Louisiana Democrats will file a report in the next few weeks outlining the source of their donations. It will be very interesting to how much of the $750,000 came from Caroline’s father, Calvin Fayard, the Fayard family or family business interests. It is illegal to earmark donations to a state party organization for a specific political campaign. In mid-October, the state party’s political action committee received $210,000 in contributions from the Fayard family or their business interests. The next day, the state party spent $209,936 on a media buy for Caroline Fayard. Obviously, it looks like the donation had strings attached, so was the rest of the money “donated” for a similar purpose? Hopefully, a vigorous investigation will be conducted to discover all of the facts about this issue.
What is impressive is that Dardenne won so easily. Not only was he continually pummeled by a well financed opponent, but he also received no significant help from his own party organization, the Louisiana GOP. However, Dardenne did receive significant help from President Obama whose unpopularity helped all Republicans on the ballot yesterday. Dardenne also rode the coattails of U.S. Senator David Vitter, who easily vanquished his petulant Democratic opponent. What is ironic is that Dardenne considered challenging Vitter in the Republican U.S. Senate primary before deciding not to run and eventually set his sights on the race for Lt. Governor.
Despite being outspent by Fayard, Dardenne ran a good race, accurately exposing his opponent’s liberal connections. Once Louisiana voters understood Fayard is a typical trial lawyer liberal, Dardenne was poised to score a strong victory. Fayard may run for office in statewide elections next year, but it will be difficult to shed the liberal label firmly attached by Dardenne.
Now that he is elected as Lt. Governor, Dardenne will have to face the voters next year in statewide elections. Rumors have been circulating that Governor Bobby Jindal has encouraged Lt. Governor Scott Angelle to challenge Dardenne next year. This may explain Jindal’s curious lack of involvement in Dardenne’s campaign. While endorsing Republicans all over the country, he refused to support Dardenne, Vitter or any of the Louisiana GOP congressional candidates.
Jindal is obviously not thinking about Louisiana very much. Soon, the Governor will embark on a nationwide tour touting his book on “leadership” during the oil crisis. Supposedly, this will not be a comic book or a work of fiction, but a real book of non-fiction, go figure.
When Jindal departs for his national book tour, more questions will be asked about his absentee leadership. Rumors persist that Jindal may succeed Michael Steele as RNC Chairman. Some Republicans would like to see Jindal step forward and assume the position of party leader.
Serving as RNC Chairman will allow Jindal a big increase in pay and give him what he desires most of all, national exposure. The job only requires the ability to raise money and give speeches, two of Jindal’s favorite activities.
Such as job would allow the Governor to depart the scene before the start of a brutal legislative session and forgo any difficult budget decisions, which would hurt him politically.
Now that Dardenne has been elected Lt. Governor, Jindal does not have to worry about a Democrat succeeding him as Governor. He has all the incentive in the world to leave and very little reason to stay, unless he has a change of heart and really wants to do his job and finally act like a Governor.
Jeff Crouere is a native of New Orleans, LA and he is the host of a Louisiana based program, “Ringside Politics,” which airs at 7:30 p.m. Fri. and 10:00 p.m. Sun. on WLAE-TV 32, a PBS station, and 7 till 11 a.m..weekdays on WGSO 990 AM in New Orleans and the Northshore. For more information, visit his web site at www.ringsidepolitics.com. E-mail him at [email protected].
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