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Left misdiagnoses LA amendment defeats

And this is why the Louisiana left doesn’t win elections in aggregate.

The state’s electorate made subpar decisions to vote down Amendments #4 and #5 earlier this month, at the urging of the political left. The former would have changed the formula that computes the state’s annual spending limit and put a potential five percent cap on it, while the latter would have made it more practical for entities to enter into payment-in-lieu-of-taxes arrangements with local governments.

Neither would have made more than a marginal change. The new formula over the past few years would have resulted in smaller potential expenditures increases, and none of its results in recent years would have hit the proposed percentage cap – which, because of an up-and-down revenue picture never got close to hitting the overall dollar cap, which the Legislature twice moved downwards as permitted by a two-thirds vote. And PILOTs already are being constructed across the state, but some owners hesitate to transfer property title to the local governments in question.


Veterans Day, 2020

This column publishes every Sunday through Thursday around noon U.S. Central Time (maybe even after sundown on busy days, or maybe before noon if things work out, or even sometimes on the weekend if there's big news) except whenever a significant national holiday falls on the Sunday through Thursday associated with the otherwise-usual publication on the previous day (unless it is Easter, Thanksgiving Day, Independence Day, Christmas, or New Year's Day when it is the day on which the holiday is observed by the U.S. government). In my opinion, in addition to these are also Memorial Day and Veterans' Day.

With Wednesday, Nov. 11 being Veterans' Day, I invite you to explore the links connected to this page.


Don't count on Edwards, Richmond leaving soon

Are they staying or are they going? Chances are the former for Democrats Gov. John Bel Edwards and Rep. Cedric Richmond, but for different reasons.

With more certainty that Democrat former Vice Pres. Joe Biden will secure enough electoral votes to win election to the White House, speculation has started about the futures of the two most prominent Democrats in the state, that they could move on to jobs in a future Biden Administration. Richmond is a Biden friend and co-chairman of his campaign, while Edwards is the party’s only governor in the deep south, a region that Democrats hoped to improve upon their performance but instead, outside of the razor-thin presidential contest in Georgia, as a whole underperformed.

But Richmond has plenty of reasons to stay in his post, starting with it’s his job for life that could lead to a prominent congressional career. Already having headed the Congressional Black Caucus, within a decade he could be jockeying for party leadership in the chamber. Additionally, over the next four years he could wield much influence particularly from 2023-24 because of his friendship with Republican Rep. Steve Scalise, the second-ranking Republican. With Democrats barely holding onto a House majority, history assures the GOP will take control of the House in two years, and because of a White House connection Richmond will be the most powerful Democrat when they become the minority with his ability to grab Scalise’s ear.


Biden, voters finish off what Edwards started

Democrat Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, spotted heaping straw onto the camel’s back, naturally denied it last week when the creature’s back broke.

It’s no accident that just as election returns showed Democrat former Vice Pres. Joe Biden taking a lead in the close 2020 presidential election, Royal Dutch Shell announced it would close its Convent refinery. It has tried to sell the plant for months, as part of a larger strategy to shed its free-standing refineries and retaining integrated units that include its Norco facility in favor of developing more alternative energy and focusing more on chemicals production. It was quite a turnaround from just three years ago, when Shell bought out its partner at Convent.

Days before the sale announcement, it had warned it might have to shutter plants couldn’t sell. It didn’t matter that the Convent location was fairly current technologically. It becomes the largest of the nine refineries closed in North America in 2020 and comes on the heels of Calcasieu Refining’s shutting down its Lake Charles refinery.