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Sen. Pres. Joel Chaisson did not take it all off, but the striptease continues for Louisiana Democrats with failed lieutenant governor candidate Caroline Fayard and state Sen. Rob Marionneaux. In the end, they all may preserve their modesties.
Months ago, Chaisson had sniffed around for a statewide race to run, but those inside the incestuous world of St. Charles Parish politics saw Chaisson’s real objective as attaining the district attorney’s position. The final push to open the door wide came when the long-time 29th District Attorney Harry Morel, Jr. announced he would resign, at the end of a chain of events which will give Chaisson a luxury ride into the post next year.
(I’m not even going to begin to go into how all of got set up, but part of could involve state Attorney General opinions about nepotism rules regarding a father as DA and daughter as a judge, and a brother as DA whose brother would be a judge and other brothers who would work under him, as well as a father working in another government post.
Atty. Gen. Buddy Caldwell, whose office issues such opinions, might have been opposed by Chaisson had he not headed in this direction.)
Meanwhile, with qualifying for offices to occur next week, no word continues to come from Fayard, who has dropped broad hints that she would run for secretary of state, nor Marionneaux, who has publicly mused about running for governor. Each has a tremendous number of warts under their political raiment – Fayard’s previous campaign under an ethical cloud and her widely-publicized rant where she admitted “hate” of Republicans, while Marionneaux’s long career in elected office carries a string of bloopers (such as berating the press for covering his and other legislators preferential treatment on sports tickets and then trying legislatively to retaliate), his own recent ethics rap, and his involvement in a questionable gambling operation that has come to light at a very inconvenient time.
As the days pass, it becomes more and more likely that, as a veteran journalist notes, discretion may be the better part of valor for both for both their personal and political lives, as well as for Democrats. Fayard may realize she needs to keep a low profile while investigations move on she hopes to her favor and the sting of her remarks subside enough to make her electable in the future. Marionneaux has played the coyest game of all, even commissioning a poll that shows he would get drilled unless he has so much campaign money from sources other than himself that he could run endless negative, obviously slanted ads while Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal spends nothing in order to make it a competitive race. That alternate universe doesn’t exist, and with the bucks Marionneaux hauls in as a trial lawyer or those he could make in open lobbying making gubernatorial remuneration seem like chickenfeed, his whole flirtation may have been one giant ego feeding; while his ego is bigger than what this could sate him with, in political strategy he is anything but the idiot his rhetoric might otherwise suggest.
Only a tremendous bit of extortion on his part – his convincing Democrat operatives that if they want somebody who could do some real service to down-ballot candidates craving to get likely voters to show at the polls that they’re going to have to come up with a lot of scratch to let him play the game a few more weeks. But they may have concluded, with at least minor but committed candidate in the contest, as far as bang for their buck that’s about as good as it’ll get this election cycle.
Posted by Jeff Sadow at 11:55