Thursday, March 24, 2016

That's on you, brah

It's a good time to be a Republican politician in Louisiana. Your party holds almost every statewide elected office,a majority of seats in the legislature, and full control of the House of Representatives.  So you matter. You get to do a lot of things.

The best part of it all is, you're not held accountable for anything that happens. You're not accountable the budget crisis many of you and your Republican governor created. You're not even accountable for the painful measures you are (sort of) helping to enact in response to that crisis. That's all the new governor's problem.
The party — blaming Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat — is asking party members to “join the fight” and make a $5 donation to the party.

Sent Monday, the fundraising email is brief — perhaps too brief to mention that one of the two major tax bills raising the $1 billion was sponsored by a Republican and that a majority of Republicans in both the House and the Senate voted for both measures.

One bill is raising the state sales tax by 1 cent for 27 months as of April 1, while the other is ending several dozen exemptions on sales taxes, also for 27 months.

“The state party opposes tax increases,” Jason DorĂ©, the party’s executive director, said Wednesday when asked about the email. “That’s part of our national platform.”

The Republican-led Legislature approved both tax bills, and Edwards signed them into law.
So what about the role of the Republicans in passing the bills?

It’s all on John Bel Edwards,” DorĂ© said.
Last week we pointed out this UNO opinion survey showing voters largely blame Jindal for the crisis. But Bobby Jindal is gone now and the Republicans are on to fighting the next battle. The more they can do to knock the new governor's approval rating down as soon as possible, the better off they are. And since no one is going to hold them accountable for anything in the meantime, they're free to have a go at that.  

Update: This afternoon the governor will announce $70 million in cuts he is forced to make because House Republicans failed to compromise on revenue packages that could have closed the current year budget shortfall during the recently concluded special session.  Nevertheless, for political purposes, they will be known as "John Bel Edwards's cuts."  That's all on him.

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