Early next week New Orleans based Republican lobbyist Brian Trascher will be escorting CEO Ed Carlson of Odyssey House New Orleans to meet with former Georgia Congressman Tom Price, now Secretary of Health and Human Services under President Donald Trump. “It will be my first meeting with a cabinet member,” said Trascher proudly.
Trascher meet Trump and his attorney in 2011 in New Orleans and offered to help if Trump ever ran for president. When Trascher received the call, he jumped onboard to play an important role in Louisiana and around the country. Trascher says he knew Trump was going to win about a week before the election when he saw the change in direction of highly targeted phone banks he was supervising in other states.
The 41-year-old Trascher is the author of new book, Laws and Sausage, a blueprint for citizen involvement in the public policy process. A native New Orleanian, Trascher became smitten with politics at age 5 when he watched Ronald Reagan take on Jimmy Carter in a nationally televised debate.
While attending Brother Martin high school, Trascher had the opportunity to meet then Congressman Bob Livingston who gave him an “inside baseball” view of the congressional process. Livingston became a friend and mentor and authored the forward to Trascher’s book. “Brian Trascher has learned well his profession as a lobbyist,” said Livingston. “His work serves as an indispensable primer…”
Since 2009, Trascher has been the co-owner of the lobbying firm Gulf Coast Strategies with Adrian Bruneau. Together they represent clients in multiple states and lobby every level of government with an increased focus in Washington.
“Modern politics are like professional wrestling,” said Trascher. “The battles are scripted and the outcomes are usually predetermined. The key is to be in the room while the script is being written.” Trascher considers politics the “second oldest” profession and says it is ironic how closely it resembles the first. “Americans who seek public office do so out of a sense of duty, service, and a desire to change their community and the country for the better.”
Citizens have the opportunity to be a change maker in their community if they learn to navigate the public policy process, he says. Trascher believes that it takes three years on average for a new piece of legislation to pass at the state level, and seven years at the congressional level. “The truth is that anyone can learn to effectively communicate with their elected officials. There are many cases in which a grassroots effort bears more fruit than a professional political strategy. Grassroots are a powerful supplement to any campaign,” Trascher explained.
He and Bruneau will be working with the Save Our Circle coalition in the coming months in an effort to preserve several historic monuments. Trascher is also especially proud of the work his firm did in bringing Uber to Louisiana. Trascher also gives credit to PSC Chairman Eric Skrmetta for helping set up Uber’s guidelines at the state level.
Trascher is pleased that America’s politics have swung to the right. Not only does the Republican Party control Congress, the White House, and most state legislatures, 34 governors are Republicans. “It’s a great time to be more conservative,” he said. Trascher is thankful that House Whip Steve Scalise serves as “a conservative voice of reason from the South.” Trascher and Scalise have been friends since attending LSU together.
“The Republican Party still has a lot of stuff to fix,” said Trascher. He believes the party must do a better job of speaking to the needs of minority voters and must deliver on campaign promises to hold onto their congressional majority in the next elections.
Trascher is strongly pro-life. He is the son of an unwed teenage mother who was adopted through Catholic Charities, as was his sister. “My adoptive parents are wonderful people who could not have children. They offered to hire a detective to find my birth parents,” he said. But by age 25 Trascher was no longer interested in searching.
The “natural” father of a five year old daughter, Vivian, who attends Ursuline Academy, Trascher believes that adoption records should be open in some special circumstances. His adopted sister had many health issues that could have been more easily treated if her parents’ medical history had been available.
Trascher sees a tough legislative session ahead in Louisiana. “It’s not as much fun to be a legislator or a lobbyist as it used to be,” he said. Trascher’s commitment to saving historic monuments such as President Andrew Jackson – Donald Trump’s favorite president – is strong. “I am going to do what I can to move their agenda along. Sometimes you have to be willing to lose some battles to win the war.”
JOHN YOUNG LEADING CANDIDATE FOR U.S. ATTORNEY
Former Jefferson Parish President John Young could have a bright future ahead of him as the next U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana. A former Jefferson Parish assistant district attorney, Young has emerged as a leading candidate for the position along with Peter Strasser, a former prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s office.
Sources say that Young might have the edge over Strasser because of his outgoing personality and his excellent communication skills. It also doesn’t hurt that Young built a reputation in Jefferson as a reformer and ethics champion. Young created the parish’s Inspector General Office which identifies and prevents corruption, waste and fraud. As the U.S. Attorney, Young will be aggressively prosecuting the corrupt, the wasteful and the fraudsters.
A graduate of De La Salle High School and Loyola University, Young began his legal career in 1997 and rose to CAO and Chief of Jefferson Parish Courts. Pro-life and pro second amendment, Young was first elected to the Jefferson Parish Council in 2003 and then won a 2010 special election for Parish President to fill the unexpired term of Aaron Broussard. Young was re-elected in 2011.He ran for Lt. Governor in 2015 and in an incredibly close race missed making the run-off by 1% of the total votes cast.
Selecting a new U.S. Attorney is not at the top of President Trump’s to do list, but will surely happen within the upcoming months. Until then Young will continue to remain visible and connected to fellow Republicans.
Danae Columbus, who has had a 30-year career in politics and public relations, offers her opinions on Thursdays. Her career includes stints at City Hall, the Dock Board and the Orleans Parish School Board and work for City Council members Stacy Head and Jared Brossett, Foster Campbell, Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, former Sheriff Charles Foti and former Councilwoman Cynthia Hedge-Morrell. Her current clients include judicial candidates Suzanne Montero and Paula Brown.