We’ll have more on this as we go, but the Louisiana House of Representatives just called a vote on SB 156, a bill by Sen. Beth Mizell which would ban biological males from participating in girls’ sports in Louisiana, and it failed to get the 70 votes needed for passage.
The vote was 68-30, which fell two votes short of the necessary 70 for a veto override.
Why 68-30 instead of 68-37? Well, because seven members were not present for the vote.
One member, Malinda White, a Democrat-turned-independent from Bogalusa, previously announced she was skipping the session. But six others were not present for the vote. One seat in the House, that formerly occupied by New Orleans Democrat Gary Carter, is empty, there having not yet been a special election to replace Carter after he won his uncle Troy Carter’s then-vacant Senate seat. Five other House members were not in the chamber.
And Schexnayder ran the bill anyway.
In his defense, the six absences were White, independent Joe Marino and five Democrats – Barbara Carpenter, Wilford Carter, Kenny Cox and Cedrick Glover. Schexnayder probably thought he had the votes that he said he was “100 percent” certain he had when he addressed the Baton Rouge Press Club on Monday in talking about SB 156.
But he didn’t have them.
He didn’t have Republican Joe Stagni of Kenner, who votes for the LGBTQ agenda every time he can. And he didn’t have independent Roy Daryl Adams, who had voted for the bill when it first came up. Those two “no” votes killed it. White, Wilford Carter, Robby Carter, Chad Brown, Jeremy LaCombe and Cox were among the Democrats voting for it the first time it passed in the House. They all flipped under pressure from Edwards.
Marino and Glover had been “no” votes the first time.
Schexnayder said it’s not his style to whip votes on bills. That’s a lie. His firing of former House Education Committee chairman Ray Garofalo was an express consequence of his efforts to do just that. Schexnayder demanded Garofalo kill his own bill before bringing it in front of his own committee, and then he pressured Republicans on the committee not to pass it.
But if he whipped votes on SB 156, which is an obviously majoritarian bill among Louisiana’s voters, he certainly didn’t do a good job of it.
This is on Clay Schexnayder. Plain and simple.
When the voted failed Schexnayder was visibly shaken. He put the House at ease, and then into recess, where it stands as of this writing.
UPDATE: The reason Schexnayder believed he had the votes to pass the bill was that Adams, the independent who has been flirting behind the scenes with LAGOP top brass about putting an “R” next to his name, and three Democrats – Travis Johnson, Chad Brown and Jeremy LaCombe – told him to his face that they were voting for an override on SB 156. All of them lied.
We think he got rolled and he perhaps shouldn’t have allowed it. But when you don’t have enough Republicans to pass something like this veto override and you’re depending on Democrat politicians to follow the will of the people rather than their paymasters and political bosses like John Bel Edwards, it’s a fair defense of Schexnayder to say that there is no foolproof way to avoid getting rolled.
The question now becomes, what is the remedy for this? We’ll have thoughts on that in a post tomorrow.
Being debated at present is whether to bring up the 23 House bills Edwards vetoed, in the knowledge that not a single one of them can get to 70 votes due to the Democrats holding together against the people of the state and the independents being every bit as bad. Right now that’s up in the air, for obvious reasons – you’d like to put everybody on the record, but if the Republicans are all saying they’re completely on board on every bill and it’s still not enough, does it do you any good?