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Tuesday, 10 December 2013 19:37

LAGOP plows, Maness reaps but will Jindal blink?

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landrieuPolitical plow    
    The Louisiana Republican Party has turned into a political plow, trying to clear the road for the GOP’s effort to capture the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu.
    The plow is meeting with some success in its efforts to help Republican U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy of Baton Rouge, who is the party’s anointed candidate to face Landrieu, who is seeking a fourth, six-year term.

    First, it convinced Republican state Rep. Alan Seabaugh of Shreveport to end his brief entry into the race.  But other state legislators were making noises about Cassidy’s  conservative credentials, claiming he is not conservative enough to defeat Landrieu.
    Among them are sate Rep. Paul Hollis, R-Mandeville, and black state Sen. Elbert Guillory of Opelousas, a recent convert to the GOP.
    So the state GOP cranked up its political plow and headed in the direction of those two state legislators.  Apparently, the plow was successful in removing those perceived roadblocks.
    Both potential candidates for the U.S. Senate seat now say they will not run and will support Cassidy, who must have suddenly become conservative enough.
    But the plow is still stuck in the political mud in its efforts to get Republican Rob Maness, a retired Air Force colonel from Madisonville, to get out of the race.
    Maness, after picking every endorsement from conservative and Tea Party organizations, says he is in the race to stay.  A spokesman for the Maness campaign told the Fax-Net that they are optimistic about having at least $1 million in the bank when the race revs up next year.
    In a recent poll, Maness captured 10% of the vote.  But if he continues to gain momentum and name recognition, he will surely necessitate a runoff for the U.S. Senate seat.  And who knows?  With the political climate being what it is today, anything is possible.  We need look no further than the recent 5th Congressional District race where an outsider with no political experience defeated the machine of the Louisiana Republican establishment.

What’s up in Texas?
    Politics has taken an unusual turn in Texas, which has the governor and many state legislators red-faced in the Red State, which is suddenly taking on a blue tint.
    Republican Gov. Rick Perry has publicly turned down accepting any provisions of the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.  He has consistently refused to participate in the Medicaid expansion.
    That was just fine with the Republican-controlled state legislature – until they went back to their districts where they were peppered with criticism from constituents who wanted to take advantage of the ACA Medicaid expansion.
    There is a serious statewide “Turn Texas Blue” movement that has Republican leaders and legislators concerned about the party’s political future in the state.
    Consequently, GOP legislators have forced Perry to the negotiating table on December 12 and will insist that he agree to accept the Medicaid expansion under Obamacare.
    If Perry balks, Republican legislators say they  have the final say-so and, with help from Democrats, will go over the governor’s head to allow their constituents to take advantage of the Medicaid expansion.
    It will be interesting to see what happens, and one has to wonder if Louisiana’s Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal, who has also refused to accept any part of Obamacare, is keeping an eye on Texas.

Lou Gehrig Burnett

Lou Gehrig Burnett is the publisher of Fax-Net, a North-Louisiana newsletter. | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.