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President of the Louisiana State Senate

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

President of the Louisiana State Senate
John Alario, Jr.

since January 9, 2012
AppointerLouisiana State Senate
Term lengthFour years
Inaugural holderJulien Poydras
Seal of Louisiana.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of

The President of the Louisiana State Senate is the highest-ranking member of the Louisiana State Senate. As presiding officer, he or she convenes session and calls members to order, but can designate another state senator to preside in his or her place.

The Louisiana state senate president is fifth in gubernatorial line of succession in Louisiana.[1] The president's counterpart in the lower house of the Louisiana Legislature is the Speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • ✪ Congressional Elections: Crash Course Government and Politics #6


Hi, I'm Craig and this is Crash Course Government and Politics, and today we're going to talk about what is, if you ask the general public, the most important part of politics: elections. If you ask me, it's hair styles. Look at Martin Van Buren's sideburns, how could he not be elected? Americans are kind of obsessed with elections, I mean when this was being recorded in early 2015, television, news and the internet were already talking about who would be Democrat and Republican candidates for president in 2016. And many of the candidates have unofficially been campaigning for years. I've been campaigning; your grandma's been campaigning. Presidential elections are exciting and you can gamble on them. Is that legal, can you gamble on them, Stan? Anyway, why we're so obsessed with them is a topic for another day. Right now I'm gonna tell you that the fixation on the presidential elections is wrong, but not because the president doesn't matter. No, today we're gonna look at the elections of the people that are supposed to matter the most, Congress. Constitutionally at least, Congress is the most important branch of government because it is the one that is supposed to be the most responsive to the people. One of the main reasons it's so responsive, at least in theory, is the frequency of elections. If a politician has to run for office often, he or she, because unlike the president we have women serving in Congress, kind of has to pay attention to what the constituents want, a little bit, maybe. By now, I'm sure that most of you have memorized the Constitution, so you recognize that despite their importance in the way we discuss politics, elections aren't really a big feature of the Constitution. Except of course for the ridiculously complex electoral college system for choosing the president, which we don't even want to think about for a few episodes. In fact, here's what the Constitution says about Congressional Elections in Article 1 Section 2: "The House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second year by the people of the several states, and the electors in each state shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the state legislature." So the Constitution does establish that the whole of the house is up for election every 2 years, and 1/3 of the senate is too, but mainly it leaves the scheduling and rules of elections up to the states. The actual rules of elections, like when the polls are open and where they actually are, as well as the registration requirements, are pretty much up to the states, subject to some federal election law. If you really want to know the rules in your state, I'm sure that someone at the Board of Elections, will be happy to explain them to you. Really, you should give them a call; they're very, very lonely. In general though, here's what we can say about American elections. First stating the super obvious, in order to serve in congress, you need to win an election. In the House of Representatives, each election district chooses a single representative, which is why we call them single-member districts. The number of districts is determined by the Census, which happens every 10 years, and which means that elections ending in zeros are super important, for reasons that I'll explain in greater detail in a future episode. It's because of gerrymandering. The Senate is much easier to figure out because both of the state Senators are elected by the entire state. It's as if the state itself were a single district, which is true for states like Wyoming, which are so unpopulated as to have only 1 representative. Sometimes these elections are called at large elections. Before the election ever happens, you need candidates. How candidates are chosen differs from state to state, but usually it has something to do with political parties, although it doesn't have to. Why are things so complicated?! What we can say is that candidates, or at least good candidates, usually have certain characteristics. Sorry America. First off, if you are gonna run for office, you should have an unblemished record, free of, oh I don't know, felony convictions or sex scandals, except maybe in Louisiana or New York. This might lead to some pretty bland candidates or people who are so calculating that they have no skeletons in their closet, but we Americans are a moral people and like our candidates to reflect our ideals rather than our reality. The second characteristic that a candidate must possess is the ability to raise money. Now some candidates are billionaires and can finance their own campaigns. But most billionaires have better things to do: buying yachts, making even more money, building money forts, buying more yachts, so they don't have time to run for office. But most candidates get their money for their campaigns by asking for it. The ability to raise money is key, especially now, because running for office is expensive. Can I get a how expensive is it? "How expensive is it?!" Well, so expensive that the prices of elections continually rises and in 2012 winners of House races spent nearly 2 million each. Senate