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Former U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-New Orleans, to join board of national child advocacy organization

Washington — Former U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-New Orleans, has been picked to join the board of a leading national child advocacy organization.

The organization — the National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association, or CASA — functions as a network of nearly 1,000 state and community programs across the country that recruit volunteers to advocate for abused or neglected children in court cases and communities.

An adoptive parent of two, Landrieu was the first recipient of the National CASA Board of Trustees President’s Award, in 2014. A three-term senator, she co-founded the the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.

Landrieu was defeated for re-election in 2014 by Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge. She has owned a house near the Capitol in Washington for several years and works as a D.C. lobbyist.



Landrieu takes job as lobbyist

Landrieu says her goodbyes in Senate

Landrieu loss marks end of era


Campaign of Edwin Edwards for Congress pays $550 fine for filing late report

Washington – Federal election officials have collected a $550 fine from the 2014  campaign in Louisiana of Edwin Edwards for Congress for missing the report-filing deadline for activity in the first three months of 2015.

The Friends of Edwin W. Edwards campaign committee collected no money in the filing period, but paid out $18,317.48, including $15,000 in January to Edwards’ wife, Trina, as campaign manager. The campaign ended the period with $4,100.55 in cash on hand. Over the next six months, the committee paid the $550 fine, paid $1,400 to its accountants and donated $2,126.55 to the Salvation Army before closing its books, according to Federal Election Commission reports.

The campaign said its accountants attempted to upload the report on time and discovered the effort had failed when the FEC sent a notice. The report was further delayed due to reconciling it with the correction of an unrelated error that had been discovered on an earlier report, the campaign said.

Edwards, who turned 88 in August, served four terms as governor, as well as eight years in federal prison on racketeering charges related to official corruption.  A Democrat, he lost the 2014 congressional election to Republican Garret Graves in a runoff in the Sixth District, which covers parts of Baton Rouge and southeast Louisiana.

The Edwards campaign collected a total of just over $430,000 for Edwards’ run for Congress.



Edwards seeks real-estate license

Graves defeats Edwards

Edwards: Not running for redemption








How John Bel Edwards, David Vitter will spend election eve

Voters head to the polls Saturday to decide Louisiana’s next governor, and Democrat John Bel Edwards and Republican David Vitter will be spending Election Day eve a bit differently.

According to Edwards’ campaign, he will spend the night calling supporters and volunteers as part of get out the vote efforts. Edward has led every poll since the Oct. 24 runoff but needs a strong turnout to win.

Vitter, meanwhile, will be attending a “Real Men” conference in Gonzales, put on by The Church in St. Amant. The conference does not allow women (a frequently asked questions page on the conference website explains that this is to “create a safe place for men.”)

Vitter, who is Catholic, has often talked of his deep personal faith and his desire to have a close-knit group of faith advisers, if elected.

One of the featured speakers at the Real Men event is Dino Rizzo, the Healing Place Church  after it was revealed that he had an “inappropriate” relationship with a woman other than his wife. Rizzo has since been welcomed back to the pulpit and now serves as  the executive director of the Association of Related Churches.


— What to expect at the voting booth Saturday? Check here for a sample Baton Rouge area election ballot

— In district that mirrors state trends, here’s what sways governor’s race votes: Prostitution issue, attack ads, Bobby Jindal

— David Vitter, John Bel Edwards both seek to reject Gov. Bobby Jindal’s plan to plug $500 million deficit

‘Daily Show’ lampoons Louisiana governor’s race

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah took on the Louisiana governor’s race Thursday night. The main focus: Prostitution’s role in deciding the state’s next governor.

Republican U.S. Sen. David Vitter has been repeatedly confronted about his 2007 sex scandal as the campaign nears its Saturday end. And as Noah notes, Vitter’s Democratic rival, state Rep. John Bel Edwards, has developed a knack for bringing it up at every chance he gets.

The Daily Show highlights an exchange between the two during a recent debate: Vitter noted Edwards’ low score from the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry. Edwards shot back that he gives 100 percent to his wife.

“It turns out that John Bel Edwards doesn’t even need an opening to bring up the prostitution scandal. Even when Vitter tried to get him on his state business association rating, Edwards still brought up prostitution,” Noah said.

Watch the full clip here via Comedy Central.

