HITHER AND YON: Scott Angelle Reaches Into The Archives For New Campaign Spot

If you haven’t seen this, give it some time and it’ll be everywhere. Scott Angelle, the third-place finisher in last year’s gubernatorial race who is now the likely favorite – or at least the most well-known candidate – in the race for Charles Boustany’s 3rd Congressional District seat the latter is vacating to run for Senate, put out a 60-second ad about his efforts to fight for the oil and gas industry which is generating some buzz.

Here’s the spot…

It makes sense that Angelle is focusing on his famous 2010 speech defending the oil and gas industry from Barack Obama, who at the time had issued an out-of-left-field moratorium on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico (it came after the Deepwater Horizon incident, but there was virtually no support in the engineering community for so drastic a step). After all, oil and gas is every bit as on its back now as it was then, on account of oil prices dropping through the floor with little sign they’ll be re-approaching levels that resuscitate Louisiana oil exploration. Add to that the Obama administration’s recently-announced well control rule which will kill off what’s left of the offshore oil business in Texas and Louisiana, and that 2010 speech is timely again. Angelle has an op-ed, which ran here at the Hayride last week, laying out how we’ve woken up in 2010.

Angelle’s speech, which came at a raucous event in the Lafayette Cajundome filled with oil and gas industry workers a short time after the moratorium was announced, is probably the highlight of his political career. He was a Democrat at the time he gave that speech, though once he gave it it was clear he wouldn’t be staying a Democrat and a few days later he did switch parties, and from that point on he was the Next Thing in the Bobby Jindal political camp; Jindal had appointed Angelle as Lt. Governor earlier that year to succeed Mitch Landrieu, who had successfully run for mayor of New Orleans, and in 2012 Angelle ran for and won a seat on the Public Service Commission. All of those things, it was hoped, would set him up for a gubernatorial run.

But a couple of things happened which made that plan a tough one to carry out. First, Jindal’s approval ratings as governor tanked, from north of 65 percent in 2012 to south of 35 percent in 2015. And second, David Vitter jumped into the governor’s race, blocking a path for Angelle to unite Republican voters. And when Angelle joined fellow Republican also-ran Jay Dardenne in spending lots of time talking about Vitter’s past dalliances with prostitutes during the gubernatorial primary, then refusing to endorse Vitter against John Bel Edwards, for the first time there appeared Republicans in Louisiana who no longer saw Angelle as an energetic and positive figure.

So this ad is smart to turn back the clock and make people, particularly southwest Louisiana voters in the 3rd district, remember what it was about Angelle that made him a rising star in the first place. It doesn’t hurt that a strong voice for oil and gas in Congress could be useful in that 3rd district seat, though virtually everybody running would seem to have credentials in that regard, and it also doesn’t hurt for Angelle to frame the entire campaign around the idea that what’s wrong with the part of Louisiana encompassed by the 3rd District is the fault of bad policy from Washington Democrats like Obama. If you’re Angelle that’s what you want the whole campaign to be about so you can cast yourself as just the bad-ass populist to go up there and beat the liberals to a pulp.

His opponents might have some opportunities to pick this apart, of course; Washington policy notwithstanding, oil prices were going to be low at present because there is too much production and not enough economic growth in the world; the Saudis are depending on selling as much oil as they can in order to fund their welfare state and they’re not alone. What’s more, for all of Angelle’s terrific speechifying nothing was done about that moratorium for months back in 2010; even a contempt of court ruling from a federal judge in New Orleans didn’t get it lifted, so don’t be surprised if one of Angelle’s opponents plays the all-hat-no-cattle card. And third, someone will likely ask what Angelle has done for the 3rd District lately; after all, 2010 was six years ago, and John Bel Edwards getting elected while Angelle stood silent was less than one year ago. They’ll see his energy-industry activism and raise him Edwards’ tax increases and their negative effects on what’s left of the oil and gas industry.

Whether any of that will work is a different story, of course. While Gus Rantz, Greg Ellison and Eric Knezek all look like they’ll have enough cash on hand to run a competitive race against Angelle it would appear at the outset that one of them is going to have to emerge relatively quickly as his equal in rhetorical flourishes and retail politics or else it won’t matter much what they have to say about his oil and gas ad.

