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The Speaker of the House Wields a Heavy Gavel (2012)

McLeod Lecture Series



Genre: Panel

Place Covered: Lake Charles, Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana

Copyright Holder: Louisiana Educational Television Authority

Date Issued: 2012-04-12

Duration: 00:58:01

Subjects: Filmed panel discussions | Politics | MCNEESE STATE UNIVERSITY | Louisiana. Legislature | Speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives | Henry, E. L. "Bubba" | Dimos, Jimmy N. | Downer, Hunt | DeWitt, Charles W. | Salter, Joe R. | Tucker, Jim | Kleckley, Chuck | Alario, John A. Jr., 1943- | Term limits (Public office)


  • Courtney, Beth Moderator
  • Laudun, Tika Producer
  • Gautreaux, Kevin Producer
  • Sanford, Shauna Reporter
  • Kleckley, Chuck Interviewee
  • Alario, John Interviewee
  • Henry, Bubba Panelist
  • Dimos, Jimmy Panelist
  • Downer, Hunt Panelist
  • DeWitt, Charles W. Panelist
  • Salter, Joe Panelist
  • Tucker, Jim Panelist


This episode of the “McLeod Lecture Series” from April 12, 2012, features moderator Beth Courtney leading a discussion on the role of the Speaker of the House in the Louisiana House of Representatives. The panelists are six former Speakers: Bubba Henry (1972-1980); Jimmy Dimos (1988-1992); Hunt Downer (1996-2000); Charles DeWitt (2000-2004); Joe Salter (2004-2008); and Jim Tucker (2008-2012). A background report on the topic by reporter Shauna Sanford precedes the discussion. It includes interviews with the newly elected Speaker of the House Chuck Kleckley and former two-term Speaker and current Senate President John Alario. The six panelists discuss: the differences between the House and the Senate; their paths to leadership; the biggest issue they faced as Speaker; their relationship with the Governor; the lighter moments in the House; the impact of term limits on the Legislature; and their role as the presiding officer in the House. The McLeod Lecture Series event is a part of the McNeese State University Banners Series.