Mar 272017
 

Paula Brown won election to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, and a close race for Civil District Court between Suzy Montero and Rachael Johnson will require a runoff in an election Saturday that drew barely 10 percent of registered voters in New Orleans. Continue reading »

Mar 162017
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

In an era when women are overwhelmingly winning judicial elections, can a man still be elected judge in Orleans Parish? Martin Landrieu certainly hopes so. The brother of Mayor Mitch Landrieu and retiring Division F Appeals Court Judge Madeleine whom he would like to replace, Landrieu is optimistic that voters will support him based on his qualifications. “Everyone stands on his or her own,” Landrieu said. Continue reading »

Mar 102017
 

Helena Moreno (via morenocampaign.com)

State Rep. Helena Moreno announced a bid for the open at-large seat on the City Council in an event that framed her as a crusader for truth as a journalist and justice as a state lawmaker, but also gave the first glimpse into the issues that may dominate the race for control of city government this year.

Continue reading »

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Mar 092017
 

State Sen. J.P. Morrell (left) and state Reps. Helena Moreno and Walt Leger hold a legislative briefing for constituents in May 2015. All three are considered viable contenders for major city offices this year. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

The New Orleans City Council is entering a transition phase as popular term-limited At-Large City Councilmember Stacy Head prepares to leave office and fresh new faces like State Representative Helena Moreno and others prepare to run for the City Council.

While Head reviews her bucket list of initiatives she still wants to accomplish or shore up during her remaining thirteen months in office, Moreno is holding a news conference tonight where she is expected to announce this evening that she will seek one of the two councilmember-at-large seats. With qualifying just four months away, other candidates are beginning to make similar announcements. Continue reading »

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Mar 022017
 

City Councilwoman Susan Guidry rides down St. Charles Avenue in the Krewe of King Arthur parade in 2012. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

After serving two terms representing Uptown, Mid-City and Lakeview on the New Orleans City Council, Susan Guidry said Thursday morning that she plans to retire next year instead of seeking another office in the fall elections.

Guidry is term limited, and had been considering a run for one of the council’s two at-large seats. Instead, she said she will serve out the remainder of her term that ends in May 2018, without running for any office in the Oct. 14 election. Continue reading »

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Feb 232017
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

As LaToya Cantrell and others step up their pace for the 2017 race for mayor of New Orleans, political insiders wonder if the best way for the Landrieu family to hold on to their power and the associated riches is to elect former U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu as New Orleans’ next mayor. Continue reading »

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Feb 092017
 

City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell (left) helps A.P. Marullo cut the ribbon on the new CC’s Coffeehouse in Mid-City. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

When supporters are asked why they think LaToya Cantrell might make a good mayor, they always talk about her commitment to the community, hard work after Katrina and willingness to take on issues others shy away from. In short, she is known as a fighter.

[Note: This is the first in a series of columns analyzing the potential candidates in the upcoming New Orleans mayoral race.] Continue reading »

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Jan 262017
 

The Women’s March gathers at Duncan Plaza on Saturday, Jan. 21. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

“The New Orleans Women’s March was amazing,” State Senator Karen Carter Peterson told the mostly female crowd at her fundraiser Monday night. “I had no idea what to expect.” Flanked by Governor John Bel Edwards and Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Carter Peterson said the march showed that women share “a belief in our democracy” and that “our voices are heard.”

