Former lieutenant governor candidate Caroline Fayard loves you, and she’s willing to give you a sticker stating as much.
Under near relentless attack from the Louisiana Republican Party over comments she made at a Washington Parish Democratic Party banquet in Bogalusa recently, Fayard is offering “Caroline Fayard Loves Me” bumper stickers for free.
At that banquet in late March, Fayard told the crowd, among other things, “I hate Republicans. I hate Republicans. They are cruel and destructive. They eat their young. They don’t think. They don’t allow people to think. They are bullies.” She was evidently unaware that a reporter from Bogalusa’s Daily News was there. The state GOP seized on the comments and began distributing “Caroline Fayard Hates Me” bumper stickers. Fayard has since insisted her comments were taken out of context and were not part of her prepared remarks.
As a first-time candidate for statewide — and any other — office last fall, Fayard ran a surprisingly close race against eventual lieutenant governor winner and then Secretary of State Jay Dardenne.
In an email appeal last week to supports titled “I am a daughter of Louisiana and it is here I take my stand,” Fayard fired back at Republicans:
In recent weeks, a small group of Republican insiders in Baton Rouge have been wildly distorting comments I made about some Republican policies and campaign tactics. Why would these insiders breathlessly attack a private citizen who is not currently running for office?
Well, last year our campaign for Lieutenant Governor surprised a lot of people with our strong showing. These attacks are especially odd since I’ve been approached by a wide range of Republicans in recent weeks about switching parties. Then, Republican Party insiders demanded I reveal my future plans for public office. When it became clear I would not switch or meet their demands, the attacks began.
I guess they figure if they could not switch me or bully me they would try to smear me.
Unfortunately for my attackers, their bullying has not had the desired effect. The attacks have only served to give me clarity about my future, and the future I see for Louisiana. They have wrongly claimed that I said that I hate all Republicans. That’s not true. I don’t hate anybody. I love America. I love Louisiana, and I love Louisianans. I love going fishing with my little brother on the Tickfaw River, to church on Sundays, and to a Saturday night in Tiger Stadium.
I love the rhythm of Louisiana. I embrace life here. We work hard, and we play hard. We love our families, cherish our faith, and celebrate each other.
My party affiliation is only one part of who I am. And, while I’m proud to be a lifelong Democrat, my grandfather was a Republican, a veteran, and small business owner from Livingston Parish where I grew up. One of my earliest childhood memories is writing President Reagan a letter, and the President sending me back a signed photo in return.
What I said in my comments about certain Republicans related to the self-serving policies promoted by a handful of Baton Rouge insiders and the way they strong-arm those who oppose them. In an attempt to speak candidly, I chose my words carelessly. The sentiment behind my words, however, remains. Their actions have hurt us and our future, and they are dead wrong. I don’t back off that belief one inch.
I was also making a point about the scorched earth tactics of a few of these same people. They responded to my criticism of deceptive attack dog politics with more deceptive attack dog politics.
They made my point.
When I sought office before -- and if I seek it again -- I will do so not running for or against any party. I will run to make a difference for the people of Louisiana.
It is time to put an end to the politicians that put special interests and the powerful in the driver’s seat and put Louisianans in the rearview mirror.
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JUL 23 This post on Mashable says Louisiana is poised to be the next (and better) Hollywood. Sure, blogger Travis Andrews is talking Louisiana in general, but the focus really is on New Orleans. And that's fine, because if NOLA and Hollywood get into a ambiance/food/style/crazy contest, we like NOLA's chances.
JUL 23 Here's New York Magazine's profile of Edwin Edwards, a well-written, thoughtful (and still unvarnished) look at Louisiana's most famous felon. There's a lot of history, but author Mark Jacobson doesn't get bogged down in pedantic rehashes here. It's a really good read.
JUL 23 Tom Aswell turns over his blog to Fred Aldrich for this post, in which Aldrich offers his critique of State Police Commander Mike Edmonson's recent radio appearance. During that visit, Edmonson commented upon the 11th-hour bill that added $30K to his annual retirement income. Spoiler alert: Aldrich was not impressed.
JUL 23 Blogger CB Forgotston has more on the Edmonson retirement issue in this post. This time, he's trying to ascertain exactly who offered the 11th-hour amendment that added $30K to the State Police chief's annual retirement check. Six legislators are claiming that a Senate staffer stuck it in, CB says.
JUL 23 Choice Foundation, which owns and operates charter schools, filed a lawsuit Tuesday accusing Bobby Jindal of overstepping his bounds in cancelling Common Core, the Washington Post reports here. The lawsuit (there's a link to it here) alleges that Jindal does not have the authority to remove the curriculum from Louisiana.
JUL 23 Here's an interesting perspective on the 2015 governor's race from Picayune reporter Julia O'Donoghue. She's looking at David Vitter, John Bel Edwards and Jay Dardenne. But instead of looking at their differences, she's examining their similarities.
JUL 23 Here are the first jewels unearthed from the Vault, a new database of public records that The Lens is making available. In this post, The Lens is taking a look at what municipal employees are paid over in NOLA. There's some pretty interesting stuff here.
JUL 23 Blogger Stephen Sabludowsky is attempting to clear away some of the smoke that Bobby Jindal's been blowing about our economy. The press releases and "presidential campaign claims" of Jindal notwithstanding, the outlook is not that rosy, Sabludowsky says. He's got some comment here from the head of GNO Inc. as well.
JUL 22 This is a fascinating piece in the Picayune about the murder of a doctor in her St. Charles Avenue home 50 years ago. It's fascinating because of the mysteries and myths that have swirled around the incident for those decades, and because of the possible connection to the assassination of John F. Kennedy. There are a lot of interesting names in here, including Ochsner and Marcello, and as usual the comments below the story are nearly as entertaining as the story itself.
JUL 22 The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is "a lock" to win the Sun Belt Conference in football, Fox Sports opines in this post. There's a rundown of the other teams in the conference, but ULL is predicted to win the conference, thanks in large part to an "explosive" offense. Is it football season yet?
JUL 22 Columnist Stephanie Grace says Gov. Bobby Jindal may be meeting with state education officials (hey - you mean HIS education officials, don't you, Steph?) but it is clear he's not looking for a solution in the Common Core fracas. Bobby wants an issue he can take on the road, and this one seems to be it, she says.
JUL 22 Here's a love letter from New York Daily News' Alex Palmer to Louisiana. In some ways it is the typical tourism article (with pronunciation guides and food definitions) but in another way it goes beyond that to list lesser-known spots to visit for food or tours.
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