Tuesday, 27 May 2014 08:17
Good Numbers for Mitch Landrieu; John Maginnis Passes Away
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Louisiana capitolWelcome to 2015!
    The plethora of 2014 elections are still on the political horizon in Louisiana, but already the elections set for 2015 are nudging their way into the political spectrum.

    A recent poll by Southern Media Opinion and Research (SMOR) of Baton Rouge surveyed 600 likely voters on the 2015 governor’s race, which will be an open seat because Gov. Bobby Jindal constitutionally cannot seek a third term
    Before getting to the 2015 scenario, let’s look at how respondents feel about Jindal. His job approval rating is 48% and his job disapproval rating is 51%.
    While some political analysts believe Jindal go down in history as the worst governor of the Pelican State, Republican respondents still give him a 73% positive rating,
    Among all white respondents, Jindal gets a 61%  positive rating. However, only 15% of black voters approve of the job he is doing as governor.
    As far as the 2015 governor’s race is concerned, there are already three declared candidates – Republican U.S. Sen. David Vitter, Republican Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, and Democratic state Rep. John Bel  Edwards.
    Other potential candidates include state Treasurer John Kennedy and Public Service Commission Scott Angelle, both Republicans.
    But the elephant in the room is Democratic New Orleans Mayor and former Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu. The  speculation is that he will run for governor if his sister, U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, wins her bid for a fourth six-year term in November.
    So most polls, including the recent one by SMOR, are throwing Mitch into the mix. And the result is indeed interesting.
    Results of the poll show Landrieu, who is in his second term as mayor of the Big Easy, running even with Vitter, both getting 29% of the vote.
    That result has to be of concern to Vitter, who is so well known as a U.S. Senator and is already actively campaigning for governor.
    Political analyst Clancy DuBos of New Orleans had this to say: “The fact he (Vitter) can’t crack 30%  in the raw numbers tells me he’s got some vulnerabilities.” He added, “He’s the guy with the money.”
    While no one is mentioning it, one has to wonder if the scandal surrounding U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister of Monroe, who was caught on tape kissing one of his staffers, may have had an adverse affect on Vitter.
    When Jindal and GOP leaders called for McAllister to resign, the news media was quick to bring up Vitter’s involvement with a DC prostitution ring in 2007, noting that he was not asked to resign.
    It’s still a long political road to the 2015 governor’s election, so anything can happen between now and then. Anyway, here are the results of SMOR’s poll:
    New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu (D) – 28.9%.
    U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R) – 28.9%.
    State Treasurer John Kennedy (R) – 11.7%.
    Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne (R) – 10.5%.
    State Rep. John Bel Edwards (D) – 5.5%.
    Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle (R) – 3.8%.
    Undecided/Wouldn’t Say – 10.6%.
    In a hypothetical runoff between Vitter and Landrieu, Vitter gets 52.8% and Landrieu 41.8% with 5.5% undecided.

You won’t believe this
    With as much time and effort expended in the Louisiana Legislature promoting guns – from carrying them in churches, schools, restaurants, etc. – one would think the Pelican State is a great state for gun owners.
    Not so, says the gunsandammo website. It has ranked the states that are best for gun owners after interviewing a variety of gun owners at the 2014 National Rifle Association Show.
    And guess what? Louisiana was ranked at No. 27 of the 50 states and the District of Columbia as best for gun owners. Texas came in at No. 14, Mississippi at 18 and Arkansas at 33.
    The Top Ten best states for gun owners are: Arizona, Alaska, Georgia, Utah, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Wyoming, Montana, Kansas, and Florida.
    It appears Louisiana legislators will have to spend more time on gun legislation in the next session. I certainly don’t want to argue with a website that’s called “gunsandammo.”

A friend and journalist passes
    John Maginnis, veteran journalist and publisher of LaPolitics Weekly and, passed away Sunday at his home in New Orleans. He was 66.
    His syndicated column, which appeared in 21 newspapers around the state, and the three books he authored, “The Last Hayride,” “Cross to Bear,” and “The Politics of Reform,” made his name one of the most recognizable in Pelican State politics. He was respected by friend and foe alike.
    I first met John when I was executive assistant for Mayor Bo Williams in 1997-98 on trips we made to Baton Rouge. We became friends, and our friendship grew when I became publisher of Fax-Net.
    We exchanged publications, and John would often call for verification of news he had heard about politics in north Louisiana.
    John will be missed by all who dabble in politics. His reporting was always objective, non-partisan, and accurate. He was, indeed, a rare breed in the now vitriolic and partisan world of journalism.

Lou Gehrig Burnett

Lou Gehrig Burnett is the publisher of Fax-Net, a North-Louisiana newsletter.

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