winners spent more than 10 million. By the time this episode airs, I'm sure the numbers will be much higher like a gajillion billion million. Money is important in winning an election, but even more important, statistically, is already being in Congress. Let's go to the Thought Bubble. The person holding an office who runs for that office again is called the incumbent and has a big advantage over any challenger. This is according to political scientists who, being almost as bad at naming things as historians, refer to this as incumbency advantage. There are a number of reasons why incumbents tend to hold onto their seats in congress, if they want to. The first is that a sitting congressman has a record to run on, which we hope includes some legislative accomplishments, although for the past few Congresses, these don't seem to matter. The record might include case work, which is providing direct services to constituents. This is usually done by congressional staffers and includes things like answering questions about how to get certain government benefits or writing recommendation letters to West Point. Congressmen can also provide jobs to constituents, which is usually a good way to get them to vote for you. These are either government jobs, kind of rare these days, called patronage or indirect employment through government contracts for programs within a Congressman's district. These programs are called earmarks or pork barrel programs, and they are much less common now because Congress has decided not to use them any more, sort of. The second advantage that incumbents have is that they have a record of winning elections, which if you think about it, is pretty obvious. Being a proven winner makes it easier for a congressmen to raise money, which helps them win, and long term incumbents tend to be more powerful in Congress which makes it even easier for them to raise money and win. The Constitution give incumbents one structural advantage too. Each elected congressman is allowed $100,000 and free postage to send out election materials. This is called the franking privilege. It's not so clear how great an advantage this is in the age of the internet, but at least according to the book The Victory Lab, direct mail from candidates can be surprisingly effective. How real is this incumbency advantage? Well if you look at the numbers, it seems pretty darn real. Over the past 60 years, almost 90% of members of The House of Representatives got re-elected. The Senate has been even more volatile, but even at the low point in 1980 more than 50% of sitting senators got to keep their jobs. Thanks, Thought Bubble. You're so great. So those are some of the features of congressional elections. Now, if you'll permit me to get a little politically sciencey, I'd like to try to explain why elections are so important to the way that Congressmen and Senators do their jobs. In 1974, political scientist David Mayhew published a book in which he described something he called "The Electoral Connection." This was the idea that Congressmen were primarily motivated by the desire to get re-elected, which intuitively makes a lot of sense, even though I'm not sure what evidence he had for this conclusion. Used to be able to get away with that kind of thing I guess, clearly David may-not-hew to the rules of evidence, pun [rim shot], high five, no. Anyway Mayhew's research methodology isn't as important as his idea itself because The Electoral Connection provides a frame work for understanding congressman's activities. Mayhew divided representatives' behaviors and activities into three categories. The first is advertising; congressmen work to develop their personal brand so that they are recognizable to voters. Al D'Amato used to be know in New York as Senator Pothole, because he was able to bring home so much pork that he could actually fix New York's streets. Not by filling them with pork, money, its money, remember pork barrel spending? The second activity is credit claiming; Congressmen get things done so that they can say they got them done. A lot of case work and especially pork barrel spending are done in the name of credit claiming. Related to credit claiming, but slightly different, is position taking. This means making a public judgmental statement on something likely to be of interest to voters. Senators can do this through filibusters. Representatives can't filibuster, but they can hold hearings, publicly supporting a hearing is a way of associating yourself with an idea without having to actually try to pass legislation. And of course they can go on the TV, especially on Sunday talk shows. What's a TV, who even watches TV? Now the idea of The Electoral Connection doesn't explain every action a member of Congress takes; sometimes they actually make laws to benefit the public good or maybe solve problems, huh, what an idea! But Mayhew's idea gives us a way of thinking about Congressional activity, an analytical lens that connects what Congressmen actually do with how most of us understand Congressmen, through elections. So the next time you see a Congressmen call for a hearing on a supposed horrible scandal or read about a Senator threatening to filibuster a policy that may have significant popular support, ask yourself, "Is this Representative claiming credit or taking a position, and how will this build their brand?" In other words: what's the electoral connection and how will whatever they're doing help them get elected? This might feel a little cynical, but the reality is Mayhew's thesis often seems to fit with today's politics. Thanks for watching, see you next week. Vote for me; I'm on the TV. I'm not -- I'm on the YouTube. Crash Course: Government and Politics is produced in association with PBS Digital Studios. Support for Crash Course US Government comes from Voqal. Voqal supports nonprofits that use technology and media to advance social equity. Learn more about their mission and initiatives at Crash Course is made by all of these nice people. Thanks for watching. That guy isn't nice.



