Don’t Forget To Register For The 2016 Hayride Spring Dinner!

We’re only a few days away from the 2016 Hayride Spring Dinner, featuring Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry and State Senator Bodi White. The event is set for Wednesday, April 13, at the Renaissance Hotel in Baton Rouge.

Things get started with a VIP reception at 5:00, and the dinner begins at 6:00. Guest tickets are $80, while VIP tickets are $200.

Get your ticket right now by clicking here. The room is beginning to fill up.

We’re very happy to have our two speakers, because they represent in large measure the future of the Republican Party statewide and in Baton Rouge. Landry is rapidly making the office of the Attorney General a great deal more relevant to the people of Louisiana in ways we’ve frankly been deprived of in our history; other attorneys general have been leaders in pressing back against federal overreach and rooting out governmental corruption at the state and local levels, while in Louisiana the AG’s office has generally been a lackey for the governor and a rubber stamp for policymaking less than perfectly in line with the state and U.S. constitution. In addition, the AG’s office has made a practice of setting itself up as a honey pot for trial attorneys through legal fees they earn as government contractors in large tort cases. Louisiana has little need for institutionalized plaintiff-lawyering, at least not in comparison to the focus on keeping government within the bounds of the law.

Jeff is reorienting his office to do that, and effectively. As such, he is a breath of fresh air.

Sen. White, it’s no particular secret, is considering a run for mayor of Baton Rouge this fall. Should he engage in that race he could offer the Republican Party a real opportunity to win it – for a number of reasons. First, while he’s certainly a conservative by the standards of the Louisiana Senate he’s not a right-wing ideologue – and in a city like Baton Rouge which is not dominated by conservative voters (we’ve bled far too many to Livingston and Ascension Parishes over the past three decades to have such a majority in this parish) a right-wing ideologue can’t win. By contrast Bodi has a record of being able to find consensus with Democrats on issues that tend conservative; if this parish is to avoid a fate like Baltimore or Detroit it’s going to be someone with a pragmatic, steady hand who does it.

And in the Legislature he plays that role. White can move conservative legislation by building consensus. There are a good number of Republicans, particularly in the Senate, who can achieve consensus by agreeing with the Democrats – his talent is to get them to agree with us. He has a couple of bills this session to improve and streamline Medicaid delivery in this state – one being a bill that would classify Medicaid fraud under the racketeering portions of the Louisiana criminal code and another which would give ambulance drivers summoned to take Medicaid patients to the hospital for non-emergency care the discretion to transport those patients to an urgent care facility rather than an emergency room, which could save the state millions. Those aren’t ideological bills, they don’t particularly threaten anyone’s concept of governance, and they’d unquestionably make things work better. We love the wild-eyed reformers seeking change along conservative ideological lines, but we also need legislators like Sen. White who can make positive, incremental change everyone can agree with.

Having both on hand is, for us, a treat. We think you’ll agree, which is why you should join us.

You’ll want to click here to register. There aren’t that many tickets left, though they’re still available.

And finally, the event has two purposes we think our readers and the conservative movement in Louisiana generally will agree need to be served. For one thing, we don’t have enough opportunities in Louisiana for conservatives to break bread together – we have a few Republican Party events which tend to be more about the nuts and bolts of politics and not about why we care in the first place, but we’ve heard often that we need more chances for fellowship and sharing of ideas. So while we’re starting with a relatively small gathering next week, the hope is we can over time turn this into a confab that inspires and energizes our movement within the state on an annual basis.

And for another, the proceeds from this event have a specific purpose – namely, that we’re aiming to grow the Hayride’s social media presence into that of one of Louisiana’s major news organizations. We have a chance to take a shortcut here, because things are changing in how people get their news. You already know that the internet is killing “dead-tree media” as the major source of information for most Americans. But what you might not realize yet is how that information is traveling within the internet. People don’t go to the homepage of a media site all that much anymore; instead, they’ll follow that entity on Facebook or Twitter and then click links they’ll see from that entity on their social media feeds. What that means is a site which focuses on building a large social media presence can quickly generate traffic that rivals a much more well-heeled and well-known competitor which isn’t as smart in leveraging the new reality.

At present, for example, we have just under 9,000 Facebook followers to the Hayride. We’re determined to grow that to 100,000 this year, which would put us at a level very competitive with the larger media properties in the state. The proceeds from the event on Wednesday are to be used toward reaching that goal through smart marketing.

The payoff being that as we grow our social media presence and our traffic, we’ll grow our megaphone. And when we push back against the predominantly liberal narrative the old media in this state ceaselessly promulgates, we’ll be able to make it count.

So it’s a great opportunity for food, fellowship and purpose. We hope you’ll join us on Wednesday!

To do so, click here and get your tickets. Do it soon before they’re all sold out!

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