In the meantime, Angelle’s off to a good start reminding people why they thought of him as a credible political figure – and he’s put himself in a good position as the favorite in the 3rd District race with the first campaign spot of the cycle.

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You probably heard the big national news that United Health was pulling out of Obamacare exchanges across the country thanks to the fact the company was sustaining billion-dollar losses. Turns out Louisiana is part of that mix as well.

The nation’s biggest health insurer notified Louisiana Insurance Department officials last week that in January it will end its participation in most of its public health insurance exchanges created under the Affordable Care Act.

Its participation in public health insurance exchanges will drop to only a handful of states next year after expanding to nearly three dozen for this year. In an earnings call Tuesday with financial analysts, UnitedHealth CEO Stephen Hemsley said the company has been reviewing its health care law-related business on a state-by-state basis and expects to lose more than $1 billion on it for 2015 and 2016.

Under the Affordable Care Act, state-based health insurance exchanges were created, as was a federal health insurance marketplace for states such as Louisiana that didn’t begin exchanges on their own. Coverage targeted the uninsured, often providing sizable subsidies that make the insurance affordable for lower-income people.

In Louisiana, UnitedHealth insures about 13 percent of the more than 214,000 residents enrolled in “Obamacare” for 2016.

That’s 29,000 Louisianans, which isn’t an enormous figure but it’s not nothing. If you’re one of the 29,000 you’re not going to agree that this is a minor change in the health insurance market.

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How do you know you’ve got Democrats running things? When stupid things like recycling at the governor’s mansion take the place of substantive policy.

In honor of Earth Day, first lady Donna Edwards invited reporters to the Governor’s Mansion Thursday to talk about recycling.

Edwards said her and her husband have been recycling since way back in 1989 when they were in the military in Hawaii. She said she wanted to make sure the tradition continued once they moved into the mansion.

Edwards added that, as an educator, it is important to lead by example.

“In honor of Earth Day…” is a bad start, of course, considering that Ira Einhorn, the psychopath who came up with Earth Day in the first place, killed his girlfriend and composted her body. Honoring Earth Day is by extension honoring environmentally-friendly murder-victim disposal. That adds a little color to the impetus to recycle, though we’re certain that’s not what Donna Edwards means by setting an example for the rest of us.

What’s more, recycling is a colossal waste of time, effort and money, as John Tierney showed beyond a doubt in the New York Times some 20 years ago. But embracing causes generated by junk science debunked two decades hence is classic liberal practice, so it should be little surprise that we’re going to see lots of that for the next three-plus years from the Edwardses. We’ve already got Edwards’ country-come-to-town chicken coop which will end up costing the governor’s household a good deal more money on eggs than he would spend running down to the Matherne’s downtown; now we have Mrs. Edwards and her direction to the Mansion staff to waste time and the governor’s budget in “setting an example” to the rest of us in pursuing inefficiences in our own lives.

Because Earth Day, and Ira Einhorn’s composted dead girlfriend.

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How about a Today’s Last Thing? In this edition, we have football highlights.

Because over the weekend LSU took a commitment from a quarterback for the 2017 recruiting class. He’s Myles Brennan, a 6-3, 180-pounder from St. Stanislaus High School in Bay St. Louis on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Brennan threw for over 11,000 yards and more than 100 touchdowns over the past two seasons playing 4A ball in the Magnolia State. He committed to LSU over a host of schools, including California, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, West Virginia, Cincinnati and Wisconsin.

Brennan is a three-star recruit but he looks and feels like he’ll move up the rankings after the summer camps. We like him a lot, though at 180 pounds he’s got a lot of bulking up to do. Which is OK; he’s not even a senior in high school yet. And Justin McMillan, who just finished his freshman year at LSU as a quarterback and is listed on the spring roster at 193 pounds, was 170 when he arrived on campus – bulking skinny quarterbacks up is one thing LSU does know how to do. Brandon Harris, the starter as a rising junior, was 188 pounds as a freshman and he’s 206 now.

Here are some highlights of Brennan’s play in the five playoff games he took part in last season. Notice how he’s pretty darned mobile and the ball seems to leap out of his hand from a fairly compact throwing motion.

 

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