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The Young Turks: A Reunion (2004)

McLeod Lecture Series



Genre: Panel

Place Covered: Lake Charles, Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana

Copyright Holder: Louisiana Educational Television Authority

Date Issued: 2004-05-2

Duration: 01:19:50

Subjects: LOBBYISTS | STATE BUDGET | McKeithen, John J. (John Julian), 1918-1999 | Edwards, Edwin W. | Henry, E. L. "Bubba" | Hainkel, John J. | Filmed panel discussions | Louisiana. Legislature | Politics | Government | YOUNG TURKS | Dennis, James L. | Casey, Thomas A. | Bagert, Ben, Jr. | Jones, Robert G. | Leithman, J. Kenneth | Miller, Ralph R. | MILLS, P.J. | Williamson, Donald W. | State legislators | MCNEESE STATE UNIVERSITY


  • Laborde, Errol Moderator
  • Laudun, Tika Producer
  • Ekings, Robyn Reporter
  • McKeithen, John Speaker
  • Hill, John Interviewee
  • Henry, Bubba Panelist
  • Hainkel, John Panelist
  • Dennis, James Panelist
  • Casey, Tom Panelist
  • Bagert, Ben Panelist
  • Jones, Bob Panelist
  • Leithman, Kenneth Panelist
  • Miller, Ralph Panelist
  • Mills, P.J. Panelist
  • Williamson, Don Panelist


This episode of the “McLeod Lecture Series” from May 2, 2004, features moderator Errol Laborde leading a reunion of the Young Turks, a group of young legislators from the 1970s who brought legislative reforms and independence to the Louisiana House of Representatives. The panelists are former State Representatives E.L. “Bubba” Henry, John Hainkel, James Dennis, Tom Casey, Ben Bagert, Bob Jones, Kenneth Leithman, Ralph Miller, P.J. Mills, and Don Williamson. They discuss: their careers after the Legislature; how the Legislature functioned when they arrived after the 1968 elections; how the group came together following Bob Jones’ failed resolution to ban lobbyists from the House floor in 1970; the importance of Bubba Henry’s election as Speaker of the House in 1972; their ultimate success in changing how the House operated, including creating decorum in the House, removing lobbyists from the House floor, building new committee rooms, and bringing accountability to the state budget process; their relationships with Governor John McKeithen and Governor Edwin Edwards; the popularity of the Young Turks movement; and their remembrances of their former colleague, Bill McLeod. A background report on the Young Turks by reporter Robyn Ekings precedes their discussion. The McLeod Lecture Series event is a part of the McNeese State University Banners Series.