At the Republican State Central Committee meeting next month, there will be a censure resolution offered by St. Mary Parish SCC member Christian Gil. The resolution will censure Scott Angelle and Jay Dardenne for refusing to support David Vitter in the runoff for governor last year. Angelle stayed neutral while Dardenne endorsed John Bel Edwards and became his Commissioner of Administration.
From The Advocate:
“As leaders in the Republican Party of Louisiana, we are obligated to fully support our party, platform, and its candidates. Only in times of great crisis or betrayal is it necessary to publicly censure our leaders. Today we are faced with both,” the proposal reads.
It’s been eight months since Edwards beat Vitter, 56 to 44 percent, in the election. But tensions have continued to simmer among some Republicans since Edwards became the only Democratic governor in the Deep South and the only Democrat to hold state-wide office in Louisiana.
Under state law, there is no way to formally kick someone out of a political party. The resolution would be a ceremonial show of disapproval.
Jason Doré, executive director of the state GOP, said these kinds of resolutions are not uncommon, but he could not recall a successful censure of a member.
“Generally, you don’t punish people for not doing something,” Doré said.
Dardenne, a former lieutenant governor and secretary of state under the GOP banner, was out of town Wednesday and was unavailable for comment.
A campaign spokesman for Angelle, a Public Service Commission member who switched from parties from Democrat to Republican in 2010, dismissed the effort.
“This resolution is a false and ridiculous distraction that attempts to take away from the real issues facing the people of south Louisiana,” Angelle spokesman Ryan Cross said.
During the general election campaign, Dardenne and Angelle frequently spoke out against Vitter and attempted to paint him as a Republican who would lose to a Democrat in a runoff, largely because of his links to a 2007 prostitution scandal.
Christian Gil is not a neutral observer in this. Gil is a supporter of Angelle’s main opponent in the 3rd District Congressional race, Clay Higgins. This stunt is designed to embarrass Angelle in front of the state party and to galvanize conservative opposition to Angelle.
The resolution, particularly targeted against Angelle, is ridiculous. Scott Angelle stayed neutral in the runoff. There is no precedent for censuring anyone in either party for staying neutral. Angelle never signed a pledge to endorse the other Republican if they made it into a runoff.
Jay Dardenne on the other hand did actually endorse Edwards. A censure resolution might make sense against Dardenne. But why write it in July 2016 and issue it in August 2016?
The censure resolution is simply a stunt and should be defeated.