Sound Off Louisiana issues full set of endorsements for state-wide and legislative races.

U. S. Congressman Ralph Abraham, who is the top-of-ticket endorsement of Sound Off Louisiana for the 2019 election cycle.

 

Statewide Race Endorsements:

 

After careful review, Sound Off Louisiana makes the following endorsements (highlighted in red), which are also easily viewable by clicking here.  Note:  If you do not know your House or Senate District, CLICK HERE.

 

Governor:

Ralph Abraham (REP)
Oscar “Omar” Dantzler (DEM)
John Bel Edwards (DEM)
Gary Landrieu (IND)
Patrick “Live Wire” Landry (REP)
“Eddie” Rispone (REP)

 

The negative attack ads by Rispone against Abraham (after committing on numerous occasions not to engage in such activity) have rendered Rispone unelectable in a runoff against Edwards in our opinion.  While we would certainly support Rispone in a runoff, the same cannot be said by many North Louisiana Republicans who have a strong affinity for Abraham and who are justifiably deeply offended by #1) the attack ads themselves, and #2) the despicable action of duplicating Gumbo PAC ads entailing charitable contributions on the part of Congressman Abraham.  We submit that, when a well-respected, conservative Republican Resentative like Alan Seabaugh (R-Shreveport) flips from Rispone to Abraham as a direct result of the ads, and popular conservative talk show host Moon Griffon, who had been neutral, spends 23 minutes lambasting Rispone over the move, our notion is reinforced.  Essentially, we believe Rispone has placed us all in an “Abraham or bust” position.

 

Lieutenant Governor:

Willie Jones (DEM)
William “Billy” Nungesser (REP)

 

Nunguesser cautions against overconfidence, but he should win this one by a pretty large margin.

 

Secretary of State:

Kyle Ardoin (REP)
“Gwen” Collins-Greenup (DEM)
Thomas J. Kennedy III (REP)
Amanda “Jennings” Smith (REP)

 

The power of incumbency and experience should cause Ardoin to cruise in this one.

 

Attorney General:

“Ike” Jackson, Jr. (DEM)
“Jeff” Landry (REP)

 

While we would have preferred Landry pursue additional corruption (some of which we submitted to his office), he certainly battled Edwards’ attempts to cram convicted felon Larry Bankston down voters’ throats, and he consistently challenged Edwards’ executive orders in court and prevailed.

 

Treasurer:

Derrick Edwards (DEM)
Teresa Kenny (NOPTY)
John M. Schroder (REP)

Schroder has been instrumental in efforts to reform the capital outlay budgeting process, which he has never been bashful about referencing as “corrupt and constituting blackmail.”

Commissioner of Agriculture:

Marguerite Green (DEM)
“Charlie” Greer (DEM)
Michael G. “Mike” Strain (REP)
Peter Williams (DEM)
Bradley Zaunbrecher (REP)

 

Yes, Greer is a Democrat.  He has also effectively made the case on Moon Griffon’s show that Strain has been nonresponsive to farmers who have repeatedly sought his office’s assistance.  While Strain may have no time for farmers, he clearly has plenty of time to cater to florists.  Strain heavily fought a bill to eliminate the need to have a license to be a florist.  For that reason, Strain is a non-starter for us!  It’s that simple!  Regarding Zaunbrecher, he readily admits that he has no intention of winning this race and is merely attempting to establish name recognition for a 2023 run.

 

Commissioner of Insurance:

James J. “Jim” Donelon (REP)
“Tim” Temple (REP)

Both candidates have severe drawbacks; however, for Temple to slam previous Commissioners while simultaneously utilizing one of them (Wooley) in his effort to win is absolutely beyond the pale.  It’s indicative of someone who wants to have his cake and eat it too, and that tilted the scale for us in endorsing Donelon.

 

Constitutional Amendments:

ONE:

Do you support an amendment to exempt raw materials, goods, commodities, personal property, and other articles stored in public and private warehouses and destined for the Outer Continental Shelf from ad valorem taxes? (December 1, 2019) (Amends Article VII, Section 21(D)(2) and (3))

 

YES.  This was an overreach by coastal parishes’ assessors that is almost certain to be challenged as a violation of the U. S. Constitution.  In our opinion, the plaintiffs will prevail in that litigation, and we taxpayers will once again be stuck with massive legal fees defending litigation which could have been avoided by voters pre-empting a court battle and exempting the items from this overly-aggressive action by coastal parish assessors.

