For more than a decade, I have written about the circus of Louisiana politics here on CenLamar. All told, I’ve published over 2,000 original articles and received nearly 2 million visitors. I’ve written about issues both big and small. I created this website because I wanted, in some small way, the opportunity to participate in a discussion about the future of my hometown and my home state. Here on CenLamar, I found my voice, and I like to believe that I have provided a venue for others to find theirs as well.
I have never had a staff. This has always been a one-man operation. I’ve never charged for subscriptions or for access, instead relying on the beneficence of readers to contribute donations that allowed me to cover the basics.
My website has given me opportunities I would have never imagined on the day I hit “publish” for the first time in March of 2006. I was selected, along with two of my friends, to cover the historic 2008 Democratic National Convention as an embedded blogger with the Louisiana delegation and stood on the floor of Invesco Stadium as Barack Obama accepted his party’s nomination. I was invited by the White House to take a helicopter tour of the Deepwater Horizon disaster. I’ve interviewed governors and senators and some of the most well-known names in American politics. My stories have been picked up by the biggest newspapers in the world. I’ve been interviewed on MSNBC, the BBC, and FOX, all for different stories. And on a Sunday in early January of 2015, my website flashed across the screen during the opening segment of Meet the Press.
But the best and most important opportunity that this website has given me is the ability to connect and become friends with hundreds of people, on all corners of the state that I love.
I will continue to write on CenLamar. It will always remain my home on the internet and the place to which I turn whenever I uncover something I think is worth sharing.
But today, I am announcing a new venture, Imagine Louisiana Communications, a company I founded in order to provide research and communication services to candidates, legislators, elected officials, government agencies, municipalities, non-profit organizations, and grassroots activists. After a decade of writing about Louisiana and spending thousands of untold hours plunging, head first, into research, I believe I can use my skills to help others make a better, brighter, more honest, more civil, and more informed Louisiana.
Unlike CenLamar, Imagine Louisiana won’t be a one-man operation. I have already brought on Cayman Clevenger, a Louisiana native and fellow SMU Law graduate with extensive experience in Republican politics, to serve as Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff. In the upcoming days and weeks, we will announce additional members of our team, people who know our state and are passionate about research and policy.
Tomorrow, this press release will be distributed to the media, but I wanted you to hear it from me first. (My special thanks to Evan Lange for preparing and writing this).
APRIL 11, 2016
Prepared by Evan Lange, Attorney-At-Law
INFLUENTIAL LOUISIANA POLITICAL BLOGGER LAUNCHES IMAGINE LOUISIANA, A POLITICAL CONSULTING AND COMMUNICATIONS FIRM
“There’s an old saying in politics about ‘knowing where the bones are buried.’ Lamar knows that in Louisiana, sometimes the bones are buried and sometimes they’re above ground. We need folks like him to hold our politics and our politicians accountable.”
– James Carville
BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA —This week, Louisiana’s most influential blogger, Lamar White Jr. of Alexandria and Baton Rouge, founded and launched Imagine Louisiana Communications, a Louisiana-based political communications and consulting firm. White brought on Cayman Clevenger of New Orleans, who has extensive experience in Republican campaigns, to serve as his Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff. White and Clevenger will employ their experience and extensive reservoirs of knowledge of Louisiana politics to assist candidates, government agencies, municipalities, non-profit organizations, and elected officials on policy and campaign research, messaging, and public relations. “Lamar White and Cayman Clevenger are two of Louisiana’s brightest political minds,” said former Gov. Edwin W. Edwards.
The company’s website is located at www.imaginelouisiana.com
Imagine Louisiana Communications’ mission carries forward the vision that White’s website, CenLamar, already created: vigorous research and poignant, insightful, and well-written analysis on relevant political issues, policies, candidates, and elected officials.
Imagine Louisiana Communications will primarily focus on serving politicians and lawmakers, offering analysis, research, fact checking, and exhaustive investigative services on issues. Imagine Louisiana Communications will also provide speech writing and editing services, debate preparation, and candidate-specific research. It will be the first political consultancy in Louisiana that exclusively focuses on research and content development. “Research is the most critical component of any campaign. If you are running for political office, leading a public affairs campaign, or just trying to learn how to be more effective on a particular issue, it starts with the building block of investigative research,” Bradley Beychok, the Louisiana-born political operative and President of Media Matters, writes. “Lamar White has shown that with dogged research skills, colorful writing, and a keen ability to sniff out nuggets of truth, you can be quite an effective operative.”
“As we ramp up, we hope to bring others on board,” White said. “Already, even before our launch, we have received several resumes from qualified policy researchers and inquiries from multiple candidates and lawmakers. There seems to be a real appetite and need for this type of service. We have already hired two research interns, which will be announced later this week.”
White launched his website CenLamar over a decade ago, and since then has published over 2,000 original articles and attracted nearly 2 million visitors. Among other things, he is responsible for breaking the story about Congressman Steve Scalises’s attendance at an international white supremacist rally, which attracted widespread national attention. He has also written extensively on Louisiana’s voucher program, exposing a number of questionable schools and the program’s lack of accountability. White, along with another blogger, also revealed missing time sheets from Sen. Bill Cassidy’s work with Louisiana State University and was the first to report that a private investigator working for Sen. David Vitter had been arrested after eavesdropping on the Sheriff of Jefferson Parish.
Prominent LSU professor and Times-Picayune columnist Robert Mann, who once served as an aide to Sen. Russell Long, Sen. John Breaux, and Gov. Kathleen Blanco, praised White and the vision behind his new company. “There are few people in Louisiana who can get to the heart of a policy matter faster — and describe it with more clarity and vision — than Lamar White,” Mann said. “Lamar not only knows policy; he also has an uncanny instinct for Louisiana politics. He is one of the brightest and most creative minds in the Louisiana political world today.”
Jerry Ceppos, the Dean of LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communications, agrees. “Lamar has done some of the most important recent journalism in Louisiana— without a staff or libel lawyers to back him up,” he said.
Lamar White Jr. is a Louisiana native and lifelong Democrat. He graduated from Rice University in Houston, Texas, worked for five years as a top aide to Alexandria Mayor Jacques Roy, and then attended Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law in Dallas, Texas, returning to Louisiana shortly after graduation and settling in Baton Rouge.
Cayman Clevenger is a Louisiana native who has worked on both sides of the political spectrum. He graduated from Tulane University with Honors and graduated cum laude from Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law.
Clevenger ran his first political campaign at the age of 17, and recently served as Deputy Campaign Director for Edwin Edwards for Congress. Clevenger has worked as a political consultant on numerous campaigns and is experienced in political communication, crafting policy, speech writing, messaging, optics, opposition research, scheduling, and new media.
To learn more about Imagine Louisiana Communications, please e-mail Lamar at firstname.lastname@example.org