[StBernard] RINO's And Democrats Seem Intent On Making Alario Senate President

Westley Annis westley at da-parish.com
Tue Sep 20 11:43:48 EDT 2011

RINO's And Democrats Seem Intent On Making Alario Senate President

Posted by: MacAoidh on Monday, September 19, 2011, 12:24

Tagged with: Corruption Democrats John Alario State Legislature

"He may have changed parties, but he hasn't changed his way of life. He
can't fool me. I know him too well."
- Edwin Edwards, on John Alario

"If it's politically expedient, people switch parties. It's not going to
change John Alario one way or the other."
- State Sen. Eric Lafleur, Democrat

I'm going to go out on a rather short limb here and say that the entire
purpose of putting Democrats out of power in Louisiana was to do away with
the crony capitalism, special-interest giveaways and outright corruption
that party so completely signified in our state for decades. Republicans run
Louisiana because over time, and particularly after Katrina laid bare the
effects for everyone to see, the electorate became violently fed up with the
banana-republic character of Louisiana politics as practiced by the party of
Edwin Edwards, the Longs and Dollar Bill Jefferson.

Which is why it's important for Republicans, if they expect to govern
Louisiana very long, present voters with a very different outlook on
governance from what Democrats operated under. Voters will probably forgive
mistakes made in finding that new model - so far Bobby Jindal has fairly
broad support and faces no challengers to speak of for re-election this
fall, for example, despite a few well-publicized errors in governance over
the last three-plus years - but will react very unfavorably to seeing a
Republican governing establishment operate in the same way with the same
people as Democrats did.

Talk to folks on the street and this is a fairly uncontroversial notion. But
among the state's politicians, heads are a bit thicker. Or so it seems.

Nothing exemplifies this more than the growing possibility that John Alario,
the most laughable example of a Democrat switching parties out of pure
political expediency, might be on the verge of cutting a deal with his old
Democrat buddies, some Democrat turncoats and a few new Republican friends
to become president of the Louisiana Senate next year.

That this is an uncommonly bad prospect should go without saying. Alario was
Edwin Edwards' Speaker of the House when the latter was busy stealing the
state blind, and Republicans in Louisiana at the time considered him as
signifying everything that was slimy and corrupt about Louisiana politics.
The backroom deals, the Chicago-style pay-for-play, the lack of transparency
and the petty agendas lending a Byzantine quality to the formulation of
policy rather than the honest debate of substantive ideas were what
infuriated Louisiana voters into getting rid of Democrats, and Alario was
neck-deep in all of it.

But when it became patently clear that Louisianans no longer had any stomach
for the kind of Capitol politics Alario's Democrats had on offer, he simply
switched parties. After all, his sheepish defenders say, his voting record
looks pretty good for business and he can make the case that he was a
conservative Democrat all along.

Which is beside the point. This isn't so much a matter of ideology as it is
propriety. Changing parties in control in pursuit of a completely different
style of operation ought to mean changing personnel. If your football team
stinks running an option offense when Gerry DiNardo is the coach, going to a
spread passing attack with DiNardo still at the helm isn't going to make you
a champion.

This is a legislator who has his own lobbyist, for crying out loud. And the
stories about exactly how Alario's relationship with that lobbyist are
legion - the perfect example of which being the much-publicized River Birch
landfill case in Jefferson Parish, in which Alario and said lobbyist have
been involved for over 15 years.

It's possible that the latest round of River Birch investigations will miss
Alario. One would think making him the Senate President wouldn't be possible
unless he's absolutely clean in that case. Nobody I talk to thinks he is,
which means that the possibility exists that RINO's and Democrats might
collude - shamefully enough with the acquiescence of Jindal, or so I'm told
- to make Alario the Senate President just in time for him to run afoul of
the U.S. Attorney in a highly-publicized case. And at that point the
Democrats who established the slimeball politics which normalized a River
Birch in Louisiana in the first place would get to score political points
over the downfall of one of their most notorious products.

And if that isn't a political "own goal" waiting to happen I don't know what

After this fall's elections there will be a legitimate conservative majority
in the Louisiana Senate. Shouldn't that majority be reflected in the
leadership of that body?

Apparently it won't. Not unless the voters who got rid of the Democrats also
insist that having done so actually means something.

This is where our readers come in.

There are Republican candidates contesting 31 Senate districts, 30 if you
don't count Alario. At this point it's almost inconceivable that the GOP
would have less than 24 seats in hand after Election Day on Oct. 22. There
is a decent chance of getting 26 seats.

In other words, there are enough likely Republican state senators to block
Alario from getting 20 votes for Senate President - but it's going to
require a great deal of pressure to make them realize they can't allow it to

Public outrage killed the legislative pay raise in 2008. We need something
at least as hot to kill this.

