State Rep. Fred Mills, R-Parks, a GOP newbie who switched parties a few weeks ago and most recently announced his intention to seek the state Senate District 22 seat vacated by Troy Hebert, is being labeled a RINO — Republican In Name Only — by a conservative blogger. Suspicion of Mills’ motive in switching parties was already foreshadowed in the comment section at theind.com, and it’s a sentiment that could gain traction in what will be a short campaign. (The election will be held Jan. 22; other candidates to qualify are Republican Simone Champagne of Jeanerette; David Groner and Ruben LeBlanc, both of New Iberia and neither with party affililation; and Republicans Arnold Schwing of New Iberia and Ken Squires of Jeanerette.)
Seen in some circles as mere political expediency — Democrats just can’t catch a break in Louisiana’s current political climate — Mills’ party switch is increasingly becoming a topic in the blogosphere, most recently in a post titled “The Fred Mills File” at a site called Cajun Conservatism; the post was picked up by the right-leaning aggregator website The Dead Pelican.
Cajun Conservatism highlights political contributions by Mills ranging from $50 to $500 in 2008 and 2009 to Democratic politicians, Cedric Richmond and Don Cravins Jr. among them, as well as to the House Democratic Campaign Committee. The site also points to votes by Mills it considers antithetical to conservative principles, including voting against a bill that would require welfare recipients to be drug tested and a bill that would use public dollars for private school tuition vouchers.
The post further opines, “Fred Mills’ recent switch to the Republican Party prior to his qualifying for the special election for the District 22 Senate seat should leave one to question his true conservative principles. A cursory look at both his past political contributions and voting records show someone who is far from being within the mainstream Republican Party. Do we need another RINO to represent the people of District 22 in Baton Rouge?”
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OCT 30 If you're a Louisiana native of (ahem) a certain age, you might have fond (or fuzzy, as the case may be) memories of a Zebra concert and singing "Who's Behind the Door" until your ears rang. This post on NOLA Defender profiles the leader of that band, Randy Jackson.
OCT 30 The National Journal offers this analysis of Bobby Jindal's willingness to stump in any Senate campaign that's not in Louisiana. Why is that? The Journal asks some GOPers and finds that the answer is one we already know: he's so unpopular here, because he's been so busy running for President, that his support might be "toxic."
OCT 30 If you're not obsessed with the Texas governor's race - what's wrong with you? Here's another installment, from our own IND contributor Lamar White Jr., who explains why Wendy's "infamous" wheelchair ad was a shock to the national media - but not to anyone familiar with Greg Abbott's record.
OCT 30 Blogger Tom Aswell is still all over the OGB mess - and all by himself, apparently. In this post, he's revealing orders from the Jindal administration to destroy records from the state employee health insurance plan. Those orders (he's heard) have angered the Secretary of State and caused an administration lawyer to quit her job. Wow!
OCT 30 Blogger Crazy Crawfish is taking aim at state Superintendent John White again, this time for comments White made recently, claiming that there is no real opposition to Common Core in Louisiana. Crawfish is documenting proof to the contrary here, and lays down the gauntlet to "mainstream news media." (Don't hold your breath on that one, buddy.)
OCT 30 Gambit covers Advocate publisher John Georges' recent visit to Loyola in this post. Georges touches on how things are going in this new gig, what he thinks about the Pic's decision to move printing to Alabama, and how he feels about his political campaigns.
OCT 30 A NOLA lady has alleged she was drugged and raped at a Bywater club that had a clothing-optional policy until recently, and she's now become the victim of a smear campaign, columnist Jarvis DeBerry writes in this post. She chose to reveal her story and her name, and she's being punished for that now, he says.
OCT 30 BESE member Lottie Beebe pens this letter to the editor of the Advocate about the state Department of Education. The DOE isn't exempt from the state public records law, and because of recent lawsuits she tried to require regular reports about how many requests had been made to the department and how many remained unanswered. She wasn't successful.
OCT 29 Manny Schewitz blogs on Forward Progressives about recent Facebook posts from David Vitter, including one that purports to take you to a petition to stop Ebola (say what?) but actually signs you up for his newsletter or campaign email list or some such nonsense. Dave must think we're dummies, Manny says -- and Dave's probably right.
OCT 29 Usually, the copy on Red Shtick is satire. But in this post "from the publisher," we get a pretty astute political analysis of Edwin Edwards' charisma and old-school populist swagger. Edwards isn't concealing billionaire backers, or trying to make his opponent out to be "Satan," the post says. He's just running. Huh; imagine that.
OCT 29 Salon's Elias Isquith writes this fairly hilarious commentary on a National Review post about Bobby Jindal's attempts to "beef up" in preparation for a presidential run. But it's not just funny; Isquith seems to have Bobby's number, commenting on how the Gov "and his team are hopelessly ensconced in the Tea Party bubble."
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