Rather than offer a single slate of endorsements from the Hayride, in this cycle since we have a larger and more diverse staff of writers than in previous years we thought we’d put that diversity to use in having each of our writers offer selections on the upcoming races in symposium format.
In this post, our writers pick their favorite in the governor’s race. To follow are endorsements in the other statewide races and constitutional amendments, and in selected legislative and other races.
MacAoidh: David Vitter. For a conservative seeking limited government and the kind of structural reform to state government we desperately need, there really is no other option. Vitter presented a 60-page reform package at the beginning of the campaign which combines most of the best conservative reform ideas going in the state, from taxes to legal reform to education to prisons, and yet that plan has barely seen the light of day amid media coverage of this governor’s race which can only be viewed as malpractice.
I have watched the Scott Angelle and Jay Dardenne campaigns with curiosity that moldered into bewilderment at the utter lack of intelligent strategy for victory. It should have been obvious to each candidate that the only path to victory must begin with eliminating the other, and yet no effort was made by either to do so. As such they cancel each other out, and have served more as force multipliers, if not “useful idiots,” for John Bel Edwards than actual serious candidates – and that is unfortunate, as both men have records of accomplishment which, while not demonstrating the policy expertise or commitment to political principle of Vitter, certainly would have merited a legitimate debate rather than a festival of carping and stupid campaign tricks.
How many times have we seen Dardenne and Angelle whining about Vitter’s incomplete attendance at the countless – and often pointless – gubernatorial debates? And over the weekend both camps hopped aboard “October surprise” allegations against Vitter by a former prostitute who served time for forgery and fraud; those allegations surfaced on Saturday and at least one of their purveyors, New Orleans Gambit publisher Clancy Dubos, was forced to retract them when it was pointed out they are in direct conflict with court documents. To have grasped onto dirt that even Hustler Magazine didn’t think was reliable enough to print indicates these are not, after all is said and done, serious gubernatorial campaigns.
Kevin Boyd: No endorsement. I voted for governor, but it was a tough decision and I agonized over it until I cast my ballot. Ultimately, I’m choosing to keep who I voted for between God and I for one reason, I’m dissatisfied with all my choices for one reason or another. However, I look forward to voting against liberal John Bel Edwards in November.
David Vitter is the most conservative of the three running. He also put out specific plans, which is commendable. However, what turned me off on Vitter was not the 15 year old slander being peddled by the media and the trial lawyers. It was that he failed to make a positive case to Louisiana voters in the end for their vote, which is sad because he could’ve done it.
Jay Dardenne is an honorable man with a distinguished career of public service. He also put out specific plans for the state. Louisiana would be well run under Jay Dardenne. However, my problem with Dardenne is simply this: he’s not enough of a visionary, which is what the state needs.
Scott Angelle is a conservative and another honorable man with a long career of distinguished public service. He’s probably the most likable of three Republicans running. However, my problem with Angelle is that he has never put out a specific plan for the state. That’s truly unfortunate.
Joe Cunningham: Scott Angelle. I’m a big fan of the Ace of Spades presidential choice, Sweet Meteor of Death, because I feel like Louisiana in particular deserves his (her?) type of reform. However, since McKay said my choice has to be an actual person and not a force of total annihilation, I’m at a loss for an actual endorsement. Logically speaking, it makes sense for Republicans to back Vitter. The numbers don’t lie – his odds are the best to win the race. Still, his personal issues present a problem. You see, even if they don’t matter, they will continue to get brought up time after time until that dead horse has been whipped into glue. It will constantly hang over the governor’s mansion for the next term or two. But, what are our alternatives?
I like Angelle, and I plan to vote for him, but his influence stretches across the southern part of the state. Other than a huge media buy early in this race, there is really nothing about him that appeals to my north Louisiana roots. Dardenne, on the other hand, may be a terrible example of a conservative, but his record as Lt. Governor shows he knows the importance of each place in the state. And, as far as Edwards goes, he could be a perfect conservative in 99% of the issues, but his bill in the last session to prevent school choice in certain districts is a deal-breaker.
John Binder: David Vitter. There are only two issues that should be on your mind when it comes to picking the next governor of Louisiana: Are they hated by the Washington elites and are they tough on illegal immigration?
Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) is the most punk rock candidate there is this election cycle. The Democrats despise him. The GOP establishment is annoyed with him. And the media loves to trash him. He’s like the Sex Pistols in politician form, pissing every powerful entity off.
Democrats hate Vitter because he’s been staunchly fighting (with pushback from the GOP) against Congress’ Obamacare subsidies and every other liberal cause. This has made him an enemy of the Left and GOP establishment.
The media hates Vitter because he’s conservative. That’s why Clancy Dubos and the rest of the elite, white liberals who control the media in the state have drummed up old controversy after old controversy against Vitter. But it’s not working because voters still love Vitter.
Vitter’s second-greatest asset is his tough stance on illegal immigration. Immigration is arguably the only issue that voters should be voting on right now. Louisiana’s parishes are heavily impacted by illegal immigration and the Southern Border Crisis and yet it goes entirely undiscussed by the media. Vitter, though, has been fighting the issue every step of the way.
Just a few months ago, Vitter said the birth-right citizenship that’s automatically granted to illegal immigrants’ children is preposterous. You know the issue as the “anchor baby” problem. It’s the issue that liberals and the media call ‘offensive’ because it dare question the idea of an eight-month pregnant Mexican woman running across the border to have her baby just so that he/she is an American citizen and therefore gets access to free healthcare and free cell phones. It’s a win for the Democrats and the rich (who then get cheap labor for domestics and yard men) and a loss for American taxpayers and the working class.
Vitter is not beholden to the political donor class and the Washington elites who love illegal immigration because it means cheap maid and pool-boys for the rich in their gated-communities. Meanwhile, working and lower-class Americans are struggling (just look at black youth unemployment), yet illegal immigrants have a leg up on actual American citizens.