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Natl results spell trouble for LA Democrats

Louisiana Democrats received bad news going forward about their statewide prospects from the 2020 elections, both in state and nationally.

In a year that supposedly some “blue wave” would swamp the country, little evidence of that showed up nationally and in Louisiana. At the national level, while Democrats likely narrowly won the presidency, they likely barely kept control of the House of Representative and likely gained hardly any Senate seats, too few to take control of the chamber.

Specific to Louisiana, Republican Pres. Donald Trump received about the same proportion of the vote as he did in 2016, 58 percent. Republican members of the House cruised to reelection, with only the Second District’s Democrat Rep. Cedric Richmond chalking up one for his party in a district drawn heavily in the party’s favor. Incumbent GOP Sen. Bill Cassidy easily dispatched a baker’s dozen of opponents, with Democrat endorsee Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins drawing a humiliating 19 percent of the vote and candidates running under the party label obtaining just 35 percent total.


Bridge toll poll brings out demagoguery

Word about continuing efforts to build a toll bridge to replace the Jimmie Davis Bridge shook up south Bossier City and some of its politicians, underscored by looming city council elections.

Last week, a firm styling itself Opinion Strategies called from an upstate New York area code to quiz area residents about their approval of a new bridge for State Highway 511 that crosses the Red River. The survey operated in “push poll” fashion, with questions and their ordering designed to entice positive responses.

The impetus for this likely came from a Louisiana Transportation Authority meeting in June. There, the firm United Bridge Partners made an unsolicited pitch to build a four-lane bridge, remove the old two-lane bridge, and then collect the revenue from it for 75 years while not exporting any costs to the state. The more the state contributed up front, the lower the tolls would be, although the company declined to reveal tolling prices.


Reduced prospects, Biden need entice Richmond

Democrat Rep. Cedric Richmond’s risky intended departure from Congress reveals both something about his own personal political ambitions and the precariousness of a putative former vice president Joe Biden presidential administration.

With Biden inching closer to winning the recent presidential election, Richmond said he would resign soon to take an unspecified but senior role in the White House, but obviously only if Biden’s victory withstands legal challenges. If this comes to pass, he gives up much.

By doing this, Richmond trades out essentially a job for life. He also forfeits the chance to orbit among the most influential Democrats in Congress, having already headed up the Congressional Black Caucus that makes up almost a quarter of Democrats in the House of Representatives and still is relatively young with plenty of upside. Being a pal of Biden’s – he co-led his campaign committee – would have magnified his power further in the chamber.


Edwards vetoes for bogus, politicized reasons

Always count on Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards to politicize matters instead of relying on principle that better serves the people.

That tendency he put on display again when he vetoed from the 2020 Second Extraordinary Session of the Louisiana Legislature two helpful bills. One, SB 20, would have changed the emergency elections procedure to increase its flexibility.

Under current law, under an emergency the secretary of state can propose temporary changes to the election code with the force of law. These then would have to obtain legislative and gubernatorial approval. The change would have allowed a pair of chamber panels meeting together to suggest changes to the secretary that it would approve before the entire chamber and governor would review. It also gave the chambers the option of overriding a gubernatorial veto.


Ludicrous petition ruling defies common sense

It was such a ludicrous decision concerning Louisiana Revised Statute 29:768 that the exceptionally poor reasoning involved seems unlikely to be a product of mere blundering.

Last week, Republican 19th District Judge William Morvant declared part of this law unconstitutional. It allowed one house of the Legislature to end gubernatorially-declared states of public health emergencies, which the House did in late October to the then-extant proclamation made by Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards concerning the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic.

Morvant clearly wanted nothing to do with it, as indicated by an attempt to sidestep the whole controversy. He made two distinct rulings, the first that the matter was moot because the petition addressed proclamation 134 JBE 2020, and that had expired with replacement by 158 JBE 2020.