Search This Blog


Group's efforts won't affect LA conservative rule

Emerge Louisiana will find its far-left leanings won’t allow it to enjoy the low-hanging fruit success it has experienced in other parts of the country, as upcoming 2018 election results will ratify.

It serves as the state arm of the national Emerge America organization, which aims to elect female Democrats to offices at all levels of government. Women, it claims, benefit the polity by their staunch support for democratic principles like equality and fairness, actively involve themselves in a variety of gender-salient issue areas (such as healthcare, the economy, education and the environment), and show more responsive to constituents, value cooperation over “hierarchical power,” and find ways to engineer solutions in situations where “men have trouble finding common ground.”

The national group has a smorgasbord advisory board reflecting its political fealties: far-out feminists, abortion-on-demand harridans, big-government former elected officials, lionized ex-candidates defeated decisively, and ex-party hacks. (The Louisiana version’s board has a different function, as fundraisers.) Nationally, it boasts of a 73 percent success rate so far in 2018 (although a not-insignificant portion includes very minor boards or Democrat governance committees, and likely many of the posts would elect a Democrat in any event).

But that has little to do with a deep southern state like Louisiana. A review of the organization’s officeholders shows only two from the region, in Georgia. In Louisiana, none have succeeded for spots in government, although four got themselves elected to party committees, which hardly shows any broad public appeal.

That has more to do with their liberal views than their sex. In fact, in the Louisiana Legislature there are more Republican women elected than Democrats. Further, excluding those women who represent majority-black districts who in a sense automatically would send any Democrat to Baton Rouge, the imbalance is 12-2 in the GOP’s favor.

And perusing its nine candidates for 2018 shows this trend of liberal failure won’t end any time soon. Starting at the top, Tammy Savoie will get hammered by GOP Rep. Steve Scalise in one of the most conservative districts in the country.

Farther down the line, the least likely of three competitors in the special election for state House District 33 is Teri Johnson, which in any event is most likely to elect Republican Stuart Moss in a pickup for the party. Going lower down the chain still, after unseating a fellow Republican for Caddo Parish School Board District 8 in 2014, Deneé Locke should have no trouble dispatching challenger Sumer Cooner in the deeply-conservative district.

Even in races where a Democrat should win, Emerge’s candidates probably won’t. For Jefferson Parish School Board District 2, union-backed incumbent Democrat Ricky Johnson should capture reelection over, among others, April Williams. In Shreveport, City Council majority-black District B’s winner won’t be Laura McLemore, who is white, but most likely black candidate LeVette Fuller. (Sorry, Laura: she is the archives librarian at my employer Louisiana State University Shreveport.)

From a policy perspective, it matters little whether Emerge candidates cannibalize other Democrats; the group will realize its goals of reshaping government only if they knock off more than the odd Republican here and there. They won’t in Louisiana, because their views remain fundamentally at odds with the state’s center-right majority. If you’re a female running for office in this state, despite Emerge’s presence, you’re more likely to win if you’re a conservative than a liberal.

No comments: