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RINO’s And Democrats Seem Intent On Making Alario Senate President


“He may have changed parties, but he hasn’t changed his way of life. He can’t fool me. I know him too well.”

- Edwin Edwards, on John Alario

“If it’s politically expedient, people switch parties. It’s not going to change John Alario one way or the other.”

- State Sen. Eric Lafleur, Democrat

I’m going to go out on a rather short limb here and say that the entire purpose of putting Democrats out of power in Louisiana was to do away with the crony capitalism, special-interest giveaways and outright corruption that party so completely signified in our state for decades. Republicans run Louisiana because over time, and particularly after Katrina laid bare the effects for everyone to see, the electorate became violently fed up with the banana-republic character of Louisiana politics as practiced by the party of Edwin Edwards, the Longs and Dollar Bill Jefferson.

Which is why it’s important for Republicans, if they expect to govern Louisiana very long, present voters with a very different outlook on governance from what Democrats operated under. Voters will probably forgive mistakes made in finding that new model – so far Bobby Jindal has fairly broad support and faces no challengers to speak of for re-election this fall, for example, despite a few well-publicized errors in governance over the last three-plus years – but will react very unfavorably to seeing a Republican governing establishment operate in the same way with the same people as Democrats did.

Talk to folks on the street and this is a fairly uncontroversial notion. But among the state’s politicians, heads are a bit thicker. Or so it seems.

Nothing exemplifies this more than the growing possibility that John Alario, the most laughable example of a Democrat switching parties out of pure political expediency, might be on the verge of cutting a deal with his old Democrat buddies, some Democrat turncoats and a few new Republican friends to become president of the Louisiana Senate next year.

That this is an uncommonly bad prospect should go without saying. Alario was Edwin Edwards’ Speaker of the House when the latter was busy stealing the state blind, and Republicans in Louisiana at the time considered him as signifying everything that was slimy and corrupt about Louisiana politics. The backroom deals, the Chicago-style pay-for-play, the lack of transparency and the petty agendas lending a Byzantine quality to the formulation of policy rather than the honest debate of substantive ideas were what infuriated Louisiana voters into getting rid of Democrats, and Alario was neck-deep in all of it.

But when it became patently clear that Louisianans no longer had any stomach for the kind of Capitol politics Alario’s Democrats had on offer, he simply switched parties. After all, his sheepish defenders say, his voting record looks pretty good for business and he can make the case that he was a conservative Democrat all along.

Which is beside the point. This isn’t so much a matter of ideology as it is propriety. Changing parties in control in pursuit of a completely different style of operation ought to mean changing personnel. If your football team stinks running an option offense when Gerry DiNardo is the coach, going to a spread passing attack with DiNardo still at the helm isn’t going to make you a champion.

This is a legislator who has his own lobbyist, for crying out loud. And the stories about exactly how Alario’s relationship with that lobbyist are legion – the perfect example of which being the much-publicized River Birch landfill case in Jefferson Parish, in which Alario and said lobbyist have been involved for over 15 years.

It’s possible that the latest round of River Birch investigations will miss Alario. One would think making him the Senate President wouldn’t be possible unless he’s absolutely clean in that case. Nobody I talk to thinks he is, which means that the possibility exists that RINO’s and Democrats might collude – shamefully enough with the acquiescence of Jindal, or so I’m told – to make Alario the Senate President just in time for him to run afoul of the U.S. Attorney in a highly-publicized case. And at that point the Democrats who established the slimeball politics which normalized a River Birch in Louisiana in the first place would get to score political points over the downfall of one of their most notorious products.

And if that isn’t a political “own goal” waiting to happen I don’t know what is.

After this fall’s elections there will be a legitimate conservative majority in the Louisiana Senate. Shouldn’t that majority be reflected in the leadership of that body?

Apparently it won’t. Not unless the voters who got rid of the Democrats also insist that having done so actually means something.

This is where our readers come in.

There are Republican candidates contesting 31 Senate districts, 30 if you don’t count Alario. At this point it’s almost inconceivable that the GOP would have less than 24 seats in hand after Election Day on Oct. 22. There is a decent chance of getting 26 seats.

In other words, there are enough likely Republican state senators to block Alario from getting 20 votes for Senate President – but it’s going to require a great deal of pressure to make them realize they can’t allow it to happen.

Public outrage killed the legislative pay raise in 2008. We need something at least as hot to kill this.

Below are the 30 Senate districts where Republican candidates are running, complete with contact numbers for those senators and candidates who are registered as Republicans. You’d be doing Louisiana a favor by contacting those senators and candidates and making it very clear that supporting Alario is not acceptable. And in the case where the election is still undecided, you’d be doing Louisiana a favor by making it clear that prospective support for Alario would be a factor making a candidate toxic on Oct. 22.

