisiana’s coastal wetlands. Many issues surround the suit, not the least of which is the question as to whether the district has the legal authority to go to court on this matter. […]

Columns

Property tax reform moving backwards

After Kathleen Blanco was elected governor in 2003, I had a meeting with her before her inauguration. One of the items I mentioned to her was the necessity to appoint a conscientious Louisiana Tax Commission (LTC), one that would insure that the elected assessors in the state would accurately appraise property and not play favorites with assessments. I told her that the property tax system in Louisiana was a mess and the LTC could play a key role in cleaning it up. […]

Columns

Looking back at the election from hell

Perhaps the lowest point in my career with LABI and my involvement with Louisiana politics was the infamous “Election from Hell” in 1991: Edwin Edwards versus David Duke. Throughout the month after the October primary election, media from around the world descended upon Louisiana to chronicle the race between the scandal-tainted former governor and the Grand Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. One would win and one would lose, but the real loser in this race was Louisiana’s image.

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Columns

Beware the ides of May

Three weeks are left in the 2013 regular session of the Legislature, and much water is left to run under the legislative bridge before sine die adjournment on June 6. The biggest issue left to resolve is the state budget, which has developed into a three-way tug of war between the House, the Senate and the governor. […]