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28.11.06

Daniel should address own record before doubting others'

Perhaps as a coming attraction that a number of members of the Louisiana Legislature will try to duplicate next year during their elections, state Rep. William Daniel IV is trying to run, but cannot hide, from his voting record.

The House term-limited Daniel is trying to succeed new Secretary of State Jay Dardenne against physician Bill Cassidy, both Republicans – although Daniel is a recent convert to the party in the past year. Yet, he is trying to paint Cassidy as “soft” Republican by publicizing Cassidy’s $1,000 contribution to Democrat Gov. Kathleen Blanco’s campaign in 2003. Cassidy says he has moved on from that and now supports Rep. Bobby Jindal should he run for governor.

But Daniel is one to talk, according to his voting record courtesy of the Louisiana Legislature Log. Graded on a scale where 0 was the most extreme liberal/populist score and 100 was the most extreme conservative/reform score, in 2005 Daniel graded at a 57 – behind 27 Republicans although higher than all but 4 non-Republicans, where the House average was a 46 but the overall Republican average was a 64. In 2004, then a Democrat, Daniel scored a 60, behind 26 Republicans whose average as a whole was also a 64 while the House average was a 52.

What really drove his scores down these years was he missed a number of votes on key legislation without any excuses, which served as votes against good legislation such as failing to support lower cable prices in 2005 or in 2004 on an amendment to fund teacher pay raises without additional taxes, because absences are counted as negative votes, but this also calls into question his fidelity as a legislator. The record shows Daniel – when he shows up – votes pretty well for conservative and reform measures as most Republicans would, but that he somehow managed to miss unexcused a number controversial votes, even if he did vote on other measures the very same day.

Constituents in Senate District 16 probably want their senator to earn his salary by being there and who’s willing to cast the tough votes to show that he’s in step with their proclivities – Republican in this instance. Recent Democrat Daniel needs to concentrate on convincing voters that’s what he can do as a legislator, rather than criticizing an opponent on how he donated his money four years ago.

2 comments:

Bernie Pinsonat said...

LABI endorsed Daniel - Being on a public payroll and in the trough I guess LABI would not impress you -

Jeff Sadow said...

Your phrasing is a little convoluted, but I take it you're arguing a LABI endorsement would not impress me because I'm an unclassified employee of the state, as LABI typically promotes a reform, pro-free enterprise agenda, which the state is neither? Aside from the fact that my annual share of the "trough" is probably less than your yearly dry cleaning bills, saying my preferences on issues or candidates is heavily influenced by my position as a government employee is like saying we can't trust your polling results because you are bought and paid for by your clients ....

But your apparent sensitivity to this post is what's really worth investigating here. I expressed no candidate preference here; all I did was to point out that Daniel was tossing fairly lightweight stones while residing in his own fairly brittle glass house. In fact, I helped him out by giving him some campaign advice -- convince voters that he will be there to vote their preferences. Daniel is better than the typical Louisiana legislator but not one of the best by any means, and LABI has many more hits than misses on candidate choices and issue preferences, and I wouldn't see their endorsement of him as a great mistake or possibly even as a mistake.

But in pointing out that Daniel missed some controversial votes before and after switching to the GOP and then criticizes an opponent of the same party for supporting somebody of the different party Daniel himself was in at the time, prompts you to direct a response that concentrates on me while avoiding that real issue. Why?