Childhood Memories of Unions Sunday, Oct 26 2008 

After continually receiving the anti-union mailers this political season, I had a flashback to childhood memories.  It was clearly one of the few times I remember being frightened as a kid. 

My Dad refused to be a ‘union man’ and crossed the picket line for work.   While he was at work, someone was calling our house threatening my Mother, telling her they were coming for her and the children.  My grandfather had to come and stay with us because the threats increased.  Though we weren’t told the whole story, I knew some bad guys were planning on coming to our home to get us because my Dad was working in spite of the union’s demands to picket. 

One night I snuck down the hallway and heard my Dad telling my Mother about the union guys calling him names and throwing things at him as he crossed the line.  That was the way Unions operated back then.  People were intimidated, hurt and told what to do.  

Still frightened, it was then I realized my Dad was a real hero for standing up against the ‘bad’ union guys for what he believed.  It would be one of the many lessons my Dad taught me that carried me through life’s challenges.

Lane Grigsby, local business owner and political activist, is spending his own money to let us know that there is a move afoot to have legislation passed that would strip employees of the ability to vote in private by unions.  One of Grigsby’s mailers provides a long list of financial supporters that are union-based on Cazayoux’s political contribution list.  

As they say, follow the money, and you will know where someone’s heart is in a campaign. 

I was not happy to see that Cazayoux kept dodging political forums while both Jackson and Cassidy were willing to debate as often as possible.  Cazayoux’s people claimed scheduling issues, but it doesn’t take a political consultant to tell us that when someone runs for office they clamor for public forums.  Unless they have something to hide or issues they don’t want brought to light.  Maybe Cazayoux doesn’t want anyone to ask him about his union bias?

Either way, this gives me one more reason to not vote for Cazayoux. It was also a reason I was not a fan of Kip Holden’s candidacy as he is entrenched with the labor unions.  

Vote for the right-to-work and against labor-supported candidates.  That means in the 6th congressional district that you would choose Jackson or Cassidy.  I choose Senator Bill Cassidy to represent me.  The heart of a physician, family man, and politician who turned down the legislative pay raise.  That’s the kind of man I want to represent me in Washington.

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

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Special Interest Groups Bankroll Cazayoux Sunday, Oct 19 2008 

It always concerns me when special interest groups dominate a candidate’s fundraising.  When PAC’s, unions, and trial lawyers are bankrolling a candidate, there is a reason.  Why?  Because all three of these groups come-a-calling after election day with their wish list for the candidate.  

It’s one thing to hear the buzz, it’s another when we have the privilege of seeing firsthand the finance reports of a candidate to prove whence the money comes.  Here is a list of who is bankrolling the 6th Congressional race:

Don Cazayoux

  • Cazayoux’s largest contributor:  trial lawyers
  • 2nd largest contributor:  PACS providing 52% of Cazayoux’s money.
  • Only 3 of his top 20 contributors are local individuals and ranking in the top 3 (combined contributions) are unions.
  • Though Cazayoux’s personal net worth shows between $540,000 to $765,000, he has not loaned his campaign any money.

Bill Cassidy

  • Cassidy’s top contributors read like an all-star Greater Baton Rouge business list of companies that have always given to the community.  Names you will recognize like Valluzzo, Hise, Lipsey, Wampold, Pellar, Turner, Polito, Mockler, et al.
  • Louisiana Business & Industry, referred to as LABI, supports Cassidy which means he is good for business in Louisiana.  They scrutinize candidates and work against special interest groups.
  • Cassidy has loaned his own campaign around $29,000.

Michael Jackson

  • Jackson has an interesting mix in his top 20 contributors including familiar names like Grigsby, Fields, Bailey, and Lamar.
  • A few faith-based groups also support Jackson in his top 20 contributors.  His top contributor appears to be Grigsby who is vehemently against Cazayoux due to his personal views against union support.
  • Jackson has also loaned his campaign some $20,000+.

Now that we have followed the money, we have proof that special interest groups are bankrolling Cazayoux’s $2 million campaign.  Hands down, the trial lawyers, unions and PAC’s are some of the most powerful groups in political special interest circles.  All three support Cazayoux.  This means I cannot and will not support a man who agreed to allow these special interest groups to give him such large contributions.  By the way, there is a reason they did.  They know who they can control – a liberal democrat. 

