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Election Hangover, But there is Hope - Wednesday, October 26, 2011

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Election Hangover

But there is Hope


The morning after this election is about like recovery from a week-end drunk.

Jindal fooled 62.31 percent of the people.  The August Southern Media poll forecast 57 percent with a 4.5 percent margin of error.  Inflate the poll forecast by 4.5 and you come up with 57.81 percent.  Pretty close. 

Apparently the American Federation for Children political professionals are correct:  Money and organization wins elections.  Grass roots are for the worms.

That Tara Hollis could gain 180,603 votes with no statewide media coverage is amazing.  The Southern Media poll showed 43 percent leaning away from Jindal, and 34 percent wound up voting for the no-bodies in the race. 

The Coalition didnít get it done.

We face a real challenge in Districts 2, 6 and 8.  All the Kingís men and left-over money (about $3 million) can be focused on those three races.

District 2:

Louella Givens ran second to Jones in Orleans trailing by 1,730 votes.  She lost Jefferson by 1,758 votes.  She lost Assumption by better than 2 to 1, in St. Charles she ran third behind Matus at 4,839, and Jones at 4,106.  In St. James she was lowest of the four with Jones running second to Wallaceís 4,181.

In order for Louella to win the second sheíll to hold what she has in Orleans and Jefferson and gain a majority of the 6,799 votes given to Matus and Wallace in St. Charles Parish, and the 6,500 votes given that pair in St. John the Baptist.  She may have a small potential gain in St. James but to move from 4th to a close finish there seems unlikely.  In assumption she could pick up all of the votes and still lose.

District 6:

The big surprise in the BESE elections was Beth Meyers.  She carried Washington beating Songy by 177 votes with Roemer a distant third.  She ran second to Roemer in Tangipahoa outdistancing Songy by 2,430 votes, and killed Songy in taking second place in Livingston.  Roemer pulled 14,085, Meyers 11,593 and Songy 6,789.  Even in Ascension the news was not good.  Songy won with 9,066.  The combined vote for Roemer (6,810) and Meyers (2,740) is greater.

Clearly Songy needs to join forces with Meyers and benefit from her strong constituency in Livingston, Washington and Tangipahoa.  He should pick up the Lionís share of her Ascension vote.  But the fact is Roemer needs only gain 6%.

District 8:

This was a total upset.  In a 63% minority district the sole white candidate runs a close second with 32,937 votes to the leaderís (Carolyn Hill) 3,4149.  The TFA/Jindal candidate Armstrong had 24,512, while the Coalition/LSBA-PAC candidate trailed with 24,421.

Rutledge ran lowest in all but EBR.  Guillory ran third in Ascension, last in EBR, and next to last in Iberville.  He carried Avoyelles by better than 3 to 1, won East Feliciana by 400 votes over Hill, and carried Evangeline by 300 votes over Hill.  Hill is a clinical social worker with a master in social work administration from LSU.  Sheís a Democrat and considers herself a moderate.  I find no record of her employment, nor has she filed any campaign finance reports according to currently available Ethics Administration Program. 

In order to block Jindalís elevation of John White all three of these contested seats must be won.

Again, Jindalís bankroll and campaign organization will be formidable.

Again, public education stakeholders did not vote in their own self-interest and the money prevailed.

It appears as if school boards and teachers can expect the worst of the next four years.



Don Whittinghill