Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Mysteries of the #LASEN cosmos

There are more candidates running for Senate in Louisiana this year than most voters would probably care to contemplate.  Astronomers estimate the actual number may be too high to bother trying to count. The interesting thing about that, though, is that when we break out the higher mathematics necessary to describe such an election, we approach a universe where every candidate cancels some other candidate out.
“The Fleming-Maness mini-primary won’t matter unless one of them breaks away,” veteran campaign strategist Roy Fletcher said about the two major GOP contenders for the party’s super-conservative wing, U.S. Rep. John Fleming, of Minden, and retired Air Force colonel Rob Maness, of Madisonville.

That goes a long way in explaining the past week’s narrative when Fleming’s campaign touted a poll showing him up to 14 percent, nipping on the heels of the establishment Republican candidates – U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany, of Lafayette, and State Treasurer John N. Kennedy, of Madisonville.

It’s a gambit that seemed to pay dividends when Fleming was included but Maness, who polled 4 percent, was left off the stage in the CABL/LPB debate that will be televised statewide on Oct. 18.
Maness might cancel out Fleming. David Duke might cancel out Maness. The two Democrats might cancel each other out. The front runners.. are there front runners? Is it possible that nobody comes out of this black hole alive?   Actually, we're saving that for a different post.  Today we learned more about what some of the lesser candidates are doing to try and defy gravity.

Troy Hebert is one such lesser candidate.  His strategy appears to involve pretending to sue people.
U.S. Senate candidate Troy Hebert, no party, said he filed a lawsuit today in state court to block one of the televised Senate debates because he said the criteria to participate was "unconstitutional.

Hebert, former commissioner of the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control, sent members of the media a news release and a copy of an unofficial petition seeking a preliminary injunction. But as of early afternoon, the suit had not yet been filed, according the the clerk's office for the 19th Judicial District
Hebert called a press conference to talk about his not yet lawsuit which he used as a platform to talk about how badly "the system is rigged" against "the 'lil man'" which is probably true although Hebert's own standing as the "'lil man" is dubious.  Even so, despite this being an obvious stunt, he does raise an interesting point.
Last week, the good government nonprofit Council for a Better Louisiana announced it had set its criteria for its Oct. 18 Senate debate which will air across the state on Louisiana Public Broadcasting stations. Candidates had to have raised at least $1 million and polled at at last 5 percent in an independent poll.
In a way, Hebert is suing (if he actually files a lawsuit) to protest the notion of a "money primary" where candidates are determined to be viable based on the clout of their donor list.  If he were at all sincere, it might be a laudable windmill to tilt at.  Although, the Supreme Court has already ruled that money is speech so it's hard to figure he's got precedent on his side there.

What's really interesting about this is that it isn't even the only lawsuit announced by a Senate candidate today. 
Rep. Charles Boustany, R-Lafayette, has sued the author of a book that contained allegations he was involved with prostitutes in Jefferson Davis Parish who were later murdered, according to his attorney, Jimmy Faircloth.

Boustany, a U.S. Senate candidate, filed the defamation suit against Ethan Brown and the New York publishing company Simon & Schuster Monday (Oct. 3) in state court in Lafayette. Brown's book, "Murder on the Bayou," cited several anonymous sources who said they had knowledge that Boustany was a client of three sex workers in Jennings. Boustany has vehemently denied the accusations and blasted his chief competitor in the Louisiana Senate race, state Treasurer John Kennedy for peddling the story to the media.
Boustany must think he is Hulk Hogan or something. Pretty sure S&S has the resources to withstand the nasty SLAP lawsuit. It probably won't get very far anyway. But that's hardly the point. Boustany, like Hebert, is just posturing.

You have to feel bad for Hebert, though. The cosmic mysteries being what they are and all, it's pretty amazing that a U.S. Senate candidate can't even announce a lawsuit on a given day without it being overshadowed by a different candidate's lawsuit. What are the odds, right? Astronomical, I'm sure. But that's another consequence of having so many people in the race. In the same way the vastness of the universe increases the probability that life exists on other planets, the size of the field increases the chances of something like this happening. Still, in either case, the evidence of intelligent life anywhere is yet to be discovered.

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