 

TWO:

 

Do you support an amendment to provide for appropriations from the Education Excellence Fund for the Louisiana Educational Television Authority, Thrive Academy, and laboratory schools operated by public postsecondary education institutions? (Amends Article VII, Section 10.8(C)(3)(b), (c), and (g); Repeals Article VII, Section 10.8(C)(3)(d))

NO. While the legislation is purported to “correct an oversight” entailing three (3) schools (Thrive, University Lab, and Southern University Lab) and only entails $75,000/year each plus the average per pupil amount the fund pays to other public schools, these schools already have substantial MFP funding and tuition which are already aided by Louisiana State taxpayer subsidies.

 

THREE:

 

Do you support an amendment to protect taxpayers by requiring a complete remedy in law for the prompt recovery of any unconstitutional tax paid and to allow the jurisdiction of the Board of Tax Appeals to extend to matters related to the constitutionality of taxes? (Adds Article V, Section 35)

 

Not just NO, but HELL NO!  Given the rampant corruption we have seen by various boards and commissions with members appointed by the Governor, the last thing we want is yet another body of political hacks deciding the constitutionality of taxes!  We think it’s better to challenge the taxes in court and hope for an informed judge to make the ruling (which can then be appealed).  In all likelihood, taxpayers unhappy with a ruling would be challenged in the courts anyway.  This measure would thus merely add yet another layer of legal expenses incurred.  Even if the plaintiff is happy with the ruling of the Board, that happiness may likely result from connections rather than a proper interpretation of Louisiana’s Constitution.  We’ve seen way, way too much cronyism on appointed boards and commissions in Louisiana to go along with this amendment!

 

FOUR:

 

Do you support an amendment to allow the City of New Orleans to exempt property within Orleans Parish from all or part of ad valorem taxes that would otherwise be due for the purpose of promoting affordable housing? (Adds Article VII, Section 21(O))

NO. There are already too many subsidies both on the Federal and State level for “affordable housing,” and this proposal has waste and abuse stamped directly on its forehead!

 

HOUSE Endorsements:

 

DISTRICT 5 (Shreveport area):

Brian A. Salvatore (DEM)
Alan Seabaugh (REP)

 

See our commentary regarding Seabaugh’s quest to be the next Speaker of the House.

 

DISTRICT 39 (Carencro area):

Paul “Polo” Carter (DEM)
Julie Emerson (REP)

 

Emerson is a true champion for occupational licensing reform and voted “no” on every single occasion entailing the sales tax renewal of 2018!

 

DISTRICT 46 (St. Martinville area):

Keith Baudin (REP)
Virginia “Ginger” Benoit (REP)
Michael “Mike Pete” Huval (REP)

Baudin is about the only candidate (Bob Bell for Senate District 16 being the other — see below) willing to publicly state on camera that he will NOT vote for ANY tax increase.  As evidenced by the prior link, Huval has voted for many and has a disastrous voting record when it comes to occupational licensing reform.

 

DISTRICT 48 (New Iberia area):

“Beau” Beaullieu (REP)
Dana Dugas (REP)
Ricky Gonsoulin (REP)
David Levy (DEM)

 

Gonsolin has been one of the most effective interviewees we’ve listened to on the Moon Griffon show in a LONG time.  He demonstrates a genuine grasp of Louisiana’s dire need of tort reform and other important measures vital toward improving Louisiana’s languishing economy.

 

DISTRICT 51 (Houma area):

Beryl Amedee (REP)
Clayton Voisin (REP)

Amedee consistently voted against the sales tax renewals every single time in 2018.

 

DISTRICT 66 (Baton Rouge area):

“Rick” Edmonds (REP)
Morgan Lamandre (DEM)
David Smith (LBT)

 

Edmonds, along with Seabaugh and Miguez (unopposed), can be counted upon to always consistently oppose tax increases!

 

DISTRICT 71 (Denham Springs / Livingston area):

Lori Callais (DEM)
Jonathan Davis (REP)
Ivy Graham (REP)
“Buddy” Mincey, Jr. (REP)
Robert Poole (REP)

 

Davis is a young, energetic, conservative Republican whom we believe will represent his district well in the House.

 

DISTRICT 77 (Mandeville area):

Beverly Johnson (DEM)
Mark Wright (REP)

 

Wright voted “no” every single time entailing the 2018 sales tax renewals.

 

DISTRICT 95 (Albany/Springfield area):

Sherman Mack (REP)
Robin Parrott (DEM)

Mack also voted “no” every single time entailing the 2018 sales tax renewals.  While we support his re-election, we staunchly oppose his efforts to be the next Speaker of the House.

