HITHER AND YON: Trump Says He’s Going To Sue The Louisiana GOP For Not Supporting Him

Donald Trump got 41 percent of the vote in the March 5 Louisiana GOP presidential primary. As it stands now, he’s going to get as close to 41 percent of the delegates from the state toward the GOP nomination as mathematics can give him – 18 of the 46 delegates, or 39 percent.

But Trump isn’t looking very good to pick up any more than that 18. And he isn’t happy about it.

As of right now, Cruz, who got 38 percent of the vote in the Louisiana primary, was also allocated 18 delegates. Trump got one more delegate than Cruz out of the allocation of delegates according to the state wide voting, on account of his three-point win in the statewide vote, and Cruz bested Trump by one delegate out of the allocation based on the state’s congressional districts – Cruz’ performance in the 4th District was such that when, according to the rules of the primary agreed to by all the campaigns, Cruz’s share of the vote was not only more than Trump’s but when each of the two subtracted a third of the vote to allocate to earning one delegate out of the three from the 4th District apiece, he had more vote to contribute to gaining a delegate than did either Trump or Marco Rubio.

Rubio managed to pick up a delegate in the other five congressional districts, and holds five delegates. Five more are, by state rules, unbound.

Trump spent the last month of Rubio’s time in the race insulting him as “Little Marco,” attacking his record of voting in the Senate and calling him a lightweight. Rubio’s supporters have responded by making up a large portion of the #NeverTrump movement. It should be little surprise that Rubio’s five delegates are mostly leaning to Cruz.

And Trump dragged the Republican Party into a sewer last week by attacking Cruz’ wife, then by all appearances sicced the National Enquirer on Cruz; that tabloid released a cover story smearing Cruz as a serial adulterer with virtually no evidence and no named sources other than Trump’s longtime political minion Roger Stone. One wonders what that, plus the latest round of polling indicating Trump’s disapproval rate among the general electorate is in the high 60’s, would to do the state party officials selected as unbound delegates to the convention not just in Louisiana but in other states.

The long and short of it is that Trump is likely to go to Cleveland knowing that 28 of Louisiana’s delegates, or around 60 percent, plan to vote against him on the first ballot at the convention while 18, or somewhere just south of 40 percent, will vote for him. That’s a number which looks an awful lot like the popular vote in the state did…

And yet he’s threatening to sue because the delegates not bound to him by virtue of his share of the popular vote are unlikely to go his way at the convention.

Here was Trump’s explanation of this when he did a phone interview with Jonathan Karl on ABC’s This Week yesterday (why does Trump get to do phone interviews when all other candidates must be in studio?)…

A transcript, via RedState

ANNOUNCER: But look at what happened in Louisiana. You won the state of Louisiana but Ted Cruz is coming out of there with more delegates, maybe as many as ten more delegates, and he’s getting them on the key committees that will write the rules for the Republican convention. Is Ted Cruz trying to steal this nomination from you?

TRUMP: Well it tells you what a crooked system we have and what a rotten political system we have, and frankly, I’m so… I’m millions of votes more than… I have millions of votes more than Lying Ted. I have millions, millions of votes more, I have many, many delegates more. I’ve won areas… and he’s trying to steal things because that’s the way Ted works, okay? The system is a broken system, the Republican tabulation system is a broken system, it’s not fair. I have so many millions of votes more… I’ve brought people into this party by the millions. You understand that. They voted by the millions more. It’s one of the biggest stories in all of politics, and what do I have? I have a guy going around trying to steal people’s delegates. This is supposed to be America, free America, this is supposed to be a system of votes where you go out and have elections, free elections, not elections where I won. I won Louisiana and now I hear he’s trying to steal delegates. You know, welcome to the Republican party. What’s going on in the Republican party is as disgrace. I have so many more votes and so many more delegates and, frankly, whoever, at the end, whoever has the most votes and the most delegates should be the nominee.

