Louisiana Politics: The Good, Bad and Ugly Awards, 2015


By Robert Mann

The past year was the wildest and most unpredictable in my 30-plus years of observing Louisiana politics. Besides the entertainment value, 2015 was a humbling 12 months, especially for those of us who were certain that a Democrat could never be elected governor. (I’m happy I’m not a betting man.)

With the year almost done, it’s time for my second annual Good, Bad and Ugly in Louisiana Politics Awards. The competition was fierce. In almost every category, I could have chosen any of three or four nominees. I present here my choices for achievement in 10 categories. (Thanks to those who submitted nominations.)

Most CourageStephen Perry. In May, under the guise of “religious freedom,” Gov. Bobby Jindal issued an appalling and legally questionable executive order purporting to give state and local officials license to discriminate against same-sex couples. While most convention, tourism and chamber executives initially dived for cover, one valiant leader stood tall and set the pace for the few souls who eventually spoke up. Perry, CEO of the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau (also one of Jindal’s appointees to the LSU Board), promptly issued a strongly worded condemnation of the order.

Most Cowardice: Louisiana Legislators. During the 2015 legislative session, most legislators opposed an immediate expansion of Medicaid for Louisiana’s working poor under provisions of the Affordable Care Act. Sen. Ben Nevers pushed the bill in the Senate while state Rep. John Bel Edwards proposed the same legislation in the House. Now that Edwards is governor-elect and Nevers is his chief of staff, many of those cowardly legislators have suddenly seen the light. Most cannot wait to expand Medicaid.

Shameless Ambition: Bobby Jindal. For abandoning Louisiana for most of his second term while he indulged the folly that was his embarrassing and poorly managed presidential campaign, this category will hereafter be known as the “Bobby Jindal Shameless Ambition Award.”

Most Embarrassing Statement: Attorney General Buddy Caldwell. When I heard his concession speech on election night, my first thought was that Caldwell was sloshed. It appears he was not drunk, only belligerent. Prospective political candidates should study his bitter, rambling and incoherent speech as a master class in how to end a campaign in the most insolent manner possible. Among Caldwell’s incomprehensible statements was this jewel: “Out of the largest pile of manure, grows the prettiest flower.”

Continue reading on NOLA.com at this link.

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10 Responses to Louisiana Politics: The Good, Bad and Ugly Awards, 2015

  1. Michael Wade says:

    Hmm. “Buddy” Caldwell. “Bobby” Jindal. Maybe it’s time to start electing people with adult first names.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. jechoisir says:

    I do not mean to be a contrarian, but I would like to know who was in the running for these awards. So many candidates,it seems to me. Moreover, I sense regional prejudice. Being from North Louisiana, I’m accustomed to folks in my section being ignored, but while I can’t think of a category name, I feel the Duck Dynasty guys’ major entry into politics and their first selection for Congress ought to at least get runner-up for something in the Bill-Clinton-womanizing vein. Maybe least time elapsed between election and sex scandal? Or Best Proof that Office Videos are dangerous for politicians. Wording escapes me. Moreover, the Duckers are not singular. You folks down in South Louisiana are always neglecting us. I protest


    • rtmannjr says:

      Yeah. You have a good point. I should have created some kind of award for “Serially Endorsing Losers” for them.


    • rtmannjr says:

      In the Duck guys’ defense, I must say that most of what they did was in a previous year, so they would not qualify for 2015.


      • Stephen Winham says:

        True, but Willy in the woods with Vitter was an award winner for engendering cognitive dissonance.

        Liked by 1 person

      • jechoisir says:

        Indeed, Mr. Winham. And that was this year. I remember it as if it were only—well, only a month ago. It was a show in itself: DV’s repeated remorse for his past sins, set with Willy, a preacher, against a woodsy backdrop; talk of repentance and forgiveness; New Orleans meets Calhoun, LA and shows we are all just alike in this state. Cunning and Cunning, Inc. It deserves an award. LA does not stop in Alexandria.


      • rtmannjr says:

        Last time I check, Buddy Caldwell was from your neck of the woods.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. jechoisir says:

    But he left us for the city lights. He’s no longer really one of us. The Duckers remain. And the television ad which Mr. Winham, a disinterested observer, mentioned, ran night and day in the runoff. Switching channels, one could catch different parts of it on 4 different television stations. Up here we don’t go daft over “Downton Abbey” teas. We like homegrown drama. Mr. W. gave you the award title: Willie in the Woods with Vitter.


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