The Louisiana Constitution of 1812 did not provide for a lieutenant governor to preside over the state senate and allowed the president of the state senate to succeed the governor. The first senate president to succeed to the governorship was Henry S. Thibodaux, who succeeded to the position in 1824 after the resignation of Governor Thomas B. Robertson. In 1829, Governor Pierre Derbigny died in a carriage accident, allowing for Armand Beauvais to become acting governor. Beauvais resigned after only three months in 1830 to run in the special election to fill the post. The new senate president, Jacques Dupré, became the new acting governor until he resigned in 1831 and was replaced by governor-elect André B. Roman.

In the Louisiana Constitution of 1846, the Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana assumed the functions of the state senate presidency. During the Civil War there were two lieutenant governors, one union, and one confederate, as there were two separate state governments. The lieutenant governor presided over the Louisiana State Senate from 1853 until the adoption of the Louisiana constitution of 1974. The current president of the state senate is selected by the governor from among the state senators and is confirmed by their vote.

Powers and duties

Although the president is not the only state senator that can serve as a presiding officer, he holds the power to assign the presiding officer in his absence.[2] During session, the presiding officer controls the flow of debate on the Senate floor, and decides questions of order.[2]

The president controls the state senate offices and chamber, determines the physical arrangement and security of the chamber and committee rooms.[3]

As a state senator, the president is entitled to participate in debate and to vote.[2]

According to Article 4, Section 14, of the Louisiana Constitution, the president is fifth in the gubernatorial line of succession.[1]

List of presidents since 1812

# President Party Start of service End of service
1 Julien Poydras Democratic-Republican 1812 1813
2 Fulwar Skipwith Democratic-Republican 1814 1815
3 Nathaniel Meriam Democratic-Republican 1816 1819
4 Julien Poydras Democratic-Republican 1820 1821
5 Bernard de Marigny Democratic-Republican 1822 1822
6 Henry S. Thibodaux National Republican 1823 1826
7 Armand Beauvais National Republican 1827 1829
8 Jacques Dupré Whig 1830 1830
9 Isaac A. Smith Whig 1830 1831
10 Charles Derbigny Whig 1832 1837
11 Joseph E. Johnston Whig 1838 1838
12 Jacques Dupré Whig 1838 1838
13 Felix Garcia Whig 1839 1845
14 Trasimond Landry Democratic 1846 1850
15 Jean Baptiste Plauché Democratic 1850 1853
16 W. W. Farmer Democratic 1853 1854
17 Robert C. Wickliffe Democratic 1854 1856
18 Charles H. Mouton Democratic 1856 1856
19 William F. Griffin Democratic 1856 1860
20 Henry M. Hyams Democratic 1860 1864
21 Benjamin W. Pearce Democratic 1864 1865
22 J. Madison Wells Republican 1864 1864
23 Charles Smith Republican 1864 1864
24 Charles W. Boyce Republican 1864 1864
25 Louis Gastinel Republican 1864 1865
26 Victor Burthe Democratic 1865 1865
27 Albert Voorhies Democratic 1866 1867
28 Oscar J. Dunn Republican 1868 1871
29 P. B. S. Pinchback Republican 1871 1872
30 A. B. Harris Republican 1872 1873
31 C. C. Antoine Republican 1873 1877
32 Louis A. Wiltz Democratic 1877 1880
33 Samuel Douglas McEnery Democratic 1880 1881
34 W. A. Robertson Democratic 1881 1881
35 George L. Walton Democratic 1881 1884
36 Clay Knobloch Democratic 1884 1888
37 James Jeffries Democratic 1888 1892
38 Charles Parlange Democratic 1892 1893
39 Hiram R. Lott Democratic 1893 1896
40 Robert H. Snyder Democratic 1896 1900
41 Albert Estopinal Democratic 1900 1904
42 Jared Y. Sanders, Sr. Democratic 1904 1908
43 Paul M. Lambremont Democratic 1908 1912
44 Thomas C. Barret Democratic 1912 1916
45 Fernand Mouton Democratic 1916 1920
46 Hewitt Bouanchaud Democratic 1920 1924
47 Delos R. Johnson Democratic 1924 1924
48 Oramel H. Simpson Democratic 1924 1926
49 Philip H. Gilbert Democratic 1926 1928
50 Paul N. Cyr Democratic 1932 1931
51 Alvin Olin King Democratic 1931 1932
52 John B. Fournet Democratic 1932 1935
53 Thomas C. Wingate Democratic 1935 1935
54 James A. Noe Democratic 1935 1936
55 Earl K. Long Democratic 1936 1939
56 Coleman Lindsey Democratic 1939 1940
57 Marc M. Mouton Democratic 1940 1944
58 J. Emile Verret Democratic 1944 1948
59 William J. Dodd Democratic 1948 1952
60 C. E. "Cap" Barham Democratic 1952 1956
61 Lether Frazar Democratic 1956 1960
62 C. C. "Taddy" Aycock Democratic 1960 1972
63 James E. Fitzmorris, Jr. Democratic 1972 1976
64 Michael H. O'Keefe Democratic 1976 1983
65 Samuel B. Nunez, Jr. Democratic 1983 1988
66 Allen Bares Democratic 1988 1990
67 Samuel B. Nunez, Jr. Democratic 1990 1996
68 Randy L. Ewing Democratic 1996 2000
69 John J. Hainkel, Jr. Republican 2000 2004
70 Donald E. Hines, M.D. Democratic 2004 2008
71 Joel T. Chaisson, II Democratic 2008 2012
72 John A. Alario, Jr. Republican 2012 Incumbent

