LITTLE INTEREST IN COMING LOUISIANA ELECTION!
According to national political pundits, there is a
revolution going on all over America.
Voters are in a rebellion mode with little confidence in the political
leadership at both the national and state levels.
Being an incumbent politician is no longer a
badge of honor.
The career candidates
running for president seem dead in the water, with newcomers garnering well
over 50% of the national vote.
A poll released this week sponsored by the Washington Post
and ABC news finds that “72% of Americans believe that politicians cannot be
trusted and two thirds think the countries political system is dysfunctional. A
not insignificant share of folks openly embraced radicalism: 21% of those
polled would rather ‘tear down’ the political system and ‘start over’ than try
to fix it.”
With these feelings running
rampant with voters, it’s not surprising that outsiders who have never run for
office like Donald Trump and Dr. Ben Carson are surging ahead of incumbent
There are few states where voters are not rebelling against
the status quo.
“Throw the bums out” is
the battle cry.
“In the fall, fire ‘em
But what’s happening way down in
the deepest of the deep southern states?
Is there a political upheaval and open voter uprising taking place?
Have a wave of new candidates emerged to
bring down incumbency and shake up the political establishment?
The typical reaction
in the Bayou State, with a gubernatorial election just weeks away, might be
summed up with a “Yawn…who are the Saints and the Tigers playing this
As of right now, it’s like the
state is throwing an election party, with little interest and few who really
The qualifying period to run for office took place two weeks
ago. Half of the legislative seats were filled with no challengers.
Sixty-nine state legislators were returned to
In fact 43% of all
offices on the ballot were filled without opposition. So why all the apathy? Why
aren’t more Louisiana citizens interested in running for public office at a
time when support for those in office is so low? It’s a combination or reasons.
First, there is a pervasive feeling that nothing is really
going to change. Remember the 60s song by the Who titled “Won’t Get Fooled
The lyrics say: “Meet the new
boss, same as the old boss.”
voters, there is a pervasive feeling that it really doesn’t make any difference
who gets elected.
A big factor for a challenger is raising campaign
contributions. And as the old saying goes, money is the mother’s milk of
Incumbents begin raising money
for the next campaign right after they get elected.
New rules make it much easier for state and
national PACs to pour campaign dollars into the coffers of legislators.
Challengers campaign against the cesspool
politics at the state capitol. But once elected, the cesspool turns into a hot
tub of campaign dollars.
Elections have become so expensive, driven by the cost of
media, particularly TV commercials.
Until recently, even statewide candidates traveled the state to campaign,
and never missed a fair or festival.
politics” made it possible to run a campaign on a reasonable budget.
Legislative campaigns can often run $500,000 or more, an obscene amount
Many challengers have been
priced out of the political market.
The governor’s race often sets the tone for issues for many
But the four major
gubernatorial candidates have offered platitudes of generalities with few
specifics for major government reform and restructuring. They each have
rebuffed any comparison to the present highly unpopular governor, but offer few
alternatives. The state is in terrible fiscal shape, healthcare needs a massive
infusion of funds, and the state’s infrastructure has been crippled for lack of
Yet few details by any
candidate have been set out in a master plan for reform.
Two other reasons have caused voters to “tune out” in this
The failure of the
state Democratic Party to recruit new candidates and the fact that Louisiana
politics is not all that much fun any more.
We will explore these issues in a future column. As for now, don’t look
for much excitement between now and Election Day in October.
voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal."
Brown’s syndicated column appears each week in numerous newspapers throughout
the nation and on websites worldwide. You can read all his past columns
and see continuing updates at http://www.jimbrownusa.com. You can also hear Jim’s
nationally syndicated radio show each Sunday morning from 9 am till 11:00 am,
central time, on the Genesis Radio Network, with a live stream at http://www.jimbrownusa.com.