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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AUG 22 Blogger Robert Mann is writing about the so-called Edmonson Amendment in this post, and he's not a fan. If Bobby Jindal really does support a "gold standard" of ethics he would have done something - or even said something - and yet he has not, Mann says.
AUG 22 Crazy Crawfish is blogging about the (interesting) incident of the state Education Department's website being out of commission earlier this week. It was reported (with heavy implications) in two local media outlets, and Crawfish feels the stories would have been better had the reporters done a little investigation instead of just printing what they were told.
AUG 22 Blogger Tom Aswell has some advice for state troopers who plan on making any public comments or challenges to the Jindal administration: don't do it. He's telling the story of one trooper who dared to challenge Commander Mike Edmonson's buddy and paid the price for it.
AUG 22 Columnist Clancy DuBos is writing about the upcoming elections in this post on Gambit. The field for local and federal offices has its share of old guys, he tells us, although mostly he's talking about Edwin Edwards.
AUG 22 Columnist Jim Beam is talking about the Office of Group Benefits in this post; that's the office that handles the money collected from state employees to pay their benefits. The OGB reserve fund has been reduced by half in the last year, and the Jindal administration keeps saying that's a good thing - but that's like telling a kid that castor oil is good, Beam says.
AUG 22 Columnist James Gill is writing about dueling efforts over the killing of animals; on one side is a lady trying to avoid the euthanizing of stray cats and on the other is a camp of folk who feel that there are enough black bears in Louisiana for us to start killing them for fun.
AUG 22 One could assume that nobody (teachers included) likes it when politicians tell them how to do their job. So what do teachers think about Common Core? Blogger Michael Deshotels is examining some responses from teachers who were asked. (Spoiler alert: none of these comments will be used in a Common Core marketing campaign.)
AUG 22 This post on The Hill is commenting upon the latest round of "that candidate is the worst person in the world" ads that are running in Louisiana's Senate race. This round takes aim at Bill Cassidy, the physician/Congressman who is challenging Mary Landrieu, and lists all the votes he has cast that hurt veterans.
AUG 21 Tom Aswell is telling us about another "efficiency" contract the state has signed. This one is paying a consultant (i.e. someone with a briefcase from out of town) $140 an hour, plus tens of thousands in air fare. The agency on the receiving end of this tender care? The DMV. Well -- that's working great, then.
AUG 21 Columnist Stephanie Riegel is writing about the scandal that has rocked the LSU Alumni Association (to wit, the executive director's "girlfriend" also was his employee; when they "broke up" he started paying her, with alumni money, to keep her mouth shut). In particular, she's looking for some lessons to learn from the mishigas.
AUG 21 This post on The Lens brings us up to date on the ongoing process of populating the levee board that will decide if the so-called Big Oil lawsuit will move forward. Gov. Jindal has done his best to put the kibosh on the suit by removing pro-suit members, but the process of replacing them is not simple, Bob Marshall tells us.
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