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Thursday, September 20, 2018
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Panelist Bio


Robert Mann
Guest Moderator, Louisiana Public Square

A journalist and political historian, Robert Mann holds the Manship Chair at the Manship School of Mass Communication at Louisiana State University. He is the author of critically acclaimed political histories of the U.S. civil rights movement, the Vietnam War and American wartime dissent. A recent book, Daisy Petals and Mushroom Clouds: LBJ, Barry Goldwater and the Ad that Changed American Politics, was named by the Washington Post as one of the best political books of 2011. He is also a columnist for the New Orleans Times-Picayune/NOLA.com.

Mann’s essays and reviews have appeared in numerous publications, including the New York Times, the Boston Globe, Politico, Smithsonian, and Salon. He is also the creator of the Louisiana political blog, "Something Like the Truth." Mann teaches courses in political communication. He is also editor of the Media & Public Affairs book series, published jointly by the Manship School and LSU Press.

Before joining the LSU faculty in 2006, Mann spent more than 20 years in the political arena, working for three United States senators and a Louisiana governor. He was communications director to Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco, before serving 19 years as a U.S. Senate aide. He was state director to U.S. Senator John Breaux of Louisiana, and served as Breaux’s press secretary. He also served as press secretary to U.S. Senator Russell Long of Louisiana. He was also press secretary for the 1990 re-election campaign of U.S. Senator J. Bennett Johnston of Louisiana, the 1992 and 1998 Breaux re-election campaigns and the 2003 Blanco campaign.

In the early 1980s, Mann covered Louisiana politics as a reporter for the Shreveport Journal and the Monroe News-Star.

Current Topic


     09/18 - Revisiting Reform

Are the criminal justice reforms working as intended?
In 2017, Louisiana’s legislature passed the Justice Reinvestment Act, which sought to reduce the state’s highest-in-the-nation incarceration rate. The bill was championed by Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards and received bipartisan support including from community and business leaders. Now, just over a year later, the legislation has become a political football. State Attorney General Jeff Landry and Senator John Kennedy, both Republicans considering a run against Edwards in 2019, suggest that the reform package is a failure. They cite murders committed by two inmates released since the Act’s implementation.

Are the criminal justice reforms working as intended? Has the legislation put more residents in harm’s way or are plea deals part of the problem?

Louisiana Public Square looks for answers to these questions and more on “Revisiting Reform” Wednesday, September 26 at 7pm on LPB and in New Orleans on WLAE.

Our panelists are:
• E. Pete Adams, Executive Director, La. District Attorneys Association
• Alanah Hebert, ACLU of Louisiana & Justice Reinvestment Task Force
• Andrew Hundley, Louisiana Parole Project
• Sec. Jimmy LeBlanc, La. Department of Corrections

The program features interviews with Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry; Rep. Terry Landry, D- New Iberia, with the Justice Reinvestment Oversight Council; Deputy Assistant Secretary Natalie Laborde, with the Louisiana Department of Corrections; and Stephanie Riegel, editor of the Baton Rouge Business Report.

LPB CEO, Beth Courtney and professor Robert Mann with the LSU Manship School of Mass Communication host the show.

Louisiana Public Square can also be heard on public radio stations WRKF in Baton Rouge; Red River Radio in Shreveport and Monroe; and WWNO in New Orleans. Check their station websites for schedule.

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Special Presentation


     05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

Coming Soon!


     10/18 - Louisiana Veterans Back Home

What are the programs and initiatives helping our veterans successfully transition to civilian life?

Recent Topics


     08/18 - The Power of Reading

How can we make inroads to improve adult literacy in Louisiana and champion a joy of reading from pre-school into adulthood?

     07/18 - Preventing Suicide

How is Louisiana addressing its suicide problem?

     06/18 - Louisiana: Sportsman’s Paradise or Problem?  (ENCORE)

Is Louisiana a Sportsman’s Paradise or Problem?

     05/18 - News About the News

How can viewers distinguish between fact and fake news and is social media blurring the difference?
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