 

SENATE Endorsements:

 

DISTRICT 9 (Metairie area):

J. Cameron Henry, Jr. (REP)
Jon “Frankie” Hyers (REP)

Henry voted “no” every single time on the 2018 sales tax renewals.  He’ll be replacing conservative Senator Conrad Appel.

 

DISTRICT 10 (Kenner area):

Arita M. Lipps Bohannan (REP)
“Kirk” Talbot (REP)

 

Talbot strongly supports tort reform, and this election is key in making such reform a reality.  Talbot will be a sea change vs. the present senator to occupy that seat, Dan Martiny.

 

DISTRICT 11 (Mandeville area):

Daniel Ducote (REP)
Reid Falconer (REP)
Patrick McMath (REP)

 

Falconer consistently voted against the 2018 sales tax renewals and will be a strong conservative voice in the Louisiana Senate.

 

DISTRICT 12 (Franklington area):

Darrell Fairburn (DEM)
“Beth” Mizell (REP)

 

Mizell has been a rock-solid conservative voice in the Senate.  She should have no trouble whatsoever in her re-election efforts.

 

DISTRICT 13 (Livingston area):

Edith Carlin (REP)
Deven W. Cavalier (REP)
J. Rogers Pope (REP)

Critical race that Carlin needs to prevail in if the seat is to be solidly conservative!

 

DISTRICT 16 (Baton Rouge area):

Everett Baudean (LBT)
“Bob” Bell (REP)
Beverly Brooks Thompson (DEM)
“Steve” Carter (REP)
Franklin Foil (REP)

The fact that Bell is a huge underdog matters not to us.  He has been willing to commit on camera that he will not support any tax increase!  If the runoff ends up being Carter and Foil, we will make no endorsement thereof as both have hugely disappointing voting records from our perspective!

DISTRICT 20 (Houma area):

Brenda Leroux Babin (DEM)
Damon J. Baldone (REP)
Michael “Big Mike” Fesi (REP)
Jerry “Truck” Gisclair (DEM)
Shane Swan (REP)

Fesi is a major employer in the oil and gas service field and has created many jobs.  He’ll be a valuable member of the Senate if he prevails.

DISTRICT 25 (Jennings area):

Mark Abraham (REP)
Kevin M. Berken (REP)
John E. “Johnny” Guinn (REP)

 

This is the easiest race of all to analyze!  Berken has repeatedly stressed on Moon Griffon’s show his desire for tort reform and other business-friendly initiatives and his opposition to tax increases.  In sharp contrast, Mark “Mo taxes” Abraham has consistently voted for more taxes than we can count.  Guinn voted for so many taxes that he was inducted into American’s For Prosperity’s “Taker’s Dozen.”  As we have emphasized, he is also strongly supportive of the illegal practice of shill bidding to take from the bidding public at auctions.  Also, Guinn has quite the reputation at the State Capitol, and suffice to say it’s not a flattering one.  Is it any wonder that, in 12 years as a House member (thank God he’s term-limited out), no Speaker ever felt comfortable awarding him a committee chairmanship?

 

DISTRICT 28 (Ville Platte area):

Heather Cloud (REP)
Robert Johnson (DEM)
H. Bernard LeBas (DEM)

Attorney General Jeff Landry has called this “the most important Legislative race in this election cycle,” and we concur.  Both Johnson and LeBas would not even remotely be reflective of a fiscal conservative’s interests, and they both have voting records to demonstrate their love affair with taxation of the people they represent.

 

DISTRICT 36 (Bossier City area):

Ryan Gatti (REP)
Robert Mills (REP)
Mattie Preston (DEM)

 

Gatti may as well be John Bel Edwards’ clone and, God knows, it’s bad enough having to deal with one John Bel Edwards!  Having a second one serving in the State Senate masquerading around as a Republican is frustrating beyond words!  Mills, meanwhile, represents a fiscal conservative’s dream and has the backing of a heavy slate of powerful Republican lawmakers.

DISTRICT 38 (Shreveport area):

Katrina D. Early (DEM)
John Milkovich (DEM)
Barry Milligan (REP)

While Sen. Milkovich has been a champion of reforming occupational licensing in Louisiana, he has also blocked tort reform.  Further, he’s gotten a reputation for being hostile and combative to his colleagues oftentimes  alienating those sympathetic to his cause.  He is obviously banking on the “heartbeat bill” to get him over the bar, but Milligan would be far more inclined to get us to the promised land entailing tort reform.

 

Well, those are our recommendations, folks!  Please don’t fail to go vote on Saturday, October 12, 2019!

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