Columns

Volatile issues defined session, more could follow

BATON ROUGE — Some folks around the State Capitol still remember when former Sen. J.E. Jumonville, a Ventress Democrat, ripped off one of his boots and threw it at the Senate clock in an effort to stop time and prolong debate. That was during the final leg of Gov. John McKeithen’s reign in the early 70s, when lawmakers were known to kick back a few adult beverages from their respective chambers, burn the midnight oil and get rowdy. […]

Columns

Inside Baton Rouge

BATON ROUGE — First there was a state-sponsored 30-member board to oversee hurricane recovery efforts. Then came another 19-member panel to regulate revamped building codes, and a slew of inspectors will need to be hired just to carry out its mandates. An 11-member consolidated levee district with some form of jurisdiction over southeast Louisiana could soon follow, as could a new undersecretary of transportation, complete with staff, to manage statewide flood control. […]

Columns

A change is underway

Management program transforming government

BATON ROUGE — Whether you’re a good government egghead or a cynical crackpot, it’s difficult to find fault with making government more responsive, less bureaucratic and increasingly adept. But to make it all happen, to eclipse antiquated systems and bury the fabled good-ol’-boy network, a process must be undertaken that is easier preached than carried out. […]

Columns

Insurance issues swamping hurricane victims

Profits come before customers, say some
BATON ROUGE — Only during this period of Louisiana’s long history would Al Trautman be able to tell his story with little or no shock value.

People listen to his tale out of kindness, mind you, but it’s a yarn they’ve heard repeated all so often since last fall. You see, Trautman can actually stand in his bedroom and enjoy a panoramic view of his backyard. […]