UPDATED: Dems To Debut Fayard, Part Deux In Sec. Of State Race

UPDATE: Unreal. Less than a day after Hines made it known he’s running for statewide office, he’s now announcing he’s switching parties. We’ve posted his record of authoring legislation below, and it’s almost impossible to equate that with the mainstream of Republican philosophy in Louisiana.

“Like most Louisianans, my discontent with the Democratic Party has grown over the past few years. This move is not about political expediency but rather my own principled philosophy. As a 100% pro-life, family values person of Faith, I strongly disagree with the policies and politics of President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and the National Democratic Party. The job-killing moratorium imposed by the Obama Administration demonstrated a knee jerk reaction to score political points for his voter base outside of Louisiana. It was a rushed, irrational decision with politics in mind. Our State could not afford the detrimental impact of the federal government’s ban on deepwater oil exploration.”

Translation: I’m a shameless political opportunist, and I want to run for a statewide elected position. I know Obama and the Democrats are poison because of the moratorium and it will kill any chance I have to get elected, so I’m turning my coat.

Hines didn’t seem to have a problem with Obama, Pelosi and the Democrat Party for the last two years when he was happy to carry the party’s standard.

One day after the announcement that John Alario wants to flee the sinking Democrat ship, we get this.

Does anyone else wonder whether the potential scandal about the Louisiana Democrat Party’s having helped Calvin Fayard launder campaign cash to his daughter might be behind this wave of party-switching?

ORIGINAL: We’re beginning to see a recipe for Louisiana Democrat candidate recruitment now that the party has shown itself singularly incapable of developing politicians who can build a following and win statewide elections.

Caroline Fayard was the prototype. Walker Hines appears to be the first unit off the assembly line.

Hines, 26, a first-term state representative out of New Orleans whose father Bill is the managing partner at Jones Walker and a civic leader in the Big Easy, was quoted in the Times-Picayune as being close to launching a run for Secretary of State in next year’s elections.

“It’s clear that Louisiana is hungry for new leadership and I hope to lead this great state into the future,” Hines, D-New Orleans, said, adding that he is “in the process” of setting up an exploratory committee. He said he’s received encouragement from “business and civic leaders” throughout the state.

If Hines follows through on his threat to run for Secretary of State, he’ll produce an interesting comparison and contrast with Fayard. Both are children of prominent lawyers, though Hines’ father is a business lawyer and a deal-maker rather than a chaser of ambulances. Both come from families known for spewing forth campaign donations in machine-gun fashions, though Hines didn’t give his lunch money to federal candidates the way the Fayard kids did. And both seem to be trading on the influence, connections and money in order to build a political career long on ambition and short on actual accomplishment.

Perhaps it isn’t fair to equate Bill Hines’ history of donating to political campaigns with that of Calvin Fayard. But it’s clear he’s been an inveterate buyer of influence over the years. Via Opensecrets.org, a bit of research into his history of political generosity reveals the following…

JONES WALKER/ATTORNEY 8/20/04 $250 Caccioppi, Charmaine Degruise (D)
JONES WALKER 9/18/00 $916 Jones, Walker et al
JONES WALKER 9/21/99 $807 Jones, Walker et al
JONES WALKER 8/18/98 $600 Jones, Walker et al
JONES WALKER 5/8/97 $537 Jones, Walker et al
JONES WALKER WAECHTER 6/14/00 $250 Lugar, Richard G (R)
JONES WALKER/ATTORNEY 6/11/10 $1,150 Jones, Walker et al
JONES WALKER/ATTORNEY 6/12/09 $1,130 Jones, Walker et al
JONES WALKER/ATTORNEY 7/26/07 $1,112 Jones, Walker et al
JONES WALKER/ATTORNEY 6/12/08 $1,086 Jones, Walker et al
JONES WALKER/ATTORNEY 8/20/02 $1,019 Jones, Walker et al
JONES WALKER/ATTORNEY 9/12/03 $911 Jones, Walker et al
JONES WALKER/ATTORNEY 11/1/01 $907 Jones, Walker et al
JONES WALKER/ATTORNEY 4/22/04 $906 Jones, Walker et al
JONES WALKER/ATTORNEY 7/14/05 $895 Jones, Walker et al
JONES WALKER/ATTORNEY 6/30/06 $605 Jones, Walker et al
JONES WALKER/ATTORNEY 9/29/06 $489 Jones, Walker et al
ATTORNEY 5/31/94 $221 Jones, Walker et al
JONES WALKER ET AL 8/18/00 $500 Republican Party of Louisiana (R)

If you’ll notice, most of the time Hines writes checks, they’re to “Jones, Walker et al.” That’s his law firm’s PAC, which in the 2010 cycle raised over $150,000 and doled out about $138,000 to recipients. The PAC’s cash actually went more to Republicans than Democrats this year, which might be something of a surprise – but it’s pretty obvious that what they’re doing is picking folks they think will have some influence and will be good people to ask for favors from…