Trump’s state co-chairman Woody Jenkins, who says he doesn’t know anything about a lawsuit, is none the less fanning the flames of the controversy by offering the following bit of advocacy…

Regarding the allocation of delegates in Louisiana, it was manifestly unfair and indefensible. According to the rules adopted in October 2015 (which cannot be changed), Congressional delegates were supposed to be allocated proportionately to the popular vote in each Congressional district. Two problems with that: First, the state party reported returns which are not accurate and not the actual returns at the Congressional level. Second, the allocation was not proportionate to the returns they reported. Despite Trump carrying the state 42-37-11, Cruz received 7 delegates, Trump received 6, and Rubio received 5. It should have been 10 Trump and 8 Cruz with 0 for Rubio.The next problem is the party set up a system that allowed Cruz supporters to choose the Trump delegates. That was amazing! Trump should have 10 from Congressional districts, 12 at large, for a total of 22. Then he should have received a pro-rata share of the other delegates. This would have resulted in Trump winning all or most of the seats on Platform, Rules, and Credentials.

This is nonsense, and it has been debunked by the state party for weeks. Jenkins had four separate opportunities to object to the delegate allocation BEFORE the primary, and did not do so. He objects now because those rules turned out not to favor his candidate.

Our Joe Cunningham, writing at RedState, sums this up nicely

You see, when it came down to the actual election of the delegates, Cruz had more support in the room. This gives him an advantage over Trump, and one that plays into the narrative of the anti-Trump crowd: Trump isn’t likable enough to actually win. His campaign can’t organize well enough to actually get his delegates to the convention, and party leaders don’t like the guy enough to follow his lead.

And this, dearest friends, is exactly what Donald Trump does. He fights, he doesn’t win, he sues in order to bully people into submission. He fights, he doesn’t win, he attempts to smear them. He fights, he doesn’t win, he negotiates his way down and calls it a win while calling everyone who negotiated with him a total loser (Sad!).

Trump will get exactly nowhere with a lawsuit on this, of course. This is all happening legally, according to state party rules. If he wants to sue anyone, he should sue himself for general incompetence. Of course, he would in the process smear himself, declare himself the loser, and still call himself a winner at the end of it.

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Today they start budget-cutting at the state capitol. If you believe it, that is

Legislative hearings begin today on the state’s spending plan for the fiscal year that starts July 1st. Over the course of the next two months, legislators will have to pass a budget that will contain 750-million dollars in cuts from the previous year.

Governor John Bel Edwards says since he’s been in office, 170-million dollars in budget cuts have been put in place.

“I would just tell you there’s nothing painless about what we’ve done and there’s nothing painless about what we are about to do,” Edwards said.

Edwards says despite the recent cuts to state funding and revenue increases, legislators will have to make some more difficult cuts, because of the large shortfall they are still facing.

“There’s not a way to fashion a budget in the state of Louisiana that adequately funds what the vast majority of our people believe to be critical priorities, if you are short 750-million dollars,” Edwards said.

Louisiana spends more per capita at the state and local level combined than any other state in the South, and Edwards was able to close $40 million of Louisiana’s mid-year budget deficit by simply returning surplus funds from the Department of Health and Hospitals back to the state treasury. But there’s no place to cut.

And Edwards isn’t alone in perpetuating this obvious lie. There has been scant little vocal leadership on budget matters from Louisiana’s Republican legislators.

Some of this is smart politics, after all. Forcing Edwards to negotiate against himself where the budget is concerned means the legislators don’t have to bear the political scars for having to make decisions that negatively affect Edwards’ special interests. That’s smart politics. Shut up and let the man drown in his own rhetoric.

But that’s not leadership, and Edwards cannot be trusted to make all the right decisions. The fiscal conservatives in the House and Senate owe it to the people of the state to come up with some workable, if politically difficult, budget solutions. Otherwise, you can’t control the narrative on tax increases and you will lose it to Edwards when he drags the legislature back into a special session this summer for another round of tax hikes.

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Tim Quarterman is turning pro, even though he was atrocious for LSU’s ill-fated and poorly-managed basketball team this past season.

Yahoo Sports, citing league sources, reported Sunday night that Quarterman, a 6-foot-6 point guard, will sign with an agent Monday. That would end his college career since players who sign with representation give up any remaining college eligibility.

Players who declare for the draft before the April 24 deadline are allowed to test the waters and get feedback from an NBA advisory committee about their chances of being drafted. If they don’t sign with an agent by May 25, they can remove their name and regain eligibility.

But Jones said in mid-March he believed that Quarterman, a native of Savannah, Georgia, would be all-in for a shot at professional basketball.

Quarterman withdrew from school, and he’s going to be followed by Antonio Blakeney. That means LSU will lose four of its five starters from that underachieving 19-14 team with Keith Hornsby having graduated and Ben Simmons having already turned pro.

Last place beckons, and yet it was announced that the coach will return next season.

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