For the past year, or so, the election has been dwarfed by the hijinks and the theatrics of Donald Trump and his rogue revolution. That show runs 24/7 on network and cable TV in every county and parish in the country. Every once in a while, it is interrupted by a terror attack, an unfortunate shooting and racial disharmony and a hurricane or flood, here and there. We're spoiled. The presidential affair is the best of reality TV and situation comedy, rolled into one.
No wonder, those wanting to take the place of current US Senator David Vitter, are having such difficulty in getting any type of notice.
It just hasn't felt like a statewide election of significant consequences, such as the fight for the state's top federal office holder. Compare it to the excitement of the past two major election encounters. Last year, the governor's election was in full swing. Neighbors began to hate one another as early as springtime. By the time fall came around, it was all out warfare between friends and family. After all, it was the mean and tragic Vitter against everybody. The year before, our last US Senate race featuring Mary Landrieu and the victor Bill Cassidy, every day, there were charges and counter charges. The Internet sizzled with disagreements. The anger meter was sky high.
In 2014, Mary Landrieu and the ultimate victor, Bill Cassidy were embroiled in a real barn burner. Newcomer Rob Maness came out from nowhere. The TV shows were full of new commercials. Daddy Moon made cameo appearances. The state was bent upon taking down Mary Landrieu for her involvement in the so-called "Louisiana purchase". Every day was met with charges of corruption and counter charges. The Internet sizzled with disagreements. The anger meter was sky high.
By comparison, this year, the election is a yawn. Even with the presence of Nazi-in-resident, David Duke, it is hard to stay awake.
The election field counts at 24 but organizations and public TV has decided that only five have a chance to win. Thus, we have two leading democrats. One, Foster Campbell, has been around since the beginning of time. He was one off the three clowns in Bobby Jindal's TV commercials in 2007 when they both ran for Louisiana governor. The other, Caroline Fayard, shows promise but has little to show other than running a previous respectable Lt. Governor's race. She's a still-fresh face and plenty of family money. She also has the sword of Damocles hanging over her head. the GOP will not forget to remind its base that she made the deplorable statement that republicans eat their young. Yummy.
On the other side of the ledger, the three top Republicans candidates, treasurer John Kennedy and Congressmen Charles Boustany and John Fleming, are fighting for the top spot. Kennedy, is borrowing (or perhaps stealing) his "we have a spending problem, not a revenue problem" phrase from his many TV and radio appearances of the past. He has simply substituted Congress for the Louisiana government. Creative.
Fleming and Boustany, both physicians, both conservatives, from different parts of the state, are running against President Obama. Now, that's original, too.
The most exciting part of the entire election, quite honestly, has been the claim by Kennedy that he is not pushing the allegations of Boustany's alleged prostitution involvement. The truth is, he did. Following that controversy, David Duke and Rob Maness (along with a few other potential candidates), not making the cut, has been of sufficient interest to raise an eye from its heavy and deep slumber.
Otherwise, despite efforts by some of the candidates to make some noise, like the emails below, there's much ado about not much. And, that's a generous way of saying, "wake me up when it's over".
THE DEMS ATTACK
Today, the two leading democrat candidates have come out swinging at one another. Here are two e-missives slamming one another. the general consensus is, one of the two candidates will make the runoff.
From the Fayard campaign
“Foster is desperately clinging to the outdated political strategy that by tearing others down he can build himself up. After four decades in political office, he should know better.”
NEW ORLEANS- U.S. Senate candidate Caroline Fayard today responded to the distortions and misrepresentations leveled against her by opponent Foster Campbell in a round of televised attack ads. The ads reveal Campbell’s glaring misogyny and sexism, dwelling relentlessly on accusations about Fayard’s family.
“Foster Campbell has a problem: he’s losing to a woman, and he doesn’t know how to deal with it,” said Caroline Fayard. “The only truthful part of that ad is where he says I’ve never held political office. His campaign is failing, and instead of taking me on directly, he is dismissing me, trying to lump me in with my family, as if my voice isn’t valid on its own.”
The Campbell ad refers to past campaign contributions made by members of Fayard’s family to Bobby Jindal. Caroline Fayard has never contributed to Bobby Jindal.
“First Foster attempted to bully me out of this race. When he failed, he then ran an attack ad on radio against my mother. Recently, we all heard his campaign manager’s profanity-laced tirade trying to extort an endorsement from the state Democratic party, which Foster assumed he was owed. And he continues to crisscross Louisiana, talking openly about my candidacy using phrases like ‘that woman’ and ‘that girl.’”
Campbell’s “strategy” is all the more incomprehensible in that he has accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the owners, executives, and lobbyists of the companies he regulates on the Public Service Commission.
Faced with stagnant poll numbers it comes as no surprise that he’s now taking his chauvinistic road-show to the airwaves.
“The people of Louisiana understand my parents aren’t on the ballot--I am. I’m the one beating a career politician in poll after poll and up-ending the status quo.
“Foster is desperately clinging to the outdated political strategy that by tearing others down he can build himself up. After four decades in political office he should know better.”
From the Campbell campaign
The Baton Rouge Advocate reported on purposefully misleading statements made by the Caroline Fayard campaign Thursday.
Fayard Campaign Commercial Not Yet Airing -- Baton Rouge, Advocate Oct 6, 2016
Excerpt: "A campaign press release said Caroline Fayard launched her first TV ad for the U.S. Senate race on Tuesday, and on Twitter that day she said her first spot 'is out today.' But none of the five TV stations in southern Louisiana surveyed Thursday had a record that Fayard is indeed on the air.[...] Fayard spokesman Beau Tidwell said only that his candidate was on the air Thursday. He did not respond to a request for specifics."
The Times Picayune published the following clarification after being similarly misled by Fayard's press release in which she claimed her ad was airing on television:
"*CLARIFICATION: A previous version of this story may have left readers with the impression that Caroline Fayard's campaign has an ad running on television. That ad is presently running online[...]
Competitive buying information obtained by the Campbell campaign still shows, at the time of this advisory, that the Fayard campaign has placed only $3,079 worth of air time and has not yet aired a single ad on television.
The Fayard campaign still hasn't answered why she refuses to release her tax returns or why they purposefully misled members of the press when they claimed that their ad was running on television.
But, this isn't the first false statement that Fayard has made to the press or the public. Her pattern of exaggeration and deception will undoubtedly come back to haunt her before election day. Stay tuned.