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Is Montgomery representation what NW LA citizens want?

In a wide-ranging news conference just days before Saturday’s election for the Louisiana Senate, state Rep. Coach Montgomery denied he alone was responsible for the sun rising in the east, but made it clear that almost anything else good that had happened in the state and in his district over the last 20 years was his doing.

The Republican Montgomery looks to move his legislative career over into the Senate after five terms in the House. “While I have supported term limits, we can’t let something as inconsequential as the will of the people or the spirit of the law get in the way of my continued service to this district, of which I lived in for about a year and moved into just so I selflessly could help out these people.”

He further likened his inconsistency of that issue to his party switching from Democrat a year ago. “I want to reassure my former Democrat partisans that I still will reliably vote for liberal positions – I switched for purely political reasons, not because I changed my mind on anything – and that’s why you need to vote for me over the genuine conservative,” he argued. Although in this term in office his pro-family voting record as measured by the Louisiana Family Forum, and his pro-growth record as measured by the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry show more pro-family and pro-growth records than not, he pointed out that in the years previous he had miserable pro-family, pro-growth records that should reassure these voters.

However, he quickly cautioned that Republicans and conservatives also needed to vote for him. “Look at the few conservative votes I have made over the years, and forget about the rest of my voting record,” he advised to them. “Spending a half-million bucks of largely special interest money on campaigning highlighting these should convince you of my sincerity,” he noted. “And, if you think what I’ve just said about being a Republican and Democrat, conservative and liberal are inconsistent, you’re wrong. I am consistent because I’m consistently inconsistent, which makes me principled and trustworthy.”

He specified an example of his commitment to consistent inconsistency, when he reminded, “I was the deciding vote that passed the Stelly tax – for which I refuse to apologize or say I was wrong – which has siphoned more money out of Louisianans than any tax increase in the state’s history, but just five years later as I prepared to run for this office I proposed legislation that would have raised the sales tax in exchange for getting rid of the Stelly income tax increase, and later voted for some minor reductions in it. So I voted for the Stelly Plan before I voted against it – how in any way is that not inconsistent?”

He also pointed out the prodigious service he had performed over the past two decades in leading Louisiana to a better quality of life. “I’m proud to say that in my 20 years in the House, compared to other states Louisiana has gone from being last in almost every meaningful indicator of quality of life to second-to-last in a couple. The progress we’ve made, the greatness of this state, is absolutely astounding. Why fix something that isn’t broken?”

This assistance extends to Bossier Parish, he made clear, in the process outlining the incredible transformative role he plays in politics. “The main reason people should vote for me is that I’m one of the best butchers of pork the political world ever has seen. I’ll snap up every dollar of yours I can get my hands on and give it out in a way that will make you feel grateful to me – even though it’s your money and it a good chunk of it goes to special interests you’ll never see. And you don’t even have to live in my district and I’ll do the same. Getting rid of chicken processors, building veterans’ homes, getting new federal installations – our other elected officials and the energy of our citizens had nothing to do any of this. It was all my doing, and if there had been anybody else but me in office, you wouldn’t have gotten any of this, as you know according to my campaign ads.”

When pointed out this argument sounded like he was being consistent about something, he refuted it. “Just look at I-49 funding. This year after only 19 years in the House my bad wording and knowledge of parliamentary procedure almost cost us tens of millions of dollars of potential funding – which still hasn’t been authorized – for it until my colleagues straightened the problem out.” Still, he recommended, “think of the mess my opponent would have made of it – he only served in the Legislature for 8 years.”

Besides his not taking credit for sunrise, he also denied one other statement. Echoing the terminology he had used in 1998 about fellow legislators who wanted to follow the Constitution to set up a repeal of gambling, in reference to a question wondering whether he was running a political con game – by acting as a political chameleon willing to say anything to stay in power – even bigger than David Duke’s attempt to make himself look politically respectable, he said of the people asserting this, “If Hitler was back, he's got a pretty good start. He's got a few good prospects.”

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