Posts filed under Republicans

LAGOP: How Not To Govern Louisiana- The Sad Tale of ITEP Under the John Bel Edwards’ Administration

Photo source: KNOE

Photo source: KNOE

We were very pleased to learn last week that the Exxon/Mobil polyolefin plant expansion project worth about $500M had received what is called an “ITEP” exemption from local property taxes, and that the project would proceed. There had been serious concern about the ultimate approval of what heretofore would have been a routine, no-brainer project for the betterment of our state and our workers. But the sad tale of what has recently happened to this highly successful industry and jobs incentive program under the John Bel Edwards’ administration bodes ill for future industrial development in Louisiana.

The tale begins over eighty years ago and ends at the present day as an expose on John Bel Edwards’ poor leadership and the dangers posed by Louisiana Democrats’ adoption of progressive-socialist ideology. Here’s why every worker and his or her family members should shudder whenever any local governing agency with taxing authority decides to cast a bureaucratic eye at an employer’s application for local tax relief via an ITEP exemption:

It is the early 1930’s and Huey Long’s populist “share-the-wealth” agenda is well underway in Louisiana. Gov. Long’s constant rants against the major oil companies during the worst depression in American history have rewarded him with almost total political power within the state. He uses this power to slash personal and utility tax rates and effectively eliminates personal property taxes for most citizens (read ‘voters’ in Huey’s lexicon) by instituting the homestead exemption, while greatly increasing taxes and fees on industry to make up for the ensuing deficits.

An assassin’s bullet ends Huey Long’s life in 1935, but the damage has been done and the political culture of Louisiana remains populist and hostile to industry for many years afterward. The Great Depression lingers on and by the late 1930’s the political heirs of the Long era have begun to realize that industry now needs an incentive to move to Louisiana.

Enter the Industrial Property Tax Exemption Program (ITEP), first passed in 1936 as a major incentive to draw larger industrial projects to Louisiana to offset the otherwise uncompetitive tax system created by Huey Long. Up until 2016, the ITEP statute gives power to the State Board of Commerce & Industry to grant local property tax exemptions of up to 100% for up to ten years for plant and manufacturing investments. The program is highly successful in attracting new business and encouraging existing business to expand or retain their operations in Louisiana.

Now it is true that critics have attacked ITEP because the state granted the local tax exemptions without local government approval, but recall that ITEP was intended to reduce employers’ overall cost of doing business in Louisiana in order to offset the many disadvantages of doing business here- the high taxes and fees, state and local government hostility to business and the resulting awful legal climate, the high crime rates and the poor public services and schools, etc. ITEP was and is an attempt to compensate for these factors by leveling the playing field for any employer building or expanding in Louisiana, and it has succeeded in doing just what it was intended to do.

Contrary to what opponents have claimed, ITEP never gives state or local money to industry; rather, it simply defers local property taxes. What it does do is stimulate investment and create thousands of jobs which generate additional sales, income and other taxes from the moment construction begins on the approved projects, many of which would not otherwise be located in Louisiana.

But it is now 2016 and the state has a new governor, a trial lawyer with little business experience and member of a Democrat Party increasingly controlled by vocal socialist-progressives. John Bel Edwards is under strong pressure from Together Louisiana and other far-left organizations to sign an executive order giving partial control of ITEP exemptions to various local taxing authorities, from parish councils and police juries all the way down to local school boards.

Under the new ITEP rules, these local governments must pass resolutions in support of the proposed projects before the ITEP local property tax exemption can be finally approved by the State Board of Commerce & Industry. Unfortunately, many of the officials on these councils and boards are left-wing political ideologues who also have little or no business experience and don’t comprehend the reasoning behind the creation of ITEP in the first place.

Together Louisiana begins agitating against the granting of ITEP applications unless absurd job and wage guarantees are included in the application which more than nullify the tax benefits, and soon finds a willing accomplice in the East Baton Rouge School Board. The EBR School Board promptly balks at granting a proposed ITEP tax exemption filed by Exxon/Mobil, which happens to be the largest employer in the Baton Rouge metro area.

To understand the dangerous absurdity of what recently happened to Exxon/Mobil this past January, you must also know that this particular project had already been completed and Exxon/Mobil had been assured that it would be grandfathered in under the pre-2016 ITEP rules. This obviously did not happen after Together Louisiana reared its leftist head. Although the larger mega-project just received approval this last week, it is important to note that that project’s request for a tax exemption had been grandfathered in under the pre-2016 rules.

Future projects seeking ITEP approval can no longer be grandfathered in under the pre-2016 rules, of course, and local property tax abatement as a reward for locating or expanding industry in Louisiana has just become a political football on the most uneven playing field in America, our own dear Louisiana. Thanks to Gov. Edwards, the ITEP tax exemption program has become hostage to Together Louisiana and the far left elected officials who so love to grandstand with their anti-corporate vitriol, as industry executives throughout the nation and beyond have no doubt noted by now.

