Thank you to the Baton Rouge Advocate for their illuminating coverage of the so-called "No Party Party" for Republican Parish President Joey Durel which was hosted by Glenn Armentor, a member of the Lafayette Democratic Parish Executive Committee.
Thanks to the reporting by The Advocate, we learned that other members of the Democratic Parish Executive Committee attended the event and, we can only presume, gave money to Durel's re-election bid.
The Advocate also provided a picture of Durel with former Democratic State Party Chairman Mike Skinner.
Joining Armentor and Skinner as members in good standing of the soon-to-be infamous Vichy Democrats were PEC members Jeff Moss and Ken Bouillion.
Now before the Republicans and Democratic apologists go all apoplectic about 'bipartisanship', let's be clear about what the issue is here: It is about leaders of the Democratic Party breaking party rules to raise funds for and endorse a Republican. It is not about Democrats backing Republicans (and it's certainly not about Republicans backing Democrats because, as we know, that just isn't done here).
Face it. There is no bi-partisanship here in Lafayette. There is a strong and visible streak of Democratic surrender, of which Armentor's party is just the latest and most visible example.
And, while Mike Skinner holds no current rank in the party, his legacy is firmly established. No Democratic Party chairman (and possibly no Republican Party chairman) has done more to advance the Republican Party in the 7th District than has Mike Skinner.
Look back to the 2004 election when Skinner, then serving as state party chairman, allowed or condoned the use of the state party's mailing permit to distribute a flier that promoted the candidacy of Sen. Willie Mount over that of Sen. Donald Cravins in the 7th District Congressional race. Adding insult to injury, funds raised by independent Louisiana Democrats for the Kerry campaign were used by the state party to distribute this flier.
The resuling bitterness and recriminations allowed Charles Boustany to get elected to Congress in 2004. That same election, David Vitter became the first Republican since Reconstruction to be elected to the U.S. Senate from Louisiana.
Mike Skinner, you did a heck of job!
So, it is appropriate that Skinner's picture grace the web story on this event since it is his indifference to the fate of the Democratic Party in this region which set the stage not only for the rise of a certain class of Republicans, it also paved the way for more anti-party behavior on the part of other Democratic 'leaders' (and that is a phrase I use loosely these days), the kind of which was on exhibit on West Bayou Parkway last night.
If any member of the Republican Parish Executive Committee would have the temerity to endorse a Democrat for office, he/she would be ridden out of town on a rail by the same Republicans who are embracing the betrayal of the Democratic party and their oaths by Armento, Moss and Bouillion. As I said, Mike Skinner is in a class by himself.
When we erect the Vichy Democrats Hall of Shame (coming soon to another site), we'll be sure to reserve a special place for Mr. Skinner.
Meanwhile, I would hope that other members of the Lafayette Democratic Executive Committee and other Lafayette Democrats will press for censure of the committee members who took part in last night's tawdry display of opportunism.
With Democrat 'leaders' like this, who needs Republicans?