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23.7.20

Perkins Senate run may backfire politically


The big question was whether Democrat Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins would throw his hat into the ring for U.S. Senate. His affirmative announcement doesn’t answer all the questions.

Because behind the question of whether somebody runs is why. You run only for a reason, the most of trite of which is you want to win. Even though incumbent Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy has good polling numbers and lots of dough to fend off any challenger, you can’t win if you don’t play, and maybe something weird would happen that could allow Perkins to win.

However, that’s subject to cost-benefit calculations. Simply, you run if you think you’ll get more out of it than what it costs you, politically. Part of the benefits come from winning, but tempered by your expectancy of victory. In Perkins’ case, unless deluded or unquestioningly taking some very bad advice, he must know his chances aren’t great.

22.7.20

On virus, Edwards still ignoring data, science

Passing through another policy inflection point, evidence continues to mount that Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards and his Administration haven’t responded competently to the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic in Louisiana.

When in the world of the hard or soft sciences a researcher discovers a significant outlier, it often behooves further investigation to understand the phenomenon under study. Considering Louisiana by the reported numbers, its pandemic response truly stands out – and not in a good way.

The state, with a handful of others, the virus hit hard early. In these instances, all had events and commercial patterns that brought a lot of visitors to them and provided opportunities for them to congregate; in Louisiana’s case, Carnival. Since then, almost all have ratcheted down the early spikes in cases and hospitalizations.

21.7.20

Monroe mayor result hard to replicate for GOP

Does Monroe’s recent mayoral election provide a model for Louisiana Republicans to follow to take back governance of many of the state’s large cities?

Last week, independent Friday Ellis not only defeated 19-year incumbent Democrat Mayor Jamie Mayo, but he did it without needing a runoff. And he did it as a white candidate in a constituency with 63 percent black registration.

Ellis – military veteran, former city employee, small business owner – at first would seem typical of the low-profile candidates who almost exclusively challenged Mayo since his winning a special election in 2001 and whom Mayo usually brushed aside easily. But Mayo was more vulnerable this year than most.

20.7.20

LA on brink of huge new spending commitment

Lost in the counterproductive Wuhan coronavirus pandemic policy of Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards is how it further kicks and enlarges Louisiana’s unemployment insurance bill down the road.

With his declaration last week that rolled back ceilings on gatherings, closed bars, and required wearing of face coverings in public places that he said would address rapidly increasing positive infection case numbers and declining hospital capacities, he also threw another monkey wrench into one of the worst state economies already hampered by business restrictions. Its latest unemployment rate of 9.7 percent more than doubled last year’s at this time. Worse, its employment/population ratio fell below 50 percent and was the nation’s seventh worst, indicating a disproportionate part of the working-age population had exited the workforce entirely.

As a result, the state has drawn deeply upon its unemployment insurance reserves, about halving the balance it had with the federal government in the past three months. The only bright spot is it has emptied a bit slower than anticipated, with the latest numbers indicating it won’t have to borrow from the federal government until the end of September.

19.7.20

Perkins challenge Cassidy? Not so fast ...

The weakest link in a purported plan for Louisiana Democrats to front Democrat Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins as a Senate pump-primer is his willingness to go along with the deal.

As qualifying for the fall Senate election for Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy’s seat looms, no Democrat of any significance has signaled intent to challenge him. No major party likes to give a free pass to an incumbent from the other in either gubernatorial or senatorial contests because you have to keep giving your voters a reason to call themselves your voters. Making them troop habitually to the polls by serving up candidates with at least a chance of winning, however remote, keeps the ground fertile for future opportunities to flip that office.

Thus has circulated the idea that, to offer up somebody who could pull more than a quarter of the vote, Democrat donors and activists led by Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards have pressured Perkins to challenge Cassidy. Not only could this provide a quality candidate, given Perkins’ current status, but it also would provide a public relations boost for state Democrats because, despite blacks having comprised the majority of the party’s base for years, its leadership only once has given serious backing from the start to a black candidate in a major statewide contest – convicted former Rep. Bill Jefferson’s run for governor in 1999. Even within the past three years, getting it to rally behind a black candidate for any statewide office has been like pulling teeth.