One of the main criticisms we at the Hayride have about the Hunt Downer campaign has been its total lack of policy substance, which has been quite surprising given the candidate’s long, and mostly positive, political and military record. We would have expected Downer’s campaign theme to focus on at least two main points – namely that (1) his long record as both a state legislator and legislative aide to Gov. Blanco, regardless of how some of that record might turn off more conservative posters, indicates he’s got great experience on how to get things done in a legislative setting, and (2) his record as a Major General in the Louisiana National Guard indicates he understands leadership and its importance – and how his experience as a leader would allow him to immediately have influence in an upcoming Congress with more newcomers in it than before in recent experience.
Instead, we’ve gotten endless mudslinging, largely – we think – due to the inexperience of Downer’s campaign manager, who squandered the candidate’s advantages and engineered a disastrous primary showing.
The scuttlebutt on the campaign trail indicates that there have been shakeups within the Downer campaign and a change of focus was in the works. We saw evidence that was the case immediately after the primary when the campaign, stung by reaction to word of it shopping a story about opponent Jeff Landry’s “involvement” in cocaine in a 17-year old arrest of his roommate on drug charges, seemed to lower its profile.
Lately, though, the sleaze has continued. Downer has debuted a website devoted to supposed lies told by the Landry campaign, without a lot of substance. And apparently there’s a push-poll being foisted on the people of Louisiana’s 3rd Congressional District which asks respondents whether they’d be more or less interested in voting for Landry if they knew he was guilty of stealing cocaine from the St. Martin Parish evidence room and selling it prior to his roommate’s arrest – a scandalous charge which isn’t backed by any evidence and which could well expose its maker to a lawsuit for defamation.
That stuff hasn’t served Downer well at all – unpublished polls show him down as much as 20 points this week. But finally, at long last and in all likelihood much too late, Downer has put out a communique on actual policy.
And it’s pretty good. We’ve trashed Downer’s campaign for their bad behavior, so we’ll give them credit when they do something worthwhile. This was praiseworthy.
The release, which went out over e-mail this afternoon, says the following:
Take America Back Plan
Solutions to Restore the American Dream
“Thirty-five years ago I took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America. I’m ready to take another oath to get back to the common sense, conservative principles our Founding Fathers began on July 4th, 1776 and restore the American Dream for future Americans.
This is my plan to take back America.”
– Hunt Downer
Defend “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”
- Close the Border NOW
- Keep GITMO open and keep terrorists off our soil
- Protect the un-born
- Increase domestic oil production to increase national security and American jobs
- Oppose “Card Check” and support “Right to Work”
- Defend the right to bear arms under the 2nd Amendment
- Define Marriage as between a “man and woman”
Be Proud to Be an American
- Stop apologizing for America’s success
- Teach the Constitution and what it means
- Fly the Flag and Say the Pledge (loudly)
- Buy products MADE IN AMERICA
- Support our Veterans – we are free because of their sacrifice
Grow (not punish) America’s Economy
- CUT taxes, eliminate the Death Tax, and reduce RED tape
- Fight the liberal policies of Nancy Pelosi
- Repeal Obamacare
- Destroy Cap-n-Trade
- Extend all “Bush” tax cuts
- Pass a Balanced Budget Amendment
- Place a moratorium on Bailouts, stimulus, and taxes
- Shred the tax code and start over
- Keep Education local and accountable
- Protect the Family Child Tax Credit
- LIFT the moratorium
- Hold BP accountable for EVERY drop of oil
- Rebuild the Coast and restore our wetlands
- Fight to increase our share of oil royalties
- Create incentives for businesses to expand and move to our region
- Promote our local seafood industry
- Reform FEMA and the Corps of Engineers immediately
There are things to quibble about here, as many of the elements described within Downer’s plan probably require considerable specifics to evaluate them and others don’t seem particularly within the proper purview of Congress.
But after two months of 17-year old cocaine, six-year old lawsuits and attacks on Republican activists based on their endorsement choices, we’ll happily take today’s release as progress toward an acceptable campaign.