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Gatti, Milkovich hope voters miss their warts

The final grades are in, with two northwest Louisiana state senators hoping that voters will more likely see them as beauties rather than as beasts.

With elections approaching in the fall, legislative scorecards become a tool for incumbents to defend their records but also mechanisms by which challengers may criticize them. Two statewide interest groups, the Louisiana Association for Business and Industry which evaluates economics-related measures, and the Louisiana Family Forum which grades on social issues, recently released their 2019 versions.

In southern Caddo Parish and northern De Soto, Democrat state Sen. John Milkovich hopes voters will pay attention to one but not the other. In northern Bossier Parish and others parishes to the east, Republican state Sen. Ryan Gatti hopes for the same.


LA must prohibit needle exchange programs

In the past couple of years, Louisiana’s largest municipalities have adopted syringe exchange programs. Research now shows they committed a mistake that needs reversing.

In 2017 New Orleans and Baton Rouge launched such programs, and in 2018 Shreveport followed suit. These allow users to exchange used needles for unused ones, on the theory that addicts won’t stop using just through denial of syringes and instead they will seek out dirty ones that then spread infectious, if not deadly, diseases. Collecting agencies ask no questions even though their distributions could lead to drug use, with the potential consequences of overdose and death. Additionally, this arrangement might encourage users not to leave used needles everywhere that not only create an eyesore but also could puncture unsuspecting members of the public and infect them.

Critics noted that this destigmatized, if not legitimized, drug use and of particularly harmful kinds that would cause abuse to grow. Proponents believed this would curtail disease, and a recent comprehensive survey revealed the latter were correct in that such programs reduced the incidence of HIV by 18 percent.


Thanks to LA policy-makers, hoot up legally

What time is it, Louisiana? It’s hooting up time, and legally courtesy of ill-conceived and half-baked measures put into law and regulation by state policy-makers.

This week the first batch of medical marijuana should become ready for physicians to write “recommendations” (since any marijuana use runs contrary to federal law, a formal prescription puts a doctor’s medical license at risk) for prospective patients. And thanks to policy laxness, it’s primed for abuse.

The comedy of errors began in 2015, when the Legislature first rehashed laws on the books that permitted the presence of medical marijuana, but didn’t put in place a mechanism for its distribution. It provided such a vehicle, along with an initial short list of eligible conditions, and specified use could occur through any means except inhalation.


Edwards grip on expansion narrative slipping

Medicaid expansion in Louisiana has proven itself a net negative. But it also may have become a net negative campaign issue for Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards with a straw that may break the camel’s back.

Since Edwards unilaterally expanded Medicaid just after entering office, his Administration has waged a relentless propaganda campaign designed to convince the public that its benefits outweigh its costs. It has tried doing so on three fronts: (1) it’s better for the public’s health, (2) it saves the state money, and (3) it creates economic benefits.

All three propositions have been debunked, repeatedly. The first is the most nebulous, since we can’t go back in time and create an experiment where we compare health outcomes for those eligible who did and didn’t participate in it among Louisianans.


Edwards can't help alienating base or others

Current events have dragged Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards back into an uncomfortable spotlight pitting his base voters for reelection against swing voters.

As the 2020 election season for the presidency ramps up with dozens of Democrats jockeying for their party’s nomination, simultaneously Edwards conducts his 2019 reelection attempt. His national-level counterparts have done him no favors by articulating an extreme leftist agenda anathema to a Louisiana majority. As a result, he does his best to ignore their existence.

Yett only miles from his residence occurred an incident that he cannot shy away from. Last month, an unidentified West Baton Rouge Parish deputy shot and killed a black man. Ostensibly in a raid of the place looking for illegal drugs according to the search warrant, an autopsy showed the bullet entered through the back of the neck, and the only eyewitness (although a potential accomplice in the drug crime, which could affect the veracity of her testimony) claims the shot came within seconds of law enforcement’s entrance.