Minden Press-Herald

Thursday
Oct 02nd

Just Leave It to Us

A point of personal privilege if you please, and do not take this as an endorsement of anyone. I believe each individual is capable of making an intelligent choice.

We in Webster Parish are looking at a runoff to select our District 10 state representative Nov. 19. It's an open seat since Rep. Jean Doerge is term limited. Our choices: Democrat Gene Reynolds and Republican Jerri Ray dePingre'.

In the opinion of your humble observer, we Websterites are actually quite fortunate. Either individual will do very well as our hired hand in the fantasy land that is Red Stick on the River. Both, in my opinion, are hard-working, goal and service oriented, level-headed folks who will listen to their constituency regardless of party affiliation.

With that in mind, I'd like to extend a personal invitation to the friendly, sincere, forthright, upstanding folks who make up the brain trust of the Louisiana Committee for a Republican Majority: Butt out, please.

Observer's note: The LCRM is headed by Wendy Vitter, wife of U.S. Senator David Vitter. Its long-term goal: to build Republican majorities at ALL (my caps) levels of government.

We know the premise of LCRM involvement in races across the state is to see the best Republican elected to statewide office. In some cases where Republicans are running against Republicans, we notice you're inclined to determine which of those is Republican enough to meet your super-duper high standards.

Please be assured that we piney woodsters of Webster Parish are perfectly capable of making a choice, and we are certainly prepared to do so without the type of "informative" mail out which hit our homes only a couple of days prior to the Oct. 22 lever pull. In that piece, a dancing Barack Obama was shown behind a smiling, photoshopped Reynolds, who you LCRM designers labeled a "big government liberal" anxious to expand the bureaucracy.

I'm not sure that label had the impact some persons had hoped, since the Republicans in the primary were quick to let others know they had nothing to do with the piece. One thing is certain, however: that overused big "guv'ment libbral" label may work in some places, but it doesn't wash in places like Webster where people know one another. It surely doesn't work when that or other "hot button" tags are applied by folks who don't know their target.

A thought: The piece to which we make reference was aimed at the bad ol' Democrat, but don't you think it would have been a nice touch to let the Republicans know something of the sort was heading to the local district's mailboxes? Perhaps it's asking too much for those who are being "helped" to have a part in the decision to go negative. Like Quick Draw McGraw, you're "doin' the thinnin' around here" when Baba Looey is the better thinker.

We don't know if the LCRM was offering its helpful self to a particular candidate in this race or if the group was simply entering the fray on its own because of a Dem-Repub matchup. It would be nice, however, if the committee would consider a reminder from Ms. Manners: Never come uninvited into someone's home just so you can talk ugly about someone who lives there.

As an addicted campaign watcher, I've had opportunities to overview this little group as it goes about the business of sending Democrats into oblivion. In Louisiana's statewide political scene, it's working. Only Dem. Mary Landrieu holds a statewide elected office, and many D's are switching before they're challenged. In fact, we saw a majority change in the state legislature without an election.

About the only time this well-oiled machine sputters is when Republicans go head-to-head, as in our past Lt. Gov and Sec of State races. Interestingly, the chosen ones of the LCRM power brokers in those races failed to win. Makes one wonder if many Republicans are obedient enough to be real Republicans, but that's another story.

What skeptics see in LCRM is a goal that goes beyond simply ensuring Republican majorities in government. We see full throttle efforts to obtain mega majorities in the Legislature and once that goal is reached, more campaign involvement to elect chosen Republicans to critical offices in parish and local government. It appears we're seeing a very well coordinated, well-funded effort to consolidate power.

That's why we suggest making a slight change in the name. More appropriately, the organization should be known as the Louisiana Committee for a Republican Monarchy, with castles in Baton Rouge and Washington, D.C.

Some (ousted Dems and outed Republicans) believe the primary beneficiary of the Republican Republic of Louisiana will be Sen. David Vitter. One sees his hand in practically every race across the state. It isn't a reach to say the senator is establishing himself as the power of the party (Bobby Jindal included) in this state, and the one to whom many officer holders may ultimately find themselves beholden.

History students may remember another time when, during the years 1932 to 1935, a U.S. Senator from Louisiana controlled our state from D.C. The politics of that senator and this one are polar opposite, but the influence they wield and the power which accompanies it isn't. More than a few observers have hinted that Vitter's eyes, which once were locked on the White House, may now be turned toward Baton Rouge. This very well could explain why the group is stacking its war chest not only with dollars but with favors from the grateful supported.

Whatever the reason for the intensity with which the monarchs seek to push their branded Republicanism on less knowledgeable serfs, we in Webster would appreciate it very much if you let us make our choice. We know these people; you only know their consonants.

And if the Oct. 22 totals in key races where your efforts were channeled are any indication, somebody may not want your help. Your endorsement and the often associated mailbox mud heaved at whomever is the opposition may be the kiss of defeat.

Pat Culverhouse is a journalist and political columnist who lives in Minden. You may contact him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

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