Louisiana voters elected their first woman governor in the state's history on Saturday. Two-time Lt. Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco (D) beat Bobby Jindal (R) with 52 percent of the vote, scoring the only victory for Democrats in the four gubernatorial elections this year. However, Blanco is a conservative Democrat, against abortion, affirmative action, and gun control, according to the New York Times. Despite these positions, the New York Times reports that she did well among women and received 91 percent of the African American vote. Blanco replaces Republican Mike Foster, who was prevented from running again because of the state's term limits. Except for an African American Republican who served as governor for 35 days, the state has only ever had white male governors, according to the Christian Science Monitor.
Blanco has been a woman of many firsts. In 1984, she became the first woman ever elected to represent Lafayette in the State Legislature, and two terms later became the first woman elected to the Louisiana Public Service Commission. She claims her work as lieutenant governor, a position that is elected independently of the governor, turned Louisiana tourism from a $6.5 billion to a $9 billion industry, the Times-Picayune reports.
The election was watched closely across the nation and in India, as Jindal looked poised to become the first American of Indian descent to be elected governor in the US. Despite influxes of cash from the Indian-American community and a crucial endorsement from the African American mayor of New Orleans, Democrat Ray Nagin, Jindal picked up the most votes in wealthy white suburbs and in his hometown of Baton Rouge, the NY Times reports. Jindal had a ten-point lead several days before the election, but lost ground after Blanco ran an ad strongly criticizing Jindal for cutting state health budgets when he was in charge of the state health department, the Times reports. Jindal also took strong stands against abortion, affirmative action, and gun control.
6/29/2015 The Supreme Court Just Saved Texas Abortion Clinics - The Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 today to put a temporary hold on a Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that would have closed all but 9 of the state's abortion clinics in Texas.
The order from the Supreme Court comes in response to an emergency request filed by women's health care providers on the behalf of Texas women earlier this month asking the Court to stay House Bill 2, which would have taken effect as law on Wednesday. . . .
6/26/2015 Supreme Court Declares Marriage Equality a Constitutional Right - In a 5-4 decision delivered by Justice Anthony Kennedy this morning, the Supreme Court of the United States declared that same-sex couples fundamentally have equal protections under the Constitution.
The Supreme Court held that the Fourteenth Amendment requires all 50 states to both license a marriage and recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex. . . .
6/26/2015 President Obama Delivers Moving Eulogy in Charleston - The nation is remembering the nine victims of the Emanuel AME Church mass shooting this week, as President Obama gave an unforgettable eulogy for State Senate Reverend Clementa Pinckney.
President Obama knew Reverend Pinckney personally, meeting him during his 2008 election campaign. . . .