Alexander, Rodney (R-LA) $3,000
Bachus, Spencer (R-AL) $9,000
Bonner, Jo (R-AL) $5,000
Boustany, Charles W Jr (R-LA) $1,000
Brady, Kevin (R-TX) $1,000
Bright, Bobby (D-AL) $1,000
Brooks, Mo (R-AL) $250
Cao, Joseph (R-LA) $3,500
Carnahan, Russ (D-MO) $1,500
Cassidy, Bill (R-LA) $2,319
Clyburn, James E (D-SC) $1,800
Cummings, Elijah E (D-MD) $2,000
Davis, Lincoln (D-TN) $1,500
Downer, Hunt (R-LA) $500
Edwards, Chet (D-TX) $1,000
Fleming, John (R-LA) $1,000
Griffin, Tim (R-AR) $500
Hensarling, Jeb (R-TX) $500
Jenkins, Lynn (R-KS) $500
Klein, Ron (D-FL) $1,000
Kosmas, Suzanne (D-FL) $500
Landry, Jeffrey M (R-LA) $1,500
LaTourette, Steven C (R-OH) $500
McCaul, Michael (R-TX) $1,000
Miller, Brad (D-NC) $2,000
Neal, Richard E (D-MA) $1,000
Oberstar, James L (D-MN) $3,000
Quayle, Ben (R-AZ) $500
Rogers, Mike D (R-AL) $500
Sanchez, Linda (D-CA) $500
Sangisetty, Ravi (D-LA) $500
Scalise, Steve (R-LA) $4,000
Skelton, Ike (D-MO) $1,000
Space, Zachary T (D-OH) $500
Taylor, Gene (D-MS) $1,000
Thompson, Bennie G (D-MS) $2,500
Visclosky, Pete (D-IN) $2,000
Young, C W Bill (R-FL) $2,000
Ayotte, Kelly A (R-NH) $1,000
Bennet, Michael F (D-CO) $2,500
Bennett, Robert F (R-UT) $4,000
Boxer, Barbara (D-CA) $1,000
Coats, Daniel R (R-IN) $1,000
Cochran, Thad (R-MS) $1,000
Crapo, Mike (R-ID) $3,000
Gillibrand, Kirsten (D-NY) $1,000
Grassley, Chuck (R-IA) $3,000
Inouye, Daniel K (D-HI) $1,250
Johnson, Tim (D-SD) $2,000
Landrieu, Mary L (D-LA) $1,000
Lautenberg, Frank R (D-NJ) $1,000
Lincoln, Blanche (D-AR) $1,000
McCain, John (R-AZ) $4,800
Meek, Kendrick B (D-FL) $500
Melancon, Charles (D-LA) $1,000
Mikulski, Barbara A (D-MD) $1,000
Murkowski, Lisa (I-AK) $2,000
Murray, Patty (D-WA) $1,000
Portman, Rob (R-OH) $1,000
Rockefeller, Jay (D-WV) $2,000
Shelby, Richard C (R-AL) $1,500
Specter, Arlen (D-PA) $1,000
Thune, John (R-SD) $1,000
Warner, Mark (D-VA) $1,000
Wicker, Roger (R-MS) $1,000

Other than what looks like a propensity to support more “establishment” Republicans, particularly in Senate races, it’s hard to see a pattern of donations. It’s also hard to understand why anybody would donate to both Kendrick Meek and John Thune in the same election cycle.

But while campaign donations were the standout part of Caroline Fayard’s background, Walker Hines actually has a legislative record. He’s got it posted on his website, and he seems pretty proud of it – though anybody who values individual freedom and thinks the government needs to stay out of our lives would be more than a little put off by a 20-something year old kid busting his rear end to regulate life in Louisiana…