President pro tempore

The President pro tempore is appointed in the same way as the president. The President pro tempore acts as presiding officer in the absence of the president. If the chair is ever permanently vacated the President pro tempore acts as the temporary presiding officer until the Senate elects a new president. The President pro tempore, though not vested with much power, is usually a senior and influence senator. The position has existed since the foundation of the Senate in 1812, but it did not become a permanent position until 1880.

List of presidents pro tempore since 1880

# President pro tempore Party Start of service End of service
1 W. A. Robertson Democratic 1880 1881
2 George L. Walton Democratic 1881 1884
3 Robert C. Davey Democratic 1884 1888
4 Murphy J. Foster Democratic 1888 1892
5 Hiram R. Lott Democratic 1892 1896
6 Albert Estopinal Democratic 1896 1900
7 Hugh C. Cage Democratic 1900 1904
8 Paul M. Lambremont Democratic 1904 1908
9 Thomas C. Barret Democratic 1908 1912
10 Joseph Voegtle Democratic 1912 1913
11 A. K. Amacker Democratic 1913 1916
12 E. M. Stafford Democratic 1916 1920
13 Delos R. Johnson Democratic 1920 1924
14 Philip H. Gilbert Democratic 1924 1928
15 Alvin Olin King Democratic 1928 1932
16 Thomas C. Wingate Democratic 1932 1935
17 James A. Noe Democratic 1935 1936
18 Coleman Lindsey Democratic 1936 1940
19 Frank B. Ellis Democratic 1940 1944
20 Grove Stafford Democratic 1944 1948
21 Dudley J. LeBlanc Democratic 1948 1952
22 Robert A. Ainsworth, Jr. Democratic 1952 1956
23 W. J. Cleveland Democratic 1956 1960
24 Robert A. Ainsworth, Jr. Democratic 1960 1961
25 Sylvan Friedman Democratic 1961 1964
26 E. W. Gravolet, Jr. Democratic 1964 1968
27 Jamar W. Adcock Democratic 1968 1972
28 Michael H. O’Keefe Democratic 1972 1976
29 Edgar G. Mouton Democratic 1976 1980
30 Samuel B. Nunez, Jr. Democratic 1980 1983
31 Theodore M. Hickey Democratic 1983 1984
32 Thomas H. Hudson Democratic 1984 1988
33 Samuel B. Nunez, Jr. Democratic 1988 1990
34 Leonard J. Chabert Democratic 1990 1992
35 Dennis R. Bagneris, Sr. Democratic 1992 1999
36 Ronald Clarence Bean Republican 1999 2000
37 Louis J. Lambert Democratic 2000 2004
38 Diana E. Bajoie Democratic 2004 2008
39 Sharon Weston Broome Democratic 2008 2016
40 Gerald Long Republican 2016 Incumbent

See also


  1. ^ a b Louisiana Constitution, Article 4, Section 14 (accessed August 15, 2013)
  2. ^ a b c Rules of Order, Chapter 3: Officers, Louisiana Legislature. (accessed August 15, 2013)
  3. ^ Rules of Order, CHAPTER 1. SENATE CHAMBER, FLOOR AND OTHER PHYSICAL FACILITIES, Oklahoma Legislature. (accessed August 15, 2013)

External links

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