2016's Partisanship Continues Into New Year

Jan 4, 2017

Louisiana’s congressional delegation has three new members, all Republican. Congressmen Mike Johnson (R-Bossier City) and Clay Higgins (R-Opelousas) and Senator John Kennedy (R-Madisonville) were sworn into office Tuesday in Washington. 

Credit Sue Lincoln

Just because it’s a new year with new officials, it doesn’t mean the partisan rhetoric is dying down.

Republican Attorney General Jeff Landry continues his battle with Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards over an executive order prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

In a recent interview with WGNO, Landry said the crux of the issue is the law.

“I’ve always said that I don’t have an issue with the Governor," says Landry, "the Governor has an issue with the law.”

Landry sued the Governor, calling the order executive overreach. The court agreed.

The Governor plans to appeal the ruling.  At his final press conference of 2016, the Governor said his administration looks forward "to having that erroneous decision corrected and we’ll be moving in that direction pretty soon.”

Landry is now directing his attention toward another Democrat, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, releasing videos on Facebook and Twitter under #MakeNewOrleansSafeAgain in which he calls for action on the city's rise in violent crime.

Meanwhile, the Louisiana GOP is also calling out the Governor on the $1.8 billion in federal flood recovery money.

Republican Congressman Garret Graves, speaking to the Baton Rouge Press Club in December, said “people need the money. The fact that the checks, according to the state, aren’t going to be cut until perhaps February, for funds appropriated in September. That’s crazy.”

In a statement released Tuesday, Louisiana GOP Executive Director Jason Dore said “Governor Edwards needs to do his job or step out of the way and let someone else do it for him."

But Louisiana Democratic Party Executive Director Stephen Handwerk says this isn’t what Louisiana residents really want this new year.

“People are looking for our leaders to come together and stop being so incredibly divisive,” he says.