  • Passed Legislation raising the homestead exemption from seizure by banks from $25k to $35k AND protecting residential homes from seizure by a bank, credit card company, or lender regardless of ANY amount of credit card debt owed.
  • Authored and Passed Legislation creating the first Statewide Director of Homeless Assistance and Prevention and creating the Interagency Council on Homelessness, made up of homeless providers throughout the State.  This legislation required no state funding for at least two years, passed the Legislature with no opposition and with almost 30 co-authors, but was unexpectedly vetoed by Governor Jindal.  The goal of this legislation was to streamline government social services, improve effectiveness and delivery of homeless services, and maximize federal monies available for local and state government to combat rising homelessness.
  • Successfully defeated bill to allow concealed weapons permit holders, including students, to carry concealed firearms on college campuses.  Moreover, authored and passed an amendment protecting private property rights, excluding all private colleges and universities from the legislation.
  • Authored legislation for the 2nd District New Orleans Police Department entitled the “Parental Responsibility Act”, which would have allowed for a judge in a juvenile court to have the discretion to order the parents or caretaker of a juvenile convicted of a misdemeanor, primarily truancy and curfew violations, to perform community service with the child if it’s deemed to be “in the best interest of the child.”
  • Passed legislation requiring that all tobacco products be placed behind the counter, out of reach from minors.  This reduces potential theft by minors and increases likelihood of age identification before purchase.  
  • Authored and Passed Legislation raising Child Support obligations and modernizing schedule.
  • Authored and Passed Legislation creating an Umbilical Chord Blood Banking Program in the Department of Health and Hospitals, which will encourage ethical, stem cell research and provide potential cures for major diseases.
  • Authored an amendment to ethics legislation, which would have prohibited lobbyists from giving ANY free meals, drinks, or gifts to elected officials.  Also known as the “No-Cup-Of-Coffee-Law.”  A compromise was reached to limit lobbyist gifts to elected officials to $50 per event.
  • Co-authored and Passed legislation that increased penalties for trafficking of children for sexual purposes.
  • Co-authored and Passed increased witness protection services.
  • Co-authored and Passed a bill to add 7th and 8th grades to a mandatory minimum of 30 minutes of physical education per school day.
  • Co-authored a bill that would have created an administrative board to manage the proposed New Academic Medical Center in New Orleans with all vested interests at the table (Charity/MCLNO).
  • Co-authored and Passed legislation that eliminated the sunset on Hollywood South/film tax credits and expanded the tax credits from 25% to 30% to maintain competitiveness with other states. 
  • Co-authored and Passed bill requiring that new gas stations in Southern Louisiana purchase generators to ensure that power remains on during natural disasters.
  • Co-authored legislation consolidating Port of New Orleans.
  • Co-authored and Passed legislation sponsored by the Veterans Affairs that allowed for Veterans Honorably Discharged to be eligible for psychiatric and geriatric health care in War Veteran’s facilities. 
  • Co-authored and Passed Colin Goodier Act, requiring that automobile drivers provide bicyclists with at least three feet before passing, and creating penalties for verbal harassing of bicyclists. 
  • Authored an amendment to phase out the entire state income tax over five years. A compromise was reached to eliminate the Stelly Plan, thus reducing the state income tax for anyone making $25,000 or more per year in salary.
  • Authored Legislation to ban school cafeterias from serving foods which contain Trans Fat.
  • Authored Legislation to create green building standards in new construction projects financed with taxpayer money.  By adopting the LEED standards, the State would save money over time by reducing energy costs.
  • Authored Legislation which would have required banks, lending institutions, and mortgage companies to offer credit counseling prior to buying a home.
  • Authored Legislation which would have restricted persons convicted of felony crimes of violence and dangerous substances from living within 1000 feet from places frequented by Children.
  • Authored Legislation which would have made it illegal for anyone to smoke inside an automobile when a child 15-years-old or younger is present.
  • Voted against the Legislative pay raise.

The last line, of course, is good. The part about phasing out the state’s income tax is great, though at the time that was considered a legislative gambit that would embarrass conservatives into making a vote to eliminate income taxes – and things got out of hand when it received widespread support.

Most of the rest is a series of proofs that Hines has little respect for governmental restraint. State laws banning trans-fats in school cafeterias? Turning banks into social workers? Making it criminal to pop off at obnoxious bike riders? Hobo czars? It looks like prima facie evidence of an attention-whore politician with diarrhea of the bill.

Strangely, Hines’ website doesn’t brag about his authorship of what became Amendment 8 on the statewide ballot last week. That amendment, which passed by a 51-49 vote, makes it easier for local governments to declare your property a public nuisance and expropriate it to sell to a developer. While blight is a problem in New Orleans, this is an assault on private property which will engender court cases galore in the future.

There are, of course, other bills Hines has filed that he doesn’t brag about. This year, for example, there was his bill which would require people convicted of participating in cockfights to register with the police the way sex offenders have to. Or his bill to prevent sex offenders from being within 1,000 feet of a school bus stop, as if enforcement of such a law would be anything but impossible without cops setting up roadblocks during rush hour. Or his 2009 bill which would make even part-time college students immune to state income taxes if they’re between 18 and 29, an exercise in legislative immaturity if ever there was one.

Or his 2008 bill which would have outlawed the death penalty in Louisiana.

Without question we’ll be told by the Hines campaign two things the Fayard campaign told us this year – first, that it’s time for new leadership in Louisiana (and at 26 years old you can’t get any newer than this guy), and second, that he’s a centrist. Decide for yourself whether you buy that argument. For our part, the Secretary of State job is the worst possible position in state government for left-wing politicians – particularly those with no record of administrative achievement – to occupy given the electoral chaos that has resulted in other states making the mistake of electing them.



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