Why get rid of John Bel Edwards? That’s a book-length tale if ever there was one, but for the sake of brevity I will here sum up just a few of the major arguments:
What absolutely leaps to the forefront, at least for those voters who were in Louisiana in 2015, is the fact that John Bel Edwards made two fundamental promises to the electorate in the lead-up to the November, 2015 race: (1) that he would reform our government, and (2) that he would not raise our taxes because his government reforms would save us sufficient money to avoid the need to raise taxes.
He was never going to keep either one of those promises, as he knew perfectly well when he made them. He now excuses his reversals by exclaiming that he didn’t realize how bad things had become under his predecessor. However, that isn’t an acceptable explanation because he was one of the leading Democrats in the Louisiana House when he negotiated all eight of Gov. Jindal’s budgets, and he actually voted for six of them!
Lying to the public about one’s main campaign promises has usually been a mortal sin for most politicians in most places in this country. Perhaps Louisiana is finally catching up to the concept that politicians should be held to their word- after all, over 53% of the votes cast for governor on October 12th, were cast against John Bel Edwards!
Proceeding from his glaring moral failures to his political and economic blunders, be reminded that this Governor, now entering his mid-fifties, has no significant business experience on his entire resume. He comes from a wealthy family which has absolutely dominated a poor, rural parish since before the Civil War. Tangipahoa Parish continues to show the ill effects of political dominance by the Edwards family, especially when compared to the wealthier and quickly developing parishes to the east (St. Tammany) and west (Livingston).
John Bel Edwards’ previous life experiences of suing the state’s major employers and voting in the Louisiana House of Representatives for confiscatory taxes to support special interests like the teachers’ unions and the trial bar, were always particularly ill-suited to developing and fostering new industry in what is rapidly becoming the poorest state in the Union. Now, after four long and bitter years in office, John Bel Edwards’ unsuitability as Louisiana’s chief executive is no longer just a matter of conjecture, and this is perhaps the key difference between the elections of 2015 and 2019.
Because this Governor now has a record, and it is not a good one. The cost of governing Louisiana has risen by about seven billion dollars in just four years, a whopping twenty-five percent increase under John Bel Edwards! (Just in case you don’t know exactly how many zeroes there are in that number, here it is-$7,000,000,000.)
And the current situation is going to get rapidly worse, because spending is now completely out of control and the federal government will shortly begin cutting back on its contribution to our budget. Our budget “surplus” will be gone in a year or two thanks to the compounding, runaway spending on his Medicaid expansion, and then John Bel Edwards will soon be looking for an even bigger tax increase than the ones we’ve already given him. This was all foreseeable- any business run by a chief executive totally devoid of real business experience should expect to be in big trouble in short order, and that’s exactly where we are right now.
So our state government is run by a liberal ideologue who is completely out of touch with the great majority of his fellow citizens. John Bel Edwards’ administration is widely acknowledged to be the most bloated and inefficient excuse for a state government in the entire country, and our budget is teetering on the edge of financial disaster in the next few years. All the while our roads, bridges and other infrastructure continue to deteriorate; our schools continue to underperform and cripple yet another generation of students; our sales tax is now the second highest in the land; our insurance premiums are twice the national average. Louisiana ranks dead last or very nearly so in every nation-wide survey.
John Bel Edwards lied outright to the public in 2015 and thereby gained the governorship by illegitimate means. As a result of this original sin, he and his Democrat Party have been locked ever since into a failed political ideology rejected by most Louisianans. The constant flow of lies and deception spewing from his administration are the inevitable result of this mismatch, and the present situation must necessarily continue until we are rid of this Governor.
The last element of this grievous predicament is the sad fact that John Bel Edwards has neither the vision nor the ability to get us out of the mess he has created. Hence, our economy will continue to lag the rest of the country even as President Trumps’ economic boom proceeds apace, until we have a new governor.
And there is our case against a second term for John Bel Edwards!
LOUIS GURVICH, Chairman
Republican Party of Louisiana