Category: Elections

Final October 22 Endorsements

I have finally made up my mind about the Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of State races.

Lt Governor

I’m going with the incumbent, Jay Dardenne. I appreciate his delaying taking office to save the state money and Nungesser’s ads backfired against him as far as I’m concerned about Dardenne voting against a bill that would require contractors to verify their employees immigration status. Also, I’m not sure I would trust Billy Nungesser taking over as Governor should something happen to Bobby Jindal (assuming Jindal wins).

Sec of State

I’m backing Jim Tucker because I would like to see what he promises to do with the Sec of State website happen. As a frequent user of the site, it can definitely use some improvements.

Check back this weekend after results come in for all the races.

If You Tax It, They Will Come

Another item on our October 22 ballots is a proposal to extend a 20 mill tax on the New Orleans Regional Business Park in New Orleans East. The business park has existed since 1979 and the 20 mill tax funds about 1/3 of the $600,000 budget for the park which is home to a modest (in context of the praise it receives) 85 businesses. Only the businesses are effected by the tax. The major tenants are Folgers Coffee, Entergy, and NASA’s Michoud facility. Unsurprisingly the New Orleans City Council, lead by Jon Johnson who’s district includes the park, announced their unanimous support for this today.

Now I don’t know Councilman Jon Johnson personally, nor do I live in his district, but if I were given the chance to ask him a question, it would be this. What part of economics and common business sense says that if you add an extra special tax to an area you hope more businesses will move to, then naturally, the businesses will magically beat down your door to move in? That’s essentially what he’s saying here and here.

Instead, I offer another idea. Let’s all vote against the renewal of the tax and see what the existing businesses do to expand with the $220,000 they’ll save all together and maybe we’ll finally see some of that promised growth in the New Orleans Regional Business Park that we’ve been hearing about since 1979.

Also found in the Eggler piece is a gem of a paraphrase of Johnson, “he is heartened by the fact there appears to be no organized opposition to the renewal. In the absence of an opposition campaign, he said, tax renewals normally pass, especially if the vast majority of those voting don’t have to pay the tax.” Councilman Johnson, are you using typical New Orleans voter apathy as proof that this is a good idea? I wish I could say I was surprised. Well, while I may be late to the party in becoming an organized “opposition campaign” I am going on the record now as being just that.

Nolatarian Endorsements For Oct 22 Ballott

I’ve gone through all the races that will be found on ballots in Orleans Parish on October 22 and picked the candidates I feel most exemplify being Nolatarian or are simply the best choice of undesirable options.



I think we can all agree that Bobby Jindal doesn’t have to worry about losing this one. If by some chance he fails to get 50% of the vote and we have a runoff, I’ll actually dig into this one more. I would like to see some more info from the Scott Lewis campaign.

Commissioner of Insurance

I’m going to throw a curve ball here and support the challenger Donald Hodge. Hodge has some pretty interesting ideas, including the promise to only serve one term. Also, I can’t get over the fact that the incumbent, Jim Donelon, is pursuing allowing insurance commission agents to be armed…with GUNS.

Commissioner of Agriculture & Forestry

Mike Strain has done good work streamlining the department and should be able to continue looking for ways to save taxpayer dollars.

Senate District 1

AG Crowe should be given the chance to continue looking for ways to shrink our state government and author more creative legislation such as Act 699 in 2008 that led to the Louisiana International Gulf Transfer Terminal. You can find more information about the terminal here.

Senate District 3

The only good thing about this race is that due to redistricting we get to rid ourselves of one New Orleans political establishment incumbent Democrat. I will be voting for JP Morrell solely due to my respect for his work as an Orleans Public Defender.

House of Representatives District 94

Both candidates are pretty average Republicans, but John LaBruzzo is a bit too socially conservative for my tastes. I’m going with Nick Lorusso in the newly combined district.

House of Representatives District 98

Due to Fenn French‘s experience in business development, he is a far more likely candidate than the incumbent to foster more growth in this Uptown district.

House of Representatives District 99

Not endorsing. I don’t see any way Bishop loses and both candidates are big government Democrats.

House of Representatives District 102

I’m very lukewarm on this one. Jeff Arnold‘s voting record isn’t terrible, but would have liked to see a candidate who focuses on limiting government.

House of Representatives District 103

Ray Garofalo is the only candidate in the race who seems to be committed to shrinking government.

