Prediction: when you see this story reported elsewhere there will be a reference to “Washington politics coming to Baton Rouge” or somesuch.
In any event, the request by Gov. John Bel Edwards to address the people of Louisiana and demand we support massive tax increases to make up for the state’s decreased revenues through current levels of taxation (because we’re in an economic recession) didn’t come without pushback from the state GOP. A press release…
Today, the Republican Party of Louisiana submitted letters to major television and radio stations calling on them to allow for a GOP response to Gov. Edwards’ Thursday evening address.
“On behalf of the Republican Party of Louisiana and its 800,000 members, I am requesting that Louisiana Public Broadcasting air an official Republican response to Governor John Bel Edwards’ speech that is scheduled for tomorrow evening,” LAGOP Executive Director Jason Dore wrote in a letter to LPB. “We ask that our spokesperson be afforded roughly the same amount of time that the governor has been given and be broadcast immediately after the governor’s address concludes.”
“It has come to our attention that tomorrow evening your station may be carrying a live political speech by Governor John Bel Edwards that is, in essence, a ‘State of the State’ address,” LAGOP Chairman Roger Villere wrote in a letter sent to TV and radio station managers across the state. “Provided that LPB complies with our request, we ask that your station air the response in full. If they do not, we would like to provide a response to you through a different means.”
“Tomorrow evening, Gov. Edwards will use his address to advocate for historic tax increases on hard-working families and few, if any, actual cuts to our bloated government,” Villere’s letter to station managers continued. “We cannot afford a stopgap approach that ignores the root cause while attempting to raise taxes during what the Legislatures’ own economist has called a ‘recession.’ It is our hope that you agree that the people of Louisiana deserve to see both sides of this important issue and are allowed to decide for themselves which path they believe our leaders should take.”
We’re told the response is going to be given by John Kennedy, and the state treasurer is likely to make a lot more convincing case for the idea that Louisiana’s government spends too much money and needs to cut back than Edwards will make for higher taxes on a state economy which is shedding jobs amid a slowdown in the oil patch.
Meaning that the bigger the megaphone the LAGOP is able to secure for the response, the worse it’s going to go for Edwards.
It’ll be interesting to see whether LPB and the state’s other TV stations are willing to play ball with the Republican Party. Or, for that matter, how many will even put Edwards on live.