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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SEP 18 Here's a story in the New York Times about a New Iberia man who is trying to save his own little corner of Louisiana. A lot of people spend their spare time clearing their land, but Matt Conn works to restore the natural state of his property. It's a fascinating story.
SEP 18 Here's an amazingly personal piece from Naomi Klein, posted on the Guardian. It is long, and intense, a personal telling of her own process of covering, denying and realizing climate change. She addresses the issue of big business pretending to address the issue, the concealment of climate damage for corporate gain, and how her coverage of the BP spill led, she believes, to a miscarriage.
SEP 18 Sure, Louisiana Congressional candidate Lenar Whitney made the first page of Politifact's "Pants on Fire" statements section, and of course that's always entertaining. But really you need to go check out the Pulitzer Prize winning fact-checking website, which is run by former Lafayette journalist Angie Drobnic Holan, because it has a great new design.
SEP 18 The math might be simple to most - leave a lone Republican in the race against Mary Landrieu for a better shot at winning in the primary - but to Rob Maness (the "other" Republican) it's not that simple. This story on the E&E Publishing site features some of his more interesting viewpoints on energy, politics and the EPA.
SEP 18 This post on Howard Fineman's Political Read blog takes a look at the fine line that Bobby Jindal will have to walk if he wants to be the guy who can unite the creationists who don't believe in evolution with the Christians and others who do. On paper, Jindal could be the guy to do it, Fineman says, but politically, he'll have to start with the far right if he wants to get anywhere in the GOP.
SEP 18 Inspection stickers. They're a pain but you have to have them. Now there's a problem with the recent ones, WVUE reports here: they're peeling off. Last year, word from the state was we would be getting better glue, but apparently that didn't happen.
SEP 18 This week, four Louisiana College board members resigned in protest after Tommy French was re-elected chairman. This post on the Associated Baptist Press website reports that, just a couple weeks ago, French was handing controversial former LC leader Joe Aguillard a medal and the title of President Emeritus.
SEP 18 Bobby Jindal is spending a lot of time on the road helping candidates get elected - but none of them are in Louisiana, columnist Stephanie Grace writes in this post. None of Jindal's buddies are running (Cassidy dumped Teepell early on in favor of a Vitter acolyte) and maybe Jindal really does read polls and knows that his support is the kiss of death here.
SEP 17 If the "when white people fight" video was the war side, blogger Mighty Favog has found the love side. Here's a video of two (let us hope they aren't sober) inebriated white people who got so carried away in their demonstration of, er, affection that they fell. In Tiger Stadium. During the game. The best part is the reaction (or lack thereof) among their fellow fans. (Hey, there's a game going on!)
SEP 17 The controversy continues at Louisiana College, as some seem loathe to release their grip on the status quo. After the school's accrediting agency suspended the school's ranking and criticized its pattern of dishonesty, four board members had wanted a change in the chairman's position. When that didn't happen, they resigned in protest, the Alexandria Town Talk reports here.
SEP 17 Blogger Lamar White Jr. takes a look at Louisiana's Tea Party, and the decision to classify it as an LLC instead of a political party. He also throws in some illuminating facts about the so-called IRS "witch hunt" against Tea Party groups -- which, it turns out, was nothing of the kind.
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