Taking a whole Hayride post in order to call attention to the shortcomings of an individual legislator isn’t our usual practice, but in the wake of last night’s meltdown we think it’s entirely appropriate. The increasingly clownish antics of Louisiana’s most egregious legislative RINO merit some exposure the state’s legacy media won’t provide, so it falls to us to point out the truth about Shadoin.
Yesterday, before the marathon day of attempted tax increases brought him to the House podium time after time to serve as John Bel Edwards’ Republican floor leader, Americans For Prosperity’s Louisiana chapter named Shadoin as the fourth member of their Takers’ Dozen with a short video…
We’ve been told repeatedly by Shadoin’s Republican colleagues that House GOP delegation meetings are all but hopeless when he’s around. “We have to meet in small groups because when he’s in the delegation meetings he runs and tells the governor everything that’s said,” one complained. “We’ve gone back and forth over whether to kick him out.”
And meanwhile, Shadoin constantly uses social media to trash the delegation’s messaging. An example from earlier this year…
He’s also not well liked among his Republican colleagues because of constant speeches like this one which sounds as though it was written by Edwards’ own staff.
There was also a rather serious blowup among the delegation when it issued talking points about the tax debate to its members, which is something rather common for a political organization to do, and Shadoin proceeded to validate leftist bloggers’ criticism of the resulting messages from individual members by declaring they were all products of those talking points. He wasn’t lying, of course, but that was considered an insulting and demeaning thing to do – the members used those talking points as a matter of convenience rather than as evidence they hadn’t thought the issue over, as was portrayed by hostiles like Lamar White, and there Shadoin was siding with the enemy.
Shadoin, when asked early in the special session which just ended whether he could think of a tax increase he’s ever voted against, could not. But he did vote against one last night – that was the $400 million one-third cent sales tax renewal bill authored by delegation chair Lance Harris. Shadoin joined with all but two of Louisiana’s Democrats (as well as the hard-line fiscal conservatives) in voting against that bill, on the theory that $400 million in tax increases wasn’t enough. He went to the floor to demand passage of the other tax increase bill last night; Rep. Walt Leger’s HB 12 would have raised a half-billion dollars. Shadoin voted for it.
And after Rep. Alan Seabaugh successfully filibustered a second vote on Leger’s bill as time ran out on the session, Shadoin told WAFB-TV that “He knew what he was doing and I thought it was shameful.”
What’s shameful is Rob Shadoin’s misrepresentation of his constituents back in Ruston. District 12, which he supposedly represents, is one of the most conservative in the state. In the last four major elections in Louisiana, District 12 went 76 percent for Bill Cassidy, 64 percent for David Vitter, 75 percent for Donald Trump and 77 percent for John Kennedy. And yet Shadoin, who was on hand at Edwards’ inauguration, has put together one of the worst voting records of anyone with an “R” next to his name in the Louisiana legislature from the perspective of those conservative voters. His LABI scorecard marks indicate a pitiful 33 percent score in 2016 and a 49 percent score last year; this year isn’t likely to be any better when the final score comes out.
We’ve heard rumors Shadoin won’t be running again. That wouldn’t be a surprise – he’s the most obvious opportunity conservatives have for an upgrade to a Republican-held seat in the 2019 legislative elections and if he does run we’d bet he’ll lose. In the meantime, though, Shadoin should follow the advice of U.S. Senator John Kennedy last week and stop calling himself a Republican.
“You can believe what you want to believe,” said Kennedy of Shadoin. “It’s a free country. But be honest about it and don’t go back to your district telling those people how conservative you are.”
Indeed. Louisiana has an extreme deficit of honesty among its politicians and Rob Shadoin is the worst example of that shortfall in the entire legislature. The sooner we’re rid of him, the better.