Not that anyone should be surprised at the “paint the candidate with mud” tactic. For roughly seven years during the early-mid part of this decade, President Barack Obama was on the ballot of nearly every political battle, from US Senate to coroner. He was the punching bag, the political target, the Democratic candidates’ running mate. Every opportunity any Republican candidate running for office had the chance to include an angry picture of Obama in the TV spot, they did. The key words used by GOP candidates during all of those bouts were Obamacare, the stimulus, bailouts and down here in Louisiana, the BP moratorium. Four years ago, Republican gubernatorial candidate, David Vitter, seemed to mention Obama in his ads as often as he did when he successfully defended against Charlie Melancon for the US Senate spot, a few years prior.
So, it is not so strange to see Bobby Jindal’s mug in the first frame of JBE’s initial TV shot. Unquestionably, the Edwards campaign wants to remind the voting public that Jindal “wrecked the budget” and that the Dems (with Republican Commissioner of Administration head, Jay Dardenne) pulled it out of the ditch and repaired it.
Which might not be a hard sell if the budget is the only issue.
Now, the Edwards team is putting its own hefty campaign war chest to work by making that very simple point “Budget, Jindal, budget cuts, Jindal, necessary tax increases, Jindal” it is spending a whopping seven-figures to push the ad buy.
According to yesterday’s Edwards’s campaign presser,
“The ad reminds voters of how far Louisiana has come under Gov. Edwards. When Gov. Edwards took office, Bobby Jindal had left Louisiana with a record $2 billion budget shortfall that threatened to wreck Louisiana’s economy, hospitals, and higher education system. Thanks to Gov. Edwards' bipartisan work with the legislature, Louisiana turned the budget deficit into a surplus. Now the state is making investments in teacher pay, TOPS, and healthcare.”
“Gov. Edwards worked with Republicans and Democrats to turn Bobby Jindal’s $2 billion deficit into a surplus. Now the state can invest in teacher pay raises, higher education, and healthcare. We’ve still got work to do, but Gov. Edwards is moving Louisiana in the right direction. Louisiana voters don’t want to go back,” said Richard Carbo, John Bel for Louisiana campaign manager.
Which for many, considering that Jindal took a two-billion-dollar surplus and turned it into a two billion dollar deficit, that argument has sway.
But surely don’t expect the Republicans to simply roll over. With democrats in short-supply at the highest spots in Louisiana government, they smell blood in the waters.
Their logical attack is to portray the state flailing, disrespected by business, hemorrhaging on the national lists including healthcare, elderly and more.
Here’s how Bayoubuzz columnist and current conservative talk radio host at WGSO, Jeff Crouere, recently put it:
While people should be moving into Louisiana in record numbers, sadly, our state was one of only eight states in the nation to lose population last year. With so much in our favor, it is amazing that we have so many horrific problems. It is truly a tale of two states.
The latest report by SeniorLiving.org places Louisiana 47th among states on possibly the most important ranking. The standard life expectancy in Louisiana is 75.6 years, three years below the national average. The researchers pointed to cancer and heart disease as the cause for 90% of the deaths in the state.
There are many reasons for this low ranking from environmental to inadequate healthcare. It is just the latest in a non-stop bombardment of rankings that show Louisiana at the top of the bad lists and the bottom of the good lists.
The personal finance website Wallethub regularly provides state rankings on a range of issues. In recent months, Louisiana ranked as the worst state in the nation for women based on economic, health, safety, and social well-being factors. It is most likely the worst state in nation for men as well.
We have the highest sales tax rates in the nation, the second highest incarceration rate, and rank as one of the most violent states in the nation. Our schools, infrastructure, and government services rank at the bottom as well.
On the issue of economic performance, Wallethub listed Louisiana as 50th among the states. To make matters worse, we were also ranked at the most environmentally unfriendly state in the nation.
Finally, the most depressing statistic is that Wallethub discovered Louisiana to be the most stressed state in the nation. Despite all we have to offer the world and the image of our state as a carefree place to enjoy good food and good music, the reality is quite different. The people of Louisiana are worried about the bad economy, the high crime rate, the poor environment, the inadequate healthcare and the crumbling infrastructure.
It is high time for a change in direction. Fortunately, we have statewide elections coming in just a few months. Voters will elect legislators in all 144 districts and all statewide positions, such as Governor.
The architects of this disaster must be sent packing and candidates with new ideas, vision, energy and an unwavering commitment to turnaround this state should be rewarded with support.
This upcoming election is a perfect opportunity for the people of Louisiana to say, “enough is enough.”
Obviously, the Democrats hope that their invoking Jindal will be "enough" to carry the moment-- coming one voting day, this fall.