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GOP LA House governance takes step backwards

Just when you think Louisiana’s legislative Republicans, led in this instance by GOP House Speaker Clay Schexnayder, have gotten the hang of ruling as a majority party, then they show they don’t.

This week, the Legislature wrapped up its regular session with the GOP leadership having outmaneuvered Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards on a variety of fronts. It lined up votes and legislation in ways that neutered his line-item veto power, forced him to swallow his pride and ideology to accept one high-profile bill he opposed, and dared him to veto others that look likely if he did most, if not all of them, would be undone in a veto session.

At the same time, a rogue activist judge, in a ruling running very much against the run of judicial play almost certain to be stayed quickly, declared that the state would have to redraw its congressional boundaries because the proportion of those that are majority-minority would have to match the proportion of black residents in the state, no matter how many traditional reapportionment standards would have to be ditched to do so. Handed the ball, Edwards ran with it by summoning a special session Jun. 15-20, with the judicial deadline set for Jun. 22.


Useless Edwards gesture to cost LA taxpayers

The Louisiana Legislature should refuse to waste more taxpayer dollars triggered by Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards’ attempt to put lipstick on a pig of a court decision.

Earlier this week, Louisiana Middle District Judge Shelly Dick unilaterally tossed out Act 5 of the 2022 First Extraordinary Session, declaring by fiat the congressional districts drawn in it violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act and demanding as a remedy redrawing of these by Jun. 20. She used a novel interpretation to justify this, heretofore only seen in a similar case alleging that a state, in that instance Alabama, could have drawn an additional majority-minority district without using race as the dominant criterion.

Wherein lies the problem, because in that other case the U.S. Supreme Court slammed the brakes on that proposed solution, putting that on hold until after 2022 elections when it likely will decide on just how much prominence race should have in drawing such maps. The doctrine it used maintains that changes in electoral boundaries too close to elections degrade elections by sowing voter confusion and imposing significant administrative burdens.


Whiny Edwards won't condemn mean-spirited Biden

If you can’t win, at least go out a sore loser. Better, spitefully do so to the detriment of poor families, Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards demonstrated at the close of the 2022 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature.

Edwards was peeved that the Republican leadership of the chambers outmaneuvered him in sending through SB 44 by GOP state Sen. Beth Mizell. Almost identical to a measure he vetoed last year, this would prohibit biological males at the scholastic and collegiate level from competing in sports designed for females only. Speaking to the media at the session’s conclusion, he said he would do nothing with it so it would become law, after previously having tried to save face by hinting removing an almost-meaningless application to intramural sports made all the difference in the world in him not casting a veto.

Make no mistake, he didn’t try because he knew he would lose. The damage to the psyches and earnings potential of females became only more apparent over the past year by not having such a protection in law, and the decision by the chambers’ leadership to take his line-item veto power off the table put him in a position where any veto he cast would have been overridden.


GOP strategy neutering Edwards' veto influence

What a difference a little gumption makes, which already has paid off for the Louisiana Legislature this year and may magnify considerably over the next couple of months to the state’s advantage.

Almost unnoticed last week, Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards signed off on HB 1, the operating budget, and HB 2, the capital outlay budget, for next fiscal year. He cast for HB 1 five line-item vetoes that made essentially cosmetic changes, and remarkably no vetoes at all for HB 2.

This stands in great contrast with recent years during his two terms, although more so with capital outlay. The five is not that unusual of a number, as the average is only about four and in both 2016 and 2019 (right after and before and election) there weren’t any. The five from the 2022 session essentially removed a duplicative capital outlay request and took money from the Department of Culture, Recreation, and Tourism to give to the three university systems with senior institutions to full fund pay raises without their having to dip into their own resources.


Coming eclipse lost on white LA populist left

There’s a certain irony attached to Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards’ testifying in front of a special legislative panel investigating the death of black motorist Ronald Greene then rushing to New Orleans to host a fundraising event for white long shot Senate candidate Democrat Luke Mixon, whom he just endorsed.

Mixon, of course, has no chance to defeat Republican incumbent Sen. John Kennedy, who in this cycle has raised $16 million, spent nearly half, and had almost $14 million in the campaign kitty as of the end of the first quarter. By contrast, Mixon gathered less than a half million dollars, spent half of it and sits on the other half.

Whether Mixon can win isn’t the central question posed by this election. Rather, it’s whether it will mark the passage of a century-long era in Louisiana politics where white populist elites controlled the fortunes of state Democrats, as formidable black Democrat candidate Gary Chambers, unconnected to the clique now fronted by Edwards, is in the race and by all indications will overwhelm Mixon.