Politics in Louisiana & New Orleans politics is the subject of this web page. Politics at both the Louisiana state level and the New Orleans city level were greatly influenced by the tragic hurricane Katrina event in 2005 and the reaction of elected officials to it. Louisiana Politics has also been greatly affected by the on-going fierce struggle in national politics between conservstives and liberals. Louisiana has become an extremely conservative state (red state!)
For a discussion of the ongoing national struggle between conservatives and liberals, see (conservatism vs. liberalism). Yes, the liberals and conservatives are now at each other's throats in Louisiana although the state was long a bastion of populism and was not as strong on the conservative - liberal debate as in other states. That is changing rapidly now and the state is strongly in the conservative camp. Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, Conservatives, the Tea Party, and the Republicans can do no wrong in Louisiana.
Importance of Louisiana. Although the state is at or near the bottom of lists which rank states on various factors, we had a lot to offer before Hurricane Katrina: There was the French Quarter, Mardi Gras, Jazz Fest, and some of the best food in the world: gumbo, oyster and shrimp po-boys, boiled crawfish, Natchitoches meat pies, pralines and Mardi Gras king cakes. New Orleans coffee was the best coffee in the nation.
In addition to its fine food, New Orleans is famous for its football team (New Orleans Saints - 2010 Super Bowl Champs) and music. With football and music, of course, goes tremendous consumption of beer and wines. Yes, we were truly the city that care forgot.
All the above changed temporarily with the hurricane of 2005 (Katrina)when 80% of the city flooded, but things have rapidly returned to normal.
New Orleans-Doomed City. New Orleans is one of the world's great cities, but, eventually, a doomed city because it was built on swamp land that now lies, sometimes, as much as 10 feet below sea level.
Louisiana Politics has had its share of celebrities in the past. There was, of course, Governor/Senator Huey Long, Governor Earl Long, Senator Russell Long, Governor Edwin Edwards and, of course, David Duke. Louisiana's leading political figures of the present era are listed (and ranked) below:
1. Governor Bobby Jindal - Louisiana politics' wonder boy (Republican). Will he show his alleged true genius and get something going for the state or will he continue to march lock-step with the national tea party conservatives and let opportunities in Louisiana slip away? So far, his efforts have been fairly well received by the media and the citizens, particularly in regards to the big oil spill offshore Louisiana two years ago.
Jindal was elected governor in 2007 and has been in office for only six years. So, lets give him a chance!
It should be noted that Governor Jindal is very busy visiting the early presidential primary states. He apparently is eying the possibility of entering the 2016 presidential race. Sarah Palin and Jeb Bush, look out!
Can Jindal actually deliver for Louisiana? Or is he just interested in running for president?
2. Senator Mary Landrieu - Senator Landrieu gave the State Republicans and the national Republicans a royal kick in the butt in 2002. The Republicans swore revenge and targeted Senator Landrieu in the 2008 senatorial race. But, she is a street fighter and refused to go down. She won reelection in a contest that was not as close as the election of 2002, although it was just as rough..
Senator Landrieu received a great deal of publicity in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina but, along with Governor Blanco and Senator Vitter, participated in too many press conferences and mutual admiration round-robins with President Bush to satisfy me. Maybe I am being a little cynical but I don't like our local politicians buddying up to an administration that I felt was stabbing the city of New Orleans in the back.
Despite the above failing, I consider Landrieu a good senator.
3. Senator David Vitter - The Republican who won retiring Senator John Breaux's senate seat in 2006. Vitter had a potentially unlimited future in Louisiana Politics - some even have put him forward as a future presidential or vice-presidential candidate. However, his extensive whoring activities killed all this talk. No more "presidential talk" talk.
Despite all his whoring activities, Vitter is far superior to other Louisiana Republicans and I hope he can get untracked and do some work for the state.
4. Mayor Mitch Landrieu - Senator Mary Landrieu's brother. Seems to have quite a bit of the family's political talents. He won the New Orlean's mayor's office by a huge majority.
Along with Mary, Mitch Landrieu has become one of the top-dog Democrats in Louisiana Politics. He is rumored to be considering a run for Governor when Jindal retires in a year,
5. John Kennedy - State Treasurer. Ran unsuccessfully for senate against Mary Landrieu. Seems to have an excellent knowledge of Louisiana fiscal matters so we need him in some state office. Despite his knowledge, he is not a good campaigner and may never get elected to higher public office.
6. Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne (Republican) - Another well-thought-of state official.
7. John Georges - New Orleans businessman ran for the Governorship in 2007 as an Independent. It should be noted that Georges spent close to $10 million in the governor's race. He still finished third.
Georges also ran for New Orleans Mayor in 2009-2010. Despite spending a ton of money on the race, Georges finished a distant second to Mitch Landrieu.
8. Former Governor Buddy Roemer has suddenly emerged from obscurity and ran for the Republicn presidential nomination (and for a third- party) in 2012. He received quite a bit of national publicity in a losing effort. Could this be a fake-out? He runs for president, gets some free publicity, and then jumps into the 2014 Senatorial race against Mary Landrieu. Stranger things have happened in Louisiana politics.
