It’s no secret that I am an independent voter blogging in the reddest of this Union’s Red States, a phenomenon we have in common a hop, skip and jump away over the state line in St. TammanyHall, St Bernard and Jefferson Parishes. Its election season and there are some conservatives that are upset with some of the political leaders and consultants pushing RINO candidates. The power brokers must think the Jefferson Parish Republican voters are particularly dimwitted and they can honestly point to luminaries like John Alario as proof.
It is also no secret that large parts of the libertarian viewpoint on display here resonates with the local TEA Parties both in Jefferson and Hancock Parishes. Yesterday I spoke with concerned Citizens with TEA Party leanings who are also highly placed in Jefferson Parish governmental circles. They are concerned that no less than three people who are running for office in November have switched parties to Republican in the weeks before election qualifying in August.
Since Jefferson Parish largely votes Republican, I can’t imagine that the powers/machines directing these party switchers would be bold enough to try this without benefit of incumbancy but we’ve covered enough JP elections to know these affairs are bare knuckled, wild and wacky (though #MSSEN compares very favorably that way). The candidates certain believe that the political machines that are supporting some of them can carry them to victory despite the RINO label. With the Republican party endorsement meetings set for tonight the dirt and muck is flying as the conservative JP wing of the Slabbed Nation has been checking Registrar of Voters records along with other public record websites digging dirt since qualifying closed. Here is a sampler.
In the race for the Public Service Commission, a candidate named Forest Bradley Wright is running against two other Republicans. Wright is puzzling. I read a post by fellow blogger Scott McKay during the week of qualifying outlining the fact that Wright, who lives in another Public Service District in New Orleans previously ran for the Louisiana PSC a few years ago as a Democrat. The guy must be a devotee of St. Jude (The patron of lost causes) as this is the second time he’s run for this commission and ostensibly the second time he won’t be able to even cast a vote for himself.
Next is the race for First Parish Court on the East Bank of Jefferson. This court manages both a civil and a traffic docket. It has two recent (two month old) converts to the Republican Party in Johnny Lee and Monique Lafontaine.
My canaries are telling me that Johnny Lee is a lifelong Democrat and it’s ludicrous that he’s being passed off by his machine backers as a Republican. Lee is no relation to the legendary former Sheriff, but it is a well known rumor in courthouse circles as “a friend of the court” and he particularly excels in salvaging St Jude type cases, especially in certain venues. We never before encountered Mr. Lee but we’ve long heard of the friend of the court gig. The reality here is the local political machines aren’t really red or blue folks but rather green. A machine backed job over at First Parish Court certain qualifies more as a reward for loyalty, rather than party affiliation. Mr. Lee’s supporters think they can gloss over the newfound nature of Lee’s dubious Republican bona fides.
Monique Lafontaine is the only woman in the race but was an Independent like me up until a few weeks ago. Beyond large amounts of connections she brings to the race with her political consultant, I can’t see how she expects to pull this off with the conservative wing of the local GOP. She’s a virtual unknown in Jefferson Parish GOP political circles but I googled her married name and found thousands of dollars in political donations to John Kerry and Hillary Clinton. Regardless of your brand of GOP politics, this information alone should be the kiss of death over Bucktown way, yet the machine is pushing her nonetheless.
Stay tuned as the local media will be reporting on the Party endorsements. There is a struggle raging behind the scenes in Jefferson Parish on the direction the local party is headed and we’ll get some hints with these endorsements. It will be interesting to see how far out on a limb the old power brokers will go for the people they control.
This post prompted a call to the Slabbed Bat line and dossier drop on Jefferson Parish School Board Candidate Glenn Mayeaux who switched to the GOP the day he qualified for the election. Registrar of Voters records indicate he did not vote in the last school board election as well as at least one of the last two millage elections.