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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DEC 8 - Maybe that wasn't such a good idea, after all. This post on the Louisiana Oil & Gas Association's site says we're looking at oil prices that are tanking because there's so much oil coming out of the Gulf. Some are even predicting a glut. What's likely to be the result? Lower gas prices, higher refinery profits, and more pressure on the feds to loosen export restrictions.
DEC 8 Here's the latest from blogger Robert Mann, and it's on one of his favorite topics: Bobby Jindal. He's taking a look at Jindal's record and his current maneuvering, which of course is a ploy to position him for a run for the White House. "America Next," Jindal's current big idea, is just as vague about what it is proposing as Jindal usually is, Mann says. And it won't protect him from his "unimaginative record," as Mann describes it.
DEC 8 - Don't know what that is? Then run on over to LaPolitics and read this post by Jeremy Alford, which serves as a history lesson about the famed tonic and it's purveyor, Dudley LeBlanc. It's really a fascinating story and Alford's description of Dudley as an "icon of Louisiana politics and culture" is not an exaggeration.
DEC 8 In this editorial, the Picayune again urges Gov. Jindal to take the Medicaid money. But the piece's exhortation that Jindal "be sensible" is a little misplaced, isn't it? Because Jindal's not being stupid -- well, maybe he is -- but he's following orders from people he believes can get him into the White House. This editorial is engaging in the argument that Jindal is publicly making, without acknowledging what his true motivations are. Somebody send these guys a clue.
DEC 8 Columnist Mark Ballard is writing about the impact of Vance McAllister's defeat of Neil Riser in this post. He starts out talking about how McAllister's more reasonable approach was more attractive to voters than was Riser's hard-line (tea-party-ish) rants. Dan Claitor, a state lege from BR who is expected to run for Congress soon, expressed it best when he said voters aren't looking for candidates who are "throwing temper tantrums when they can't get their way."
DEC 8 It's always gratifying when a Louisiana son makes international headlines. And our son, David "former KKK grand poobah" Duke is back in the news, making us all proud. This (UK) Telegraph story, unearthed by the Dead Pelican, tells us that Duke has been expelled from Italy but is trying to return. The Italians say he is trying to "establish a pan-European, extremist neo-Nazi group in northern Italy." Huh. You don't say.
DEC 9 This is a kind of puzzling post from columnist Jim Beam, in which he discusses a recent appearance by former Gov. Edwin Edwards in Lake Charles. He said he's surprised by EWE's "grasp of current events." Did Jim never meet Slick Eddie? He's no dummy, and for Beam to assume he is -- well, given he covered the man for 50 years, that's the surprise.
DEC 9 A "suspicious package" shut down part of Zachary Sunday, WAFB tells us in this post. The package, which eventually was "rendered safe" (bomb squad lingo for blown up) was found in a storage unit that someone quit paying on. Other cop gear was found in the unit, so it is possible the thing was a training tool, police say. But they leave out the best part: who bought it? Barry, Jarrod or Darrell?
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