Again, my vote is for Cassidy for the 6th Congressional District seat.  I respect the group of business leaders that support him and am willing to add my vote to the man they invested their hard earned dollars in – Cassidy. 

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

Doctor, Lawyer or Indian Chief? Friday, Oct 17 2008 

On November 4, 2008, the 6th Congressional District will decide on who will represent them in Washington.  Those choices include Dr. Bill Cassidy, attorney Michael Jackson or incumbent Don Cazayoux.  Although it is true that Cazayoux has only been in office a few months, I thought it would be of interest to take a look at his voting record.

  • Cazayoux voted NAY to H.R. 6899.  A bill intended to reduce U.S. dependency on oil by advancing renewable and clean fuel alternatives.  His commercials say otherwise.  I believe the record.
  • Cazayoux ABSTAINED from several votes including H.R. 4081 to prevent tobacco smuggling and to ensure the collection of tobacco taxes, S. 2617 to increase the compensation for veterans, and H.R. 1527  to allow certain rural veterans to seek healthcare providers in their area – yet Cazayoux claims he honors veterans. 
  • The most positive thing I can attribute to Cazayoux was his record as a prosecutor which is to be commended.  Perhaps he should have remained in that capacity and continued service where it was more appropriate.

The Center for Responsive Politics shows that Cazayoux received 50% of his contributions from PACS.  This, along with his stand on numerous issues and tendency to increase taxes proves to me he is just another tax and spend liberal democrat out of touch with his constituency and the difficult challenges we all face.

Michael Jackson, as representative in the Louisiana Legislature, voted FOR the legislative pay raises.  Almost enough said, but not quite.

  • Jackson voted FOR including the promotion of poker tournaments.  Gaming in Louisiana has been a poor decision on our part and added to the demise of many families causing undue financial strain taking away from the real needs of families.
  • Jackson voted AGAINST ethics complaints being anonymous which is a deterrent to complaints by those fearing revenge.
  • A positive for Jackson has been his work in the inner city areas on health centers and education.  He is to be commended.

Reviewing Jackson’s voting record does not make me a huge fan of his politics.  I cannot, in good faith, vote for Jackson to pull levers on my behalf in D.C. though he would be better than Cazayoux in my opinion.  UPDATE:  Due to Jackson’s position in The Advocate today on granting 12 million illegal immigrants amnesty, opposing domestic drilling and providing universal healthcare endorsed by Obama, I withdraw my earlier comment that he is an option to consider for Congress.

Senator Bill Cassidy immediately received my kudos when he voted AGAINST the legislative pay raise on the infamous debacle of SB672.   It was refreshing, to say the least.  Other initiatives by Cassidy caught my eye and showed me he was a candidate interested in the needs of the people:

  • Cassidy voted YES to castration of sex offenders on SB144, something his opponent did not do.
  • Cassidy voted YES to curb those allowed to do business with the state of Louisiana based on conflicts of interest on Amend 423 to SB1.
  • Cassidy co-founded a clinic that brought doctors together to provide medical care to the working uninsured of our community, and serves at our local charity hospital as one of the state’s most well known hepatologists. 
  • Cassidy’s immediate reaction post-Katrina to turn an abandoned KMart into a medical triage to serve those needing medical care was leadership in action.  One of my friends served as a volunteer and told me the intricate details of Cassidy’s ability to forge partnerships with the business and medical community to provide these services at no cost to those receiving care. 
  • Cassidy also helped to create partnerships to provide 36,000 children with needed vaccines at no cost to taxpayers.  An associate of mine works for a program providing services to public schools explained the program to me and how it reached public, private and catholic school children saving parents and the community countless dollars. 

Bill Cassidy impresses me because I have to believe that a physician does not need to run for political office.  The programs he has created coupled with his vote against legislative pay raises shows me he is a man of the people that would continue to put his constituents first and perhaps change the face of our health care system.  I feel comfortable with him representing us in Congress.

