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17.1.22

Blacks to dominate candidacies of LA Democrats

Developments in this year’s Louisiana U.S. Senate contest ensure that, barring extraordinary circumstances, Democrats won’t win a statewide election for years, perhaps even a generation.

In the past quarter-century, the party recognized it had a problem. The national party’s relentless march to the political left, the rollout of the Internet that began eroding mainstream media domination of the political communication universe, and rising educational attainment among the population encouraging greater knowledge of and use of critical thinking in evaluating politics, detached increasing numbers particularly of white voters from voting for the party’s candidates, as increasingly the electorate understood preferences identified with the party went against their own self-interests.

State Democrats responded by trying to control candidate entry, especially by discouraging black candidates from running statewide with the 1995 gubernatorial election as ground zero. There, black Democrat former Rep. Cleo Fields aced out white Democrat Treasurer Mary Landrieu from a runoff against new Republican state Sen. Mike Foster. When Foster crushed Fields in the runoff, this brought home fears that a black candidate – more easily perceived by the electorate, both black and white, as farther to the left thus turning off Louisiana’s center-right white majority – if making a runoff would set up Democrats to fail.

16.1.22

LA's 15th casino license looks set to sink

Bossier City and Louisiana soon will discover the limits of casino gambling as a source of economic development and government revenue with one of the state’s most venerable riverboat operations on the cusp of sinking and perhaps unsalvageable.

In May, 2020 the city’s DiamondJacks casino – the fourth-oldest continually-operating in the state and longest under the same license – announced it would shut its doors permanently, a victim of the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic caused by having the most co-morbid condition of all 15 licensees. It regularly competed for the sickest man of Louisiana casinos with the small-market Amelia Belle and the Baton Rouge market’s version of the canary in coal mine warning of market saturation, the Belle of Baton Rouge.

As the Isle of Capri it started off strongly almost three decades ago, and as late as the end of the century ran up $123 million in revenues that year. But it went out with a whimper, having just a fifth of those revenues when fiscal year 2020 closed its books and the lowest revenue per admission.

13.1.22

Shreveport carefree spending LA should reject

Louisiana definitely doesn’t need to emulate Shreveport when it comes to disposing of the bonus generated by hyperinflated, live for today by paying for it tomorrow economic policy of Washington Democrats.

As recently noted, the largesse from huge national debt-fueled spending has created a false economy windfall for state and local governments, with Louisiana running big surpluses from forecast revenue levels. Of course, it will end soon and with lower economic growth nationwide in the future because of higher debt levels while the outsized price inflation from it will hit people and governments sooner.

Louisiana will benefit in the short term from revenue picked up by cramming borrowed money through the economy, but with known big one-time expenses on the horizon and policy changes set to reduce tax revenues for operating expenses, its best course of action would put the bonus to use in fulfilling those looming costs and not to make new commitments. If only Shreveport would have done the same.

12.1.22

LA must resist blowing bounty on new spending

Louisiana lawmakers need to pay close attention to the fable of the ants and the grasshopper as they ponder the latest fiscal news.

This week, the state’s Revenue Estimating Conference came up with some rosy numbers, courtesy of the debt-fueled binge by Washington Democrats. The country is paying for it now with accelerating inflation and later with reduced future economic growth, but at the state and local level it has produced a false economy, both by direct cash grants and squeezing more inflated dollars through the economic pipeline, that is here today and will go away tomorrow.

For Louisiana, that equates to around $1.3 billion in unallocated funds directable to Wuhan coronavirus pandemic aid for the next few years, a portion of which can supplement state and local public safety, education, and social service ongoing spending, as well as nearly $850 million more for state spending generated by its own sources in excess of past predictions (after taking off the top $275 million dedicated to liabilities reduction and revenue sharing). In addition, the REC said for this year another $1 billion would be collected in excess of forecasts, although this batch essentially can’t go to operating expenses.

11.1.22

Better policy, not wall, solution to GSU crime

Lawmakers should give a thumbs down to walling off Grambling State University from surrounding Grambling.

Last week, Democrat Grambling Mayor Ed Jones issued a public complaint about the university’s plans to spend $18 million on a security barrier that would envelop the campus. Last month, the University of Louisiana System formally added the proposal to the five-year capital outlay request for the school, staring next fiscal year. Legislators then would have to approve.

The item, fronted by Democrat former state Rep. Rick Gallot who now presides over GSU, comes as the institution’s response to several shootings on campus over the past few years. Most notably, two occurred in the space of days last October, resulting in a death and several injuries. While one of these occurred in the course of but not at Homecoming festivities, in the quadrangle area, and the other outside a heavily-trafficked building although both after midnight, the principals involved weren’t students nor from Grambling; one was a minor.

10.1.22

LSU surpasses woke with police state tactics

Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge has one-upped most woke universities. It’s demonstrating vividly the inevitable extension of wokeness: living in a police state.

As it and other Louisiana higher education institutions start the 2022 year of instruction, it continues its Wuhan coronavirus vaccine passport regime, which means either having a relatively unaged vaccination or recent negative test. For now, it requires face coverings indoors or on buses and within 50 feet of a building entrance. Passport violation results in student disenrollment and employee discipline.

That such measures have little to do with protecting the public goes without saying. The science consistently has noted that mask mandates don’t really affect transmission, that it is next to impossible to transmit the virus outdoors unless people are on top of each other for an extended period, and vaccination doesn’t prevent transmission especially in closed environments of lengthy co-mingling.

9.1.22

LA era of legal ganja sales compounds problems

The dawn of all-but-in-name marijuana legalization in Louisiana is the last thing needed in a state whose social norms hold back achievement and invite addictive behavior to decrease its citizens’ quality of life.

