Wednesday, July 16, 2008

How will this affect the 2nd District race?

I really don't care enough about election handicapping to analyze LA-02 in terms of race, party registration and geography well enough to make any kind of educated guess as to what will happen with a closed primary in the Fall election. My guess is that a closed primary makes the kind of strategic voting that we saw last time unlikely. Still, Derrick Shepherd held a press conference to protest Jindal's veto of a bill to create a new minority judgeship, and his cousin and ally, congressional candidate Byron Lee wasn't there. Lee is a parish councilman, rather than a state legislator, but I suspect that he would have been there if he thought it could help his campaign. I noticed that the white, westbank lawmakers who requested the veto are all Republican, but I have no idea what percentage of their constituents are registered Republicans and what percentage are registered Democrats who tend to vote Republican but would be eligible to vote in the Democratic primary. It's too early to predict an ugly falling out between black and white legislators in Jefferson Parish because of the judicial bill, but, if it happens, one can only assume it would hurt Lee. On the other hand, it could lead to a larger turnout of black Jefferson Parish voters and help Lee.

Anyway, Clancy DuBos makes an interesting point in a follow-up to the analysis that I mentioned in my last post.
Trying to sort through (read: horse trade) hundreds of local projects in the glare of media spotlights will be harder still. Meanwhile, it will be relatively easy for Jindal to portray it all as a vendetta — an interesting twist when you consider whose pet projects were whacked and whose were spared. For example, state Sen. Ann Duplessis’ “District 2 Community Enhancement” appropriation of $550,000 somehow dodged the governor’s veto pen. Sen. Duplessis was the Senate author of Jindal’s voucher bill. The Dryades YMCA is a pet project of Rep. Karen Carter Peterson, who was a lead opponent of vouchers. Coincidence?

I haven't looked at all the vetoes, but I will repeat what I said in a comment at Library Chronicles:
I didn't say there was political retribution involved, just political calculation and cowardice. After the pay raise fiasco, he won't be able to do the horse trading to get BOLD and most other black legislators to support his more controversial legislation, and he won't get the votes of their constituents in his re-election campaign either. Legislators and voters from the rest of South La. are a different story, hence the Houma Courier story I linked. He had to do something to re-establish his credibility as a fiscally conservative dragon slayer, but he was very careful about whose feed bags he emptied.

I suspect that some legislators in solidly Republican districts might have actually been more likely to have seen their pet projects get axed than some Democratic legislators, especially if they were in trouble for voting for pay raises. They're already in trouble and don't want a fight with a still popular governor, so their pet projects would have been safe vetoes. I can't imagine many Old Metairie Republicans voting against Jindal in 2011 just because he vetoed some pet project of John LaBruzzo, just as I couldn't have imagined many Central City Democrats voting for Jindal in 2011, even without the YMCA veto. But, without examining the actual vetoes, that's just thinking out loud, or thinking on keyboard.

You like Lee for this race? I know little about him. I'm glad to see Carter in the race (James, not Karen or Troy). He has impressed me as a class act in city council, in contrast to the Cynthias. It will be interesting to see how it shapes up.
No, I don't like Lee, either in the betting sense or in the sense of thinking he's a good public servant. In the post I linked (Fall election link), Jeffrey offered the opinion that the Jefferson Parish vote made Lee the favorite to make a runoff. I think the closed primary had already made that harder to predict and a rift between black and white pols in Jefferson would complicate things for him, if such a rift develops.

I don't like James Carter, but I will allow that a personal peeve might have caused to take an unwarranted negative view of him. I thought I included a paragraph on him in this post, but I see that I didn't. I'll add it, or do a separate post, by the end of the weekend.
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