By Stephen Winham, guest columnist
Publisher on LouisianaVoice.com
Caveat: I worked closely with Buddy Roemer as state budget director. I have only the barest of acquaintances with John Bel Edwards. For this reason, I must question how fair my comparison of the two can be. I admit I am disappointed in John Bel Edwards’ performance as governor to date and have admired Roemer’s efforts even more with the passage of time.
Jim Brown, former State Senator, Louisiana Secretary of State and Insurance Commissioner, knows a little bit about the term, “scrub the budget”. That was the term famously used by former Governor Buddy Roemer, who came from election nowhere in the final weeks of the gubernatorial campaign, to beat then-incumbent Edwin Edwards, Billy Tauzin, Bob Livingston and Speedy Long in 1987.
Twenty-six years ago this week, perhaps the most consequential and controversial election in the nation’s history took place here in the Bayou State. Edwin Edwards and David Duke squared off in a run-off election for Governor. Not only were voters across the nation fascinated by what was taking place down in the deepest of the deep Southern states. There was worldwide interest in a showdown between a controversial former Governor and the former head of the Ku Klux Klan.