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8.11.19

7.11.19

Worse schools, less likely to support change

Not only do the just-released school and district accountability scores in Louisiana speak to the educational quality and pace of improvement within the state’s elementary and secondary education, these also illuminate how many Louisianans vote against their own self-interests.

The state’s Department of Education announced yesterday the scores, which federal law requires that it computes. Overall, these showed improvement from 2018, particularly among worse-performing schools. Tempering that good news, about 17 percent of schools ended up classified as “struggling,” while 44 percent had at least one student sub-population of interest classified as that.

However, out of all of this comes a fascinating nugget of electoral and political importance. A relationship exists between the quality of a school district and vote in the 2019 gubernatorial general election. Specifically, the worse the schools perform, the more votes for Democrats in that election.

6.11.19

Leftists increasing LA early voting efforts

If reelection of Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards goes down in flames, it won’t be for lack of trying by one far left Louisiana special interest group.

Edwards finds himself locked in a tight reelection battle against Republican Eddie Rispone. Further, in the general election his candidacy didn’t seem to generate as much enthusiasm among Democrats, especially blacks, as seems necessary to win.

However, one group aims to change that, and it’s off to a good start. The Power Coalition for Equity and Justice launched efforts at the commencement of early voting last Saturday to get as many people, very disproportionately black and Democrat, to the polls.

5.11.19

Edwards lies again about Medicaid expansion

Election season lies just keep coming from Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards about Medicaid expansion.

Edwards has held up expansion as a major accomplishment of his tenure, despite flimsy arguments in its favor. Throughout his reelection campaign he has touted how it brought insurance to many who didn’t have it and attributed care received under it as care that otherwise never would have occurred. In fact, as many as nearly half of all expansion enrollees already had privately-paid insurance and the remainder had access to care at the state’s charity hospitals. (And in any event, the health benefits allegedly conveyed by expansion are wildly overblown.) Further, about a tenth of enrollees at the peak were ineligible – largely because upon entering office Edwards’ Department of Health deliberately weakened verification standards – wasting $500 million a year in inappropriate payments.

That fact alone falsifies the idea that expansion “saved” money – an argument that almost made sense in 2016 when the federal government paid for all but several million dollars in administrative costs. But the tens of millions of state dollars wasted through inappropriate payments cancels any economic benefits from rerouting tax dollars from other states to pump through Louisiana (while Louisianans also see their federal tax dollars going elsewhere to pay for other states’ expansions) – even as an Edwards Administration-financed report erroneously inflated claims of economic benefits and left out other important data that left it almost useless to understanding expansion’s economic impact.

4.11.19

Edwards politicizes "reform," capital outlay

If Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards has shown anything in his just about four years in office, it’s that he plays politics ruthlessly with state money in his quest to create an image and to hold onto power.

During his reelection campaign, Edwards has touted certain capital outlay projects and “savings” from criminal justice changes he promoted. The latter claimed it could lower the state’s incarceration rate without an increase in crime and thereby save money, by diverting nonviolent offenders and releasing others early. Money retained would go into the general fund and programs that supposedly would reduce recidivism.

But a review of the outcomes indicates that benefits from these – money for criminal justice efforts and projects benefitting local areas – often didn’t materialize in areas where Edwards has faced criticism from other elected officials. Indeed, Edwards on projects has gone out of his way to deny these to specific legislators critical of his policies.