Russel Honoré endorses John Bel Edwards

Once considered a possible wildcard contender in the Louisiana governor’s race, Retired Gen. Russel Honoré has thrown his support behind Democrat John Bel Edwards.

russel honore louisiana governor

Gen. Russel Honore, speaks during the 2015 Flag Day Ceremony at the USS Kidd Museum. (Advocate photo)

Honoré’s endorsement, first reported by the Monroe News Star, was circulated by the Edwards campaign in an email to supporters Friday — just a day before Edwards faces Republican David Vitter in the runoff election.

“After serving in the U.S. Army for 37 years, General Honoré returned to rebuild the city of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. He’s a man who puts the state of Louisiana, and this country, first — a man of distinction, who gets things done for our state,” Edwards’ campaign wrote in the email.

In announcing this summer that he wouldn’t run himself, Honoré said he planned to continue to be an advocate for Louisiana residents — just not by seeking elected office.

Honoré, a Pointe Coupee native best known as the Army general who stepped in during the chaotic days after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in August 2005, has more recently taken on environmental causes, leading what has been dubbed theGreenARMY coalition.

Poll: David Vitter closing in on John Bel Edwards; separate pollster predicts big win for Edwards

One new independent poll in the Louisiana governor’s race suggests that Republican David Vitter is making some gains on his Democratic rival John Bel Edwards. But another pollster appears confident that Edwards will have a sizable win come Saturday night.

john bel edwards, david vitter, louisiana, governor

John Bel Edwards (left), David Vitter (right)

Both polls, conducted by JMC Analytics and MRI as the governor’s race nears the finish line, still show Edwards with a sizable lead over Vitter. MRI pollster Verne Kennedy ultimately predicts a large win for Edwards on Election Day.

JMC’s poll is more favorable to Vitter. It has him at 43 percent to Edwards’ 47 percent. MRI’s has Edwards at 48 percent to Vitter’s 41 percent, but when adjusted for a projected 26 percent black voter turnout, Edwards’ lead leaps to 52 percent to Vitter’s 40 percent.

The JMC poll was conducted Nov. 19 and has a 3.9 percent margin of error. It found undecided voters still favor Edwards over Vitter, but also under a narrower margin than previous polls from the firm.

The poll also found that Vitter’s gambit on focusing on Syrian refugees has benefited him some.

“In conclusion, the race has tightened substantially; the question is whether that will make the difference with (1)
the election’s being tomorrow, and (2) the fact that as of last night, 267,983 early/absentee votes were cast largely
before the Syrian refugee crisis,” pollster John Couvillon writes in his analysis. [See the full poll and demographic breakdown here.]

The MRI poll was conducted Nov. 18-19 and has a 4.1 percent margin of error.

“I thought throughout the campaign that Vitter had the superior campaign team but I no longer believe that.  How can a U.S. Senator with universal name recognition and  ten million plus in campaign funding lose the race for governor?” writes Kennedy, who has had public disputes with Vitter in this election cycle.

Michael Henderson, of LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication, writes in a new blog post that when looking at the averages “for the Louisiana runoff polls it is hard to escape a double digit lead for Edwards.”

Looking at possible scenarios for a Vitter win, Henderson writes that it’s possible for Vitter to see a late surge.

“Whether it will be enough for Vitter to win …I’m skeptical because that bar is getting harder and harder to reach, but it would foolish, I think, to say it is out of reach,” Henderson writes.

Polls open for the Edwards vs. Vitter runoff at 7 a.m. Saturday and close at 8 p.m. Find your voting location and more details here.

Report: Bobby Jindal is second-least popular governor in nation

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is the second-least popular governor is the nation, based on a new project that set out to find all governors’ approval ratings.

The findings, compiled by Morning Consult, showed only Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback was viewed less favorably than Jindal, who this week ended his presidential run.

As his term winds to an end (voters will head to the polls to decide his successor on Saturday), Jindal’s administration has been plagued with budget problems that have required massive cuts to health care and higher education.

Neither Republican David Vitter nor Democrat John Bel Edwards have sought his endorsement in the governor’s race. On Thursday, both trashed his plan for addressing a $500 million budget deficit.

Morning Consult’s poll found 35 percent of Louisianans surveyed approve of Jindal’s job performance, while 60 percent disapprove and 6 percent were unsure. The poll surveyed 931 people and has a margin of error of 3.2 percent.