At the start of the year, laws where almost anything goes in making ganja available legally kicked in. Any physician in the state now can “recommend” (not “prescribe,” to prevent running afoul of federal law) smokable street-potent leaf theoretically in dealer-like quantities to anyone for any presumed ailment, despite the fact that medical research reveals only a small set of maladies have positive outcomes associated with cannabis use.

Most Louisiana doctors won’t go along, much less authorize a large amount. But some will, and shamelessly so. If a small coterie essentially created pill mills at far higher legal risk (and notoriously enough so that a whole television series came from these), don’t think a larger contingent won’t grasp at this opportunity, with the easy money available from consultation fees, and all legal.

6.1.22

Events one year ago launched Cassidy decline

While national Democrats – and their Louisiana lackeys – attempt to obscure a year of policy failure by unsupported fantasy and hyperbole about unrest at the U.S. Capitol on year ago, the anniversary is relevant for Louisianans in that it set the stage for the political decline of Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy as he launched his quest for Strange New Respect.

Almost immediately after a mob infiltrated the Capitol seeking to delay Electoral College tabulations over the belief insecure elections in several states made an accurate victory declaration impossible – who video footage showed after members of Congress fled, with many of the few hundred many ushered in by Capitol police, mostly wandered aimlessly, acquired souvenirs of various kinds, and engaged in very minor vandalism before trickling out, kind of like the dog who actually caught the car and didn’t know what to do with it – the political left not only went into hyperventilation mode about the “insurrection,” but also it tried to paint Republican former Pres. Donald Trump as the genesis of it all. Never mind, of course, in a speech given to nearby protesters Trump never hinted that a bunch of listeners should deploy violence down the street to accomplish their aim, and even went so far as to instruct that any such protest should occur peaceably (although the Federal Bureau of Investigation already knew, and later would confirm, a handful of protesters were trying to organize a less peaceful response), all the while not engaging in any legally or constitutionally suspect behavior.

Nonetheless, Democrats quickly tried to paint Trump as, if not the center of a conspiracy to overthrow the federal government, dastardly enough to rile a revolutionary army into existence to prevent a change in executive power. Within hours this hoax began to unravel and has done nothing else since, and anyone with a scintilla of political judgment astute enough to govern the country and honest enough to exercise it from the start knew the very worst about which Trump could be accused on this issue was adhering to his typical undiplomatic leadership style by not anticipating that any remarks, no matter how benign, might encourage more high-strung members of the listening audience to engage in trespass.

5.1.22

LA: thing not like the others, detrimentally

Yet again, it’s not bad enough that Louisiana keeps undesirable company among the states, but that it’s also the one thing that’s not like the others – and there are policy reasons why that is the case.

The 2021 edition of the United Van Lines National Movers Study once again verified the state’s migratory population drain, through its revelation that Louisiana ranked eighth most excessive of those people renting moving equipment leaving rather than arriving. In the year after the census, the federal government noted only New York, Illinois, and California had a higher proportion of people leave than stay than Louisiana.

Those three states also ranked higher than Louisiana among negative movements, along with New Jersey, Michigan, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. Only the Bay State escaped losing net migrants, ending even up.

4.1.22

On chief, Chandler picks up biggest policy win

The predictable and inevitable finally came to fruition, handing Republican Bossier City Mayor Tommy Chandler a much-needed personnel win where he has had a rough go of it his first six months in office.

Facing a hostile City Council majority of a different political faction who backed the incumbent that Chandler defeated last spring, it has slowed several of his choices to lead city departments. And, in the biggest defeat of his young tenure, Chandler couldn’t get past that majority his original choice for chief administrative officer, although months later he secured his next choice.

Until now, he also was left hanging with a personnel move made almost the moment he entered office over which the Council had no authority. To the displeasure of that majority, he reassigned former chief Shane McWilliams from that role and announced his intent to nominate a new chief for Council approval, appointing Chris Estess as “substitute” chief.

3.1.22

LA to keep paying for ineligible Medicaid clients

Louisianans continue to pay unnecessarily for bad Medicaid decisions made by Democrat Pres. Joe Biden and Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards, punishment that doesn’t look to end soon.

The state approaches the sixth anniversary of Edwards’ unwise choice to force the state into Medicaid expansion. For about a third to a half of the newly eligible who already had health insurance this welfare expansion shifted this cost from them onto the backs of taxpayers, and for the latest fiscal year available (2020) meant an extra $366 million taken from the wallets of Louisiana taxpayers – besides the portion of their federal taxes that went to pay for it.

Worse, it did little to save money by reducing emergency room visits because the proportion of recipients with extended waits for primary care went up by a factor of 14, as relatively few providers participate in the program that faced much increased demand because of expansion. This explains why uncompensated care costs have remained flat over the past three years – which expansion advocates said would drop considerably upon its adoption – at around $1.1 billion.

2.1.22

James bailout points to LA Democrat weakness

And another indicator that Louisiana’s Democrats have thrown in the towel when it comes to the short-term goal of more favorable policy-maker district reapportionment and longer-term goal of advancing an agenda came when Democrat state Rep. Ted James announced his imminent departure from the Legislature.

James said he will resign soon to take a mid-level job in Democrat Pres. Joe Biden’s Small Business Administration. Aside from his law practice, he has no experience as a businessman and, as MacAoidh noted with such rich irony, has a voting record hostile to business in general.

But James is halfway through his final term, has no chance to win any statewide office next year or apparently take a realistic shot at incumbent Democrat Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome’s job after, and would have to face an incumbent of his own party of he wished to attempt immediate continuance of his legislative career in the state Senate. And as much as Biden appears bound to a single term in office so James may serve fewer than two years in that post, his criminal law practice going forward mustn’t have looked too promising without his holding a legislative seat.