Monday, 18 August 2014 18:15

Is Jindal singing Scott Angelle's tune for Louisiana Governor?

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Scott-Angelle-Will he and for what?

Columnist Tom Aswell of the Louisiana Voice has interestingly pointed out that Scott Angelle, the current Public Service Commissioner, just might be considering a run for Louisiana Governor or Lt. Governor.

 Aswell, notes that a webpage (in a pdf circular) in the name of “Friends of Scott Angelle” is making the rounds asking for campaign contributions. 

Contributions, up to five thousand dollars, are requested to be sent to Allee Bautsch.

Louisiana political watchers know that Bautsch has been Governor Bobby Jindal (and his wife’s Surpriya’s) very-able fundraiser.  Bautsch was in the center of the Surpriya Jindal Foundation controversy raising money from some of the same corporate contributors as those who have given to the governor’s war chests.

To boot, Aswell notes she also worked for the ill-fated Jindal-supported Neil Riser for U.S. Congress campaign.  

So, what gives?

Who knows?  Probably not even Angelle, himself.

Still, the election season musical chairs are now upon us.  So, here’s my own best guess as we play the popular game of  “Name Those Political Tunes”.

Tune #1: Angelle is being somewhat coy.  As noted on his “Friends” page, “Scott was recently quoted in LA Politics Weekly Newsletter saying, "September is a great time in Louisiana with hunting, football, food and festivals. It's also a great time for political announcements."

Tune #2: The race for Lt. Governor has just gotten a tad bit more tighter.  Last week, John Young, the Jefferson Parish President, entered the fray.  Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser has been running for the same spot.  So, has African American republican, Elbert Guillory, a recent GOP convert.

Tune #3: The “Friends” know they need to raise money and fast.  The website says, “It is important that we, friends of Scott, send out a clear message and work to keep him in a position to serve Louisiana. He is one of the few that puts people before party, puts Louisiana before Washington, and focuses on the next generation, not the next election.

Tune # 4: Often those type of political slogans are dripping with clues.  Not these.  “Keep him in a position…” could imply Public Service Commission.  “Puts people before party”--might be a way to remind Democrats that he once was one of them (having served for Democratic Governor Kathleen Blanco) before wearing Republican red.   “Putting Louisiana before Washington—a phrase that goes against the argument that these “friends” are from the Jindal camp.  “Next generation, not the next election”—again, not uttered by those upset at the chronic disappearances of Governor Jindal.

Tune # 5: Is there room for Angelle in the Louisiana governor’s race?  So far, Republican David Vitter has dominated that race both in fundraising and in the polls.  Some conservatives are hacked off that the US Senator has sounded squishy lately over Common Core and other issues.  Some of those conservatives, who have been the core of Vitter’s base, are looking elsewhere to land, but can’t find a soft spot, as of yet.

Tune # 6: Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne, has been touted as the number one competitor for the seat, followed by the possible entries of Treasurer John Kennedy.  Neither have made much noise as Vitter’s presence has sucked the air out of the room.

Tune # 7: For now, on the Democratic side, Jon Bel Edwards, appears to be the party’s only hope.  Should his campaign not gain traction (which so far, it has not done), there are the draft Mitch Landrieu rumors.  And, given the right set of circumstances, Advocate owner John Georges just might be persuaded to come out of political retirement to take another shot at the state’s top chair.

Tune # 8: Given the money Vitter has in the campaign bank and the his Super PAC funds which are finding its ways to his state campaign, Angelle better make a decision soon as time is not on his side.  But, wait.  Should he step into the run for Governor, don’t think that Kennedy and other “Friends” of other politicians won’t be watching.  A Angelle entry opens the door for others and a diluted and more competitive field hurts Vitter the most making his winning--not as inevitable.

Tune # 9: Unquestionably, Jindal would want to have a say as to whom would reside in the Mansion once he moves to Washington DC.   Vitter, Kennedy and Dardenne are not at the top of his own “friends” list, if at all.  Angelle is.  So is Bautsch, Team Jindal’s fundraiser and Timmy needs something to do, too.  

Tune # 10:  Being seen as a “Friend of Bobby Jindal” is not a tag many will openly care to  wear.  Despite his national followers, he is still one of the most unpopular governors in the US.  Jindal’s days of influence in Louisiana are waning as each hour he travels through Iowa and New Hampshire mount.

Angelle is right.  Louisiana in September is great for football and political announcements.

His future decision probably depends upon the amount of political dough flying into Allee Bautsch’s Angelle account, which to this date, claims no official office, in mind, just friends. 

So, what will Angelle do, come this fall? 

Stay tuned.

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Stephen Sabludowsky | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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