Our readers likely remember that the Louisiana State Bond Commission took a very high-profile position back in 2018 against some woke Wall Street banks who had announced obnoxious virtue-signaling positions to discriminate against buyers and sellers of firearms. It was a rare highlight for principled conservative governance in what has otherwise been a blighted last several years since John Bel Edwards’ inauguration as governor.
The Bond Commission has since become a not-terrible place for some limits to be placed against the worst of the Left’s cultural aggressions. The Bond Commission is in a position, given its control of some of Louisiana’s purse strings, to limit access to taxpayer funds for various ne’er-do-wells, and as its members are mostly Republicans it can do a lot when it chooses to.
Attorney General Jeff Landry sits on the Bond Commission. Landry is a proponent of using it aggressively. And that’s why Thursday he proposed another effort to defend gun rights against woke banks it’s a good bet will become reality at the next Bond Commission meeting.
Landry wrote a letter to Jamie Dimon, who is the CEO of JP Morgan Chase Bank, requesting a supplemental certification to the Louisiana State Bond Commission as it relates to whether the firm has policies that restrict or would otherwise infringe on the constitutionally protected rights of the citizens of the State to lawfully keep and bear arms and more.
Dimon testified back in May to the House Financial Services Committee that “we do not finance the manufacture of military-style weapons for civilian use.”
That was a statement calibrated to placate gun-grabbing Democrat congresscritters, who in this current environment must be placated or else there will be hell to pay. But Landry’s take, which is a correct one, is that Dimon and the other financiers are drifting into wokeism because it seems easier – and the solution is fairly easy. Simply show them that they’re wrong.
If Chase wants to make woke policies like discriminating against gun manufacturers by denying them loans and canceling credit cards and bank accounts, then retaliation against Chase is warranted.
And that, in Louisiana, means denying Chase eligibility to participate in the financing of state debt through the Bond Commission, something Landry and its other members have already done to other anti-Second Amendment banks.
A quick excerpt from the letter (see the whole thing here)…
As Attorney General for the State of Louisiana, I have continuously fought to protect the rights of our citizens under both the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article 1, Section 11 of the Louisiana Constitution. I believe that the Bond Commission should not conduct any business with an entity that discriminates against law-abiding citizens and businesses in the State of Louisiana. While I respect the right, as a private company, to pick-and-choose who you do business with, I do not believe the State of Louisiana is best served by doing business with companies that attempt to profit from the State while denying its citizens the ability to exercise their constitutional rights.
Landry noted that Chase had certified, per Bond Commission requirements, that it does not discriminate against gun buyers or sellers. He’s demanding that based on Dimon’s statements Chase recertify – or else drop out of financing Louisiana’s state debt.
All of this might come off as grandstanding. Maybe it is. But the Left’s constant grandstanding on issues like gun rights has moved the needle in ways which serve to diminish individual liberty. Denied the ability to take away the gun rights of individuals in places controlled by Democrat politicians by the courts, they’ve launched a series of advocacy and pressure campaigns to scare Corporate America into doing much of their dirty work for them, and it’s been successful. There is absolutely zero business reason why Chase, Bank of America or Wells Fargo would wade into the gun rights/gun control argument; they’re doing it because they don’t want to be boycotted, picketed or otherwise attacked by the professional protest mob.
And the only way to push back on that is to make yourself as or more feared than the Hard Left is.
Is it childish? Is it perverting the mission of the Bond Commission to pressure companies like Chase? Probably. But this is where we are at the moment, and if you think it’s unnecessary to use what levers are available to fight back against wokeism you’ve been asleep for too long.