My vote is for Bill Cassidy for the 6th Congressional District.  I want the heart of a doctor, with a mind focused on the people, and hands-on leadership that thinks out of the box to speak for me in Washington.  In my opinion, we need more candidates like Cassidy.

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

Republicans in 6th Reject Party Unity Saturday, Jun 7 2008 

Overdue Update:  Republicans finally came together and agreed that Cassidy was the most formidable candidate for the 6th Congressional District.  Calongne and Jenkins have agreed not to run!  Things may be looking up for the Louisiana GOP.

In times where party unity seems to be a daily political discussion on a national level, it might be advantageous to take a look at an interesting race that is brewing this fall in the Red Stick.  Voters will now have three Republican candidates to choose from in the 6th Congressional race since the trio seems to reject the idea of party unity. 

Voters often wonder why candidates run for office.  After all, who would want to subject their family and future to the whim of the media, political pundits and overwhelming daily stress in a daunting challenge of changing the course of our country that is already spiraling out of control? 

Apparently three are willing to take the plunge including Senator Bill Cassidy, business owner Laurinda Calongne, and editor Woody Jenkins.  All three have strong political ties, experience and supporters. 

Who will wind up on 1st to run against recently seated democrat Congressman Don Cazayoux?  (Don may have his own party competition on the democratic side in Representative Michael Jackson)  Cazayoux hit the floor running with an impressive website that is user friendly and a message of “what can I do to help?” This past week he began running radio ads and held conference calls for constituents to call in and address their concerns and needs.  Republicans will have to overcome his effective ability to be ‘one of us’ coupled with his humor and lack of elitism.

As a republican, this race is already causing me concern.  It won’t take a crystal ball to see the future and what to expect based on the past:

  • Republican Senator Bill Cassidy is a physician specializing in diseases of the liver.  Cassidy won a senate seat vacated by Jay Dardenne against William Daniel in 2006, and was re-elected against virtually no strong competition in 2008.  Cassidy’s platform was to improve education and healthcare in Louisiana.  He is married to retired physician Laura Cassidy, has three young children who attend public school, and attends the Chapel on the Campus. 
    • Opponents will say Cassidy is attempting to catapult his political career to a national level with a goal of changing a fledgling national healthcare system without achieving his goals in the office he promised to serve for at least 3 more years and cite his inexperience in Washington as a negative.

 

  • Republican business owner Laurinda Calongne, principal of Robert Rose Consulting, lost her bid for the vacated congressional seat of Richard Baker earlier this year in the party primary against Woody Jenkins.  Calongne ran on the premise that her business savvy would help streamline government spending, to ease the tax burden of constituents, and to fight against illegal immigration.  Laurinda says she has raised millions of dollars for the republican party and even more for health care related organizations through her grant writing to increase benefits to Louisianans.  Calongne is married to engineering consultant Dan, has one teenage daughter, and they attend Healing Place Church and Our Lady of Mercy.
    • Opponents will attack Calongne for being a registered lobbyist, for ties to Bob Livingston, and twist her stand against illegal immigration claiming she is being discriminatory.

 

  • Republican Woody Jenkins, former representative and editor of three Red Stick publications, lost his bid for this congressional seat in the run-off earlier this year to Don Cazayoux, democrat.  Jenkins’ campaign ran on his conservative values and history in the legislature.  He was backed by the Family Research Council and the Louisiana Family Forum, both christian conservative organizations and by Governor Bobby Jindal.  Jenkins is married to attorney and former assistant district attorney, Diane; they have four adult children and listed no church affiliation.
    • Opponents will attack Jenkins’ inability to win elections against strong democrats, questionable ethics in past elections and a controversial non-profit organization he and his wife managed.

Three strong republicans that refuse to agree on party unity.  Is this the wave of the future?  Maybe. 

There is no way these three candidates can run against each other without attacks on their opponents if they expect to set their self apart from the pack.  Families will suffer, as they always do in tough campaigns, and the need to raise at least $1 million by each candidate to be effective will make it one for the books – especially with McCain making major fundraising strides in Louisiana.  Who is willing to pay the ultimate price to represent Louisiana’s 6th district? 

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican