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Senate election politics impinge on LA governor's race

Politics dictates that Louisiana can’t even get through its gubernatorial election before senatorial election considerations come into play, illustrating a past potentially bad political call.

From the Republican perspective, the continued silence of erstwhile candidate for governor Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle regarding any endorsement for Republican Sen. David Vitter for the office speaks unwanted volumes. It might seem the most natural thing in the world to lend his support, as Angelle made a conscious effort to position himself as a conservative alternative to Vitter for voters inclined to the GOP.

However, given Vitter’s underperformance to date in securing the office, Angelle now may think that, regardless of Vitter winning, losing, or drawing, he’ll pursue the Senate seat of Vitter’s in 2016, making an endorsement now of a potential future opponent for another office counterproductive. That reticence brought a rebuke this week from Republican Treasurer John Kennedy, whose motives for doing so don’t seem quite as clear.


Bad timing, Obama policy failures cause Jindal exit

Gov. Bobby Jindal’s presidential campaign ended abruptly today, the most serious candidacy ever by a Louisianan ironically ultimately undone by a divisive and unpopular president’s policies that put the Republican in the wrong place at the wrong time.

When Jindal assumed office in 2008, he seemed set up well to target the White House down the road. A brilliant, principled conservative paired with a Legislature still controlled nominally by Democrats but teetering on the brink of passing over to Republican control, a success story awaited him: by instituting a conservative agenda to wrench the state away from its populist past, in the years ahead after implementing those fundamental changes he could have the chance to point to that record of accomplishment as a reason to promote him.

But he achieved only partial results. Wisely, he started with the easy stuff with a wide mandate like ethics reform, and then broached out in a technocratic manner to make government work more efficiently by curbing the giveaway mentality that so infused Louisiana public policy, latent populism assigning as it did government the role of redistributor in chief, through policy such as Medicaid reform. The strategy then dictated building up political capital this way through not asking the Legislature for big policy changes and concentrating on what could be altered through changes in administrative practices. Ensuring this way a second term and hopefully GOP legislative majorities (which happened), then the first part of that one he could dedicate to big policy changes to position himself with an excellent résumé should a presidential run still seem possible and desirable.


Debate shows lying like breathing to Edwards

We already know from last week that, as surely as the sun rises in the east, Republican gubernatorial candidate Sen. David Vitter whoops up on his head-shaking Democrat opponent state Rep. John Bel Edwards in debates. Tonight, it’s not so important that Vitter went Holly Holm on Edwards’ Ronda Rousey in forensics as typically understood, but that Edwards displays an alternative set of forensic abilities that allows him to tell tall tales without a hint that he acts aberrantly.

While Edwards obfuscated, misdirected, distorted, and lied throughout the hour-long affair, his biggest departures from the facts occurred early in the affair, and showed his considerable range in torturing reality. Right off the bat, on a question addressing Syrian refugees, Vitter gigged Edwards on the shifting sand under the latter’s position, pointing out that in Facebook posts Edwards first enunciated a policy to “accommodate” federal government plans to resettle refugees, then changed it to the more independent-sounding “assist,” and finally issued a statement that he would do neither and wanted those resettlement plans to stop.

Brazening it out, Edwards denied that he had changed his mind, but problematically for him the enterprising website The Hayride busted him hours earlier on that. Of course, he likely figured the typical viewer probably had no knowledge of his record on this so he could get away with it.

Bossier, Caddo should defeat again hotel tax hike

A bad idea repackaged slightly still is a bad idea, and on Nov. 21 Bossier and Caddo Parish voters should vote accordingly negative on the proposal to fund the parishes’ joint Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau’s 1.5 percent tax on hotel and overnight camping fees.

Voters narrowly rejected this retread just over a year ago, with this version differing only in that it asks for a half-cent fewer. It would commence on Pearl Harbor Day of this year and last nearly a dozen years, the proceeds of which would go to trying to attract sporting events, teams to play in Independence Stadium, and airlines and flights in and out of Shreveport Regional Airport.

As previously noted in this space, the Bureau continues to sit on lots of cash – over $5 million of which over $3 million in unrestricted – a growing total as it takes in more than it spends. And the airport’s problem is its high fares as it continues to rank among the most expensive for airports with 100,000 to 200,000 originating passengers. There’s no reason to throw unneeded dollars at the Bureau nor will more money solve for the inefficiencies at the airport.