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Unmasking soon of special interests behind LA recall efforts

The tinfoil-hat-wearing, black-helicopter-searching crowd is at it again, trying to expand recall petition efforts to include more of the more helpful members of the Louisiana Legislature. As we may expect, there is, of course, much less to this than meets the eye.

Currently on a jihad against Gov. Bobby Jindal and House Speaker Chuck Kleckley, the Recall Bobby Jindal group plans on expanding efforts to include state Reps. Kevin Pearson and Greg Cromer, with perhaps more in its scope. The flashpoint issues appear to be recently-passed laws to improve education in the state that will impact poor-performing teachers and pension reforms designed to get many state employees to pay their fair share to take up the slack from taxpayers financing a gravy train of benefits, both supported by the above policy-makers.

Its talk, a mixture of optimism and paranoia, misses the mark on both accounts. No statewide-elected official nor state legislator ever has been recalled, much less subjected to a vote, being as the legal requirements include a petition within 180 days of submission of the effort to the Secretary of State including valid signatures of a third of all registered voters in the jurisdiction (statewide or in a district) even to trigger a vote.

And they think they can achieve this when, in elections last fall, these four guys got, respectively, the following percentages of the popular vote and total registered voters in their respective jurisdictions: Jindal 65.80, 23.63; Kleckley no opponent; Pearson no opponent; Cromer 74.93, 18.93. Considering the past lack of success against even candidates who had much closer contests in the past, these aren’t going to happen.

Despite these daunting facts, the group claims it is serious and thinks it has a chance, trying to indicate as such with its retention of a veteran ofthe Wisconsin recall effort of Gov. Scott Walker, one Kevin Shannon, to head the statewide effort. Not that this guy seems to have played much a role in that successful effort to get it on the ballot; an extensive Internet search does not turn up this name related in any way to that effort.

Nor should the Wisconsin experience serve as any kind of model of a successful effort when applied to Louisiana. There, petitions must contain signatures of qualified electors equal to at least 25 percent of the vote cast for the office at the last election in the same district or territory as that of the officeholder being recalled. This means non-registrants are included, creating a larger pool, with a much smaller threshold, a quarter of vote recorded and not total registrants, thus making it much easier to succeed in getting an election triggered – with then an opponent selected to run against. And it unlikely will be rife with fraud as it now appears the Wisconsin effort was. So it will be far more difficult even to get to the election phase, notwithstanding the insignificant imported help provided.

This must be costing some money, and it will be interesting to see in a few days where it’s coming from. Within 45 days of filing a copy of the petition with the Secretary of State, the first campaign finance report is due from the group (I know members of this effort will read this post; don’t all thank me at once for letting you know about this legal requirement). While news articles as early as Mar. 27 report a recall effort afoot, the first that asserts signatures had been filed published Apr. 2, so likely no later than May 16 a report will surface if the group observes the law. For the curious, you can get signatures already collected through a public records request by contacting the Secretary of State who will inform how to contact the chairwoman Brenda Romero, who then must respond to the request until a petition is certified (meaning it has signatures turned in prior to the deadline) with the Secretary of State who then becomes custodian of them.

Of course, the irony of the situation and hypocrisy of the group should surface with these reports. The group rails against illusory bogeymen, consisting of their usual identified repositories of evil such as the American Legislative Exchange Council, the free enterprise system, and the First Amendment. Yet it will be embarrassing to it if its report shows substantial contributions from special interests of the left, including labor unions – groups and individuals out of the political mainstream whose ideas continually fail in the marketplace of ideas by their candidates’ inability to win elections. This emperor will have no clothes as it purports to speak for many against the powerful few when in fact it merely is a mouthpiece for a powerful few whose agenda decisively was rejected in the last election cycle.

So let the high comedy proceed. Meanwhile, the adults get on with the business of making Louisiana a better place to live.


Anonymous said...

"Gravy train of benefits" is an interesting choice of phrase. Most public employees were not given a choice of what type of plan they would pay into: the state retirement systems or Social Security. The choice was made for them. Because they have to pay into the retirement system, they work towards a benefit that was written into state statute. Most state employees realize this may be their sole source of retirement income; some have taken steps to save towards retirement through deferred compensation. However, in this time of market instablility, they are losing just like those with 401ks (who by the way have Social Security as a part of their retirement).

And have you ever pondered that state employees fund their retirement twice? Once through the contibution rate they are mandated to pay by statute. But also through pay personal income taxes from their paychecks. Their income taxes go to the general budget, which has a portion earmarked to paying the EMPLOYER contribution rate.

Why are you so against the defined benefit plans that many did not have a choice not to participate in? Also, where are the statistics you use to state that public employees earn more than their private sector counterparts? Might be interesting to look at this information and then look at the Civil Service website. It shows that not all state employees make similar salaries to private sector. It does depend on your job title.

Anonymous said...

You, sir, continue to clearly show that you are biased and a fraud.

Anonymous said...

I know you aren't much on facts, Sadow, you're better on name calling and innuendo; some have been waiting for days for you to produce ANY shred of real information to back up your assertions about relative pay between public and private sector workers. But I'll give it a try. Surely, before you turned into a political toadie who specializes in argumenum ad hominen, you must have know what it meant to source your material to get those degrees. Can you give us any reason why ALEC, with the massive contributions listed in numerous sources to key Louisiana legislators and the on-the-record statements by legislative staffers about the amount of time needed to explain these ALEC-written bills to their "authors" in the legislature is an "illusory bogeyman". I'll not be expecting you to have the courage to admit it's because you agree with their goals, so that makes them "good."

Anonymous said...

I find the recall attempt laughable as well. The one to recall Blanco failed miserably since most citizens seemed to prefer that she serve out her term and go away quietly, even though she was one of the worst governors we ever had.

Anonymous said...

Still can't source your "facts"????

Well, not surprising.

You will not last at La. Tech!!!