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20.3.14

Ignorant analysis raises credibility issues for politics site

If you’re a careful reader of the website LaPolitics founder John Maginnis, you can see hints of the liberal Democrat in him just straining to get out. But sometimes his suppression fails, as it did in a hope-against-hope opinion piece about Sen. Mary Landrieu’s reelection chances, thereby reminding the viewing public that while his site is great on political gossip, it often comes up short on analysis.



You don’t have to be a reader of this space to know that Landrieu is in trouble, continuing to post polling metrics with which, absent some unanticipated major large error by the prime opposition, seldom if ever an incumbent Senator has won. Maginnis dances around that fact – trotting out one poll that shows her in a toss-up while ignoring another theoretically in terms of its administration more favorable to her that shows her slipping behind outside the margin of error for likely voters – and then writes off her decline in poll numbers over the last many months not as a function of the internal contradictions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare,” for which she was the decisive vote) becoming ever more visible, or of making unforced errors (such as backing controversial Pres. Barack Obama nominees), or of her inability to find any issue where she can distinguish herself from her major competitor Rep. Bill Cassidy (in part because Obama keeps negating her narrative), but as a function of the interest group Americans for Prosperity’s campaign highlighting for the most part her key role in and full-throated defense of passing Obamacare.



There’s truth to that only insofar, as anyone who studies political campaigns and/or works in them, as there is truth in the advertising campaign itself. And that’s why it’s been effective: people know Landrieu was the reason both the state and country got inflicted with Obamacare and they know (with some ads using a clip of her saying this in the Senate) she said it would let people keep health plans they liked when in reality they could not. And because this truth does not change, in a state whose population loathes Obamacare, it’s going to continue to hurt her.

19.3.14

Edwards' tactics reminds of his precarious candidacy

While the calendar says that the next Louisiana governor’s election won’t be until next November and for now political attention is on an ex-convict by that last name, the future is now for Democrat state Rep. John Bel Edwards as he scrambles to maintain viability in this contest.



It began early last month when New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu with only minor difficulty got himself reelected, eliciting from Edwards a remark in a congratulatory communiqué that Landrieu should keep his campaign promise to serve the full term – meaning he would not run for governor against Edwards. That he found it necessary not just to state this, but also not to keep it private, constitutes an admission by Edwards that if Louisiana Democrats’ candidate statures were akin to a 45 rpm single, he is stamped on the B-side.



Then, days later on the eve that campaign finance reports were due for major office candidates in the contest that, as of the end of that reporting period, only had Edwards as a significant candidate, his campaign breathlessly announced that he had pulled in $550,000 or so in the period, leaving around $475,000 in the bank. Never mind, of course, that the only other announced significant candidate, Republican Sen. David Vitter, already had a group set up to help him raise three times that and hinted that had effectively doubled in the previous few weeks, or that the all-but-announced candidate Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne (whose report lists the office in question as “statewide”), who felt no need to broadcast it, had raised over $750,000 in this period and at the end of 2013 sat on $1.225 million.

18.3.14

EWE entry display depths of Democrats' desperation

Prisoner #03128-095 has announced he's back in action, and state Democrats cling to the dubious hope that the tradeoff of forfeiting the Sixth Congressional District to the GOP in the service of redemption and ego-boosting can pay off with a statewide win.



Because, as previously noted, there is no way that, as he was known before conviction for his felonious activity, former Gov. Edwin Edwards can win this seat. All right, never say never, so let’s say he can, using his own words, if all the other male candidates kill the females and drag their bodies to a homosexual/necrophiliac orgy amongst themselves. That seems unlikely to happen.



Why this is happening is the convergence of a community of interests, and neither has to do with his ability to win. For Edwards, it’s a matter of getting enough attention for what he sees as redemption. Even as he continues to show he has absolutely no redeeming character by refusing to admit to and ask forgiveness for his known betrayal of Louisiana by the criminal activities that landed him in jail, as pitiable as a human being as he might be, it got worse when he was trotted out for national ridicule in the delusional pursuit of grandeur and increased self-esteem engineered by his latest wife in the form of a (poorly-received) reality television show. If there was any time one could feel sorry for the exploited wretch, it was then.

17.3.14

Landrieu can't afford to trade baskets with Cassidy

“March Madness” of the National Collegiate Athletic Association basketball tournaments descending upon us provides the perfect metaphor for the increasingly precarious electoral position of Democrat Sen. Mary Landrieu – by only trading baskets with the prime competitor for her reelection Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy, she will lose the game.



At a certain point in a game, when a team has a lead on another, it no longer must resort to an aggressive, potential risky style of play that could result in unwise shot selection or turnovers. Instead, it merely must counter moves by the opposition, where the opposition in fact must embark on this style of play in order to make up ground on the leader. And this situation as it pertains to the 2014 Senate election in Louisiana was reiterated in the denouement of changes to flood insurance legislation widely criticized particularly in the southern part of the state.



The recently-changed law, garnering votes of both Landrieu (even though she publicly admitted it would increase some rates dramatically) and Cassidy, set up stark and immediate rate increases for some policyholders, and potentially for buyers of property. To review, Landrieu sponsored a bill to offer some rate relief, only to have her co-partisan Pres. Barack Obama initially cut her down when his staff said the bill would draw a veto because it increased taxpayer costs. Then Cassidy got attached to the successful budget bill a measure to delay implementation of the then-law. This made him appear more effective than Landrieu.

16.3.14

Legislature needs to curb constables living large

Looks like the mainstream media finally is catching on to the open-ended nature of the constable office in Louisiana, and maybe that will spur legislative action to ensure that taxpayer resources get used in a more appropriate manner.



Regular readers of this space already have seen how the vague parameters to this elective office, designed to be part-time in nature, can be used to create a tidy income stream for a holder of it. What’s new here is how Jefferson Parish 2nd Justice District Constable Antoine “Tony” Thomassie has taken it to a whole new level.



Louisiana Revised Statutes 13:5807 gives a good idea of what constables may do, which generally is to serve processes from whichever Justice of the Peace court to which they are attached in their district. They also may collect suit costs and seize and sell movable and immovable property under orders of their courts. New Orleans has some special considerations for its constables, and some parishes allow their constables to appoint one or more deputies. Jefferson with East Baton Rouge allow an unlimited number of these. Constables are elected with six-year terms; the next round of elections for them is later this year.