Louisiana needs all the help it can get to attract or even retain the industry it has, as our very poor comparative growth rate and loss of population attest. Over the last three years of the John Bel Edwards’ administration, vast swathes of the state have deteriorated significantly and the quality of life of our citizenry has fallen ever further behind that of our prospering neighbors.

Tinkering with one of the state’s most successful industry attraction programs in order to placate Louisiana Democrats was a political mistake of the worst sort for the worst of reasons. As it now stands, as older projects in Louisiana are completed, fewer and fewer new ones have been scheduled to replace them. The uncertain status of ITEP is a major reason why, and all Louisianians will suffer as a result.

This mess was predictable and preventable, but apparently not by a governor beholden to the Louisiana Democrat Party. Perhaps our Republican delegation in the legislature can reverse the damage to the ITEP program in the 2019 legislative session, but better still to have a new, REPUBLICAN Governor on January 13, 2020!

Louis Gurvich, Chairman
Republican Party of Louisiana

RGA: John Bel Edwards: Great for Texas, Bad for Louisiana

The Republican Governor’s Association has put out a YouTube video highlighting the stellar performance (pun intended), of our own Cajun Obama, “Honor Code” John Bel Edwards. The video highlights the state of the economy and business climate here in the Pelican State.

Posted on February 22, 2019 and filed under John Bel Edwards, Louisiana, Republicans.

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: 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.

Administration Easing Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling Rules

Photo source: Rigzone

Photo source: Rigzone

A 48-page notice from the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement published Friday in the Federal Register says the agency “has become aware that certain provisions in that rulemaking created potentially unduly burdensome requirements for oil and natural gas production operators … without meaningfully increasing safety of the workers or protection of the environment.”

An offshore drilling industry group said it’s a positive step.

Read more:  Administration easing offshore oil and gas drilling rules

Posted on September 29, 2018 and filed under Donald Trump, Oil and Gas, Republicans.

The LAGOP Endorses Clay Higgins for Congress

Photo source: Facebook 

Photo source: Facebook 

The LAGOP Endorses Clay Higgins for CongressThe Executive Committee of the Republican Party of Louisiana, Friday, announced its official endorsement of Clay Higgins for Louisiana's third congressional district.

“No one is more conservative and more reflective of the citizens that live in the third congressional district than Congressman Clay Higgins,” Republican Party of Louisiana Chairman Louis Gurvich said. “President Donald Trump, the Executive Committee of the LAGOP, and I encourage all conservatives in the third congressional district to vote for Clay Higgins in the upcoming midterm election.”

Clay Higgins is a true 'Cajun conservative,' he believes in a strong national defense, and he's working around the clock to make sure that our borders are impenetrable. He also has a no-nonsense attitude towards government waste and unconstitutional federal overreach.

Rep. Higgins is still just as much of the Acadian he was back when he started his first term. Rep. Higgins makes it very clear to anyone he speaks with that he does not take part in the toxic D.C. culture. "I don't live in D.C.," he often proclaims, "I may from time to time sleep in D.C., but I live in Acadiana."

One of Rep. Higgins core beliefs is that he was sent to D.C. to represent his constituents and not special interest lobbyists. Constituents of the third congressional district should feel confident that Rep. Higgins will be one of the few in Congress who are fighting to drain the swamp in D.C. once and for all.

In 1979 Clay Higgins enlisted into the Louisiana National Guard where he reached the rank of Staff Sergeant. Later in life, he became an officer of the law in St. Landry Parish, which is where he became known as 'America's toughest cop, Captain Clay Higgins.' He is a man of service, no doubt about it.

Rep. Higgins' voting record is one of a reliable conservative, he voted to repeal Obamacare, voted for president Trump's tax cuts, and has been a faithful defender of our constitution. So we are encouraging you to join us this midterm election and re-elect Clay Higgins to represent Louisiana's third congressional district.

Posted on June 25, 2018 and filed under Republicans, Louisiana, Clay Higgins.

Open Letter to Governor John Bel Edwards - Hand Delivered to Governor Edwards on Thursday, June 7, 2018

Third Special Session starts June 18th

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Louisiana House Republicans

Sponsored ⋅ Paid for by Louisiana House Republican Delegation ·

Governor Edwards,

On behalf of the Republican Delegation of the Louisiana House of Representatives and the millions of Louisiana residents we represent, we ask that you put careful consideration into the scope and inclusions of your call for our third extraordinary session of 2018 to include structural budgetary reform and cost savings measures in lieu of taxes alone.

While it is your right as the chief executive of the state to set the agenda for any special legislative session that you call, we ask that you consider the results of the two previous special sessions and know that our constituents continue to resoundingly tell us that state government should live within its means.

We agree in the necessity of funding our essential priorities. We also believe that it is necessary to enact transparent budgeting and spending policies and reduce the size of state government.

We sincerely hope that you will consider supporting and including the following bipartisan solutions in your call. To ask for taxes without reform could very well yield a similar result to previous attempts at the same.

- Sign SB13 (Ward) - The Louisiana Checkbook.

- Reconsider HB12 & HB15 from the first special session of 2018 (Barras) - Provides for changes in the expenditure limit calculation.

