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LA Democrats seem willing to break election law

What is a woman? Louisiana Democrats might start having to explain themselves on this as their answer might endorse breaking state election law.

Across the state this Saturday, registered Republicans and Democrats will cast ballots for their respective party’s governing institutions, both for parish executive committees and state central committee. State law sets some parameters for this process for recognized political parties of a certain size, i.e. the two major parties.

Statute for composition of the state central committees gives parties two choices. One, they can follow the somewhat-structured R.S. 18:443.1, which mandates that the SCC have 210 seats with its members elected from each of the 105 state House districts, where males run separately and females run separately. Two, R.S. 18:443.2 mandates broadly that a governor of the party must serve on its SCC but the rest of members selection is left up to the party so long as it’s not inconsistent with state law.


Left refuses to see its causing LA depopulation

A recent musing about Louisiana population loss contains a lot bathos, signifying the difficulty, if not unwillingness, that the state’s leftist institutions have in accepting what’s plain to everybody else.

Last week, the Baton Rouge Advocate ran a piece about the latest 2023 census numbers, which show most Louisiana parishes lost population. The state as a whole lost over 14,000 people in 2023, bring the total loss from compared to 2015 to nearly 120,000 even as the country as a whole, and most states, grew in numbers. In fact, the state’s 0.31 percent loss trailed in percentage terms only New York, and of the seven states that did lose population, four were among the largest blue states, with purple Pennsylvania barely slipping and only West Virigina among red states joining Louisiana.

Only Ascension, Beauregard, Bossier, Calcasieu, De Soto, East Feliciana, Iberville, Lafayette, Livingston, St. Bernard, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Vermillion, and West Baton Rouge gained – a few barely – and none over one percent. Metropolitan statistical areas were a mixed bag: energy-intensive areas Lafayette and Lake Charles and northshore Hamond and Slidell-Covington-Mandeville, plus Baton Rouge eked out gains but Shreveport-Bossier City, Monroe, Alexandria, Houma-Bayou Cane-Thibodaux, and New Orleans-Metairie shrunk. In fact, New Orleans led the country in MSA slumping at 1.15 percent, while Houma was fifth worst at 0.85 percent, Alexandria 16th worst at 0.60 percent, Shreveport 36th worst at 0.43 percent, and Monroe 46th worst at 0.34 percent. Hammond’s 0.92 percent growth was best in the state and 92nd best nationwide.

Louisiana’s rural areas fared even worse than its urban, while overall suburban areas held their own. That 50 parishes lost population flummoxed the Advocate, which went on an extensive expedition in search of explanations why since the 2020 census this had happened.

Natural disasters clearly had a role, but this masked some notable divergences. For example, Lake Charles was coming back from its travails, but Houma wasn’t. And obviously a lot of places hadn’t had adverse weather events strike them in the past three years.

So, setting aside idiosyncratic elements, it had to be policy, and to her credit Alison Plyer, the longtime chief demographer of New Orleans’ Data Center, hit upon that when queried by the reporter. But, as students will tend to do in answering essay questions, they may guess correctly right answer but provide the wrong reasons to explain it.

Plyer fell victim to this in two ways, although one was only a partial bogey. She observed the poorer health statistics reflected by Louisianans compared to almost every other state, which would lead to earlier deaths offsetting births. Set aside, of course, that this is a temporary effect; changes in cohort life spans would influence extremely marginally overall population so long as the birth cohorts remained constant, so an ongoing fall caused by shorter lifespans would make sense only in the context of a sudden drop in life expectancy that isn’t occurring (even if a relatively rapid one such as during the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic happens, it also happened elsewhere, so relative change among states would be extremely marginal).

Yet that shouldn’t be happening in Louisiana, using the left’s assumptions, because Medicaid expansion! Now almost eight years old, that was supposed to provide all sorts of additional health care people were missing to improve their lives. In reality, a large minority of its new clients years ago simply dropped their private insurance (or their employers did it when expansion rolled out) to get a new freebie, so it’s not like they didn’t have health care insurance already. If, of course, they could access Medicaid, with its limited providers and a lowest common denominator approach that degraded the quality of care. And while you can throw health care at people, you can’t make them live healthy lives that would decrease their health care usage. So, for the extra $450 million or so a year Louisiana taxpayers pony up to subsidize other people’s health care, there’s very little bang for the buck or explanatory power for population loss (if anything, hanging out a new benefit not available in nearly all of the fastest-growing states should attract residents).

