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Which devil: known Dardenne, empty vessel Fayard?

You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, but Democrat candidate for lieutenant governor Caroline Fayard is going to spend a lot of her’s, her family’s, and other people’s money to try to prove that aphorism incorrect.

Attorney Fayard ran a close second to Republican Sec. of State Jay Dardenne in the primary, taking advantage of $300,000 loaned to herself and a similar amount raised through connections to her father, attorney Calvin Fayard, Jr., a prominent Democrat fundraiser and activist. (Fayard herself apparently has given large sums of money since her teens to Democrat candidates for various offices – must be nice to have that much scratch when so young to throw away on liberal politicians – and what comes around, goes around now for her.) Much appears to come from traditional Democrat supporters around the New Orleans/Capital area, with some sprinkled in from outside likely connected to a fundraiser headlined by former Pres. Bill Clinton, and from one prominent conservative (Donald Boysinger) and at least one apparently illegal contribution (one Erin Shaw who put down a New Orleans address gave $1,800 over the $5,000 maximum for a single election for state major office on 9/11/10).

Such huge sums for a newcomer to elective office can make you competitive only if conditions are right to take your blank slate and make it appear how you want it to for different people – much as Pres. Barack Obama (one of the beneficiaries of her donations) did in his campaign for the White House – and they have been there for Fayard, with one major exception that this is an incredibly bad electoral environment in which for a Democrat to run. In this anti-Washington year, some of it spills over to a nakedly ambitious state politician like Dardenne. Also, the job which she seeks is the most ideologically issue-less statewide elected office, making it more difficult to connect the dots between those she associates with politically if she’s trying to build a particular image to overcome all the negativity about her political fellow-travelers.

Which she has been trying to do. Going on the radio talk show of a huge Dardenne critic, Moon Griffon, Fayard tried to position herself as opponent of Obama’s signature health care legislation and tax increases to deal with the state’s budget deficit, and as a supporter of drastic downsizing of state government. These stated positions seem very much the opposite of the kinds of people with which she has associated with and supported politically – and also have absolutely nothing to do with the lieutenant governor’s position. By contrast, Dardenne has focused his campaign on issues dealing with what the position actually does.

But since she brought it up, perhaps she should clarify publicly whether she would vote for or donate to Obama again given her articulated issue preferences in that Obama obviously likes his legislation and advocates tax increases with no sign he wishes to reduce the size of government with its record-breaking spending, and whether she agrees with these things. Otherwise without this explanation, silence on this contradiction adds to a disturbing pattern of creative license involving politics on her part, not just with questions about how a teenager/college student can afford and wants to give substantial donations of money to liberal candidates.

In the end, voters will have to decide whether they want to go with Dardenne, with a long record of liberal and conservative issue preferences and is the devil they know, or with the devil they don’t know in Fayard, who in trying to be all things to all people, leading to wondering whether she can be trusted in any way.


Anonymous said...

Hmm, so big money contributions by Republicans and corporations are just fine professor, but wealthy people making large contributions to Democrats are sinister and make them suspicious. LOL!!!

I sure hope all this bias doesn't bleed over into your classroom.

Anonymous said...

Sir: Please check you facts before making a false statement impugning the reputation of a person. Your statement about the overage in campaign contributions to Ms.Fayard is totally incorrect. Your opinions are your own,but an untruth about a person is quite something else and would lead one to question the veracity of anything you may say.

Anonymous said...

Fayard gave money to Jay Dardenne campaigns in the past, guess that proves she is a liberal. Jay is to the left of Fayard. It is time for LA to get rid of Dardenne, 23 years in governmentt and is LA really in better shape? Term is only for one year, if she screws up, vote her out, but get rid of Jay while you an.

Jeff Sadow said...

The facts are there from Fayard's own campaign finance report. That individual is listed has having given $6,800 prior to the 10/2 election when the legal limit is $5,000 for that level of office in one election. It's all there in black and white.

I guess the subtlety is missed when you have a 15-year-old giving $1,000 gifts to candidates. Where did she get that money? Must have saved a lot flipping burgers or babysitting, huh? It is illegal to evade campaign finance laws for an individual to give money to a family member who then passes that on to a candidate. Just pointing out the obvious ....