Thanks To Truth In Politics, Who’s Actually Interested In Going After John Bel Edwards

Louis Gurvich voiced not just the position of the Louisiana GOP, but that of The Hayride, in his post this morning on this business about Eddie Rispone and Ralph Abraham’s little dust-up over doubts Abraham had expressed in October 2016 about Donald Trump’s ability to win the presidential election that year. We were accosted by both sides of that fight Wednesday, when we were heading to and from our highly-successful Mandeville event (and thanks to all who attended, by the way).

As far as we’re concerned this is an entirely stupid thing for people to be worked up about and the fact both campaigns allowed Elizabeth Crisp to stir up an internecine fight about it in the Advocate is really disappointing. Every public policy or economic metric we look at tells us Louisiana is absolutely falling apart, we appear to be on pace to lose as many as 100,000 of our citizens to net outmigration over the four years John Bel Edwards is governor, the leadership and governance of Louisiana’s key institutions – like, for example, LSU – has sunk to such appalling levels that even Edwards supporters like Richard Lipsey are publicly sounding alarms, and we’re supposed to care that Ralph Abraham freaked out like almost everybody else did when he heard that Access Hollywood tape back in 2016?

That has nothing – NOTHING – to do with Louisiana’s future, which right now is in the lurch. And wasting time talking about that, or who’s responsible for what campaign shenanigans within Abraham’s or Rispone’s camps, is of absolutely no interest to us whatsoever.

Moon Griffon went off on this yesterday, and we would mostly agree with him except that when he tore into Lane Grigsby for whatever perceived role Grigsby might have in that stupid controversy we would step away.

For this reason – Grigsby bankrolled Truth In Politics, and Truth In Politics is actually trying to do something to make people consider just how bad a governor John Bel Edwards is, and that’s what matters here.

You’ll remember that Truth In Politics is the group which took a poke at Edwards for the damage he’s done to school choice in the state with a radio spot that appeared on black radio stations in all of Louisiana’s media markets, and Edwards’ camp became so unhinged over the affront that they hired Hillary Clinton’s Fusion GPS/Steele Dossier slimeball law firm Perkins Coie to demand those stations take down the ad. Truth In Politics changed the ad out with another one which had slightly different verbiage and their radio campaign kept on running, even though what got reported in Louisiana’s major media was an Edwards-friendly lie that TIP had been silenced.

Well, they weren’t silenced. They’re getting louder.

A press release from yesterday…

Truth in Politics (TIP) today launched a multi-week statewide television campaign taking aim at the frustration voters feel toward Gov. John Bel Edwards’ massive tax increases and wasteful spending.

The six-figure ad campaign features a 30-second television ad, titled “Out of Order,” which portrays a frustrated mother and son desperately attempting to purchase items from a vending machine located in a dark, dreary parking lot.

“Louisiana, we put money in but don’t get what we deserve,” the narrator says in the ad as the mother tries and fails to purchase an item labeled “A Better Louisiana.” The narrator continues, saying, “Under John Bel Edwards Louisiana spends 40 percent more than other southern states. And, for what? John Bel refuses to cut waste, and instead, he put massive tax increases on everyone.”

Jay Connaughton, spokesperson for TIP, said Gov. Edwards’ policy decisions over the last few years have proven that he lacks a true plan to solve the state’s core issues.

“We’ve traveled the state, talking to people from all backgrounds and constituencies, and many are frustrated and disappointed that John Bel has no plan or solution other than to raise taxes,” Connaughton said. “The waste and lack of results is maddening to taxpayers who are being asked to pay even more.”

Adding to the problem is Gov. Edwards’ approach to spending and taxation compared to competing neighboring states, which Connaughton said is dropping Louisiana even further behind the rest of the nation.

“When you compare Louisiana to the states we aspire to be in terms of economic strength, such as Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and Texas, John Bel Edwards spends 40 percent more per capita with nothing to show for it,” Connaughton said. “Just this week, the governor of Texas essentially thanked Gov. Edwards for attacking job creators and sending their investments to Texas. John Bel has been a great governor for Texas and do-nothing governor for Louisiana.”

Here’s the TV spot. There’s $400,000 going in behind this…

It’s a good ad, though yeah – this by itself won’t win the race for either Abraham or Rispone. But the point is here’s somebody willing to take Edwards to task for his abysmal leadership of the state, and it’s about time we start seeing this kind of effort from the two GOP candidates if they think they’ve done enough fundraising that they’re going to start taking swings at opponents.

We like both Abraham and Rispone fine, and we think either one in a runoff with Edwards is capable of winning. We think Edwards is eminently beatable, as he should be as a Democrat governor in a red state and one who absolutely, positively sucks in his job.

And by the way, so you’ll know, this week’s political scuttlebutt circulating among state legislators is that John Alario is going to run for his old House seat that he was termed out of before he switched to the Senate and is now being termed out of that seat – and Alario is picking a handpuppet to run for Speaker next year while he readies to take over for Cameron Henry as chair of the Appropriations Committee. If you re-elect John Bel Edwards governor, therefore, you are going to get John Alario controlling the Louisiana House of Representatives and that will be the end of any semblance of legislative independence in Louisiana (which we have had for precisely three years in the modern history of the state).

If you don’t think that’s a hell of a lot more important than whether Ralph Abraham lost his cool over the “grab ’em by the p*ssy” tape, then you might be too stupid to vote. And it’s only March and we’ve already seen too much stupid in this campaign cycle.

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