Believe it or not the fall campaign has begun. In October, Louisiana voters will face an election for all statewide offices except our two United States Senators. Many parish and local races will also be on the ballot. Statewide incumbents are gearing up for re-election and few serious challengers, if any, are on the horizon.
Governor will be the biggest office up for election. Governor Bobby Jindal is about as certain for reelection as any incumbent could possibly be. He has been easily raising money here in Louisiana as well as around the country having amassed a war chest in excess of $9 million making it tough for anyone to seriously challenge him.
Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne (R) was recently elected to replace former Lt. Governor and now New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu (D). Attorney General Buddy Caldwell (R) took a major step in his bid for re-election by switching to the Republican Party. Secretary of State Tom Schedler (R) succeeded Jay Dardenne and will likely face the most serious challenge for election being a non-elected incumbent. Don’t count Secretary Schedler out. He is a savvy campaigner and former state senator from St. Tammany Parish. He will be tough to beat. Other statewide officials are in a good position for re-election.
Some of the media outlets are trying to turn the Governor’s race into a race before any serious candidate has expressed an interest in running. Gov. Jindal has been criticized for traveling out of state and for his extensive fundraising both in and out of the state. The reality of political campaigns, however, is money. It costs money to run for public office, and it costs money to stay in office.
The media criticizes elected officials for raising campaign money and sometimes for even how it is spent. Some elected officials do deserve criticism. The spending can become reckless and others engage in constant fundraising when the money on hand is more than enough for an upcoming campaign. In a hotly contested race for governor, however, each candidate could easily spend more than $10 million. That is not right, but that is the reality.
Though the media criticizes candidates, it does not give free ad space or air time to a candidate to espouse his or her views on the issues of the campaign. At best a candidate may get his or her views reported in a filtered version in a news story. Many times those filtered versions fail to adequately portray the true message.
Regrettably, political forums are poorly attended. Sometimes radio works; but, with all of the commercials on talk radio today, it is difficult to get enough air time to adequately express one’s thoughts or message. If a candidate wants to get his or her message out, it is necessary to buy the time or the ad space or to use direct mail or a professional phone bank; and that costs money.
Public financing of political campaigns has been offered as the solution. But the expense of such financing would be huge and would diminish the funding of other public services that many argue are underfunded already.
One day maybe there will be a better way to campaign and a better way to pay for it. But in today’s world the lifeblood of campaigns is money. And even though we rightfully criticize it, it remains a necessary evil.
As much as the media would like to see Bobby Jindal seriously threatened for reelection, it won’t happen. And the number one reason is voters identify with him. That’s why they call him “Bobby.” It’s a personal relationship that so many voters feel for Bobby. And that is the best position for any elected official.
The media can criticize Bobby Jindal all they want, but Bobby is well on his way to re-election. It’s his race to lose.
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.
On Saturday at the Fleur de Lis Center in Mandeville, LA, Herman Cain wowed a jammed packed crowd of hundreds of tea party activists. Cain addressed the Northshore Tea Party on a host of important issues, such as the “broke” federal government, the importance of faith in America today and his potential run for the White House in 2012.
If the enthusiastic response at the Northshore Tea Party is any indication of the reaction Cain is receiving from across the nation, the former radio broadcaster and corporate CEO will jump into the wide open race for the Republican nomination.
What is occuring this weekend in New Orleans? Mardi Gras is beginning with parades hitting the down town streets.
Also,there's time to plan for the 27th Annual Mad Hatter's Luncheon Fashion Show, "Mad Hatter's Masquerade", on Thursday presented by The Women's Guild of the New Orleans Opera Association.
Despite the wishes of the liberal media, the tea party movement is alive and well. Barely two years old, this movement has already captured the United States House of Representatives and is on its way to taking over the Senate and the White House in 2012. Of course, tea party activists are working through the Republican Party, but it is a marriage that will not last if the GOP reverts back to their big government ways.
