November 16, 2011

C'est Bon
Give ’em hell, Buddy. Former Louisiana congressman and Gov. Buddy Roemer is doing nothing to attune his anti-corporate-money campaign message to the GOP squawk box. Quite the opposite. Left out of every Republican presidential debate thus far and recently blocked from primary ballots in Florida and South Carolina, Roemer is reportedly mulling an independent path to the White House. He has steadfastly refused campaign contributions over $100 and won’t take moolah from political action committees. He is, in effect, putting his mouth where his money isn’t. And he’s recently embraced the ultimate anti-orthodoxy by aligning himself with Occupy Wall Street, which, despite its sometimes muddled message, is prima facie about the corrupting influence of corporate greed — the life blood of the two major parties — on American civilization. Buddy Roemer has zero chance of being elected president in 2012, but his message deserves to be heard.

Pas Bon
District 44 state House candidate Vince Pierre refused to answer a pair of questions at a debate Monday on the UL campus, not because they were “gotcha” questions but rather because they were posed by a representative of this newspaper. Pierre thinks we’ve been unfair in our reporting by examining his relationship with former Councilman Chris Williams. Earlier on Monday, the Pierre campaign had threatened to boycott the debate with incumbent Rep. Rickey Hardy because of  The Ind’s presence on the panel of journalists grilling the candidates. The “compromise” brokered by journalism professor Robert Buckman, who organized the debate, was that Pierre simply would not answer our questions. UL student and Independent intern Emily Henagan asked the candidates for their views on charity hospital funding and privatizing education — not exactly zingers. Pierre declined to answer, leaving voters to guess his views on these topics. Buckman has done a commendable job of organizing the series of debates on the UL campus ahead of the primary and leading into Saturday’s runoff. We applaud his refusal to give in to the Pierre camp’s unreasonable demand in favor of a free press.

Speaking of squawk boxes: Did you hear the one about Obama wanting to tax Christmas trees? Oh, this damnable War on Christmas! Not. It’s true the National Christmas Tree Association wants to impose on its member sellers a 15-cent per tree fee to help fund a “Got Milk”-style campaign promoting live Christmas trees. And it’s true the NCTA asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture to set up the program. But that’s about as far as it goes. Unless you’re a peddler of Faux News talking points like U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise. Seizing the opportunity to sound like a Liberty Bell — as in cracked and of little practical use — the indignant Louisiana congressman told a New Orleans TV station, “This new tax is a smack in the face to each and every American who celebrates Christmas, and may be the best example to date of President Obama’s obsession with taxing and regulating hard-working American families.” Um, OK.

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