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Panelist Bio


Buddy Caldwell
Louisiana Attorney General

James D. “Buddy” Caldwell was sworn in as Louisiana's 43rd Attorney General on January 14, 2008. Prior to his election as the chief legal officer for the state of Louisiana, Buddy served for 29 years as the District Attorney for the parishes of East Carroll, Madison and Tensas. As District Attorney, Buddy personally tried most major felony cases in his three-parish district achieving a 99% conviction rate.

As Attorney General, Buddy is committed to the people of Louisiana. He is committed to protecting our children from those who use the Internet to prey on our children. His High Technology Crime Unit gives presentations across the state to students, educators and parents on how to stay safe on the Internet. Buddy is committed to keeping our children safe in school. He has advocated for installing cameras in and around the perimeters of schools and in school buses. Buddy knows the importance of working together to bring criminals to justice. With this in mind he created the Attorney General's Fugitive Apprehension Unit. This unit was created for the purpose of assisting local law enforcement agencies in locating and apprehending fugitives from justice.

In 2008 Buddy had the honor of being inducted into the Louisiana Justice Hall of Fame. He also serves on the Executive Working Group on Prosecutorial Relations for the National Association of Attorneys General.

Buddy's roots run deep in northeast Louisiana. He was born May 20, 1946, the fourth of seven children, in Columbia located in Caldwell Parish. The family moved to Madison parish in 1949 and has lived there ever since.

Buddy attended Tallulah High School and graduated with honors. Not only did he excel in academics but also athletics. He lettered in basketball, football, and track, and played semi-professional baseball in north Louisiana. Buddy earned a Bachelor's degree from Tulane University where he also played football and ran track. In 1973 he received a law degree from Tulane Law School.

Buddy divides his time between Baton Rouge and Tallulah where he lives with his wife, Pat. Together, they have seven children and six grandchildren.

Current Topic


08/16 - Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference (encore)

What difference has a decade made?

Due to severe flooding in Baton Rouge and the surrounding communities, the recording of “Black & The Blue,” which was to be the August episode of Louisiana Public Square, was cancelled. Instead we will be broadcasting an encore presentation of “Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference.” More information, including broadcast dates and times, is below.

“Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference”
Eleven years ago, Hurricane Katrina swept through Southeast Louisiana, triggering what would become the nation’s costliest disaster. Less than a month later, Hurricane Rita inundated Southwest Louisiana forever altering the landscape. The storms uprooted residents, while the rest of Louisiana and its neighboring states welcomed them with open arms.
What affect did the storms have on economic development along the I-10 corridor? Just over a decade later, how have public services changed? How prepared is Louisiana to handle hurricane evacuees? And how did the hurricanes change the demographics of the state?
This month Louisiana Public Square takes a look at where the state is now on an encore presentation of “Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference” airing Wednesday, August 17 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, August 21 at 11 a.m. on LPB HD.

The panelists are:
· Andy Kopplin, Office of New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu
· Paul Rainwater, Rainwater Consulting, LLC
· Stephanie Riegel, Greater Baton Rouge Business Report
· Nihal Shrinath, The Data Center

The program includes interviews with Jason El Koubi, One Acadiana; Chris Guilbeaux, Governor’s Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP); Kathy Kliebert, Secretary of the Department of Health and Hospitals; Allison Plyer, Executive Director of the Data Center; John White, State Superintendent of Education; and Christopher Bohnstengel and “Byrdie” Lane, owners of Byrdie’s Gallery and Café in New Orleans.

LPB CEO, Beth Courtney, and Kim Hunter Reed,Ph.D., who served in the Blanco administration during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, moderate the discussion.
“Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference” will also air in New Orleans, on WLAE. It 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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05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

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09/16 - Pass or Fail? Louisiana’s Education System

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