Jindal has frequently defended his poor polling in Louisiana, citing his decision to cut government instead of raising taxes. (Morning Consult’s poll was a little better than a recent UNO poll that found Jindal with a 70 percent disapproval rating.)

The Morning Consult project found Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker is the nation’s most popular governor, polling 74 percent approval to 14 percent disapproval. More than half of the governors were found to be more popular than unpopular.

See the full findings via Morning Consult.

The Rundown: Nov. 20, 2015

Louisiana Legislature Bobby Jindal The Advocate

Today in The Rundown: It’s budget day at the Capitol; both governor candidates have called on legislators to reject Jindal’s deficit plan; another forecaster says the state’s leaning toward an Edwards win on Saturday; and more.

Get The Rundown in your inbox by filling out the form here.

Days until the runoff: 1
Days until gubernatorial inauguration: 52

The News

Budget: Just hours before the Legislature’s joint budget committee was slated to take up Gov. Jindal’s plan for the deficit, both gubernatorial candidates slammed the proposal in dueling press conferences.

LA Gov: Is House District 50 a bellwether in the governor’s race? Residents talk Edwards, Vitter.

Polls & Predictions: Sabato’s Crystal Ball has shifted its prediction for Saturday’s gubernatorial runoff to “Leans Democrat.”

Political ads: The ad war in the Louisiana governor’s race has topped $17.3 million.

Transportation: A key state panel has set a blueprint for sweeping Louisiana road and bridge improvements.

Jindal: A judge has agreed that the ACLU’s lawsuit challenging Gov. Jindal’s Marriage and Conscience executive order can move forward.

AG: The race for attorney general has been low profile but tense.

Hospitals: A judge has blocked LSU’s attempt to remove a foundation from its Shreveport and Monroe hospitals’ operations.

At The Capitol

It’s BUDGET day!
At 9 a.m. House Appropriations and Senate Finance meet, and immediately after that, the Joint Legislative Budget Committee meets. They’ll take up Gov. Jindal’s proposal that seeks to address the budget gap. Follow along here.

Get The Rundown in your inbox by filling out the form here.

Tips, comments or suggestions? Send your feedback to or @elizabethcrisp on Twitter.


Another forecaster shifts prediction to John Bel Edwards’ favor in governor’s race

The governor’s race between Democrat John Bel Edwards and Republican David Vitter could become a test case for polling accuracy.

Publicly released polls since the Oct. 24 primary have put Edwards with a strong lead over one-time frontrunner Vitter.

According to Geoffrey Skelley of Sabato’s Crystal Ball, if Edwards loses, he would have the highest polling average of any candidate who lost dating back to 2004.

Skelly notes that “there are serious questions about the credibility of polls” in the wake of the Kentucky governor’s election. Democrat Jack Conway had a consistent lead in polls there but was upset by Republican Matt Bevin on election night.

“We had witnessed similar occurrences in previous races in the 2013 and 2014 cycles in states such as Kansas and Virginia, but the Bluegrass State contest cemented our skepticism about Democrats running ahead in very red states,” he writes.

Ultimately, though, Sabato’s Crystal Ball has shifted its prediction to “Leans Democrat” given the specific circumstances of the governor’s race here. Click here to read the full analysis.

Report: Television ads in Louisiana governor’s race top $17.3 million

As the Louisiana governor’s race comes to an end, the TV ad war is as hot as ever, based on the Center for Public Integrity’s latest update.

Television ad buys in the governor’s race alone have now topped $17.3 million.

Republican U.S. Sen. David Vitter’s campaign has spent the most on political ads at $3.8 million. The pro-Vitter Fund for Louisiana’s Future also has spent more than $3 million. The Republican Governor’s Association, also backing Vitter, has spent at least $1.2 million.

Democratic state Rep. John Bel Edwards’ campaign has spent $2.6 million on television ads, while the anti-Vitter Gumbo PAC has spent $1.2 million.

The $17.3 million total is since March 1, and includes the amount spent by primary opponents Jay Dardenne and Scott Angelle, both Republicans, and other outside groups.

Based on CPI’s figures, Edwards has outspent Vitter on ads since the primary by an estimated $450,000.

The Center for Public Integrity has analyzing political TV ads tracked by media monitoring firm Kantar Media/CMAG and updating the figures every Thursday.

Edwards and Vitter face each other in a runoff Saturday.