Below are the 30 Senate districts where Republican candidates are running,
complete with contact numbers for those senators and candidates who are
registered as Republicans. You'd be doing Louisiana a favor by contacting
those senators and candidates and making it very clear that supporting
Alario is not acceptable. And in the case where the election is still
undecided, you'd be doing Louisiana a favor by making it clear that
prospective support for Alario would be a factor making a candidate toxic on
Oct. 22.

We need public pledges from electable candidates in 20 of these districts
not to vote for Alario. We get that, and he's done.

Who are the alternatives? That's not clear. Neil Riser's name has surfaced.
So has Mike Walsworth, Danny Martiny and Jack Donahue. Frankly, I don't care
who outside of Alario would get the job. None of the four abovementioned
possibilities are Democrat turncoats who contributed to the climate of
corruption perpetuated by Alario's buddy Edwin Edwards, who he's still cozy
with. This isn't about fronting for any particular candidate; once Alario is
removed from the mix let the best guy win.

Please call one or more of the folks listed below and let them know they've
got to take a stand against a way of doing business which should have gone
out with the old Democrat majority. They've got to take a stand against
Alario, and they need to know it.

1st District - A.G. Crowe is the incumbent and likely retainer of the seat.
A. G. Crowe: 985-788-7551
"Nita" Rusich Hutter: 504-920-9020

2nd District - Republicans are longshots in this one.
Alfred "Al" Carter: 985-870-5548
Zaine "The Queen" Kasem: 225-747-6288

6th District - an open seat that will be Republican.
"Mike" Mannino: 225-261-8346
Mack "Bodi" White Jr.: 225-261-3903

8th District - Alario's seat.
John A. Alario Jr.: 504-347-3556
You won't likely get anywhere calling Alario and telling him not to run, and
he's unopposed, but this entry wouldn't be complete without including
contact information for him.

9th District - uncontested GOP seat.
Conrad Appel: 504-887-6026

10th District - uncontested GOP seat.
Daniel R. "Danny" Martiny: 504-464-9045

11th District - Jack Donahue is the incumbent.
"Jack" Donahue Jr.: 985-727-7949
Gary J. Leonard: 985-845-3766

12th District - Democrat Ben Nevers is the incumbent.
"Beth" Mizell: 985-839-3508

13th District - Dale Erdey is the incumbent.
Derek Babcock: 225-505-9505
Dale Erdey: 225-686-7405

14th District - Democrat Yvonne Dorsey is the incumbent.
Christopher Toombs: 225-590-1225

16th District - uncontested GOP seat.
"Dan" Claitor: 225-757-0159

18th District - uncontested GOP seat.
"Jody" Amedee: 225-647-1300

19th District - outgoing Senate President Joel Chaisson's seat and a crucial
pickup if Alario is to be prevented from getting the Senate presidency.
Garrett C. Monti: 985-240-4114

20th District - uncontested GOP seat.
"Norby" Chabert: 985-232-9882

21st District - open seat sure to go Republican (no Dems are running).
R. L. "Bret" Allain II: 337-828-9107
Darrin Guidry: 985-872-6658

22nd District - uncontested GOP seat.
Fred "T-Fred" Mills Jr.: 337-332-3475

23rd District - open seat that went uncontested to the GOP.
Patrick "Page" Cortez: 337-993-0603

25th District - uncontested GOP seat.
Dan "Blade" Morrish: 337-477-7754

26th District - uncontested GOP seat.
Jonathan Perry: 337-643-2057

27th District - open seat that went uncontested to the GOP.
"Ronnie" Johns: 337-625-4431

28th District - Democrat Eric Lafleur is the incumbent.
Paul "Doc" Miller: 337-331-2550

29th District - open seat; Democrat Rick Gallot is the favorite and
inexplicably was endorsed by Jindal.
Tony "Bo" Vets: 318-419-2235

30th District - John Smith, a Democrat party-switcher, is the incumbent.
James David Cain: 337-328-7266
John Smith: 337-397-7222

31st District - uncontested GOP seat.
Gerald Long: 318-354-2879

32nd District - uncontested GOP seat.
Neil Riser: 318-649-0977

33rd District - uncontested GOP seat.
Michael A. "Mike" Walsworth: 318-614-0336

35th District - Bob Kostelka is the incumbent.
Harris Brown: 318-388-2500
"Jeff" Guerriero: 318-325-4306
Robert W. "Bob" Kostelka: 318-323-7591

36th District - uncontested GOP seat.
Robert Adley: 318-965-9513

37th District - open seat likely to remain Republican.
Barrow Peacock: 318-518-0812
Jane Smith: 318-560-3748

38th District - Sherri Cheek is the incumbent.
Sherri Smith Cheek: 318-687-4820
Troy Terrell: 318-773-1111

39th District - Democrat Lydia Jackson is the incumbent.
"Jim" Slagle: 318-375-3536

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