We need public pledges from electable candidates in 20 of these districts not to vote for Alario. We get that, and he’s done.

Who are the alternatives? That’s not clear. Neil Riser’s name has surfaced. So has Mike Walsworth, Danny Martiny and Jack Donahue. Frankly, I don’t care who outside of Alario would get the job. None of the four abovementioned possibilities are Democrat turncoats who contributed to the climate of corruption perpetuated by Alario’s buddy Edwin Edwards, who he’s still cozy with. This isn’t about fronting for any particular candidate; once Alario is removed from the mix let the best guy win.

Please call one or more of the folks listed below and let them know they’ve got to take a stand against a way of doing business which should have gone out with the old Democrat majority. They’ve got to take a stand against Alario, and they need to know it.

1st District – A.G. Crowe is the incumbent and likely retainer of the seat.
A. G. Crowe: 985-788-7551
“Nita” Rusich Hutter: 504-920-9020

2nd District – Republicans are longshots in this one.
Alfred “Al” Carter: 985-870-5548
Zaine “The Queen” Kasem: 225-747-6288

6th District – an open seat that will be Republican.
“Mike” Mannino: 225-261-8346
Mack “Bodi” White Jr.: 225-261-3903

8th District – Alario’s seat.
John A. Alario Jr.: 504-347-3556
You won’t likely get anywhere calling Alario and telling him not to run, and he’s unopposed, but this entry wouldn’t be complete without including contact information for him.

9th District – uncontested GOP seat.
Conrad Appel: 504-887-6026

10th District – uncontested GOP seat.
Daniel R. “Danny” Martiny: 504-464-9045

11th District – Jack Donahue is the incumbent.
“Jack” Donahue Jr.: 985-727-7949
Gary J. Leonard: 985-845-3766

12th District – Democrat Ben Nevers is the incumbent.
“Beth” Mizell: 985-839-3508

13th District – Dale Erdey is the incumbent.
Derek Babcock: 225-505-9505
Dale Erdey: 225-686-7405

14th District – Democrat Yvonne Dorsey is the incumbent.
Christopher Toombs: 225-590-1225

16th District – uncontested GOP seat.
“Dan” Claitor: 225-757-0159

18th District – uncontested GOP seat.
“Jody” Amedee: 225-647-1300

19th District – outgoing Senate President Joel Chaisson’s seat and a crucial pickup if Alario is to be prevented from getting the Senate presidency.
Garrett C. Monti: 985-240-4114

20th District – uncontested GOP seat.
“Norby” Chabert: 985-232-9882

21st District – open seat sure to go Republican (no Dems are running).
R. L. “Bret” Allain II: 337-828-9107
Darrin Guidry: 985-872-6658

22nd District – uncontested GOP seat.
Fred “T-Fred” Mills Jr.: 337-332-3475

23rd District – open seat that went uncontested to the GOP.
Patrick “Page” Cortez: 337-993-0603

25th District – uncontested GOP seat.
Dan “Blade” Morrish: 337-477-7754

26th District – uncontested GOP seat.
Jonathan Perry: 337-643-2057

27th District – open seat that went uncontested to the GOP.
“Ronnie” Johns: 337-625-4431

28th District – Democrat Eric Lafleur is the incumbent.
Paul “Doc” Miller: 337-331-2550

29th District – open seat; Democrat Rick Gallot is the favorite and inexplicably was endorsed by Jindal.
Tony “Bo” Vets: 318-419-2235

30th District – John Smith, a Democrat party-switcher, is the incumbent.
James David Cain: 337-328-7266
John Smith: 337-397-7222

31st District – uncontested GOP seat.
Gerald Long: 318-354-2879

32nd District – uncontested GOP seat.
Neil Riser: 318-649-0977

33rd District – uncontested GOP seat.
Michael A. “Mike” Walsworth: 318-614-0336

35th District – Bob Kostelka is the incumbent.
Harris Brown: 318-388-2500
“Jeff” Guerriero: 318-325-4306
Robert W. “Bob” Kostelka: 318-323-7591

36th District – uncontested GOP seat.
Robert Adley: 318-965-9513

37th District – open seat likely to remain Republican.
Barrow Peacock: 318-518-0812
Jane Smith: 318-560-3748

38th District – Sherri Cheek is the incumbent.
Sherri Smith Cheek: 318-687-4820
Troy Terrell: 318-773-1111

39th District – Democrat Lydia Jackson is the incumbent.
“Jim” Slagle: 318-375-3536


11 Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Note also that Adley, Amedee, Chabert, Mills, Morrish as well as challenger Cain are Democrat switchers within the past five years, besides John Smith. (Harris Brown has withdrawn.) Now you see the problem; put them back and Democrats have a solid majority.