9. US Representative Steve Scalise. One of the most conservative Republican Representatives in the U.S. congress.
10. Shaw CEO Jim Bernhard - Former head of the State Democratic Party. Bernhard certainly has the money to run for a major office. He was often mentioned as an opponent for Senator Vitter in 2010 but stepped aside to allow U.S. Representative Melancon challenge (and lose to) Vitter .
Bernhard is beginning to speak up on Louisiana issues. Great! Jindal needs some opposition in the state.
11. Caroline Fayard - Democratic newcomer. Ran a good race against Dardenne for Lt. Governor. Proved she could raise money. Will she run for Governor in 2015 .
12. Foster Campbell. Democrat. Louisiana Public Service Commissioner (North Louisiana). Ran for Louisiana Governor in 2007. He came in fourth in the primary.
13. U.S. Representative John Fleming. Republican Representative Fleming won the Fourth Congressional District seat (Shreveport-Bossier) in the 2008 election.
14. Former-Governor Kathleen Blanco - An effective politician until hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit. Blanco did not run for reelection in 2007.
Mayor Kip Holden of Baton Rouge. Rising political celebrity. This new kid on the block may be heard from in state politics in the future.
James Carville - A master Democratic campaign strategist (It's the economy, stupid!). Also, liberal TV political commentator and author. . Knows how to get results.
Donna Brazile - Democratic Political organizer and TV commentator.
Politics - the Bad and the Good. All in all, years 2003-09 were interesting years for state politics. The state has long been a banana republic state with a high percentage of its high public officials going to jail (virtually 100% of Insurance Commissioners have been sent to the slammer!) for political corruption. Things are beginning to look up, however. The past governor - Republican Governor Mike Foster - was the ultimate laisse-faire governor, but never-the-less, is rated as having been a fair to middling governor, certainly better in some ethical respects than his predecessor, Edwin Edwards.
Louisiana politics don't smell quite as bad as they used to. Additionally, Democratic Mayor Nagin of New Orleans made a real effort in his first term to rejuvenate that wicked city morally and economically.
One strong point for state politics in recent years has been the honesty of the elections. Our elections are much more honest than many other states, certainly far cleaner than recent presidential elections in Florida and Ohio. Unfortunately, Republican Fox McKeithen, Secretary of State who had the responsibility for conducting elections, passed away several years ago. Fortunately, his Republican replacement appears to be an honest fellow and I don't see the Florida or Ohio type shenanigans occurring here
New Orleans was the city that could have (before Katrina) led the state away from the bottom of the pack. With all its faults, it was still a progressive city and melting pot, and the liberal city serves to counterbalance the right-wing rednecks who dominate the northern and middle parts of the state, and the moderate, fun-loving Cajuns who dominate the southern part of the state. The city is the key to the state advancing - not Baton Rouge and not Shreveport.
Despite the recent economic recession and the devastation brought on by Hurricane Katrina & Rita in 2005, Louisiana has been given a great opportunity by mother nature to emerge from it all smelling like a rose. But it will take some innovative planning by its citizens to pull it all off.
The Haynesville Shale Formation natural gas strike of the Shreveport area is not just another natural gas find.....it is the great gas strike!! The Haynesville natural gas strike is just finishing its first year but already natural gas reserves found are estimated at up to 300 trillion cubic feet......and the boundaries of the Haynesville field are still expanding as wells are drilled! ; Before drilling is completed, it could become the largest gas field on earth. Truly a magnificent discovery! Who says the Middle East has all the oil and gas!?
Since most of the Haynesville gas field apparently lies in Louisiana, it is important that the state move forward with plans for the development of the gas field. If we (Louisiana) plan nothing and do nothing, other shale plays being discovered in the U.S. will move ahead of the Haynesville. Louisiana must show some leadership.
Here are my plan for Louisiana developing the Haynesville gas field:
1. A large LNG exporting project must be rapidly developed. This would require construction of multiple natural gas pipelines to various locations along the Gulf of Mexico. Private industry would be responsible for the construction of LNG (Liquid Natural Gas) terminals from which the LNG would be exported to Japan, etc. The state would be responsible for expediting the issuance of the necessary permitting and, also, helping to arrange project financing.
2. The state of Louisiana would be responsible for planning and project management of the Haynesville LNG export project. Much work is required.
Several other projects related to coastal restoration and dredging should also receive consideration from the State:
1. Louisiana should take over dredging operations in the Mississippi River from the US Corps of Engineers (COE). This would ensure that all dredged material would be used for building new wetlands in South Louisiana and none of the valuable resource would be wasted as much of it now is. The federal government would supply dredging funds to Louisiana instead of to the COE although, if required, Louisiana would put up its share of matching funds. The COE would continue to be involved in planning activities in an advisory position.
2. River sand mining would be expedited in the Mississippi River and the material would be used to build wetlands.
1. Politics, 2008 There are many issues in U.S. politics but the strongest underlying issue is conservatism vs. liberalism.
The politics of Louisiana leave a lot to be desired but the politics has improved immensely over the past decade. The state may yet crawl past some some states whose political systems are even worse than this state. The rebuilding of New Orleans after Katrina will have a great impact on the state moving upwards. .
Last Updated: 11/20/16