No, You Won’t Find Me At The League Of Women Voters’ BR Meeting Tomorrow

Some of our readers, though I imagine not all that many, might have gotten this e-mail earlier today…

Lunch With the League
WHERE? at Drusilla Place, 3482 Drusilla Lane, Baton Rouge, LA 70809
Thursday, September 20, 2012 Networking: 11:15 a.m. Program at Noon
RESERVATIONS REQUIRED – The menu item will be selected when you arrive

Is Louisiana for Sale: The Privatization of Public Services in Louisiana?

How does/will privatization of public services affect you, your family, and the quality of life in your community?

The League of Women Voters of Baton Rouge’s monthly Lunch With the League public forum meeting will be held this Thursday, 09/20/2012 at Noon in the Audubon Room, Drusilla Place, Baton Rouge. This will be a frank discussion of the privatization of public services and the long term affects of these actions. The LWVBR’s goal is to present all points of view and to have the panelists’ present solutions on each issue presented, so that the audience can leave informed and in position to make up their own minds.

Panelists from different prospectives that are invited in alphabetical order:
Tom Aswell, Former employee, Office of Risk Management – Accepted
Richard McGimsey, Attorney General/Official Representative – Accepted
Fred Cerise, M.D. Former head, LSU Hospital System – Accepted
Kevin Kane, Pelican Policy Institute
Scott McKay, Louisiana Hayride Media
Paul Rainwater, Commissioner, Division of Administration/Official Representative
Scott M. Richard, Executive Director, Louisiana School Boards Association
Albert Samuels, Ph.D., Political Science Research – Accepted
Stephen Waguespak, Governor Jindal’s Chief of Staff/Official Representative

Written Questions from the audience submitted to the moderator are encouraged the presentations.
If you cannot attend but would like to submit a question, put question for panel on the subject line and e-mail your question [email protected]
Please make your reservations TODAY!
Searing is only guaranteed with reservations!

Here’s the thing: I was asked earlier this week – actually, it was more like a command than an invitation – to speak at this event. But since I’m planning my own event, plus publishing a website and attending another function tomorrow, I didn’t have time to do this one.

And I said so, quite clearly.

I didn’t tell Jean Armstrong, who runs the League of Women Voters Of Baton Rouge, that I wouldn’t be attending out of some sort of rejection of its mission, or cowardice, or whatever. I said I was busy.

And yet I get named in an e-mail and on her Facebook page as a prop or something.

The four panelists she did manage to get to accept her invitation/command to speak about privatization in state government – or at least three of the four – are all reliably favorable to the lefty/anti-privatization position. Tom Aswell is the guy who does that Louisiana Voice blog, which is fairly well-written but it’s a gripe-sheet from the perspective of a long-time bureaucrat about the incalculable damage the Jindal administration is doing to Louisiana because of all the cuts it’s making among the state bureaucracy. Albert Samuels is a poli-sci professor at Southern who might well have been the reincarnation of Frank Marshall Davis but for the fact Davis was still alive when Samuels was born. And Fred Cerise, who was just let go as the director of the Charity Hospital system, is well-respected but unquestionably has an ax to grind on the question of maintaining the massive size of state government vs. making cuts to it since most people think his ouster was related to a move in progress by the administration toward liquidating the Charity Hospitals and the unique-to-Louisiana $600 million in brick-and-mortar costs it entails.

I can’t speak to McGimsey’s perspective, other than to say that the attorney general’s office is plenty fired up about privatization since they managed to hire a bunch of plaintiff attorneys on contingency to go after BP in the oil spill case. Perhaps that makes him the defender of privatization on the panel; who knows? If so, he’s by himself with three people you can count on to be frothing at the mouth to let loose on the Jindal administration for the sin of trying to downsize the South’s largest state bureaucracy. Otherwise, it’ll be a four-way bitch-fest.

Which would mean this will be par for the course at the League of Women Voters’ monthly forum meetings. Here’s what one policy expert from a conservative-leaning organization which used to send people to LWV functions said about his experiences with them…

We will NEVER EVER participate in one of their ambushes again. She stacks the speakers list with lefties and the audience is filled up with Obama redistributionists. It is like going to a communist cell group gathering. The only thing missing is the playing of the Internationale…

I’ve been to a couple of their events as a spectator, though neither were built such that a left-wing agenda would be immediately evident. But those who have been more often tell me it’s almost comic the amount of Commie Kool-Aid is quaffed in those confabs.

And nationally, despite what the good-government crowd will tell you about the LWV, this ain’t some centrist operation. J. Christian Adams had some interesting research to share at PJ Media about them a few months back

The League of Women Voters are merely focused on the smooth running of elections, right?

Wrong.  Let’s just take a glance at the webpage of the League of Women Voters in Virginia.  Here is a sampling of the stated real issues they are fighting over:

against: “pre-abortion ultrasound”

for: “Access to Women’s Health Care”

In case you didn’t understand it the first two times: “Abortion.”

“regionally balanced transportation systems”

“increase the use of public transportation”

“legal authority to control the use of land. Stronger state control”


“Endeavor to prevent mental illness”

“Adoption of the California Standards for low emission vehicles”

“A more progressive state income tax, with an increase in the number of income brackets and a raise in the rates in higher brackets”

“In divorce fault should not enter into the court’s division of marital property. ”

“the state has a role to play in child care . . . [and the government should provide some] form of financial assistance to increase the affordability and availability of child care.”

“smoking in public should be limited to designated areas”

You’ve come a long way, baby.

We can attest that locally, Ms. Armstrong’s Facebook page is no less kooky when she lays off the cute animal pictures and does something political. She’s also big on concern-trolling her Facebook friends who aren’t lefties about their “uncivil tone,” which is as old and tired as it gets.

But what I find irritating is this business of putting my name on her e-mails and other publications promoting her event when I haven’t given permission to do so and haven’t agreed to attend. Even if it’s clear in the e-mail that I’m not coming, which to those who merely skim over it it probably isn’t, such an announcement comes off as an implied endorsement without my consent.

And that makes me highly unlikely ever to agree to accept Ms. Armstrong’s invitation to one of her “ambushes” in the future. I’m not big on rewarding this kind of obnoxious, officious behavior.

Which in all likelihood is a similar story to what Kevin Kane or Paul Rainwater or Stephen Waguespack might tell you.

Ms. Armstrong no doubt will say she couldn’t get any conservatives to show up because privatization is indefensible, or because we’re all cowards. She tried to get a balanced panel, she’ll say, but since conservatives won’t cooperate it’s just not possible.

Well, maybe not – but when you use our names to promote your event regardless of whether we give permission for you to do so, don’t be surprised when we decide you’re not worth our time.

And that’s why outside of people running for office who are looking for publicity and an audience anywhere they can get it, you can bet the Baton Rouge chapter of the League of Women Voters is going to have a difficult time overcoming the mistakes of its president in putting on events which don’t resemble a left-wing gripe-a-thon.

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