One of the most obnoxious bits of legislation filed in the special legislative session which ended Sunday night was a resolution by New Orleans Democrat senator J.P. Morrell aimed at attempting to make a political statement joining national Democrats in the “Children’s Crisis” hysteria at the border. Thankfully, amid a session the Democrats largely won, Morrell’s bit of posturing went nowhere.
Legislation asking Gov. John Bel Edwards to recall Louisiana National Guard troops at the border until families who entered illegally are reunited with their children has fizzled.
New Orleans Democratic Sen. J.P. Morrell didn’t bring the measure up for Senate consideration before the special session adjourned Sunday night, amid a lack of support for it.
Louisiana has a three-person National Guard team and one helicopter at the Texas border. Edwards decided the team will remain until mid-July as planned. He says the crew had no role in separating families, a policy the Trump administration enacted and then reversed.
Morrell and other Democrats who supported it said the legislation wasn’t an attack on Edwards, but showed that Louisiana doesn’t approve of the Trump administration’s approach to illegal immigration.
During committee testimony on his resolution, Morrell said he was aiming to say Louisiana “won’t be a party to the dumpster fire at the Mexican-American border.”
All Louisiana’s National Guard does at the border is that there is one LANG helicopter with a pilot and two crew members as observers attached to the Texas National Guard on a surveillance mission to spot people coming across the border and report their location to the ground forces. Pulling that helicopter is (1) pointless and (2) harmful (slightly) to the universally-accepted mission of drug interdiction on the border. Which means that in effect Morrell is for a wide open border and as much dope from Mexico as is possible to bring across.
Watch how Morrell’s partner in crime, Senate & Governmental Affairs Committee Chair Karen Carter Peterson, who also chairs the Louisiana Democrat Party (and we’re still marveling at how Peterson can chair a political party while also chairing the committee regulating political parties, a conflict of interest made even more bizarre in a Republican-majority Senate), questions Louisiana National Guard Maj. Gen. Steve Dabadie on this question…
The resolution passed out of Peterson’s committee on a 3-1 vote before evaporating on the Senate floor.
Morrell, who is term-limited after next year, appears to be angling for his next political position. As he has little appeal outside the city of New Orleans, it’s apparent he’s focusing on championing some Hard Left causes in order to boost his name for something in Orleans Parish. But what that will be, we can’t say. Given that his father Arthur Morrell is the Orleans criminal clerk of court (that should probably read clerk of criminal court, owing to the immediate inference people might draw from its wording, but “criminal clerk of court” is how he’s officially titled) and his mother Cynthia Hedge-Morrell served on the New Orleans city council from 2005-14, it’s a decent bet he’ll land somewhere in city government as soon as something comes available to run for.
And there are no conservatives in elected positions within New Orleans’ city government. The further left you can present yourself the better off you are.
Which is why Morrell was the architect of the idea to “clone” a rather pedestrian bill defining remote dealers for the purposes of internet sales taxes as a $600 million tax increase in the Revenue & Fiscal Affairs Committee he chairs in this year’s second special session, which ultimately led to that session’s collapse amid wide distrust on the House side and questions about the constitutionality of what Morrell had done. It’s also why Morrell spun up another machination of dubious constitutionality which fizzled much like his National Guard resolution in this last session – namely, to suspend the sunset on the fifth penny of state sales taxes and attempt to pass a billion dollar tax increase through a simple majority vote. That didn’t happen, but the fact Morrell and Senate President John Alario brought it in the first place marks them as enemies of the Louisiana taxpayer.
Or, in Morrell’s case, a perfect fit for New Orleans’ political class, such as it is. Orleans Parish is the only place in the state where the Chuck Schumer-Nancy Pelosi national Democrat ideological line is truly sellable, so Morrell is busily selling it.
At least we know that, based on his inability to move that resolution, nobody’s buying.