Yesterday, I had the pleasure of tailgaiting with someone that is a mover and shaker in the Louisiana Democrat party. Things are to say the least in quite a mess over there.
It appears that Louisiana Democrats are waking up to the fact that Katrina has vastly altered the Louisiana landscape. The results of the Louisiana Secretary of State's race is not being dismissed by the concerned in the Dem party no matter what the pundits say.
I had a chance to see some figures that were complied from the New Orleans's areas as to that race. No matter how the Dem's spin it they are horrible. True some of this can chalked up to a low voter interest race and the fact that the Dem was not a great campaigner. However this is now the third race we have had out of Orleans Parish and it is still confirming a horrible trend for the Democrats. That is the the much needed Orleans voter cushion is gone and is not coming back. The upcoming Congressional race there in November will be analyzed by many for signs of hope. More on that race later. Beyond that it appears that the leadership of the party is having problems. For instance many ,including this Republican, cannot understand why the State Democrat party spent 80,000 dollars in the Shreveport's Mayor's race. A race that had several Democrats running in it. That money could have been spent much wisely elsewhere. The internal disputes within the Louisiana Democrat party ,though not as public as its Republican counterpart, are very real.Future Races
- This Deep South Louisiana race is one of the few bright spots for the Dems. I still have this as a Democrat retention in Novemeber. Republican hopeful Romero, I fear, is not making up the ground needed. If someone has different info let me know. That being said the dynamics of this race could possibily still change. That 80,000 dollars the Dems spent in Shreveport would have been much better spent here.Congressman Jefferson
- Latest polls show him at 25 percent in this race. That is horrible for an incumbent. Thank God it appears he will be gone. The only possible thing that could save him was if the the Republican managed to make the runoff. I hate to say this but I hope that doesn't happen. Jefferson for the sake of Louisiana's image needs to be gone. I think he is a goner. The next Represenative will either be Councilwoman Carter or State Senator Shepard from Marrero. Both would be a vast improvement.
However now is the time for the Democrats to think ahead. Louisiana will at the very least lose one Congressman, maybe two, after the next Census. Orleans will no longer have its own Congressman in the near political future. New Orleans will always be a Democrat city but with much punch vote wise. I am sure both the State Repubs and Dems and their national counterparts are figuring out a way to divy up Orleans Parish into adjacent districts to best help their interest. The importance of the mover and shakers in the Dem party getting the right person into this job is paramount. Putting myself in Democrat shoes, I would have to think that Mitch Landrieu would have been a perfect choice and a good bet for the future. However that did not happen. In the end I believe that enough of Orleans Parish will be siphon off to the Melanchon District to make it safely forever Democrat. The rest will go to the adjoining Districts currently represented by Baker and Jindal in hopes of making them more competive.Governor Blanco
- Our current Governor I have to believe is toast next year. Unless Jindal implodes in spectacular fashion I cannot fathom him losing. Long term this is also great on a national level too. Jindal is going places and could be someone we see on future national ticket.US Senator Landrieu in 08
- This race is already causing Democrat folks on a local and national level a great deal of heartburn. Of all the Democrat politicians she is the one that has depended the most on that New Orleans vote turnout. Without it it would have been a impossibility for her to win her last two Senate races. Her remaining in office and very well possible Control of the Senate in 08 will depend on my next subject.The Louisiana Republican Party
If there is a major silver lining for the Dems in the State of Louisiana it is the continued chaos that is called the Louisiana Republican Party. Time after time the state Party seems to find a way to form a circular firing squad in situations where they are verge of victory. For an example please see the 2002 Terrell/Landrieu Senate race. For a more recent example of nonsense please look at the aftermath of the Louisiana Secretary of State's race. The actions of Mike Francis and company, A FORMER STATE PARTY CHAIRMAN
, in not endorsing Jay Dardenne is beyond belief. Francis has lost my vote for anything in the future. I find this party in fighting has little to do with right wing versus moderate but a bunch of people that just want titles.
In order to unseat Senator Landrieu , we must not only have a good opponent but a state wide party organization that can get out the vote. That is a must. In fact Republican control of the US Senate might depend on the Republicans in the bayou state acting like adults.
I think we are at a critical point. Louisiana Republicans can take the upper hand that will last decades if we act quickly. But the opportunity will be fleeting unless we act. Two things must happen. First, I fear that people like Congressman Jindal or Senator Vitter must get involved in this matter. There must be a come to Jesus meeting and soon. Second, changes to the State Republican Central committee must be accomplished in the next election. I shall devote another post and perhaps a whole web site to this endeavor. Maybe even a PAC. Stay tuned.Future State wide Races
Next year Republicans have real chances at all State wide offices on the ballot. Even the Democrat Secretary of Agriculture Bob Odom can be knocked off. However this means we must have serious recruitment of quality people to run against these folks. That needs to be happening now.The Louisiana State Legislature
I never thought I would see the day that Republicans could take a chamber of the Lousiana legislature. That goal is within reach. This will be critical becasue the Republicans must have some control when the new local and congressional districts are drawn up. Again a matter of both state and national importance.
In essence the Louisiana Republicans have a incredible opportunity but it must be seized. It will not just fall into our laps from the heavens. If the statewide party can become a actual effective organization that is efficient we should be in good shape. Our failure to do so is the democrats only hope.