Saints coach Sean Payton and his wife, Beth, have signed a lease-to-purchase agreement on their dream house in the Dallas area. It's a spacious $4.5 million dwelling and property currently owned by New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teuxeria. The Paytons have two children, Meghan (13) and Connor (11) who attend parochial school on the Northshore. "The feedback that's I've gotten has been outstanding," said Payton. "It's a great sign of how much people care about our team and care about what we do. I don't ever take that lightly. I take it very seriously. The fans are passionate about the team and about what we've meant to the city. I'm glad to have been a part of if the last five years and look forward to the next five years. There's never a lull when it comes to the Saints in this community. The feedback and the support that I've gotten has been amazing, That is something that we don't ever take for granted."...
U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman took on the United States Interior Department once again by ordering it to act quickly on five pending permits.
The ruling came the same day as oil containment test has proven successful.
Feldman told the Interior Department's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement to act within 30 days. The agency rules on permit applications in the Gulf of Mexico.
What does Iran have in mind as it has reportedly requested two navy ships to pass through the Suez Canal? Is this the first possible foreign policy crises for the new Egyption government since the fall of Hosni Mubarak?
According to Marketwatch, the Egyptian government has received a request from Iran to allow two of its navy ships to pass through the Suez Canal, according to media reports Thursday.
Is it wise for Governor Jindal to continue certain targeted tax incentives to lure and keep businesses at a time education funding will be frozen?
Louisiana Federation of Teachers President Steve Monaghan sent out a statement criticizing Jindal for announcing that he was in favor of extending and even expanding the incentives such as for Digital Media.
Below is the statement issued by Monaghan. Also, here is the story from February 17 in which Jindal made the tax announcement:
Governor Bobby Jindal’s announcement that he will seek even more tax breaks, adding to the more than 440 already in place, is an example of the poor choices that have contributed to Louisiana current fiscal crisis, Louisiana Federation of Teachers President Steve Monaghan said today.
“Just one day after announcing that education funding will be frozen for another year, the governor now says that he wants to add to the more than $7 billion in tax loopholes that are starving the services Louisiana families depend on,” said Monaghan.
Today, Secretary Scott Angelle commended the Marine Well Containment Company (MWCC) for the completion and readiness of an initial well containment response system with the capability for rapid response in the event of a future underwater well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico’s deepwaters.
Below is the statement from the Secretary:
“I commend the industry for diligently working together to develop the most comprehensive spill containment system in the world. This is a significant milestone and the next major step in our mission to get the men and women of the Gulf of Mexico’s energy industry back to work finding the fuel that energizes America,” said Angelle.
As the state’s liaison between the offshore oil and gas industry and the federal government, Angelle is leading the effort to bring a return to responsible exploration and the jobs and economic stability that come with it.
Through the establishment of the Back to Work Coalition, a group of industry representatives facilitated by the Gulf Economic Survival Team (GEST), Angelle has presented a unified voice to Director Bromwich and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) officials in order to create a clearer roadmap for resumption of normal Gulf exploration operations.
“We believed in December that the best course of action would be to organize the Back to Work Coalition, who would work to identify the obstacles standing in the way of the issuance of new permits. Certainly we believe that the efforts of the Coalition have kept people focused, asking the right questions, and working toward real solutions,” added Angelle.
“We are grateful to Governor Jindal for his support of the Back to Work Coalition and our efforts throughout this process.”
The Back to Work Coalition has traveled to Washington, D.C. five times in the last six weeks for meetings with Director Bromwich and staff.
“This announcement by MWCC is indeed a success story for our mission, but we will continue pushing toward the end zone. Between MWCC and the Helix Well Containment Group, it is apparent that industry is ready and willing to go the distance to get folks back to work. It’s all hands on deck moving forward as we work toward resolving the remaining issues standing in the way of the approval of new plans and permits for drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.”
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It might be good news for Louisiana who has been suffering from what many consider to be a deepwater drilling defacto moratorium post BP oil spill.
The Marine Well Containment Company (MWCC), a non-profit organization comprised of member oil and gas companies, announced the breakthrough in Houston today, just hours after completing the series of tests targeted to contain spills such as the BP disaster of 2010.
Below is a press release from US Senator Mary Landrieu who said the successful test was welcoming news and again urged that deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico be resumed.