The leading Democrats running for Louisiana’s U.S.
Senate open seat have a renewed chance to run their party’s decades-old
campaign playbook that worked so well last year in electing Gov. John Bel Edwards –
except the election dynamics of 2016 differ so greatly from those in 2015.
America’s political left understands that its
agenda cannot win elections in most states or nationwide because the factual
record and logic support conservative policy preferences. Hence, liberals’
political party, the Democrats, seeks to turn elections into referenda about
Republican candidates’ personalities in order to distract from issues.
Edwards did that to perfection against pre-race
favorite GOP Sen. David Vitter,
whose admitted “serious
sin” likely meaning dalliance with prostitutes over a decade ago, provided
the perfect example to argue that Vitter lacked character and dimmed the
spotlight on issues. However, Edwards could not have won without the aid of major
Republican candidates: Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle, now running for
Congress, and his current Commissioner of Administration, then lieutenant
Louisiana’s policy-makers should understand that a law
designed to discourage illegal bigamous situations that also has made it
too difficult for some non-citizens to apply for marriage licenses does not
need alteration but, because of larger judicial trends, needs excision.
Act 436 of 2015
changed standards for issuance of marriage licenses, in part impacting those
applied for by non-citizens. It continued to require those not born in the U.S.
to produce additional documentation that included a birth certificate, but
removed a passage that permitted almost any state or local judge to waive this
criterion. Its sponsor, state Rep. Valarie Hodges,
noted that without that documentation – useful for where applicants did not
have a Social Security number – this made more likely the possibility that a
person already married elsewhere could not be identified as such.
But while the law could verify someone illegally
in the country tried to obtain a license, it also made the process impossible for some
legal resident and nonresident aliens in the U.S. A number of plausible
situations could prevent these individuals from obtaining a certified birth
certificate, such as having fled from war that additionally could cripple the
capacity of their country of birth from sending verification of their natality –
to the point of making the law possibly conflict with a 2007 federal
court ruling that allows those who cannot prove U.S. citizenship or legal
immigrant status to marry.
Increasingly clearly, a special state
panel convened to study recommendations changing Louisiana’s tax code
serves little more than an excuse to lock in overgrown government, specifically
paying for Medicaid expansion, by making a temporary tax hike permanent.
Twice now the Task Force on Structural Changes in
Budget and Tax Policy, put together by the Legislature, has postponed its final
product originally due Sep. 1. If it stays on schedule legislators can analyze
its product Nov. 1. Some of its members, however, have spoken of what should
appear in the report to come.
Most prominently, it will recommend to make proceeds
of a one cent hike in the sales tax permanent. The Republican-majority
Legislature forced Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards to accept this increase only through
Jun. 30, 2018, balking
at making it perpetual and/or putting any increased taxation in a form depending
upon higher income taxes. Edwards and Democrats never liked this because of
their belief that higher-income individuals should bear the costs of expanded
government, and a greater proportion of sales taxes come from households outside
of this category of people than in the case of income taxes.
If you want to see the fruits of liberalism and how
it has warped the culture, you needed to look no further than Baton Rouge’s
City Hall a couple of weeks ago at a semi-rally
addressing the probe into the police shooting of ex-convict Alton Sterling.
Three months ago two Baton Rouge police officers
wrestled Sterling onto the ground, apparently as he resisted arrest after a
call had gone out saying he had threatened somebody with a gun. Tragedy ensued
when it seems one officer felt it necessary to fire his weapon into Sterling. A
short while later the federal government took over the investigation into
potential police misconduct.
There it sits at present, which did not sit well with relatives
of Sterling and community organizers. They planned to march for answers to the
Governor’s Mansion two Mondays ago, only to chuck that in concluding the heat made
such a venture too taxing. Instead, already at City Hall they made their way to
a chamber where officials and local ministers discussed in a scheduled meeting
the larger question of potential police reform.