Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Republican Slime Machine Starts Louisiana Franchise

The Baton Rouge Advocate reported on Tuesday that the national Republican Slime Machine has opened its Louisiana franchise with the stated goal of gaining GOP control of the Louisiana Legislature in the 2007 elections.

The group tips its hand by all but naming itself after Tom DeLay's disgraced operation. The operating moniker: "The Louisiana Committee for a Republican Majority."

New Orleans developer cum post-Katrina land-grabber Joseph Canizaro is the head of the group, but it's clear that this is the Louisiana version of the national operation that was so successful in the earlier portion of this decade but which has fallen on harder times in 2006. Canizaro is a Bush Pioneer. So, too, is Boysie Bollinger (and he's got the fat contracts for work that didn't pan out on the Coast Guard fleet 'up-grade' to prove it!).

But, the piece that nails this down as a national power grab in Louisiana is the presence of Bob Perry of Texas as a maximum contributor to the new PAC. Perry, you may recall, is the money behind the group that 'swiftboated' John Kerry and in 2004 presidential race. His group's track record in 2006 was less successful, but no less slime-filled.

The group has, The Advocate reports, $600,000 of its goal of $2.5 million that it wants to have in-hand by the time qualifying rolls around in August. The objective is to get Republican majorities in the Louisiana House and Senate. There are 144 seats in the two chambers (39 in the Senate; 105 in the House). If they had a candidate in every race, the PAC could spend more than $17,000 per race. That might not seem like a lot of money but, in a district race, it would be huge.

The story, though, says they intend to be active in only about 37 or so races. Let's say 40 just for rounding purposes. That means they will have the ability to pour more than $60,000 into each of those races!

The group says it will play favorites among Republicans. Must have plenty of ex-Democrats in the group, no? ;-)

So, what does this mean?

Well, the past is no direct guide to the future but it can be instructive. Recall that Tom DeLay used his Texans for a Republican Majority as a money laundering conduit that enabled him to elect a Republican majority in the Texas Legislature. He then used that majority to re-apportion the Texas Congressional delegation in ways that created new Republican-majority districts. OK, well it worked in 2004 but came back to bite the party in Texas in 2006.

So, let's assume the GOP game plan goes as planned. The Republican majority in the Louisiana Legislature (working in concert with what they expect to be Republican Governor Bobby Jindal) would reapportion Louisiana's Congressional districts before the 2008 elections. No doubt they'd cite the recent Census Bureau estimate that the state lost five percent of its population in the wake of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. They'd target Charlie Melancon and Bill Jefferson's districts, shifting lines to make it more difficult for Democrats to get elected from those districts.

Republican control of the Legislature would also put that party in control of all reapportionment that followed the 2010 Census, including the Legislature (both houses), the Congressional districts, the Public Service Commission, the state Supreme Court, BESE districts and other state districts.

In short, this is an outside directed attempt to re-order Louisiana politics, capitalizing on the demographic shifts as a result of the storms, using techniques developed in Texas and on partnerships developed inside the corrupt national Republican establishment.

It should be noted that DeLay was forced to give up his seat in Congress as a result of the ethical and legal troubles his Texas power grab brought him. No doubt there will be similar hubris and over-reach in this endeavor.

Then, again, we see this one coming.

Break out the slicker suits, the Republicans have committed to taking Louisiana at all costs. It's going to get nasty.


Donnie McDaniel said...

Mike, this sounds so bad!!!! Ouch and ouch again.

GumboFilé said...

I'm sure the Republicans see an opportunity here, but I'm skeptical that they would be "committed...at all costs" to taking control of a state that now stands to lose yet one more of its few electoral votes.

bluelouisianaproject said...

Thank you for this post, Mike. I write about this at the Swing State Project


and I want you, Mr. Fazzio and everyone to join in the conversation I am trying to start there about Louisiana's 2007 and 2008 elections. You obviously have a lot more credibility than I ever will, and I imagine everyone will be thrilled to have a candidate for Governor and Congress updating everyone on Louisiana politics. Because Vitter's PAC and the DeLay Southern Strategy machine is ready to enter Louisiana, I am trying to gain online support and a fundraising network for our House and Senate races. I also write on US House races, as I believe we need to oust at least one Republican in 2008 in order to prepare for reapportionment after the 2010 census. If you, Anthony Fazzio and others will join, I imagine we can really build an online infrastructure with the national netroots. I am also hoping to draw attention to the first district House race in Caddo Parish, as this is the first election for the whole slough of open seats in the legislature this year. That race will show us what to expect in November, and we have to win it at all costs. How to funnel money and support to Johnston? And how to get Chris Whittington involved will be crucial. I also plan on contacting the DLCC, as we will need their help.

Why am I committed to this? If this is the year the Republicans plan to pounce, we must beat them back. If we set them to rout, then the stage is set for a blowout in 2008, because they will return to get Landrieu. They are ready to fight, and we must push back. If they want a partisan bloodbath, let us give it to them. 2007 can either be the Democrats's Waterloo, or it can be our Stalingrad. I prefer the latter, and I want to win this fight. Read my diaries at Swing State Project, and please tell me what you think.

hh said...

Thanks for this post. Is this rally happend.may be they should go here.
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