With former Democratic Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards running for US Congress in a conservative district, a question in many minds is whether the reddening of the State of Louisiana, since his last election, would force Edwards to moderate his views.
Maybe its the mysterious swamps or the grey-mossy bayous. Perhaps it’s the French-Spanish-Indian-African-English-Haitian bowl of voodoo gumbo that flavors our spirits.
Whatever the reasons, Louisiana has and still owns the title and deed to the Master of the Ripley's House of the Political "Believe it or Not".
No doubt about the clout
Louisiana, which seems to be at the top of every bad list and at the bottom of every good list, is doing quite well when it comes to its clout in Congress.
Every session of Congress, Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, ranks the states in what it calls its “Clout Index.”
Updated at 4:30 p.m.
This week, Rep. Vance McAllister (R) joined the most welcoming society in Louisiana politics. After getting caught kissing a staffer, he is now one of many politicians in the state to have a scandal appended to his Wikipedia page, another data point in the argument that there must be something in the water there that makes politicians a magnet for bad behavior.
Louisiana is known for its colorful political characters. From Huey Long to Edwin Edwards, the state has produced more than its fair share of political rogues. From corruption to sex scandals, the state’s politicians seem to be unable to stay out of the headlines for the wrong reasons.
This fall, Mary Landrieu, who has served three terms as a US Senator, is up for election again. Recently, another experienced Democrat, four-term ex-Governor Edwin Edwards, announced that he’s running for Congress. Landrieu has faced a storm of criticism, particularly from Republicans, for her endorsement of Obamacare. Also, Landrieu has just assumed the powerful position of Chairperson of the Senate Energy and Natural Resource Committee, an important assignment for an energy-producing state such as Louisiana. This new assignment and the importance of seniority in office were the discussion topics in this section.
This fall, Louisiana voters will be looking at two elections, one for U.S. Senate and the other for Congressman for the 6th congressional District. Obviously, only those registered voters can decide the latter.
Obamacare and specifically the Medicaid expansion have been debated in the Louisiana legislature and throughout the political state capitols over the past few years. In a recent panel discussion at Loyola University, both former Democratic Louisiana governors, Edwin Edwards and Kathleen expressed their opinions that Louisiana should expand Medicaid in Louisiana, a policy the Louisiana GOP and governor Jindal has strongly opposed.
One of the major controversies this Louisiana legislative session is what to do about common core in K to 12.
Governors Buddy Roemer, Edwin Edwards and Kathleen Blanco are supportive of common core. They expressed their positions on the subject last week during a panel discussion at Loyola University.
With former Governor Edwin Edwards back in the political saddle, there has been much discussion whether Edwards would hurt or help the other well-known democrat, US Senator Mary Landrieu, in her bid for re-election.