Friday, 12 August 2011 19:07

Tucker, Schedler , Fayard Sans Hines; Louisiana Demos Blasts Tea Party, GOP For Eroding Coastal Funds

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Stephen SabludowskyThe rather abrupt departure of one Walker Hines from the Louisiana Secretary of State election could make it easier for fellow Republican Jim Tucker, the current Louisiana Speaker of the House.   

Tucker only recently entered the informal gathering of the political willing who appear eager to become the next Secretary of State while Hines has clearly been eyeing that seat since last year.

Hines, a young and very talented freshman legislator opted out of the election and even public service for now for what he states are personal reasons to pursue his financial future and to better his health.

 This means the New Orleans GOP vote might not be split after all in terms of supporting a favorite son since both Hines and Tucker are New Orleans products.  

It would seem that at least two potential candidates would have preferred Hines to stay in the race.  The more Orleans republicans fighting one another, the better or so it would seem to the acting Secretary of State Tom Schedler who hopes to remain the holder of the seat.   

Then, there is the possible race of the Louisiana Democratic Party’s “rock-star”, Carolyn Fayard (the guest speaker at the Louisiana Democratic Party’s recent annual dinner gave her that moniker).

Fayard is sporting on her website a poll that claims to show her as a formidable candidate.

The post states, “Despite a difficult political environment, there is real potential for a Democratic statewide victory in the 2011 race for Louisiana Secretary of State. Our survey of 700 likely voters in the October 2011 election shows a true toss-up between Democrat Caroline Fayard and Republican Jim Tucker. In a head-to-head match-up, Fayard leads Tucker (or similar candidate) 36 to 34 percent with 23 percent undecided. After allocating the undecided voters by party identification, Fayard maintains a 48 to 44 percent margin over Tucker. Unlike most recent statewide races in Louisiana—where Democrats faced nearly insurmountable circumstances – the 2011 Secretary of State’s race is quite winnable and will depend heavily on the candidates, their resources, and the quality of their campaigns. “

Assuming the accuracy of the poll, one must wonder how relevant the survey  would be now—given Hines’s departure.   

Most political observers would not have placed too much money on Hines against Tucker for the New Orleans area vote—although, Hines has managed to do quite well in the fundraising department despite a pitiful economy where political money is very tight.  The younger certainly would have taken some votes away from the current House Speaker in the run against Schedler,  Fayard and who knows whom else.

Looking at Fayard’s statement, perhaps a more interesting note is the sentence—“Unlike most recent statewide races in Louisiana—where Democrats faced nearly insurmountable circumstances – the 2011 Secretary of State’s race is quite winnable and will depend heavily on the candidates, their resources, and the quality of their campaigns. “

The word “faced” is past tense, not present nor future. 

While one might debate whether a Democrat could win any statewide seat in 2011, maybe Fayard has a point which is not readily realized.

So far, no big-named Democrat has emerged as a competitive runner for any other race.  At a time when money is scarce for most Louisiana politicians and now particularly Democrats, should no competitive Democrat hit the starting gate in this year of gubernatorial and other statewide elections, Fayard  just might be the recipient of most if not all of the Democrats’ largesse.  Many could see her as the  party’s “last hope” for any control of Louisiana government for as far as the eye can see.

Tea Party Harming Louisiana?

The Louisiana Democratic Party via its Chairman, Buddy Leach, has served up an interesting argument against the state’s GOP and in particular, the Tea Party.

At issue is the GOP and the Tea Party’s adamant demands to curtail federal spending, even to the point that many of them would have preferred U.S. default than “let’s make a deal”.

Without doubt, they are right that the country must cut back on its spending, although for now, it appears that the programs they want to eliminate or deeply slice are those favored by Democrats. 

But the Louisiana Democrats have taken a different angle that for the sake of argument, has some appeal.

In the recent report by the Leach and the Demos called, “Louisiana Coastal Restoration May be a Casualty of GOP Policies”,   the argument is that Republicans and the Tea Party might not favor the taste of the tea leaf for which they are asking.

Certainly, during this moment when the U.S. economy is on the sickbed suffering from terminal spending, one might agree that this nation has little interest in Louisiana’s incredible shrinking coast. 

Even worse, suppose Louisiana were to suffer another devastating disaster such as Katrina.   For almost one year after that storm there were many voices including some Louisiana natives who questioned the wisdom of restoring communities they say are falling into the Gulf.

Whether the Democrats would be successful in using these argument to further their immediate political gains might depend upon Louisiana white voter’s concerns over their own personal financial  securities in contest with their anger and outrage against an administration and a political party that they believe have abandoned their basic core values of living within the means of economic reality. 

by Stephen Sabludowsky, Publisher of

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