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GOP makes electoral progress in NW LA

Mirroring their party’s declining statewide fortunes, Republicans continued to solidify their grasp with the upper hand in Caddo Parish elections, which may hold consequences for Democrat-majority Shreveport.

You can’t say the same about Bossier Parish – because Democrats there already are an endangered species. In and around Bossier City excepting the small towns to the north, what few races even had a Republican being contested, with several GOP candidates drawing no opposition including the 26th District Attorney Schuyler Marvin, produced GOP winners, with the most high-profile being the passing of the city judge post from retiring Tommy Wilson to ally Santi Parks.

As another indicator of evaporating Democrat fortunes in Bossier, Democrat Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell – a fixture in Bossier elections for nearly a half-century – barely squeaked back into office. No thanks to Bossier, which handily gave it support to his GOP opponent from Ouachita Parish who hardly campaigned.


Perkins loss hints at his early political exit

The strange political saga of Democrat Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins continues, and at this rate his political career won’t last past 2022 – a slide that has the potential to put a shadow Republican in the city’s top spot.

When Perkins announced this summer that he would take on incumbent Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy, the political left swooned with visions of him as “the perfect candidate” (“the next Obama!”). That it would look solely at the demographics and ignore his checkered, short record as mayor – which only became more controversial as the campaign progressed – speaks volumes that they couldn’t spot a doomed candidacy from the start.

Naturally, Cassidy blew Perkins out of the water, with the party suffering its worst Senate electoral showing in history. Worse for him, the increased attention the contest invited onto his tenure compounded his difficulty in gaining reelection.


LA not ready to reject liberalism populism

Just when you think Louisiana might have turned from its liberal populism ….

A review of Louisiana’s election results might may one think this ancient trait in the state’s political culture may have receded further. Several contests provided data, beginning with Republican incumbent Sen. Bill Cassidy’s defense. Cassidy never was in any danger, but because 13 challengers flooded the field, including well-funded Democrat Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins and Democrat Derrick “Champ” Edwards, who racked up as much as 44 percent in a previous statewide try, the multiplicity of competition might hold him under 50 percent.

No worries; Cassidy stomped the field with 59 percent of the vote, the largest margin in a general election since 1998. Perkins led the also-rans, but humiliatingly with the smallest proportion that the highest-polling Democrat received since senators became object of a popular vote. Altogether, Democrats received only 36 percent, the least of any major party since 1984.


LA politicos invite reaping violence they sow

If a past lamentable event echoes prominently in a recent similar event, Louisiana Republican former Gov. Bobby Jindal provides the framework to understand why.

Last week, Donnell Linwood Hassell allegedly shot New Orleans Police Officer Trevor Abney, while injuring Office Brooks Duncan IV. Abney and Duncan were patrolling in their cruiser when with no apparent provocation Hassell fired at the car from a pedicab, evidence shows. Hassell appeared to be so under the influence of substances that upon arrest he took a detour to hospital before booking.

A black suspect trying to pick off white law enforcement officers uncomfortably reminds of events in Baton Rouge in the summer of 2016. Then, Gavin Eugene Long staked out and attempted to assassinate a half dozen officers, killing half and wounding the others. Long, who was black, proved less picky on the race of his victims by killing black Baton Rouge Officer Montrell Jackson, and intended to die that day in the course of taking out officers, in which he was obliged. He was drugged up at the time.


Cantrell politicizes with abdicating of duty

Even as it seems the problem won’t appear, it’s worth noting the marriage of politicization of an election and abdication of responsibility performed by Democrat New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell.

This past weekend, Cantrell complained that Republican Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin’s office would not “provide support for generators” in as many as 11 precincts affected by Hurricane Zeta. The storm didn’t directly strike New Orleans last week, but it did topple power lines that blacked out these precinct locations. If the situation persisted into Tuesday, no power through electrical outlets would be available to run voting machines and other site utilities.

As it turned out, by Monday eights sites were on the way to power restoration. As for the other three, provider Entergy New Orleans said it would pony up a generator for one and the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness would scrounge two more, while Entergy would take care of installation and transport of these.


LA higher education to suffer less from virus

Louisiana’s higher education institutions crow about enrollment gains in the face of the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic, but a leading research outfit says the state lost such students. Who’s right and what does it mean?

Many observers expected declines nationally with the virus running around. That could discourage attendance and might have stretched pocketbooks too thinly to have students and families shell out for tuition needed. Data from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center seemed to bear this out. Its latest update in mid-October using late September data showed a national loss of 3 percent, with undergraduate enrollment down 4 percent.

This continued a trend over the past several years nationally, while Louisiana has seen a drop in undergraduate students every year except from academic year 2017-2018 since 2011. Most alarmingly, first-time freshmen numbers nationally fell by over 16 percent. The organization said it had data representing almost 70 percent of Louisiana enrollment covered in its data.