NAGR Calls Out Johns And Connick As Bought Off In Advance Of Veto Session

Here’s a press release which caused smoke to leak out of the monitor on our laptop computer…

Political Bribery in Baton Rouge Jeopardizing Passage of Constitutional Carry
Gov. Edwards and anti-gun politicians are peeling off votes for a Constitutional Carry veto over-ride session

Baton Rouge, LA – Reports from Baton Rouge indicate that Republican Senators Ronnie Johns and Patrick Connick are refusing to support overriding the Governor’s veto of Constitutional Carry and are instead receiving political kickbacks from Governor John Bel Edwards.

“In a state known for its rampant political corruption, and sweetheart deals, this sadly comes as no surprise. But we’re not going away, and we’re not giving up. Now is the time to double down and publicly humiliate the legislators who’d rather abandon the Second Amendment for cushy jobs and district tax dollars than do the right thing and restore gun rights,” said Dudley Brown, President of the National Association for Gun Rights.

Media reports indicate that Sen. Johns has been promised a Gaming Commissioner job by Edwards, while Sen. Connick trading his vote to override for infrastructure funding in his district.

Reports out of Baton Rouge also indicate that a majority of Democrat lawmakers who originally voted in favor of Constitutional Carry during the regular session are also backing out on the vote.

Much to the outrage of grassroots activists across Louisiana, Republican legislative leaders are taking a hands off approach to the veto override session, failing to get their fellow legislators in line to support Constitutional Carry.

These are all troubling indicators of what could happen to Senate Bill 118 next week.

“Texas, Arkansas, and Mississippi all have Constitutional Carry as the law of the land, and the overwhelming majority of Louisianans want the same law, but political corruption and wimpy legislators might prolong Louisiana lagging so far behind all their neighbors,” said Brown.

The National Association for Gun Rights urges the Louisiana legislature to meet in veto override session to overturn the governor’s veto and make Constitutional Carry the law in Louisiana immediately.

We’ve talked about Ronnie Johns and the implausible, insulting malingering he’s doing rather than perform the job he swore an oath to do. We weren’t the only ones sounding off about that; Moon Griffon absolutely unloaded on Johns on his show yesterday.

That pretty much sums it up where Johns is concerned.

What we suggested was that Johns, who we understand is exceptionally butthurt at present over the criticism he’s taking and swearing up and down that he’s only following his doctor’s orders, choose one of two paths. The first is to follow Griffon’s suggestion and get off his rear end and attend the session to follow the principles he seems to have fleeced the voters into thinking he shares with them.

But the second, if he truly is bedridden two weeks after knee surgery and can’t be driven to the State Capitol and wheeled into the Senate chamber to vote, is to assuage the concerns of those who believe he’s been bought off with a job as chairman of the gaming board. Ronnie Johns needs to publicly forswear any appointment by John Bel Edwards to any board or commission or any other state office. In that way we will know that Ronnie Johns’ protestations of physical inability to attend the session are legitimate and that he isn’t refusing to do his job as a state senator because he’s been bribed by John Bel Edwards.

Otherwise, if Johns takes that job as chair of the gaming board what wouldn’t be a terrible idea would be for the people of Louisiana to boycott the entire gambling industry until he resigns, and for every local option election with gambling on the ballot – like for example that casino in Slidell the voters are being asked to approve – to go down in flames. If that seems unjust, if it seems like hostage-taking, so what? Bad things happen when unprincipled people put themselves before the folks they swore an oath to look out for; why shouldn’t those bad things be directly tied as consequences to their source?

As for Patrick Connick, we haven’t heard what Dudley Brown is saying. What we have heard repeatedly is that people have approached Connick asking him to come out in support of the veto session only to be refused an answer. That wouldn’t exactly make Connick a profile in courage, but refusing public comment on the veto session is not exactly the same thing as turning his coat on votes previously cast on individual bills. Once the session begins and Connick is there, it would be truly conspicuous if he flipped his vote over.

And with Johns malingering back in Lake Charles, or Sulphur more specifically, Connick’s vote would be the one which sustains Edwards’ veto on all the bills needing to be overridden.

Here’s hoping that if Connick really is going to sell out his colleagues and the entire Louisiana GOP for a fire station or a stretch of asphalt that he’s fully aware of the bargain he’s making, because in the event he’s the 13th vote to sustain Edwards’ vetoes on these bills he’ll never be able to hide from it. And he’ll end up a pariah in the Republican Party in Louisiana for good reason. Maybe that won’t cost him his seat, but it sure will ensure his political future will be a lot more difficult than his past and present.

We’re beyond the days when little inside-the-rail shenanigans were acceptable in Louisiana. Nobody gives a damn about these guys who come up with selfish reasons not to do their jobs, and we’re out of patience with the unprincipled and the mediocre.

Connick and Johns need to take a long look in the mirror and ask themselves if this is really how they want to be remembered.

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