Sunday, November 26, 2006

Lafayette Democrat Surrenders

If anyone wants to know what's wrong with the Democratic Party in Lafayette, look no further than this article in the Baton Rouge Advocate.

Glenn Armentor is a member of the parish Democratic Executive Committee but is hosting a fund-raising party for Republican Joey Durel. Glenn Armentor is a great attorney, a great guy and, generally, a good Democrat (he supported my campaign for Congress and I'm grateful for that support).

But, he should resign his position on the parish Democratic Executive Committee because of this public display of support for Durel.

This is the kind of lemming-like behavior that has come to characterize the leadership of the party here.

Joey Durel is a decent mayor; but he's no visionary. The fiber to the home project was on the table when he took office. Durel and his legal team have managed to botch that project to the extent that, 18 months after the referendum on the it, all we have to show for it are legal bills.

Durel also failed to show leadership on the single most troubling issue in Lafayette (and the one that most hobbles our effort to emerge as a progressive city): race. His silence on the issue of renaming a major street after Dr. Martin Luther King contributed significantly to allowing this issue to become a political abscess that causes a low-grade fever to plague our community. His failure to lead on that issue was every bit as bad as his leadership in selling the fiber project was good.

Durel also went through the motions of suggesting taxes for new roads here, but didn't make any effort to get the taxes passed. If he didn't believe they were needed, why propose them? If he felt they were needed, why didn't he work for them?

Yet, there is a leader of the local party gushing about Durel as if he's the local incarnation of Harry Truman.

Armentor has fallen into the Republican trap that exists in Lafayette. Democrats are asked to "vote for the person, not the party" but can Armentor or any other Democrat point to a single example of where Lafayette Republicans have taken a similar approach in any race?

If Glenn Armentor wants to back Joey Durel's re-election, that's his right as a citizen. But, he should not do it while sitting as a member of the parish Democratic Executive Committee. The responsibilities of that position include building the party. By publicly supporting Durel, Armentor is working against the interests of the party.

1 comment:

Nick said...

"Democrats are asked to "vote for the person, not the party" but can Armentor or any other Democrat point to a single example of where Lafayette Republicans have taken a similar approach in any race?"

I do know Republicans in Lafayette who supported Charlie Melancon for Congress, can't really say they voted for him, though, since he wasn't for the district. I know quite a few Lafayette Republicans who voted for Mary Landrieu. There's your examples.

That said, I'm glad Durel no longer represents my town as I moved from Lafayette a year ago.