It Was A Mistake To Help Jonathan Perry Win A Senate Seat

Mea culpa.

We publicized the District 26 special election race in early 2011 often, and advocated strongly that Perry get as much support from the state’s conservatives as possible, as at the time the race was going to determine whether the Louisiana Senate would be majority Republican. At the time that race was going on, the Senate was deadlocked at 19 Republicans and 19 Democrats, and that seat would determine the makeup of the body.

We weren’t the only people who helped Perry. The state GOP put $50,000 into his campaign. The business community backed him to the hilt.  Conservative activists from around the state went to District 26 to help beef up his campaign organization. The Louisiana Committee for a Republican Majority did everything they could to help him. He was endorsed by virtually every Republican and conservative figure in Louisiana politics.

We were all wrong, from what it looks like.

Perry’s Democrat opponent Nathan Granger owns an oilfield services company and had donated to Jeff Landry’s congressional campaign. It’s entirely likely Granger would have changed parties and become a Republican by now if he’d won.

Even if he hadn’t, Granger couldn’t have been any worse than Perry has been. In a Senate full of bad Republicans, Perry looks like he might be the worst of the lot.

We held our fire when Perry voted against Gov. Jindal’s education package, even though in doing so he basically stabbed the state’s entire conservative establishment in the back on behalf of the hard-core Democrats on the Vermilion Parish School Board. That body, which is one of the most egregious examples of partisan malfeasance in state (see their jihad against Rep. Simone Champagne on her support for legislation about legacy lawsuits, for instance), is busy proving to the state that Perry is motivated far more by fear than loyalty.

We didn’t say anything when the sole piece of legislation of any substance offered by Perry in the Senate was a bill to remove prosecutorial and judicial discretion in DWI case sentencing – as though Perry, whose prior career as an assistant district attorney included a case in which he failed to prosecute a seven-time DWI offender, thinks all prosecutors and judges are as lax in law enforcement as he was during that career lowlight.

We didn’t say anything when Perry played hooky from the Senate in March while several fairly important bills were being debated, ostensibly to work the road as a stand-up comedian (his other gig outside of the legislature).

But we’re going to say something now. Because yesterday Perry helped to pass one of the greatest political boondoggles in memory – namely, HB 865, which takes the oversight of the Baton Rouge Capitol Area Transit System board away from the Metro Council and gives it in large part to a George Soros-funded, Saul Alinsky-founded left-wing community organizing group unaccountable to the public and committed to its own self-aggrandizement.

Our friend Woody Jenkins, writing on Facebook, tells the sad tale…

The Louisiana Senate defeated the CATS bill 18-18 early Tuesday evening.

Then, moments later, the Senate suspended the rules, reconsidered the vote, and passed the bill 20-15. 20 votes is the minimum vote required to pass a bill. Three Republicans flip-flopped on the bill — voting against it the first time and for it the second time. They provided the margin of victory. The three are Sens. Page Cortez, Jonathan Perry, and Ronnie Johns, all of Southwest Louisiana.

Why would these Senators change their votes? It is a local bill, and a majority of the East Baton Rouge Parish legislative delegation was against this bill, as were 100% of the Republican House and Senate members from East Baton Rouge. The bill turns over $173 million of our hard-earned tax dollars to a left-wing group called Together Baton Rouge. The bill provides that Together Baton Rouge would nominate the members of the Capital Area Transit System Board of Directors, and the Metro Council would have to choose from among their nominees — not ordinary citizens of the parish and certainly not conservative businessmen and businesswomen.

Powerful special interest groups and high paid law firms lobbied for this bill. Why? Taxbusters, the Tea Party, and the Republican Party lobbied against it. Why did these three Republican senators change their votes and insure the passage of this terrible bill?

The bill now goes back to the House. Please call your state representatives and ask them to vote against HB 865. Call 225-342-6945.

Cortez and Johns deserve lots of flak for their stupid votes as well, but the difference is that with Cortez and Johns you get some good with the bad. Johns, after all, was a major force in defeating the Obamacare exchange bill in the Senate Insurance Committee yesterday; for the day he’s a wash yesterday. And Cortez has generally been a fairly solid conservative unafraid to carry controversial bills when necessary – he took arrows galore for carrying the bill last year to do something about legacy lawsuits, for example.

But Perry? Other than trying to carry the state even further overboard on DWI legislation – where’s his emphasis on putting an end to murders on the streets, fighting gang violence, protecting women from rape or defending folks from getting robbed? – he’s a nonentity.

This isn’t what conservatives in Louisiana bargained for when we banded together to get this guy elected. Either Perry needs to pay attention to what he’s voting on and start retroactively earning the support we gave to him, giving his constituents at least the quality of performance they could have gotten from Granger, or he’s a prime candidate for removal in 2015.

Louisiana has far too many unreliable, mediocre and spineless politicians in the state Senate. Perry doesn’t have any particular value now that his seat doesn’t decide the majority of the body.

Shape up or ship out, or maybe we’ll ship you out at the next election.



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