Saturday, December 06, 2008

Louisiana Shockers


Crooked congressman defeated

I never root for Republicans to win elections. And I never root for reactionary Democrats dragged up from deep in the bowels of the Republican wing of the Democratic Party either. Nor do I root for corrupt members of Congress, regardless of ideology. So I was pretty much sidelined in today's two late Louisiana elections. (They were postponed because of hurricanes.) In LA-04 Democrats hoped to pick up a very red district being vacated by Jim McCrery by running a right-wing anti-choice fanatic, Paul Carmouche. He was unable to generate any enthusiasm from many African Americans and whatever progressives live in Shreveport and he was edged out by a much further right wing extremist loon, John Fleming, 44,497 (48.07%)- 44,141 (47.69%).

Carmouche crushed Fleming in Shreveport itself (Caddo Parish)-- 22,742 to 15,510-- but it wasn't enough to overcome Fleming's lead Bossier, Vernon, Sabine, Grant, and Beauregard Parishes. Remember, this district went for McCain over Obama by 19%.

Meanwhile, way at the other end of the state, Democrats are getting a good lesson from Anh Cao, a Republican attorney. In light turnout the overwhelmingly Democratic district-- with a PVI of D+28-- is telling Democrats that forced to pick between an honest moderate Republican and a crooked moderate Democrat, they're going for the Republican. Things could change but right now, with 391 precincts reporting (out of 492), Jefferson is having his head handed to him. Cao is an anti-choice fanatic.

Cao- 29,345 (52.94%)
Jefferson- 23,985 (43.27%)

All the votes from Jefferson Parish are counted and Cao beat Jefferson 12,696 to 8,099. Orleans Parish is a much more Democratic and a much more African-American area and it is still not inconceivable that Jefferson will catch up, but I wouldn't bet on it. CNN just called it for Cao and most political junkies are doing likewise. If Cao wants to stay in Congress beyond 2010, he should switch parties when he makes his victory speech. You can follow the results on the Secretary of State's website.


Cao- 33,122 (49.55%)
Jefferson- 31,296 (46.82)

The Times-Picayune reports that Jefferson hasn't conceded but that he went on the radio and blamed African Americans for not turning out for him in sufficient numbers. Instead of wondering if they were sick of his corruption, he says they "ran out of juice."

Carmouche won't concede either-- and in his case that might not be a bad decision. It's very close and he wants to make sure all the provisional ballots get counted.

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At 8:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is Cao a "moderate Republican" when he staunchly wants to overturn Roe, and yet Carmouche is the "anti-choice fanatic?" It seems as though you think there is no difference between Carmouche and Flemming and an obvious choice in LA-02.

For the record i rooted against Jefferson and know Cao is one and done...but Carmouche did as good as any Democrat has ever done in recent history in an R+11 district and you blame his defeat on being unable to attract progressives? We almost picked up a seat here and you're happy he lost because he failed your lithmus test.

At 9:01 PM, Blogger DownWithTyranny said...

Jake, you're a Democrat; I'm a progressive. Like I said in the post, I don't root for reactionaries from either party. I was hoping Jefferson, Cao, Carmouche and Fleming would all lose today.

At 9:28 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Better a Democrat than a Republican.
But both are money in the pocket takers.
We need another party.

George Vreeland Hill

At 9:30 PM, Blogger VG said...

Howie, YEP!

Your take was no mystery to me whatsoever.

I am exactly on the same page.

At 10:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like to note that Jefferson is far from a "perfect" pro-choicer.

Anyone would be nuts to think that Cao will be anything but a one-termer...unless he actually votes like a moderate. [which I doubt he will]

This is probably good in a backhanded way....saves us from having to expel him from congress and face negative press. A dem will replace him in 2010.

Anh Cao is pretty much this year's Nick Lampson.

At 10:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Damn! When it said "Louisiana Shockers", I thought for sure Malik Rahim had won and we finally had a Green congressman. It wasn't meant to be. Sigh. Oh well...Jefferson's out, that's what matters.

At 5:37 AM, Blogger Tudorbritain said...

Cao was a registered Democrat until recently. The only conservative view he has is on abortion. If he changes party affiliation once again, he might have a shot at reelection in 2012

At 5:57 AM, Blogger Anthony Kennerson said...

My view on this, as a Louisiana resident:

On LA-04: Typical Louisiana election, where a conservative "Blue Dog" Democrat attempts to attract the Black electorate and still loses to a more consistently conservative Republican in an overwhelmingly (save for metro Sherveport) right-wing district. The only reason that Don Cazayouz succeeded so well in the other hotly profiled district in our state (LA-06) was because he faced a certified right-wing whackjob and a bonafied racist in Woody Jenkins in 2006, rather than a more established and polished conservative candidate this year (Jack Cassidy).

But the Jefferson-Cao race is far more intriging, mostly because of the simple facts that (1) Jefferson is a crook that should have been ousted two years ago, (2) that this district was modified to include more White areas surrounding New Orleans, and (3) the virtual ethnic cleansing of Blacks from New Orleans did a lot to undermine the Black vote there, thus allowing the opening for Cao.

In any ways, it probably won't matter much in two years, since the district will probably be disbanded after 2010 from reapprotionment due to Louisiana's loss of population in the next Census.

But, this does show how much political power that Blacks in Louisiana (not just New Orleans, but statewide) have lost due to the aftereffects of Katrina, and that not even the Democrats are wiling to offer any hope to them. This state is becoming more of a solidly right-wing, neo-Confederate state with Whites more united against Blacks and the poor, and the national Dems, even with Obama at the helm, can probably do nothing about it.

In short, a bittersweet future for Blacks and progressives in Louisiana. Obama may become President, but this state is fastly becoming Palin country for 2012...and at this rate, I wouldn't even rule out a David Duke comeback.


At 6:23 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

I wonder if Nancy Pelosi will consult with Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid to arrange a Toobz-like sendoff in the House well for Dollar Bill Jefferson. Certainly the House can beat the Senate's 57-second record for a standing ovation for an outgoing, indicted but well-loved Member.

Great news all around!

At 8:19 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

This election was a win-win for both parties. The Democrats get rid of an embarrasment and the Republicans get a seat for a term. It was going to be a Republican seat even if Jefferson won because as soon as he was found guily, the governor (Republican Bobby Jindal) would have repaced him with a Republican. So rejoice! The nation and Louisiana won in this election.

At 11:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jindal would not have appointed Jefferson's replacement. It would have gone to a special election and a Dem would have probably replaced him.

But who cares anyway.....the Dems still have a majority, we're rid of the Bill Jefferson drama, and if the district is still around by 2010, a Dem will likely replace Cao.

To reiterate what I said before -- Cao is this year's Nick Lampson. Doomed to be a one-termer from the start.

At 3:11 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Are you sure about that? I got this information on the local New Orleans news.


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