Thursday, March 31st
TRUMP AND LOUISIANA’S “CROOKED ELECTIONS”!
Donald Trump said he was stunned, shocked and livid about
how elections are run way down in the Bayou State.
He minced no words in giving his assessment
of what happened in the recent Louisiana presidential primary.
“ It tells you what a crooked system we have
and what a rotten political system we have.
I won Louisiana, but what’s going on in the Republican Party is a
Delegates in Louisiana were supposed to have been allocated
based on what percentage of the popular vote each candidate received.
Trump received 41.5% of the vote and Senator
Ted Cruise garnered a second place 37.8%.
But when the delegates were divvied up, Cruise was given 7 delegates
where Trump only received 6 delegates. Foul play argued Trump, and the
front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination has threatened to
Welcome to the world of Louisiana
politics Mr. Trump.
Rarely does an election take place down in the deepest of
the deep southern states without allegations of some type of voter fraud. To
this day, former Lt. Governor and gubernatorial candidate Jimmy Fitzmorris
still sulks that his 1979 defeat in the governor’s race was caused by voter
fraud. Republican Woody Jenkins still claims that his 1996 bid to defeat
Senator Mary Landrieu was caused by a massive vote buying effort, particularly
in New Orleans.
Vote buy and election fraud are, for all practical purposes,
a thing of the past in Louisiana, although an occasional complaint is filed in
But in days gone by,
there were a number of creative ways to “stack” an election. Down in
Plaquemines Parish below New Orleans, folks still remember the days of
political boss Leander Perez, when there were often more votes cast then there
were voters in the parish.
It used to be much tougher to absentee vote, with the
average parish voting 5 to 10% absentee.
When 40% of a parish voted before Election Day, you knew something was
A local sheriff, or other
official so inclined, would have his deputies haul voters into the
He would send in the first
voter with a blank sheet of paper shaped like an absentee voter’s ballot.
The voter was told to put the blank paper in
the ballot box, then bring back the official but unmarked ballot.
For this effort, the first and subsequent
voters were paid the going rate, generally 10 to 20 dollars.
The next voter would go to the clerk’s office with an
official ballot that was pre-checked by the person buying the votes. The voter
took the marked ballot into the clerk’s office, and was given an unmarked
The voter put his marked ballot
in the ballot box, then brought his unmarked ballot back to receive his
So with only one initial ballot,
someone so disposed could run voters in and out of the clerk’s office day after
day while absentee voting was taking place, pay them the going rate, and pile
up votes for the favored candidates.
Another way to garner votes was to station a “helper” in the
voting precinct to aid any voter who asked for assistance.
Many less informed voters would say they
needed aid and the “helper” was allowed in the voting booth with the
I remember back in one of my
early races that a “helper” bragged to me after the election that I had
received 217 votes out of 220 that were cast in a precinct where he was well
known and who “helped” everyone that came in to vote.
He had a big grin when he told me how he had
assisted my campaign.
My response: “What
happened to the other three?”
The days of blatant and widespread voter fraud has been
greatly curtailed, although not eliminated.
The message to the Donald Trumps of the world is to keep a close eye on
the election process when you are a candidate.
Former Governor Earl Long summed it up pretty well with two of his more
The first was “I can make them voting
machines sing Home Sweet Home.”
Since he controlled the election process, he probably could.
But his most endearing quote rang home to many Bayou State
Earl’s missive was “When I die, I want to be buried in
Louisiana, so that I can stay active in politics.”
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 9:00 am till 11:00 am
Central Time on the Genesis Radio Network, with a live stream at http://www.jimbrownusa.com.