Elections Have Consequences, And Democrats Are Finally Realizing That

There’s an entertaining story that Fox 8 in New Orleans put out last night screaming about the line-item vetoes delivered by Gov. Jeff Landry this week. It turns out that Landry did something John Bel Edwards specialized in for the past eight years – reward friends and punish enemies.

Governor Jeff Landry has vetoed millions of dollars in funding intended for several New Orleans nonprofits, a decision that has sparked concern and debate among community leaders and political analysts.

Landry’s veto targeted more than $4 million in funding requests, cutting support for various projects and organizations across New Orleans.

“When money gets into the governor’s hands, politics is almost always at play,” emphasizing the political undertones often associated with such decisions,” said Fox 8 political analyst Mike Sherman.

Among the organizations affected is the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, which lost $1 million. In 2022, this group had a revenue of $5.5 million and planned to use the additional funds to support grants for cultural nonprofits to preserve jobs and prepare for emergencies.

Another nonprofit, The First 72+, assists formerly incarcerated individuals and is slated to receive $250,000 for a housing project. Additionally, $1.5 million was cut for an Algiers Development District project at Federal City.

Sherman highlighted the impact on nonprofits, stating, “I think non-governmental organizations took the brunt of the governor’s veto pen.”

Steven Procopio, President of the Public Affairs Research Council, a state government watchdog group, echoes this sentiment.

Procopio explained that while these projects might be seen as “pork,” they often go to beneficial organizations and causes but are decided through a political process.

“They may be for good things, they may go to good organizations for good causes, but it’s all decided in a political process,” Procopio said.

Landry’s decision has not surprised many experts.

“You can’t take the politics out of government. This is nothing new; this is how funding at the state level has been done for many generations,” said Sherman.

Kudos and thanks to Mike Sherman for accurately describing the line-item vetoes. The Legislative Black Caucus opposed Landry’s agenda, and because they did so their little pet projects got cut.

Take, for example, The First 72 Plus, which is an NGO that provides newly-released prison inmates with three hots and a cot and tries to find them jobs, and so on. It’s a bit of a sacred institution among New Orleans politicians, with LaToya Cantrell, Helena Moreno and Jason Williams frequently making their way over to pander to them. It’s run by Troy Glover, a not-so-successful far-left politician who recently lost a 2021 New Orleans City Council race to Eugene Green by only 60 votes.

We could identify a number of black Democrats in New Orleans pushing funding for this organization. But Rep. Alonzo Knox was the one squealing the loudest about the cut – Knox was one of the loudest screechers during this current legislative session, leveling charges of racism and so forth as his side was losing votes on bills.

Landry struck out $75,000 for an organization called Maroon, Inc., which works to “create an equitable community for small Black- and Brown-owned businesses and leaders to network & support each other.” He also killed $50,000 for the “Opportunity Industrialization Center of Ouachita,” which is an affiliate of a national NGO funded by the usual lefty non-profit sources. And a lot bigger ticket item was the $1.5 million struck out of the state capital outlay budget set for the Algiers Development District for a project along the Mississippi River; that was a blow to Sen. Gary Carter, who spent the legislative session throwing bombs at Republicans and Landry in particular.

Then there’s the Dr. James Gilmore Institute for Human Development and Excellence, a very high-sounding name for a little NGO which puts on job fairs and uses social media to push job openings in the black community. This one is tied to Baton Rouge Democrat Vanessa Caston LaFleur, no particular ally of Landry’s, and its namesake James Gilmore is a former staffer for Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome, who isn’t particularly influential with Landry’s administration.

But this wasn’t just a question of smacking the Black Caucus. Landry also lined out funding for Catholic Charities of Lafayette, which is a response to that organization’s efforts to promote illegal immigration. Landry’s been a fairly outspoken critic of the ongoing migrant invasion and he’s using his veto pen to back that.


And he struck out a million dollars in funding for the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, which is a classic example of state dollars subsidizing an organization with a reputation as a social club and playground for wealthy white liberals. LEH’s board is full of people who were big John Bel Edwards boosters.

So far, the screeching has actually been pretty mild about this. Landry could have been considerably more aggressive, and there’s a good chance he will next year when the budget is expected to be a lot tighter.

But the lesson is as obvious as it is predictable: he’s going to reward his friends and punish his enemies. That’s what a politician does. Edwards yearly would savage Republican critics in the legislature by clobbering funding for projects in their districts, and nobody really complained about that.

Elections have consequences. Those wanting to feed at the trough might think about getting the voters to agree with them.



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