Below, I humbly submit my extremely informed opinions about the candidates running for office. I anticipate that this information will help you make excellent electoral decisions (where possible), which will effect the future of our city and state. Also, I think it's very interesting and sometimes revealing to learn who people voted for, or against, and their reasons for doing so.
I'll start with the my STRONG endorsements. I've met these candidates in person, discussed issues with them, and have researched and followed their careers. These are people with whom I'm impressed, and I expect them to do a good job. (Please note: sometimes my support for a candidate is affected by "inside information" that I learned and can't report; other times, my support for a candidate can be affected by my strong aversion to one of their opponents. )
YRHT strongly endorses:
Mitch Landrieu for Lt. Governor-- As you know, I like the guy and think he got a raw deal during the mayoral election last year. I'm certain he will continue to serve as an excellent Lt. Gov.. (An aside: as you may know, Mitch can effortlessly discuss "race" in a manner that makes sense and unifies people. During a 990am radio interview last month, he presented the most in-depth, balanced, nuanced, righteous perspective on Jena that I had heard from a politician-- all in about 1 minute. To their shame, the Gubernatorial candidates have basically avoided the issue.)
Shawn Barney State Senator District 3-- I already discussed my support for him at the end of this post.
Cheryl Gray State Senator District 5-- swoon! I lived in the district she represented in the House, and I was always duly impressed with her focus, intelligence and responsiveness. (Honorable mention goes to David Williams, who reached out to local bloggers.)
Chris Tidmore State Rep District 82-- YRHT is a big, big fan of this Republican.
Percy Marchand State Rep District 95-- although I have not met Percy in person, he's been impressive in his correspondence on internet forums, and I totally agree with Ashley's take on the guy. (Honorable mention to Walker Hines.)
Walt Leger III State Rep District 91-- Flat out, Walt Leger impressed the hell out of me. He has got his game down tight! I expected the young whippersnapper to be easily cornered and flummoxed by my interrogations. But when I prodded and probed him on crime, the port, and coastal restoration ... he brought it, and then some! Leger had original ideas on hand for each issue-- proposals and solutions that I'd never heard anyone else talk about. A very pleasant surprise.
Mike Strain for Agriculture Commissioner
Ann Duplessis Senate District 2
Edwin Murray Senate District 4
Julie Quinn Senate District 6
Deborah Langhoff House District 94 Rep
Karen Carter District 93 Rep
Neil Abramson District 98-- Neil's run a fine campaign overall. One of his opponents is Rob Couhig III. Recently Rob was campaigning door to door in Uptown. While talking to one resident about how difficult such canvassing can be, Couhig mentioned that he had experience "working on campaigns in Arkansas". WTF? I'd like to hear more about that.
Charmaine Marchand District 99 Rep
Austin Badon District 100
Cedric Richmond District 101
[Newell Normand for Jefferson Parish Sherrif in the special election.]
Extremely Tepid endorsements:
Secretary of State: Jay Dardenne
Insurance Kommissar: Jim Donelon
Attorney General: Buddy Caldwell
Governor: Foster Campbell he won't get into the runoff (nor does he deserve to) because no one believes his plan will work, and he has no Plan B. Cenlamar makes the case for Foster and against Jindal. In last night's debate Campbell boasted of his "conservative" credentials. Uggh. Former Republican Boasso is vague, inarticulate and passionless in a debate. And Cottonmouth Georges didn't have the courage to "mix it up" with Jindal, even though he might be just a few points away from a runoff.
In many ways Jindal is by far the best politician. And I'd take him over the other guys in many instances (for example: "selling" Louisiana abroad, or making a presentation on Capitol Hill). But I can't overlook Jindal's disturbing alliance to the far right and the puzzling way he has run his campaign this year.
I expect Jindal to comfortably win outright tomorrow (57%), and I'll be interested to see if he's a better or worse executive than he was a legislator. If Georges somehow makes the runoff that will seem like a major victory for The Greek, and-- conceivably-- the runoff could become interesting. Georges has run the most effective campaign of anyone (in terms of votes gained) since Labor Day. Boasso had been getting a little traction in the summer, but then he was unimpressive in the debates, and momentum flagged. At this point, the only thing people really know about him is that he's big and uses Tide detergent.
The headlines in the T-P after both statewide televised debates were along the lines of "Few Sparks fly in Debate" and "Gov hopefuls stick to their scripts". If you are Boasso, Campbell or Georges, that's precisely what you DON'T want to see. If you (and your rivals) are 40 points behind a front-runner and the race is in the home stretch, it's time to confront Jindal on something in a way that will make news!! Practically anything will do. You want the media to isolate you and him as "the story" of the debate... If you don't understand that, then you don't have the political sense to be governor.
After the electoral slaughter tomorrow, the LA Dems need to reflect on the fact that a Republican, an independent and a DINO beat their top Dem candidate. Then they should begin plans to totally reinvent their organization and their state strategy... above all, start recruiting better candidates!
City Council At Large: Tommie Vassel. This might be my most tepid endorsement. I don't know any inside stuff about the guy, nor am I familiar with much of his past work. I could hardly make a stronger case for him than David could make for Boulet. Nor could I support him as passionately as Ashley supports Quentin, or Tim supports Suber. But I don't trust Boulet's judgment, and neither "honesty" nor "boldness" in themselves are sufficient reasons to elect someone.
Moreover, I generally like what Vassel has to say and how he says it, and I mostly don't cringe when he responds to questions. Mostly. I like that Vassel impressed both the Times Picayune and Editor B. But what I really like is that Mayor Ray Nagin discouraged Vassel to run, and he ran anyway, and then Nagin endorsed Cynthia Willard-Lewis. That bodes well. And get this, here's why Nagin discouraged Vassel from running:
But Vassel said he has never been a rubber stamp for the mayor. He pointed to the council's recent approval of a S&WB-endorsed water rate increase, which Vassel pushed hard for months while Nagin stayed silent until expressing timid support the day of the vote.
Indeed, Vassel said he met a brick wall when he called the mayor before qualifying last month. "He did not encourage me to run," Vassel said. "His advice to me was: Don't, because government is hard."
Believe it or not, that orange sentence made me feel much less nauseous about my endorsement of Vassel. Do you think that's "primitive", or what?
Other nolablogger endorsements can be find via Jeffrey's roundup.
Editor B and WST have some interesting selections.
Labels: Elections and Campaigns