Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has had a very fortunate political career. In 2015, he was elected because many Republicans refused to support his GOP opponent, then U.S. Senator David Vitter. Last November, his narrow victory occurred because a significant number of Republican voters abandoned the GOP candidate, businessman Eddie Rispone, to support his re-election.
This week, he scored another victory as his preferred candidate for House Speaker, Representative Clay Schexnayder (R-Gonzales) was elected by a Republican-controlled legislature. Schexnayder defeated a more conservative opponent, Representative Sherman Mack (R-Albany) by a healthy 60-45 margin.
According to national political pundits, there is a revolution going on all over America. Voters are in a rebellion mode with little confidence in the political leadership at both the national and state levels. Being an incumbent politician is no longer a badge of honor. A poll released recently and sponsored by the Washington Post and ABC news finds that “72% of Americans believe that politicians cannot be trusted and two thirds think the country’s political system is dysfunctional.
Qualifications have ended and it’s now a sprint to election day. So what top issues should the candidates for governor and the legislature talk about in the coming weeks? There is an abyss of a state with massive fiscal problems, an educational system that is dysfunctional, a healthcare system that needs a major overhauling, a highway system that has been neglected for years…get the picture?
Grandparents visiting day took me to Portland, Maine this past weekend to spend time with my two oldest grandsons. The highlight of the trip was of course hanging out with the boys and attending their various camp activities. But second on my list was to partake and enjoy Maine seafood, particularly the bountiful supply of lobster. Now coming from the Bayou State with the best seafood in the nation, my standards are high. And with all due respect to the fine folks in Maine, I was disappointed.
It’s getting close to redistricting time for legislators in Louisiana. By federal law, all election districts must be reapportioned every 10 years to reflect the latest census figures. But should legislators, who have a vested interest in how the redistricting lines are drawn, actually do the drawing?
Here’s what we learned from the first democratic presidential debate last week. Do not fraternize with those you disagree with and never refer to a fellow politician as son, boy or anything similar. It’s just not “politically correct.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden was roasted for talking about trying to find common ground with conservative southern senators when he served in the U.S. Senate. “At least there was some civility” Biden said about working with segregationists like former Mississippi Senator James Eastland. He should not have been so “civil” says a number of other democratic candidates.
Psst… Wake up.
Don’t tell anyone, but we’ve got a "red-hot" statewide election here in Louisiana in just a few months. In fact, all Louisiana legislators are up for either re-election or are vacating their seats due to terms-limits. There might be a legislator here or there just throwing in the towel even before their time expires.
Ok, stop your yawning. You're not interested, you say?
Well, positions such as Lt. Governor, Secretary of State, Insurance Commissioner are all up for grabs. Oh, did I not mention, the big kahuna of all, the top spot, Louisiana Governor? This is currently held by Democrat John Bel Edwards. No doubt, replacing him is top on the agenda for the Louisiana Republican Party.
Sorry, was that a "ho-hum" or "hum-dinger"?
Oh, I see. Well, does anybody know? Does anybody care?
Well, if you’re running for office, absolutely. But, if you’re Mr. or Ms. Average Voter, maybe not.
While it's not yet quite the time to talk Louisiana elections, at least until qualification week, here's an idea--let's talk Louisiana elections and politics.
For starts, here are items hitting the Bayoubuzz email box over the past two days. To get the conversation going. perhaps the ultimate question to ask right now is, which party is best suited to take home the marbles this fall, Democrats or Republicans? Pollster John Couvillon shares his views in a post from his website.
One of those people seeking a legislatie seat hails from House Seat 79th in Jefferson Parish. Attorney and civic activist, Debra Villio, seeks a seat in the Louisiana House of Representatives.
Now, this is one of the issues that we might not hear much about this upcoming election--global warming. A candidate for Statewide seat wants to know, why not?
The state of Louisiana is one of the most unique places in the world. We live in a state with tremendous history, architecture and culture. We are blessed with the Mississippi River, countless bayous and waterways and bountiful natural resources which allow our state to earn the title of “sportsman’s paradise.”
Perhaps the most extraordinary thing about the 2019 legislative season was the lack of extraordinary sessions. For the first year since the governor and current legislators were elected in 2015, we had no special session. Whether the reason was fatigue or election politics, our leaders in the Capitol determined that seven special sessions over the previous three years was enough. One major factor - and the most important characteristic of this session - was the existence of a more stable budget outlook based on a sales tax revenue stream established last year after much political wrangling. The 2019 session was the least contentious fiscal debate since the post-Katrina era. There were no mid-year budget cuts to adjust around, no drawdowns on the state rainy day fund and no obvious short-term gimmicks to prop the budget. The main theme was which programs to expand, not which to cut.