Sunday, April 03, 2016

When will #lalege bring the real crazy? Some brief state politics links and notes

Actual news out of the Democratic State Central Committee meeting, which is unusual. Some less entertaining stuff out of the legislature which, again, is unusual.

First, there was a shouty but ineffective attempt to oppose Karen Carter Peterson as party chair. The little coup attempt traces back to the governor’s race where KCP initially tired to talk now Governor Edwards out of running but eventually came around. Then there were these rumblings from  unhappy "conservative Democrats" back in December. None of it came to much, ultimately. Despite some reported dissent in the room, Peterson was elected to a new four year term by a decisive margin. Earlier this week, she received IWO President Lynda Woolard's endorsement as well, so that's nice.

Which means she will be the party chair during the Senate race this fall.  It turns out that there are, in fact, some Democrats trying to run in that one. Some of them even said things at the meeting  today.  The most significant development, though,  came during the Governor's remarks when he officially backed Foster Campbell.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards gave a full-throated endorsement to Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell, a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, during the state Democratic Party’s organizational meeting on Saturday.

Edwards, who was elected last fall and sworn in on Jan. 11, said he believes that the party needs to coalesce behind a single candidate who has the best shot of winning.

“It’s not just theory or conjecture that we can win races in Louisiana, but we have to work together,” said Edwards, a two-term House member who was thought to be a long-shot in the governor’s race just a year ago. “We have to pick candidates who can win.”
Ironically that sounds an awful lot like the kind of reasoning some Democrats cited for backing a Republican instead of Edwards during the gubernatorial primary but, well, life is funny like that.It does seem unusual for the highest ranking elected Democrat to go all in on a Senate candidate this early in the race. (Edwards actually encourage Campbell to run.) Will make for some fun intrigue going forward.

Meanwhile, apart from the obligatory outburst of creationism provided this week by State Senator John Milkovich, the legislature isn't bringing the crazy this session as strongly as we are accustomed to seeing. I mean, come on, guys, if we're going to be paying all these new clean pennies, we could at least get some quality entertainment.  Sometimes it seems like they're trying but mostly it's just going through the motions. 

They've considered stupid questions.

How safe is the color "blaze pink"?

They've asked stupid, and potentially dangerous questions.

How safe is raw milk?

They've considered some stupid questions that appear to have been asked for very stupid reasons by specific people.

Hey can we park on the wrong side of the street now?

Those are all, I guess, quirky legislative activities but none of them approaches the epic insanity the typical session devolves into by this point. Come on, guys. It's chicken boxing or go home.

This isn't to say they haven't done some crazy things. It's just the crazy things haven't been exactly ha ha crazy.  For example,
A Louisiana House committee stalled legislation that would prevent employers from firing domestic violence victims for missing work.

The House Labor and Industrial Relations Committee deadlocked in a 6-6 vote on Thursday, keeping the measure stalled in committee and unable to get a full House vote.

Opponents said protections for victims of domestic abuse already exist and the bill oversteps in dictating Louisiana business policy.
Gotta make sure we protect businesses from their employees. No matter how battered those employees might be.  The Governor is urging a more reasonable position on these equal pay and minimum wage bills. But expecting those to make it out of the House really would be crazy, right?

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