Attorney Fayard ran a close second to Republican Sec. of State Jay Dardenne in the primary, taking advantage of $300,000 loaned to herself and a similar amount raised through connections to her father, attorney Calvin Fayard, Jr., a prominent Democrat fundraiser and activist. (Fayard herself apparently has given large sums of money since her teens to Democrat candidates for various offices – must be nice to have that much scratch when so young to throw away on liberal politicians – and what comes around, goes around now for her.) Much appears to come from traditional Democrat supporters around the New Orleans/Capital area, with some sprinkled in from outside likely connected to a fundraiser headlined by former Pres. Bill Clinton, and from one prominent conservative (Donald Boysinger) and at least one apparently illegal contribution (one Erin Shaw who put down a New Orleans address gave $1,800 over the $5,000 maximum for a single election for state major office on 9/11/10).
Such huge sums for a newcomer to elective office can make you competitive only if conditions are right to take your blank slate and make it appear how you want it to for different people – much as Pres. Barack Obama (one of the beneficiaries of her donations) did in his campaign for the White House – and they have been there for Fayard, with one major exception that this is an incredibly bad electoral environment in which for a Democrat to run. In this anti-Washington year, some of it spills over to a nakedly ambitious state politician like Dardenne. Also, the job which she seeks is the most ideologically issue-less statewide elected office, making it more difficult to connect the dots between those she associates with politically if she’s trying to build a particular image to overcome all the negativity about her political fellow-travelers.
Which she has been trying to do. Going on the radio talk show of a huge Dardenne critic, Moon Griffon, Fayard tried to position herself as opponent of Obama’s signature health care legislation and tax increases to deal with the state’s budget deficit, and as a supporter of drastic downsizing of state government. These stated positions seem very much the opposite of the kinds of people with which she has associated with and supported politically – and also have absolutely nothing to do with the lieutenant governor’s position. By contrast, Dardenne has focused his campaign on issues dealing with what the position actually does.
But since she brought it up, perhaps she should clarify publicly whether she would vote for or donate to Obama again given her articulated issue preferences in that Obama obviously likes his legislation and advocates tax increases with no sign he wishes to reduce the size of government with its record-breaking spending, and whether she agrees with these things. Otherwise without this explanation, silence on this contradiction adds to a disturbing pattern of creative license involving politics on her part, not just with questions about how a teenager/college student can afford and wants to give substantial donations of money to liberal candidates.
In the end, voters will have to decide whether they want to go with Dardenne, with a long record of liberal and conservative issue preferences and is the devil they know, or with the devil they don’t know in Fayard, who in trying to be all things to all people, leading to wondering whether she can be trusted in any way.