"There is no place like Louisiana on this earth, and I think that when my days are over, I’ll find heaven to be no different from Louisiana – maybe a little bit cooler in the summer. "
Governor Mike Foster
Governor Foster passed away last week, leaving a legacy of numerous positive accomplishments during his time in public life. I worked closely with the governor on a number of important issues during the time I served as Insurance Commissioner.
Is Louisiana a judicial hellhole where decisions by state judges are influenced by campaign contributions? Apparently, the Louisiana legislature and business lobbying groups think so. In the recent legislative session, laws were passed taking away the authority of state judges to make decisions involving small claims above $10,000. Evidently elected judges often do not make fair decisions. Or at least that what insurance companies and other business groups want you to believe.
Assuming in this strange day and age, we still have political conventions this year, no one at this stage is sure just how the process will work. The old process of picking national candidates in the proverbial smoke-filled room has gone by the wayside in favor of party primaries. In the old days, candidates would spend years wooing state party leaders, who would then select delegates and tell them whom to support.
The Republican Party has total control of the Louisiana Legislature, with a supermajority in the State Senate and an overwhelming margin in the House of Representatives. Unfortunately, these legislative Republicans, who were elected to enact policies in line with the party’s platform, are not standing up for their principles and opposing the liberal agenda of Governor John Bel Edwards.
Did you know that those individuals around the United States and locally, who want the national governments to be prudent, follow science and put life before money, are “unconstitutional anti-business, socialists who have destroyed the American economy’?
If you looked around over the past week, you will see these epitaphs all over. They’re on protests signs, on social media posts, on certain cable networks along with revolutionary-war era slogans such as “Don’t Tread on Me”, “Give Me Liberty or Give me Death”.
The new unemployment numbers are horrific. Another 4.5 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week. Since the beginning of this health crisis in March, the total number of unemployed Americans has exceeded 26 million.
Some experts believe the unemployment rate will eventually surpass 20%, nearing the all-time high of 24.9% in 1933, in the middle of the Great Depression.
With the coronavirus spreading across the nation, all Americans are feeling vulnerable and nervous about the future. Incredible steps have been taken to shut down interaction among people and slow the spread of the killer disease. Hopefully, these measures will be successful, and life will soon return to normal in the country.
In the meantime, the crisis will get worse before it eventually gets better. One place that is being particularly hard hit is Louisiana. Our state is facing a crisis like nothing it has ever experienced. We are used to dealing with hurricanes and natural disasters, but this crisis is multi-faceted and will be long-lasting.
Let us congratulate President Donald Trump for doing his job now that he cannot fabricate a campaign narrative of a “nothing burger” virus.
Today, we know that the Coronavirus, which he insists upon branding it as the Chinese Virus, is so much worse than what he and his gang had previously told us.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has had a very fortunate political career. In 2015, he was elected because many Republicans refused to support his GOP opponent, then U.S. Senator David Vitter. Last November, his narrow victory occurred because a significant number of Republican voters abandoned the GOP candidate, businessman Eddie Rispone, to support his re-election.
This week, he scored another victory as his preferred candidate for House Speaker, Representative Clay Schexnayder (R-Gonzales) was elected by a Republican-controlled legislature. Schexnayder defeated a more conservative opponent, Representative Sherman Mack (R-Albany) by a healthy 60-45 margin.
The Louisiana elections are now history. Governor John Bel Edwards bested businessman Eddie Rispone and indirectly President Donald Trump who campaigned heavily for the Republican candidate.
The day after the election political analyst and pollster John Couvillon of JMC Analytics and Polling published the following:
As both the decade and the 2019 election cycle comes to a close, JMC would like to analyze the results through the prism of the December 2002 runoff that saw Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu re-elected, as there are similarities between that race and Governor John Bel Edwards’ successful re-election race (that comparison was also made in this prior article).