  2. Dave55552002 says:

    Nearly every politician in Jefferson Parish is connected to River Birch and its Republican owner Fred Heebe who was George W. Bush’s first choice for US Attorney over Jim Letten. Republicans living in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

  3. Dave55552002 says:

    Nearly every politician in Jefferson Parish is connected to River Birch and its Republican owner Fred Heebe who was George W. Bush’s first choice for US Attorney over Jim Letten. Republicans living in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

  4. 4unionparish says:

    The only thing Alario deserves is the same prison sentence his cohort Fast Eddie got.

    How is it possible that the voters in that district could be so stupid or so immoral with no other choice to describe them available?….of course NELA has managed to maintain the 2d longest running crook…er …legislator with “Uncle Francis” who is sure to vote for Alario since they both hold Fast Eddie in such high esteem…besides,  Francis is accustom to playing the flunkie for both of them.

    Could there possibly be anything more disappointing to a loyal Jindal supporter than to see “John Alario” on the Governor’s endorsement list?

    Geez, Governor!!!  You go from endorsing no one in your first bid for Governor to rolling in a NOLA drainage canal. If you thought you gained ANY ground with improving ethics in government, you can waive goodbye to that the next time you flush if Alario takes over the Senate. About the only thing you could do worse politically would be to petition Obama to pardon Fast Eddie so he could run for Governor again. Is this how you take care of your base?? Is this how you reward those who have actually been loyal to you??!!

    Can’t you just see the future Presidential debates. The moderator turns to Bobby Jindal and says, “Former Louisiana Governor,Edwin Edwards, was sent to Federal prison on corruption charges and John Alario was one of his closest associates. You, Governor Jindal, played a key role in putting John Alario in charge of the Louisiana Senate, How do you reconcile this with the voters?”

    ANY Republican Senator that votes for Alario to hold the position of  President of the Senate should be kicked out of the GOP right before they are kicked out of the Senate (and the state).

    When we fail to learn from the mistakes of the past, we doom ourselves to those same mistakes.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Wasn’t Alario Speaker of the House when Fast Eddie got his ethanol program passed?  I know about one of the nine plants built where $140 million went down a black hole to build what should have been a $65 million plant and had no money to operate with.  That is a LOT a cream skimmed off the top along with a LOT of the milk and part of the cow with it.

  6. N O Traveler says:

    I don’t know why this should necessarily surprise anyone. About the most accurate adjective one can use to describe Jindal’s political views is “expedient”.

    No one can look at his actual record of cronyism, government hospital building, LED spending and federal stimulus money abusing and call him a tea party conservative. 

    Anyone that has ever filled out any of the new ethics law reports knows what a joke those “gold standard of ethics” are.

  7. TerrorTrends says:

    About all the defenders of Alario can say is that (1) he is a changed man and (2) he passes bills in the legislature. Since when is being rehabilitated from the affliction that mired Louisiana in mediocrity for a generation a qualification for leadership? This is the same guy who held leadership positions for Edwin Edwards and carried that crook’s water in the legislature for years and years. We have apologists claiming Alario is a changed man, but then we have yellow-dog Democrats like Lafleur and Edwards saying they don’t think he has changed at all. 

    As to Alario’s effectiveness, the fact that he was able to pass bad legislation in the past and prevent good legislation from passing seems to be a poor measure of his fitness to lead. Based on his past role in a dark era of Louisiana politics alone, Alario has no business as Senate President. It represents a return to good ol’ boy politics as usual in the state.

  8. TerrorTrends says:

    About all the defenders of Alario can say is that (1) he is a changed man and (2) he passes bills in the legislature. Since when is being rehabilitated from the affliction that mired Louisiana in mediocrity for a generation a qualification for leadership? This is the same guy who held leadership positions for Edwin Edwards and carried that crook’s water in the legislature for years and years. We have apologists claiming Alario is a changed man, but then we have yellow-dog Democrats like Lafleur and Edwards saying they don’t think he has changed at all. 

    As to Alario’s effectiveness, the fact that he was able to pass bad legislation in the past and prevent good legislation from passing seems to be a poor measure of his fitness to lead. Based on his past role in a dark era of Louisiana politics alone, Alario has no business as Senate President. It represents a return to good ol’ boy politics as usual in the state.

  9. [...] We already know from the 1995 River Birch case how these things work. [...]

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