But Plyer also made a very ignorant statement. Not her observation that higher educational attainment helps to drive population growth, but that state taxpayer subsidization falling a third since 2008 on a per higher education student basis indicates that Louisiana spent less money on tertiary education. In fact, in fiscal year 2008 $2.766 billion for 201,557 students was budgeted for higher education or $13,723 per student, while in FY 2024 that will be $3.453 billion for 217,618 students or $15,867 per student, an increase of 15.6 percent. The hoary and tired contention that Louisiana has “disinvested” in higher education is an exhausted myth.

Yes, policy is the explanation, but not derived from the blind alleys in the article. It’s very simple: the cause is Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards’ big spending, tax raising, benefit boosting (such as Medicaid expansion), social justice pandering regime, insufficiently resisted by a Republican Legislature short on leadership that only deigned to rein in Edwards’ worst attempted excesses. It discouraged producers from producing, if not their staying in the state, and encouraged wasteful spending, criminal coddling, and more people jumping on the wagon. It not only led to depopulation, but fewer jobs than when he took office, anemic personal income growth that barely outpaced inflation, crime rates heading higher at an above average pace, and a coarsening culture that pandered to ideological special interests.

And, of course, it was the three central cities with Democrat mayors and solid Democrat majorities on their city councils – New Orleans, Shreveport (although it now has a GOP mayor), and Alexandria – which were among the worst performing local jurisdictions. However, notice how Lafayette and Lake Charles, run by Republicans, bucked the trend.

Those shortcomings are the wages of liberalism and are the kinds of things that drive people away – but leftist institutions aren’t going to admit that and will try to find any lame excuse to deflect from that. What’s obvious to everybody else they refuse to see, which makes the musings in that article largely irrelevant, if not entirely counterproductive to reversing the state’s depopulation trend.


Early vote numbers signal advantage Whitehorn

Early voting statistics from Caddo Parish show Republican sheriff candidate former Shreveport City Councilor John Nickelson well may be doing what he has to in order to win this weekend’s election, but it might not be enough.

Nickelson and Democrat former city Chief Administrative Office Henry Whitehorn have locked horns for the position now twice, with the pair emerging from the field in the general election where Nickleson had led Whitehorn 45 percent to 35 percent, and Republican candidates overall receiving 53 percent. Then almost five weeks later famously they virtually tied, with the certified total showing Whitehorn up by one vote. However, a rubber match became necessary when courts found too many irregularities in election conduct to make the actual result indeterminate.

Whitehorn closed the gap because turnout differential swung in his favor, where Republican-favoring precinct turnout fell 5.3 percent while Democrat-favoring precinct turnout increased 1.2 percent, even as overall turnout dropped 2.4 percent. If Nickelson could mitigate each of those changes even slightly, he would win, and increasing base turnout seemed the way to do it based upon the trends had gone adversely for him as a result of falling turnout.


Monroe race to see if Ellis portends trend

By this time next week, we’ll know if independent Monroe Mayor Friday Ellis was a canary in the coal mine for Democrats or just lightning in a bottle.

In 2020, Ellis unexpectedly defeated Democrat former long-time Mayor Jamie Mayo and other candidates to win as a white candidate in a solidly black-majority electorate. However, that may have had more to do with Mayo, who is black, than anything else, whose sometimes odd actions made white voters increasingly suspicious of his leadership and black voters less enthusiastic about him.

On election day – which occurred in July rather than March because of Wuhan coronavirus pandemic restrictions and which might have affected turnout – Ellis won in a 63 percent black constituency. White voter turnout appeared substantially higher than black, although overall it was a healthy over 40 percent. Still, in precincts where blacks comprised at least 90 percent of the vote, Ellis picked up 15 percent while Mayo barely garnered two-thirds, demonstrating greater crossover appeal for white candidates than traditionally.