Friday, April 27, 2007

Welcome, Walter Boasso!

Gubernatorial candidate Walter Boasso has become a Democrat! Welcome Mr. Boasso!

The Louisiana Democratic Party's BlueNote eletter carried Boasso's statement in full. Here are the core paragraphs:

As a candidate for Governor, I have been listening to you and working to spread our message of change and reform throughout the state. The political deal makers have run this state for too long at the expense of so many of our people who need affordable healthcare, quality education and the opportunity to secure a good paying job. I will not be silenced by the status quo or by those unwilling to embrace a new direction for our state. The challenges are too large and we have no time to waste.

Therefore, today I have rejoined the Democratic Party because I believe that running as a Democrat will give me the best opportunity to push an agenda for change and reform. The people of Louisiana, regardless of party affiliation, are in search of a leader, and are eager to stand side by side with someone willing to challenge the establishment and reform our state.

As the son of a retired school teacher and disabled union electrician, I started a company with $175 in my pocket with the goal of fulfilling the American dream. Today my company employs over 500 workers. As Governor, I will create those same opportunities for all of our citizens.

The destructive winds and devastating water of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita didn’t check party registration before doing their damage and we can’t let politics get in the way of rebuilding, creating jobs and providing relief for Louisiana families.

The Advocate and other news organizations reported that Boasso (a self-made man) was outraged by what he perceived to be the Louisiana Republican Party's rigged (gasp!) nomination process that handed the party's endorsement to career politician Bobby Jindal.

Well, no problem with rigged nominations in this party! The notion that Louisiana Democrats could agree on a plan to hijack a nomination is laughable — ask any Democrat!

The salient part of Boasso's statement, though, is the part about the hurricane winds not checking party affiliation before wrecking our state in 2005. Clearly, the federal government DID check party affiliation when deciding how to respond to the storm.

I had the dubious honor of sitting through a speech by Mississippi Governor (and former GOP National Chairman and tobacco lobbyist) Haley Barbour in Tunica. MS, last week at the Delta Regional Authority's Annual Meeting. Fresh from the ground-breaking ceremony for a new Toyota plant in Tupelo, Barbour said the reason Toyota came to Mississippi was that they were not like people in Louisiana.

OK. What he said was that people in Mississippi didn't complain or seek to place blame after Katrina hit in 2005; they just rolled up their sleeves and went to work trying to help each other. He said the reason the national media had paid so much attention to New Orleans was the same reason that they did not cover planes arriving safely on-time: there's not conflict there.

What the governor did not mention at this gathering was that the Bush administration played favorites in Katrina recovery and that party affiliation had EVERYTHING to do with it. Need proof? Check out the stories of Karl Rove's Hatch Act-violating political briefings to cabinet-level agencies. The purpose of these meetings was to ensure that federal agencies worked to benefit Republican officeholders at the expense of Democratic officeholders! Or, in the immortal words of former top assistant to disgraced Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez (Kyle Sampson): help the "loyal Bushies", punish the rest.

Barbour also said that his wife visited the Gulf Coast of Mississippi for "about 50 of the first 90 days after the storm, acting as my eyes down there" (he apparently acted as his own stand-in during photo-ops when Bush dared visit along the coast). Someone needs to point out to Governor Barbour that there was still water in the streets of New Orleans almost 60 days after Katrina hit and that water was the direct result of dereliction on the part of the Bush administration and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

One more thing.

During his brief strut at the podium in Tunica, Governor Barbour touted his administration's success at eliminating a $700 million budget shortfall and turning that into a budget surplus. One of the ways he did that was by cutting back on health services to the poor in his state. The result has been a rise in infant mortality in Mississippi as a result of Medicaid cuts.

I guess that kind of depraved indifference passes for conservatism in Republican circles.

Is it any wonder Walter Boasso couldn't stomach any more of this venality?

1 comment:

JDD said...

The La GOP needs to be challenged on just what they're offering the state - a replication of their national performance? They've not only created fiscal and policy disasters in every area - the effects of which the country hasn't even begun to feel yet - they've also shown a frightening lack of commitment to the constitution and the rule of law. The GOP Congress not only acted as an enabler for the Busy-Cheney agenda of disaster - they abandoned their constitutional responsibility to act as an independent branch of government.
Mr. Jindal was a loyal supporter of this entire effort, an enabler of the disasters that the GOP has set the country up for. Now he presents himself as someone able to set La in a "new direction" - the direction that the GOP is leading us to is off a cliff.

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