John Maginnis (Louisiana political writer)

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John James Maginnis
Born (1948-03-17)March 17, 1948
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA
Died May 25, 2014(2014-05-25) (aged 66)
New Orleans, Louisiana
Cause of death Blood disorder

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana
Alma mater

Catholic High School

Louisiana State University
Occupation Journalist; Author; Commentator
Spouse(s) Jackie Drinkwater Maginnis
Children No children
Parent(s) Edward Joseph and Inez Blancq Maginnis

John James Maginnis (March 17, 1948 – May 25, 2014) was a writer of columns and commentaries on current political events in his native Louisiana.[1] Maginnis' column, always the most current analysis of a political event in Louisiana, appeared in newspapers and other sources statewide.[2] His web site[3] is read by political analysts nationwide as a barometer of governmental trends and events in Louisiana.


Maginnis was one of four children born in Baton Rouge to Edward Joseph Maginnis and the former Inez Blancq. He was married to the former Jackie Drinkwater; his surviving siblings are Renee Maginnis Dole of Baton Rouge; Kathleen Maginnis Bierman and her husband, Leslie, of Weston, Connecticut; and Dr. Michael John Maginnis and his wife, Mary Kendall, of Baton Rouge.[4] Maginnis attended in Baton Rouge Sacred Heart Catholic School and later Catholic High School and Louisiana State University, where he was the editor of the student newspaper, The Daily Reveille. In 2000, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the LSU Douglas Manship School of Mass Communications.[1]

He served in the United States Navy in the Philippine Islands during the Vietnam War.[4]


After military service, Maginnis became a correspondent in Baton Rouge for The Catholic Commentator.[4]He began his coverage of Louisiana political events in 1972. He has written three books: (1) The Last Hayride (1984)[5] concerned the rise of Democrat Edwin Edwards to a then-unprecedented third nonconsecutive term as governor by unseating Republican David C. Treen in 1983;[6] (2) Cross to Bear (1992) narrated the controversial general election of 1991 when Edwards, thought to be politically finished, re-entered the governorship for a fourth term by coming up as the remaining alternative to David Duke,[7] and (3) The Politics of Reform.[1]

Maginnis was the publisher of Gris Gris magazine, The Baton Rouge Enterprise and later Louisiana Political Review, which led to The Fax Weekly in 1993, renamed LaPolitics Weekly.[4]

In 2008, Maginnis began touting Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal as a potential Republican contender for President or Vice President of the United States. He also questioned whether Jindal's potential for those offices was taking up too much time from state duties in Louisiana.[8] Maginnis particularly observed Jindal's lack of enthusiasm for the Obama administration's economic "stimulus package" prior to Jindal's speaking to the nation as the Republicans' chosen responder to Obama's first address to Congress on 2009 February 24.[9]

Maginnis has been interviewed by Robert Siegel on National Public Radio (NPR) concerning Louisiana political trends,[10] and he was Andrea Seabrook's main source of commentary when NPR analyzed the unexpected defeat on December 6, 2008 of Louisiana Democrat U.S. Representative William J. Jefferson by Republican newcomer Joseph Cao in Louisiana's 2nd congressional district.[11]

Apparently to maintain himself as a political Independent, Maginnis was not a registered voter in Louisiana, according to the Louisiana Secretary of State voter portal website.[12]


Maginnis died at his condominium in New Orleans, where he sometimes spent weeks away from Baton Rouge, his official residence. He had a heart attack several years ago and was undergoing treatment for a blood disorder at the time of his sudden death.[1]

In February 2015, Maginnis will be inducted posthumously, along with the late Judge Charles A. Marvin of Minden, into the Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame in Winnfield.[13]


  1. ^ a b c d "Emily Lane, LaPolitics publisher John Maginnis dies at age 66". New Orleans Times-Picayune. Retrieved May 25, 2014. 
  2. ^ For example: Louisiana Made Its Share of History in '08 in the Times-Picayune; Vitter assumes role of target in Lafourche Parish Daily Comet; Candidates take the low road early in Houma Today; D.C. has wrong Mardi Gras spirit in Shreveport Times; "Jindal's fine line" in Daily Star (Hammond, Louisiana), 2009 February 18, p. 4A; and Hurricanes Cause Political Power Outages on Louisiana Newslink. Archived 2011-07-13 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ For Maginnis' web site, click here. He also published Political Review.
  4. ^ a b c d "John James Maginnis Obituary". Baton Rouge Morning Advocate. Retrieved May 28, 2014. 
  5. ^ Similarly titled to The Last Hayride is Huey Long's Louisiana Hayride: The American Rehearsal for Dictatorship, 1928-1940. written in 1941 by the New Orleans author Harnett Kane.
  6. ^ Oakland, CA: Darkhorse Press. ISBN 0-9614138-1-6. See also the reader reviews.
  7. ^ Oakland, CA: Darkhorse Press. ISBN 0-9614138-2-4. reader reviews.
  8. ^ Jindal Going Places, But Is He Leading? Archived 2009-02-21 at the Wayback Machine. and John Maginnis in the Twilight Zone.
  9. ^ Maginnis, "Jindal gears up for national spotlight" in Times-Picayune, 2009 February 18, Saint Tammany Edition, p. B7. Maginnis noted that the date for Jindal's address coincides with Mardi Gras.
  10. ^ John Maginnis discusses the recent political trends in Louisiana.
  11. ^ Embattled La. Democrat William Jefferson Ousted.
  12. ^ "Voter registration by name and date of birth". Archived from the original on April 24, 2014. Retrieved May 25, 2014. 
  13. ^ Greg Hilburn (November 29, 2014). "Caldwell, Ellington elected to Political Hall of Fame". Monroe News-Star. Retrieved December 1, 2014.