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Democrats need competitive candidate in CD 5

The big story concerning Republican Rep. Ralph Abraham’s retirement isn’t whether a Republican will win, but whether Democrats have the ability to field a competitive candidate.

In Louisiana, congressional districts come open only every few years, which present the best opportunity for a party takeover without an incumbent running. And Abraham’s Fifth District has perhaps the best potential, as currently drawn, for a Democrat other than the majority-minority Second. While it slightly trails the Fourth in proportion of registered black voters, it has a higher proportion of Democrats and lower proportion of Republicans than any other in the state except for the Second.

But a Democrat won’t win, as recent voting history indicates, with GOP candidates at all levels outdistancing Democrats no less than 15 points. Despite that, Democrats desperately need to make the race competitive.


Judge should resign, but for correct reason

If Republican 23rd Judicial District Judge Jessie Leblanc goes, it shouldn’t happen for the virtue-signaling reason stated by Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards.

Controversy has swirled about Leblanc since she assumed office in 2013, first winning a special election and then gaining a full term in 2014. The daughter of longtime former Ascension Parish Assessor Gerald McCrory, she clashed on several occasions with District Attorney Ricky Babin over a number of issues, perhaps the most visible being a public corruption case involving St. James Parish officials from which she eventually recused herself after Babin accused her of bias.

But things became really interesting when late last year she recused herself from signing a warrant related to a very minor case. Like pulling a loose string, since then it has unraveled in titillating and disappointing ways that could prove costly to taxpayers.


Dardenne denies politics to serve that agenda

Whiny Jay Dardenne still wants us to believe that there should be no politics in administration but that the political opponents of his boss Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards put it there – even as his own assertion demonstrates the opposite.

Louisiana’s Commissioner of Administration got the ball rolling on this theme last month when he moaned about all the other members of the state’s Revenue Estimating Conference not following revenue recommendations from either of the two economists making forecasts. The net effect disallowed increased spending by state government.

Dardenne claimed this meant “politics” interfered with the prediction process, to be avoided in his view only when policy-makers elected and appointed unquestioningly ratified the estimates. This idea, of course, misses the obvious desire by policy-makers and the people to include political judgment in the process; otherwise, they wouldn’t have amended into the Constitution the need for unanimous policy-maker concurrence over the Dardenne doctrine of convenience regarding government by unelected experts.


Skepticism of LA higher education warranted

It’s not so much the ignorance behind the belief as that the belief exists in the first place, and so fervently in so many quarters that discredits higher education, especially in the eyes of the Louisiana citizenry.

Last week, Southern University Baton Rouge political science professor Albert Samuels presented a talk at the school’s version of “free speech alley.” It was entitled “The Moment We Have Feared is Upon Us: Why the 2020 Election May Be Democracy's Last Stand in America.”

A brief story about the upcoming event appeared in the Baton Rouge Advocate, with no follow. Southern’s student newspaper the Southern Digest won’t appear until Feb. 25, regardless of whether it covered it. The flyer promoting it featured pictures of Republican Pres. Donald Trump, Adolf Hitler, and the flag of the Soviet Union.