Smart move, we think.
Via Twitter (using that longrep.ly medium)…
I will not allow Eric Holder and theU.S. Department of Justice to influence or infiltrate the electoral process in the State of Louisiana. Their lawsuit has no merit and is flat out junk. I will fight this tooth and nail to protect the integrity of our elections and the integrity of this office.
There is no doubt that since the primary duty of the Secretary of State is the maintenance of voter rolls, registration of voters and the conduct of elections, the lawsuit accusing Louisiana of violating the Motor Voter law by not signing up voters with sufficient vigor at welfare offices is the largest and most germane issue in the campaign.
Schedler has a good case to make. Louisiana has a very clean voter roll at this point, there have been nearly zero public complaints about the conduct of the state’s elections in the last four years, we have state-of-the-art voting equipment and we rank fourth in the nation in the percentage of the adult population registered to vote. Frankly, Louisiana is a national model on how to run elections.
As such, he can make an excellent case that being sued by the Holder Justice Department, which has absolutely no problem with New Black Panthers brandishing nightsticks at a polling place and howling racial epithets at white people who’d like to vote, and ACORN, an organization which has come to epitomize vote fraud, is proof Schedler’s office is doing things right.
Schedler’s chief mission in the three-way primary in which he’s running is to capture the state’s conservative base away from House Speaker Jim Tucker, who is better known and better funded but lacks a compelling narrative so far for election to the Secretary of State position. It’s unlikely Schedler could force a runoff with Tucker; Democrat Caroline Fayard put out a poll a week or so ago which has her at 36 percent, and whether that number is true or not it’s a relatively safe bet Fayard can attract enough support to earn a spot in a runoff.
So standing up as the public servant being persecuted by the leftist, radical race-baiters in DC for the sin of doing his job well is good positioning for Schedler, and it gives him a fighting chance in this race despite the “smart money” saying this will be a Tucker-Fayard contest. Tucker can’t do much with the issue; he helps Schedler’s stature as a competent public servant if he doesn’t criticize him and it’s tough to find a strategy for criticizing the incumbent that doesn’t help Schedler as the real conservative in the race. Unless, of course, Tucker finds a way to say Schedler isn’t fighting the case hard enough; we’re not sure how he can pull that one off.
And that narrative also positions Schedler quite well if he should make the runoff with Fayard, who will have to thread a needle of sorts in responding to the issue. She can’t just embrace Eric Holder; if she does she’ll basically be running as Obama in a state which went 59-41 against him in 2008 and hates him even more after Obamacare and the offshore drilling moratorium. And anything else amounts to a capitulation.
Of course, it’s possible the lawsuit won’t be the decisive issue in the campaign. Certainly Tucker and Fayard would rather tal about something else. But how can something as explosive as ACORN and Eric Holder attacking the state of Louisiana for, Schedler is saying, running clean elections NOT be the major issue in that race? If there is something more interesting going on in the campaign, we’re anxious to see it.