Posts filed under LAGOP

Republican Party of Louisiana Files Public Records Request Regarding Governor John Bel Edwards’ Louisiana Statewide Business Summit

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Monday, February 18, 2019

(Baton Rouge, LA): Today the Republican Party of Louisiana submitted a public records request for any and all correspondence related to Democrat Governor John Bel Edwards’ Louisiana Statewide Business Summit to discern whether the governor is using it as a taxpayer-funded campaign event to bolster his re-election efforts. A copy of the request can be found here.

This request comes as Governor Edwards has faced a slew of bad headlines in recent weeks regarding his lackluster performance on the economy leading up to his announcement of the summit. This, along with the fact that many of the event’s speakers are either donors or employees of Edwards, raises questions of whether he is using his summit as a publicly-funded campaign event.

“On the heels of one negative story after another highlighting the poor state of Louisiana’s economy under the leadership of Governor Edwards, the Governor appears to have organized this summit for the benefit of his re-election efforts on the taxpayer’s dime,” said Chairman Louis Gurvich. “Our elected leaders should not be using taxpayer funds to further their personal political objectives. The timing and choice of speakers at this summit raises serious questions for Governor Edwards, and the people of Louisiana deserve answers.”

A Brief Timeline of Negative News Stories:

January 28 – “In a November 2015 debate, both Edwards and his Republican runoff challenger, then-U.S. Sen. David Vitter, said they wouldn’t raise tax rates on businesses or individuals. They talked of very similar plans to make government more efficient, remove protections that keep some areas of the budget off-limits to cuts and scale back tax break programs. Tax rates under Edwards, however, were raised.” (AP: In re-election bid, Edwards to face tax scrutiny)

January 30 – Louisiana ranked the worst state in the country for where to find a job. (Zippia: THESE ARE THE 10 BEST STATES IN AMERICA FOR JOBS)

January 30 – “Until then we live with Gov. Edwards’ ‘Texas Plan’ that was evident in a post by Baton Rouge ex-pat Branon Pesnell, who now does real estate in Houston: ‘I am one of the 55,000 who moved out of the state (2016-2018) partly because of this type of short-sighted thinking. Decisions like this will have long-term impact on the Louisiana’s ability to recruit and keep business. The door is open in Texas, come on in!’” (Greater Baton Rouge Business Journal: Publisher: Governor’s ITEP change helps Texas)

February 4 – “Stephen Waguespack, president of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, said Monday at the Press Club of Baton Rouge [ITEP] is ‘broken’…” (Advocate: LABI, Louisiana's largest business lobby, wants changes for ITEP tax)

February 4 – “But Edwards isn’t interested in changing the rules, saying Louisiana remains competitive in business development.” (AP: Louisiana leaders divided on industrial tax break)

February 9 – “Even when watered down by a Republican-led Legislature, his policies over the past three years have produced tax hikes and 40 percent higher state spending. Louisiana has one of the worst economies in the country with almost no net new jobs created.” (Advocate: Jeff Sadow: Look behind the spin put on Gov. Edward's polling numbers)

February 13 – John Bel Edwards announces Louisiana Statewide Business Summit (Advocate:Louisiana Statewide Business Summit to highlight economic development success stories

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LAGOP Statement On John Bel Edwards Running For Re-Election 

Photo source:  starblucks.cf

Photo source: starblucks.cf

Baton Rouge, LA - Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards formally announced his campaign for re-election as Louisiana's governor. Since taking office, John Bel Edwards has continually signed tax increases, crippled the state’s business climate, and followed the progressive left-wing policies which hurt working families. We cannot afford to have another term with John Bel Edwards’ regressive, anti-growth agenda. Louisiana deserves new leadership in 2019.

“After 3 years and countless sessions, Louisianans' have received nothing but empty promises and a state that places last in just about every category. Governor Edwards continues to preach about “reaching across the aisle” but has yet to stray from his party’s tax and spend agenda,” said LAGOP Chairman Louis Gurvich.


“As we have seen repeatedly, Gov. Edwards continues to put his Democrat progressive political agenda, friends and donors over our hard-working Louisiana voters. Our state must get away from the “Huey Long” way of doing things. John Bel Edwards used the slogan “Honor Code” in his 2015 campaign speeches saying, “he would not lie, cheat, steal or tolerate those who do” as of today, we feel this Governor has not lived up to this slogan,” said Executive Director Andrew Bautsch.

Louisianans can be confident that we will push back over the coming months to ensure Louisiana gets the leader it so desperately needs!

Posted on January 23, 2019 and filed under John Bel Edwards, LAGOP, Louisiana.

LAGOP: Louisiana Republicans join together to support Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin

Photo source: LAGOP

Photo source: LAGOP

11/13/2018

Today, Louisiana Republican officials across the state joined together to express support for Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin in his runoff election scheduled for December 8, 2018. Members of the executive branch of Louisiana, and the Republican members of the Congressional delegation, announced their endorsements of Secretary Ardoin for the December 8 runoff.

“It is vital that we keep a conservative Republican as our Louisiana Secretary of State. We cannot afford a liberal progressive in that office who would weaken our voter ID laws and undermine the integrity of our elections,” Republican Party of Louisiana Chairman Louis Gurvich said. “It's critical that all Louisiana Republicans show up to support and vote for Secretary of State Ardoin on December 8. No one should take this election for granted!”

