Oops there goes another dog Democrat (if you can identify the name of the song with which this line closely resembles a lyric from it, as well as the artist and politician with which it is associated, leave a comment and I’ll write a nice comment about your stunning level of knowledge, or at least search engine cleverness). Now it’s state Rep. Bubba Chaney’s turn to switch parties.
Chaney said upon announcing his change that he thought it consistent with his conservative beliefs, which is a half-truth. Indeed, on the Louisiana Legislature Log index of ideology and reform instinct for 2010 he scored a 90, where 100 is the maximum conservative/reformer score. But in 2009 he managed just a 30, and in 2008 a 45, for an average of 55. This makes his more of a moderate than anything, although he did every year exceed the average Democrat House member score. In that respect, unless he suddenly found religion last year, this is more a switch of convenience.
But in concert with the revelation, Republican House Speaker Jim Tucker said more are coming, and he may be right. The present crop of House Democrats, compared to its predecessor, has voted more closely to their Republican counterparts and more in a conservative/reform direction.
On the LLL index, the 2004-08 House Democrat averaged just under 32, with the average gap from House Republicans at a little under 35. For the past three years, as a whole Democrats have averaged a bit over 44 and the average gap to Republicans reduced to a shade under 28. Over that latter span, four Democrats have scored 65 or better every year: state Reps. Jim Fannin (averaging roughly 82), Mickey Guillory (80), Taylor Barras (75), and Billy Chandler (75). By contrast, of the four House switchers of the past seven months, only Simone Champagne met a similar standard, meaning the field is wide open for more.
This latest leap across the aisle restores the GOP’s absolute majority in the House, regardless of the outcome of the recently called special election to fill the place of one of the previous switchers who just got himself elected to the Senate. Within two weeks, if in the special election for Senate Republicans triumph to give them the majority in that chamber, maybe the contagion will spread there as well, which has seen just one flop since the end of the last session, as opportunistic senators wish to align themselves with the new majority. And life for Democrats in Louisiana just keeps getting tougher.
Posted by Jeff Sadow at 10:30