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Monday, 04 April 2011 16:27
Louisiana Politics: Republicans Eat Their Young
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Lawrence ChehardyFormer Lieutenant Governor Candidate Caroline Fayard (D) has really put her foot in her mouth.  At a recent Democratic Party Banquet she said, “I hate Republicans.  I hate Republicans.  They are cruel and destructive.  They eat their young.  They don’t think.  They don’t allow people to think.  They are bullies.”  (From the Times Picayune, April 3, 2011, quoting the Washington Parish Daily News.)

Now whether you call these outrageous statements mean or just plain stupid such comments have no place in this politically charged world we live in.

To begin with any comment made in public is subject to widespread dissemination thanks to traditional news outlets and the internet.  The more outrageous the comment is the more viral the comment becomes.  There is no way that Ms. Fayard can say that she did not expect her comments to leave the room in which she spoke.  If you don’t want it repeated, don’t say it.  Not to one person; not to one hundred people; not to anyone. 

 

What she did say was that her comments were taken out of context.  Well that must be some interesting context.  Once the cat is out of the bag, it is virtually impossible to put it back in.  These comments are out of the bag and will never go back into it.

 

A big problem is today’s political world is that too many candidates lack campaign and leadership experience, and many elected leaders are just very young and lack the maturity needed to govern.  Sometimes that maturity evolves over time through tough decision making and sometimes through mistakes.  But when it arrives it is most welcome. 

 

This is not to say that all of our elected officials aren’t good, hard working, mature individuals who do their jobs well.  Fortunately, most are.  What it is to say is that so many of our leaders lack the experience to understand that what they do, what they say, and the decisions they make have ramifications.  These statements by Ms. Fayard show her inexperience.

 

Instead of contributing ideas to the debate over state budgeting, funding higher education, soaring health care costs, and redistricting, Ms. Fayard has resorted to name calling.  This contributes nothing to the important discussion of Louisiana’s future.

 

Ms. Fayard ran an outstanding race against now Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne (R).  Her campaign was never likely to succeed against Dardenne, however, since she is a Democrat, and Dardenne is a Republican.  In Louisiana today Democrats will always have a tough time winning statewide against a good Republican, and Jay Dardenne is certainly one of them.  But Ms. Fayard’s vote on Election Day made her a viable candidate for future office especially in a political party lacking for candidates with star power.  Her comments have, however, sealed her fate.  She is not likely to be a successful candidate in the near future unless her opponent suffers from the same disease she does.

 

 

About Lawrence Chehardy

For thirty-four years Lawrence Chehardy served as Assessor of Jefferson Parish and throughout his career has been a champion the maintenance of the Homestead Exemption.  During his years as Assessor Lawrence Chehardy served as President, Vice-president, and Treasure of the Louisiana Assessors’ Association. He also served on numerous boards and committees of the association. 

Chehardy has extensive knowledge of politics, political campaigning, and the political process. When it comes to political strategy and creating the campaign’s message, Lawrence is one of the best. Lawrence Chehardy has been instrumental in the election of numerous candidates through endorsements as well as campaign strategy. In many cases his endorsement turned the election in favor of those candidates.

In addition to his political commentary and public speaking engagements, Lawrence Chehardy is a founding member of the Chehardy, Sherman, Ellis, Murray, Recile, Griffith, Stakelum & Hayes Law Firm and serves as its managing partner.

By Lawrence Chehardy

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To begin with any comment made in public is subject to widespread dissemination thanks to traditional news outlets and the internet.  The more outrageous the comment is the more viral the comment becomes.  There is no way that Ms. Fayard can say that she did not expect her comments to leave the room in which she spoke.  If you don’t want it repeated, don’t say it.  Not to one person; not to one hundred people; not to anyone. 

 

What she did say was that her comments were taken out of context.  Well that must be some interesting context.  Once the cat is out of the bag, it is virtually impossible to put it back in.  These comments are out of the bag and will never go back into it.

 

A big problem is today’s political world is that too many candidates lack campaign and leadership experience, and many elected leaders are just very young and lack the maturity needed to govern.  Sometimes that maturity evolves over time through tough decision making and sometimes through mistakes.  But when it arrives it is most welcome. 

 

This is not to say that all of our elected officials aren’t good, hard working, mature individuals who do their jobs well.  Fortunately, most are.  What it is to say is that so many of our leaders lack the experience to understand that what they do, what they say, and the decisions they make have ramifications.  These statements by Ms. Fayard show her inexperience.

 

Instead of contributing ideas to the debate over state budgeting, funding higher education, soaring health care costs, and redistricting, Ms. Fayard has resorted to name calling.  This contributes nothing to the important discussion of Louisiana’s future.

 

Ms. Fayard ran an outstanding race against now Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne (R).  Her campaign was never likely to succeed against Dardenne, however, since she is a Democrat, and Dardenne is a Republican.  In Louisiana today Democrats will always have a tough time winning statewide against a good Republican, and Jay Dardenne is certainly one of them.  But Ms. Fayard’s vote on Election Day made her a viable candidate for future office especially in a political party lacking for candidates with star power.  Her comments have, however, sealed her fate.  She is not likely to be a successful candidate in the near future unless her opponent suffers from the same disease she does.

by Lawrence Chehardy


 

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