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Cassidy reelection to extend GOP dominance

Welcome to the norm in Louisiana U.S. Senate elections as the state transitions fully into Republican majority-party rule.

This week, Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy announced his entirely expected reelection bid for this fall. So far, he has but one announced opponent, a Democrat with little name recognition and few resources.

Possibly a bigger name among Democrats could enter, but even among the party’s most prominent politicians none likely could come within 10 points of Cassidy in the general election. Simply and especially because national issues come into play in consideration of this seat, no state Democrat is close enough to the median center-right voter in Louisiana on the entire scope of issues to triumph against a solid conservative like Cassidy (American Conservative Union rating voting score: 83).


No permit good for LA concealed carry

There’s no reason to oppose having Louisiana joining the 16 states at present that allow carrying of concealed handguns without having to go through a permitting process.

HB 72 by Republican state Rep. Danny McCormick would eliminate the need to qualify and pay for costs associated with a permit, making where allowed by law concealed carry legal for any legal state resident with a handgun legally obtained unless they don’t meet a long list of conditions associated with prior criminal behavior, mental instability, certain discharges from the armed forces, or drug use, or who have violated federal guns laws. It would eliminate the education requirement or a display of firearm competency, or an application statement vouching that training has occurred and that the applicant is not ineligible for the permit by virtue of one of the legally disqualifying conditions..

McCormick calls the fees connected with obtaining an existing permit a tax triggered merely by concealing the weapon. If carried openly, no permit or fee is necessary. He argues that the state shouldn’t put unnecessary impediments in the way of exercising a constitutional right.


LA budget contains intriguing storylines

Earlier this month, Louisiana mainstream media covered the release of the state’s faux executive budget by Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards. Lots of surface details emerged, but they all glossed over, if not missed entirely, the deeper and more substantive stories.

Primary among these in the pretend budget – a sham because it contained revenues unrecognized by the state’s panel empowered to do so, the Revenue Estimating Conference – was without its fake revenue Edwards essentially couldn’t make any new spending commitments. The reason: Medicaid expansion expenses are eating the state out of house and home, despite over $300 million in tax increases for the program Edwards falsely alleged would save the state money.

Other consequences followed. You couldn’t swing a dead cat during last year’s gubernatorial campaign without Edwards pledging to raise salaries for educators, but even with the unauthorized money included his spending plan had no room for these. With a half-normal-sized increase in the Minimum Foundation Program Edwards suggested districts individually approve raises with that bounty.


Bad bills address gubernatorial succession

Some pre-filed bills for the 2020 regular session of the Louisiana Legislature take the wrong approach to dealing with the state’s most useless elective office.

Last year, lawmakers rejected a bill to amend the Constitution to tie the election of the lieutenant governor to that of the governor. This year, identical bills HB 42 by Democrat state Rep. Kyle Green and HB 50 by Republican state Rep. Mark Wright seek to do the same.

It’s still a bad idea, at two levels. It obscures accountability for both offices, especially in a blanket primary system that already devalues the important policy stand-in cue of party identification, by promoting personalistic and geographic characteristics for both candidates.