Since last weekend’s march in Washington and “sister” marches around the country and the world, there has been much talk about how to build on the momentum going forward and if women from various economic and ethnic backgrounds can work together on common issues. Continue reading »

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Jan 192017
 

U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond delivers the keynote address at the NAACP New Orleans branch’s 2012 Freedom Fund Banquet at Xavier University. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

Though recent polls (including one from the Wall Street Journal/NBC News) call President-Elect Donald Trump the most unpopular incoming President in decades, more than a thousand Louisiana residents including Fenn French, Louis Gurvich, Adrian Bruneau, Eric Skrmetta, Brian Trascher, Billy Nungesser, Jeff Landry, and State Republican Party Chair Roger Villere with granddaughter Madison are taking in all the Washington’s sights and sounds this week in preparation for the 45th Presidential Inauguration. Continue reading »

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Jan 162017
 

Clancy Dubos, left, Gambit editor and columnist, listens to Mary Matalin, right, speak in Rousell Hall at Loyola University as part of the Ed Renwick lecture series. Carville, a Democrat, and Matalin, a Conservative, are two prominent speakers in their respective political circles. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

Husband-and-wife political strategists James Carville and Mary Matalin will lead a panel discussion of the 2016 Presidential election Tuesday evening at Tulane University, the university announced. Continue reading »

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Jan 052017
 

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

Former Congressman Bob Livingston, now a Washington D.C.-based lobbyist, told talk show host Larry King on Tuesday night that President-Elect Donald Trump is making a good start on his pledge to “drain the swamp” in Washington. “President-elect Trump has hired some outstanding people and is headed in the right direction,” said Livingston. Continue reading »

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Dec 292016
 

Governor John Bel Edwards greets National Urban League President Marc Morial while Urban League official Erica McConduit looks on. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

Governor John Bel Edwards was grateful to receive an award from National Urban League President Marc Morial yesterday in New Orleans. Edwards knew his 2014 victory was due in part to the strong statewide support from African-American elected officials like Congressman Cedric Richmond (also an honoree) and their associated political organizations.

With almost 20 elected offices on the ballot during 2017 — including mayor, city council, sheriff, assessor, clerks of court and at least three judgeships — grassroots political organizations, faith-based coalitions, political action committees and civic groups who support candidates and/or issues are all gearing up for an active campaign season. Also active will be the two parish executive committees and their affiliates. Continue reading »

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Dec 222016
 
U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise shares a holiday smile. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise shares a holiday smile. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

House of Representatives Majority Whip Steve Scalise took his own victory tour this week when area Republicans came to honor him as their Man of the Year. An early supporter of President-elect Donald Trump and nationally recognized as a conservative leader, Scalise will have Trump’s ear and the ability to shape legislation to benefit Louisiana. Continue reading »

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Dec 152016
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

This week’s announcement by State Rep. Helena Moreno that she is launching the new nonprofit, bipartisan Ignite Advocacy Network (igniteforchange.org) is the latest example of women tapping into the national discontent over a lack of equal opportunities and channeling those feelings into action. The election of Donald Trump is also inspiring liberal and conservative women around the country to consider a career in government. Continue reading »

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Dec 132016
 
Firefighters' pension tax results, by precinct: Precinct 14-26 (in red) was the only Uptown precinct to vote against the tax. Five others (in yellow) voted yes but with narrow margins of 50 to 55 percent. Everywhere else (in green) the tax passed easily. (map by UptownMessenger.com)

Firefighters’ pension tax results, by precinct: Precinct 14-26 (in red) was the only Uptown precinct to vote against the tax. Five others (in yellow) voted yes but with narrow margins of 50 to 55 percent. Everywhere else (in green) the tax passed easily. (map by UptownMessenger.com)

In the weeks leading up to Saturday’s vote to renew a property tax that funds one-third of the city’s drainage operations, Sewerage & Water Board general superintendent Joe Becker spoke openly about his fear that this year’s seemingly anti-establishment mood could scuttle the tax, leading to deep cuts for the agency.

“We’re very concerned that people are just going to walk into the booth, see ‘Taxes’ and vote no,” Becker said in November, barely a week after Donald Trump’s Electoral College upset shocked the nation.

It turns out, Becker had little reason to be concerned. Bolstered by support from nearly every public official and watchdog agency in the city, the drainage tax renewal passed easily. Meanwhile, a smaller new property tax to restore funding to the firefighters’ pension fund was not as popular, but still managed to pass. Continue reading »

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