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Election all about Vitter still trends in his favor

From what the Louisiana State University Public Policy Lab’s latest survey tells us, not only is the 2015 governor’s race all about Sen. David Vitter, but that also it’s going the way he hopes as long as the field remains as is.

The organization today released its information concerning this contest, which probes a number of attitudinal questions but, as by its intent, did not ask voter preferences. Conducted over a considerable time span encompassing two to three months out from the election, about the only things a majority of voters knew were how they evaluated Vitter, what he stood for, that the state was headed in the wrong direction, and that they weren’t paying attention to the contest.

Over three quarters of respondents could give a favorability opinion on Vitter, with three-fifths of them seeing him favorably. By contrast, only half that number could give such an opinion on Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, where over three quarters of them saw him favorably, less than a third of that could opine about Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle, whose favorability ratio was about like Dardenne’s, and barely a quarter of that had any opinion about the race’s only Democrat state Rep. John Bel Edwards, who also had the worst favorability ratio.


Anti-LA science act totalitarian crusade continues

Activities in the Bossier Parish School District drew the ire of a chief advocate against robust education in the service of a half-baked argument built upon wishful thinking and outright fantasy, but with disturbing totalitarian impulses.

Zack Kopplin, a Louisiana native, seems to have carved out for himself a niche as the Abraham Van Helsing of science education. Since his high school days, like the eponymous character in “Whack-A-Mole,” wherever something could be construed as even hinting at bare support of any religious content seeping into that subject, with him principally focusing on creationism challenging evolution, he pops up to bray about the vampirism of it all, having seemingly built his entire public life around this one thing. In the state, perhaps he is best known as the drone who appears annually in legislative hallways to attack the Louisiana Science Education Act, which reads in part that the state is to “to create and foster an environment within public elementary and secondary schools that promotes critical thinking skills, logical analysis, and open and objective discussion of scientific theories being studied including, but not limited to, evolution, the origins of life, global warming, and human cloning.”

Taken to contributing to the leftist Slate news/opinion online site, when challenged to give examples of creationism being taught in classrooms and he could not, he went to work to locate some. He found bits and pieces from across the state, including in Ouachita Parish that he especially singles out as Patient Zero, and he blames the LSEA for it all, calling it a “backdoor” way to teach creationism, which he associates with introducing religious content into science instruction.


Fluke poll no reason to say Angelle caught Vitter

So what does it mean when two different polls about the same political contest come up with differences beyond the marginal? It means that observers get a peek into the imprecise world of survey data and the impact it can have on larger perceptions.

The fourth poll in the past five months conducted by The Hayride website, in conjunction with the MarblePort agency, on Aug. 4 and 5 produced governor’s contest results consistent with the previous versions: Republican Sen. David Vitter led the pack, a little ahead of Democrat state Rep. John Bel Edwards, and then with about half as much support comes Republicans Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle and Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne. Since May, Vitter and Dardenne have drifted down a bit, Edwards has drifted up a bit, Angelle has made much greater progress, and the undecided vote has shed about a third.

This gives the results what is termed “face validity;” that is, it seems consistent with other indicators. Vitter had the most name recognition and ought to lose some support as other candidates become better known; Angelle has had the most advertising and ought to come up the most; the undecided slowly have peeled off as the election approaches; the results move slowly but steadily in certain understandable directions.


Hypocrisy marks reaction to PAC legal proceeds

A politicized organization connected to the beneficiary of a court decision that strikes down a government regulation receives reimbursement from the state of Louisiana for its legal costs. Then a hue and cry arises from some quarters, not complaining about how the state never should have defended its jurisprudence but about how the winner should return voluntarily the money due to Lambda Legal and the Forum for Equality to taxpayers to help out a strapped state … uh, maybe not, considering with whom we’re dealing here.

Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court decided to protect a class of individuals, whose class is defined solely by their behavior and this behavior is not granted in the document special Constitutional status unlike that emanating from political or religious belief, from states refusing to grant them marriage licenses because they are of the same sex. Louisiana had a constitutional prohibition against such marriages, which had spillover effects including adoptions. As a result of that ruling, a similar case as that decided by the nation’s highest court that was working its way through the judiciary in the state and another dealing with adoptions were concluded in favor of the plaintiffs, who challenged the state ban and therefore will have the state pay their costs and who were represented by the above organizations and a New Orleans law firm to which they owe funds as a result.

But when those declarations were made by the various courts involved, no pleas emerged for the special interest groups involved not to bill the parties who then could get the reimbursement from the state. If there was any grumbling at all, it surrounded the fact that the state had spent $330,000 in defending the rule of law.