The outgoing RINO Lt. Governor Jay “Ephialtes” Dardenne just sat down with Baton Rouge talk show host Clay Young to discuss his future plans and the governor’s race. The interview was largely Jay Dardenne’s audition for Commissioner Of Administration.
Young asked Dardenne if there was a deal between John Bel Edwards and him for his endorsement. Dardenne says that it didn’t come up and that he endorsed Edwards because he believed David Vitter would be a terrible governor. Dardenne says Vitter was too much of a Washington politician and he didn’t want the Washington style politics of division to come to Louisiana.
Young asked Dardenne about his future political plans. Dardenne ruled out a run for the U.S. Senate and for Baton Rouge Mayor. However, Dardenne did not rule out taking on a job in the Edwards administration.
Dardenne spent much of the interview talking about where he and Edwards saw eye to eye. He spoke about the need for tax reform and how both men were supporters of the tax reform ideas proposed by LSU Economist Jim Richardson and Tulane Economists Steven Sheffrin and James Alm. Dardenne also spoke of the importance of reducing tax credits and exemptions. More tellingly, Dardenne spoke of the need for more revenue for the state.
He also spoke about Edwards realizes that he can’t be the left-wing bombthrower he was in the Legislature. Dardenne pointed out that Edwards’s legislative district was 70% black and Democrat whereas Louisiana is more diverse. He believes that Edwards will govern as more of a centrist, just like he would’ve if he was elected governor. Dardenne clearly sees himself as the guy who can bridge the political divide in this state.
Finally, we see what Dardenne will be trying to protect in an Edwards administration. Dardenne spoke about the importance of the film tax credit. He says that young people are moving to Louisiana to work in the film and digital industries. While he didn’t come out and directly say those should be preserved, he was implying that.
What can we glean from the Dardenne audition? We can see the argument will be made that when Dardenne is brought on board that John Bel Edwards is reaching out to Republicans and conservatives.
However, the problem with that is Dardenne is neither a conservative, nor is he much of a Republican. He’s an opportunist and a defender of the status quo, like John Bel Edwards.