“Look at what’s happening in Florida and Georgia, where the incompetence of local election officials is casting serious doubt on the results of the elections in those states. This cannot be allowed to happen in Louisiana. I will continue to ensure the security of our elections, and fight the radicals who wish to change our election laws,” declared Secretary of State Ardoin.

Secretary Ardoin placed first in the November primary. Early voting for the runoff election takes place November 24-December 1, and Election Day is December 8.

The list of Republican officials who have endorsed Secretary Ardoin are as follows:

Republican Party of Louisiana
Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D.
Senator John Kennedy
Congressman Steve Scalise
Congressman Ralph Abraham
Congressman Clay Higgins
Congressman Mike Johnson
Attorney General Jeff Landry
Treasurer John Schroder
Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry Mike Strain
Commissioner of Insurance Jim Donelon

Posted on November 13, 2018 and filed under LAGOP, Louisiana, Republicans.

LAGOP: The Battle Lines

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As the budget battle rages in the legislature and each side seeks to gain the moral high ground in the eyes of the public, we thought it would be a good time to revisit recent history and remind everyone how we arrived at this point:

Recall that the John Bel Edwards administration’s original fiscal cliff estimate was $1.3B, which then changed to $1.1B, before morphing into $994M as recently as April of this year. Only after the non-partisan Revenue Estimating Conference reported a more realistic (but still excessive-see below) estimated deficit figure of $648M, did Governor Edwards reluctantly and belatedly adopt this number as his latest “fiscal cliff”.

As we can now clearly discern, the fiscal cliff had already miraculously diminished to less than half of the Governor’s initial claim, or rather demand, for more taxes, but even so the House Fiscal Division then most unhelpfully (from the Governor’s perspective), calculated the actual number to be no more than $495M. Our Republican legislators’ trust in this administration’s deficit figures are by now understandably at low ebb.

Bluntly speaking, the Governor and his legislative allies have not been truthful with the public about the fiscal cliff. Rather, the Governor has repeatedly and over a period of years used wildly differing numbers which he knew were inaccurate at the time, to terrorize the public and its legislative representatives into raising taxes unnecessarily. He further compounded this chicanery by loudly proclaiming the approaching end of the state hospital system and the ejection of 37,000 nursing home residents onto the streets, albeit the public was at least spared on this particular occasion from the impending specter of the demise of the LSU football program. There is of course no reason to believe that he has now abandoned this ruse, but the damage done by this Governor’s lack of honesty is plain for all to see in the shattered wreckage left by nine legislative sessions in just over two years, and the terrific toll this has taken on our legislators, both Republican and Democrat alike.

But there is much more: The Governor’s current deficit figure is based on his administration’s requests for monies for the various departments of state government, which of course includes increases that have already been factored into the fiscal cliff. We believe that rather than increasing the budget of our state’s government, which is widely acknowledged to be the most bloated and inefficient in the entire country, we could most certainly reduce most departments by a reasonable amount (2-4%, for example). These reductions would in no wise impair the functioning of our government. Increasing governmental efficiencies is after all nothing more than was promised to us by John Bel Edwards himself, along with his many other long since forgotten campaign promises, including his promise not to raise taxes.

Continuing onward (or should we say ‘downward’?), the state’s own legislative auditor has stated that the purging of the vastly expanded Medicaid rolls of those ineligible to receive such assistance (thank you again, Governor Edwards), would by itself resolve the fiscal cliff within a short time. All that would be necessary is the willingness of this administration to compare the income tax returns of Medicaid applicants and recipients with the income declared on their Medicaid application form, and tens of thousands would be removed forthwith from the rolls. Additional savings could be gained merely by eliminating the 25% income error allowance for applicants, who should full well be able to determine their true income to within a few percent.

As the tax battle unfolded on the Senate side, HB 27 by Rep. Lance Harris (R, Alexandria), an attempt at compromise which sought to raise $365M by raising sales taxes 1/3 of a cent while reducing government spending, received rough treatment at the hands of the Senate Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Committee chaired by Rep. J. P. Morrell (D, New Orleans). More properly, one should say that the original bill had already been hijacked by Democrats, who immediately added over $300M in additional taxes, which would essentially grant Governor Edwards demand for $648M in taxes if it were to become law. So much for Republicans’ attempt at compromise!

Which leads us to the present. The next few days will determine not just the size of the tax increase to be borne by our tax-paying citizenry, but also the direction of our state government and thus the future of all Louisianians. At issue are fundamental questions: Whether we will demand that our government live within its means, or allow it to grow ever larger and less accountable to the people? And whether Louisiana will make an attempt to become competitive with other states, or continue to lose business, wealth, and population to our neighbors?

Let us hope that all of our Republican legislators, both senators and representatives alike, join in holding the line on taxes and supporting Rep. Harris’ original bill, or something very much like it. There is too much at stake to allow for anything less.

 

Louis Gurvich, Chairman
Republican Party of Louisiana

Posted on June 1, 2018 and filed under Louisiana, LAGOP, John Bel Edwards.