Civil District Court Judge Division B

Not endorsing. Both candidates are recycled parts of this city’s current political machine.

Civil District Court Judge Division E

Not endorsing.

Traffic Court Judge Division A

Ernest Charbonnet is the only candidate not backed by the New Orleans political establishment. The least we can hope for is some independent thought here.

Criminal District Court Judge Section L

As an attorney, Franz Zibilich has an encouraging track record of cases as far as fairness and common sense are concerned and also has made the following quote; “That building was done to try the bad guys. Murder, rape, home invasion robbery,” he said. “There’s not enough time in the day to try second- or third-offense weed cases.” Also, he’s not endorsed by the same people as Louella Givens. A major point in his favor.

BESE District 1

Jim Garvey is doing good work in his first term and deserves to continue.

BESE District 2

Sometimes the incumbent is so bad you feel like you could throw a dart at a list and pick someone better. Fortunately, in this race, there’s a challenger worthy of endorsement, Kira Orange-Jones.


I’m going to weigh in on the Lt Governor and Secretary of State races later.

October 22 Constitutional Amendments

Thanks to the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana for recently releasing their guide of the pros and cons of each amendment. Below you will find the nolatarian perspective for each. You can view the LA-PAR guide here.

1. Funding TOPS & Sustaining Cigarette Tax Revenue

I will be voting AGAINST this amendment primarily because it places into the state constitution a permanent tax of $0.04 on all cigarette pack sales. Not only do I feel that it is inappropriate to lock a “sin tax” into the constitution, but it is attached to the TOPS funding bill as an attempt to get around the vetoing of a bill by Gov. Jindal that will allow this tax to expire on June 30, 2012. Also, there are 2 problems with this “sin tax.” First, theses taxes traditionally are lousy sources of revenue as evidenced in LA by about a $500,000 a year decrease of funds raised due to declining cigarette sales. Which brings us to the second point; I highly doubt $0.04/pack is enough to keep cigarette users from continuing their habit/vice, so the drop in sales is most likely due to increased education on the dangers of smoking which means the tax is unnecessary anyway. certainly is unnecessary to lock it into the constitution.

2. Reducing the Financial Liability of State Retirement Systems

I will be voting AGAINST this amendment due to the potential for unintended consequences. The legislature already has the flexibility to make extra payments to pay down the UAL, which has been taken advantage of in past years. The main question boils down to your belief of whether the legislature will, when given the opportunity by budget surpluses choose to make extra payments to the UAL instead of other allowable purposes. Also, there’s the possibility that the mandated payment will be viewed similarly as a credit card minimum payment which will not accomplish significant progress in paying down the UAL. Typically, I would not prefer to trust the legislature to pay down the debt instead of use surpluses for other potentially questionable purposes, but in this case I would rather the flexibility remain for effective lawmakers to be creative in maximizing budget surpluses for the greatest budgetary good.

3. Protecting the Patient’s Compensation Fund

I will be voting FOR this amendment. This issue is extremely specific so lets not get wrapped up in the debates surrounding the entirety of the Medical Malpractice suit law. I favor the amendment because it prevents a potential issue of the legislature taking funds for general budget purposes. I would not want to be the patient that finds out the funds that were supposed to be in place to cover my injuries from medical malpractice weren’t there because the legislature needed to cover expenses for some other budgetary need. Again, a worst case scenario, but other states have taken money from these funds in the past.

4. Managing the Budget Stabilization Rainy Day Fund

I will be voting AGAINST this amendment. First, this will allow the Supreme Court to rule on whether a similar statute is constitutional instead of just changing the constitution to fit the statute. Secondly, this will force the legislature to pay back the emergency fund quicker so as to help ensure that the fund is only used for true emergencies.
5. Updating the Census Change in a New Orleans Sales Tax Law

I will be voting FOR this amendment. The old language does need to be updated and the current law already provides a balance that protects the original property owner and concerns by neighbors about “blight” by giving the owner before the auction 3 years after the auction to pay the back taxes and reclaim their property.

A full breakdown of the individual races is coming soon. Stay tuned!!

Cao Says “Ciao” to Race For Attorney General

According to multiple reports, Joseph Cao has dropped out of the race for Louisiana Attorney General. Thus, one term incumbent, Buddy Caldwell wins reelection, making this the 9th uncontested race on our Oct 22 ballot.

As a reminder, a full breakdown on all races and constitutional amendments is coming the first week of October. Stay tuned!