As we noted earlier this morning, after Rep. Alan Seabaugh took to the microphone and filibustered an attempt at a second vote on a half-billion dollar tax increase which had already been voted down earlier in yesterday’s marathon legislative session, Sen. Karen Carter Peterson (D-New Orleans), who chairs the Louisiana Democrat Party, held the floor of the Senate for six minutes to deliver an unhinged rant aimed at Seabaugh for his having killed that tax hike.
The truth is, the votes weren’t in place to pass the $507 million tax increase Peterson can be seen whining about below. The bill, HB 12 by Rep. Walt Leger (D-New Orleans), which was originally supposed to be a technical instrument defining a “remote dealer” for the purpose of internet sales taxes, had been blown up by the Senate Revenue & Fiscal Affairs Committee on which Peterson sits into a half-billion dollar tax increase. In a ruling on the House floor asked for by Seabaugh, House Speaker Taylor Barras said the changes to the bill would not have been considered germane had they been made in the House. In short, the bill was a Frankenstein’s Monster of a legislative instrument and an end run around the normal process, and on its first attempt at passage it received 64 votes – six short of the 70 needed for passage. There was little real chance it would pass on a second vote, so what Seabaugh did was probably more symbolic than substantive.
Nevertheless, his actions made the Shreveport Republican a hero to Louisiana’s fiscal conservatives – and a villain to the Left. With Seabaugh up for a federal judgeship in Alexandria and the confirmation process awaiting him, one wonders if Monday’s dramatic activities won’t set Democrats in Washington to work attempting to kill his nomination.
Peterson makes it sound like that could be a project of hers. During her six-minute stemwinder she implies he’s going to hell for stopping a tax increase and that he doesn’t care about people, because a $30 billion state budget somehow isn’t enough to provide basic services to 4.7 million Louisianans without an additional half-billion dollars in taxes. It’s an interesting psychological study of someone barely holding her faculties together, and an interesting window into the mind of the woman who runs Louisiana’s Democrat Party.
Ask yourself if this looks like the state’s political future. We’re not convinced it does.