- Give the legislative auditor the authority to audit the records of any state agency for the purpose of auditing programs that expend taxpayer funds and ensuring legal compliance.

Before we enact yet another tax, it is imperative that the taxpayers see that you are willing to allow the legislature the ability to identify areas of waste, fraud, and abuse in addition to allowing for a transparent and savings-minded approach to government spending.

We remain committed to the principles our constituents sent us to Baton Rouge to stand for. We also believe our constituents expect us to work for solutions that ensure Louisiana government funds its critical priorities, as demonstrated by our continued efforts to meet you more than half-way. We remain committed to working in good faith for the betterment of Louisiana.

It’s Amazing What Happens When the Economy is Unshackled from Democrats

Photo source: Rigzone

Photo source: Rigzone

Jerry Morales, the mayor of Midland, Texas, and a local restaurateur, is being whipsawed by the latest Permian Basin shale-oil boom.

It’s fueling the region and starving it at the same time. Sales-tax revenue is hitting a record high, allowing the city to get around to fixing busted roads. But the crazy-low 2.1 percent unemployment rate is a bear. As the proprietor of Mulberry Cafe and Gerardo’s Casita, Morales is working hard to retain cooks. As a Republican first elected in 2014, he oversees a government payroll 200 employees short of what it needs to fully function.

“This economy is on fire,” he said from a back table at the cafe the other day, watching as the lunchtime crowd lined up for the Asian Zing Salad and Big Mo’s Toaster hamburger

Read more:  Shale Country Dangles 100% Pay Raises as Labor Market Runs Dry

Gonsoulin Announces Candidacy for Louisiana House Seat

Photo source: YouTube 

Photo source: YouTube 

Ricky Gonsoulin, New Iberia resident and Iberia Parish Councilman, has announced via YouTube his intentions to seek the Louisiana House Seat in District 48. The seat is currently being held by Speaker of the House, Taylor Barras, who is term limited. 

AFP-Louisiana Releases Statement on Conclusion of Special Session

Group commends lawmakers on principled stand against tax increases

Photo source: AFP Twitter

Photo source: AFP Twitter

BATON ROUGE, La. - Americans for Prosperity-Louisiana (AFP-LA) State Director John Kay released the following statement Monday night after legislators adjourned from special session:

"We applaud House members for taking a principled stand against tax increases. Having no tax increases advance is a win for Louisianans.

"This should be a clear message to the governor that another legislative session that wastes taxpayer money is not welcomed. They should refuse to adjourn another session and force government to live within it's means."

Posted on June 5, 2018 and filed under Louisiana, John Bel Edwards, Republicans.

LAGOP Rebuttal to Gov. John Bel Edwards Address

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 “Our Louisiana residents do not want higher income taxes or higher sales taxes. They want good, honest government, a government that can live within its means. The Governor has taken every opportunity to raise taxes, and continues to use scare tactics to bend the legislature to his will.”

Posted on May 24, 2018 and filed under Louisiana, Republicans, John Bel Edwards.

Julie Stokes Announces Candidacy for Secretary of State

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Through an email announcement and YouTube video, Louisiana State Representative Julie Stokes has announced her candidacy for the open Secretary of State position in Baton Rouge:

“With the blessings and encouragement of family, friends, constituents, and doctors, I am announcing my candidacy to become our next Secretary of State.  I have tremendous respect for the proud history of this office, its role in protecting the integrity of our election system, and the service it provides to entrepreneurs.  I will strive to improve upon what I can, remove the obstacles that drag the office back, restore morale across the entire department, and ensure that our elections are fair, honest, secure, and carried out with professionalism.  Being a CPA, small business owner, and reform-minded legislator,  I am prepared for this challenge and expect to take this office to new heights for the citizens of Louisiana.” - State Representative Julie Stokes (R-Louisiana)

LAGOP: A First Step Towards Fiscal Sanity

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The Louisiana House has passed its proposed budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year. Traditionally known as House Bill 1 (or HB1), the bill is now on its way to the Louisiana Senate. This action is the Constitutionally mandated first step in the legislative process of passing a final budget, one that we can only hope will spend money which is actually available and force state government to live within its means.

All and sundry know full well that HB1 will be revised in the Senate and the final version must be approved by both chambers before it can be sent to the Governor for action. Yet John Bel Edwards immediately assailed the House budget for being so miserly that it would (allegedly) force the shutdown of hospitals, the cancellation of home care programs, and cause irretrievable damage to higher education in Louisiana. (At this point we should remind our readers that this is the same Governor who until a few short days ago maintained that the “fiscal cliff” was far higher than it actually was, in order to alarm the voting public and justify a massive and as it turns out, largely unnecessary tax increase.) He went on to unhelpfully proclaim that the Senate could not fix the budget presented by the House, preferring to sabotage HB1 so that the difficult battle to pass a budget could be fought all over again in the upcoming special session.

Indeed, the Governor is in an unbecoming hurry to entirely shut down this regular session of the legislature, because state law forbids the raising of taxes in regular sessions in even numbered years. Although he evaded this law in 2016 and will do so once again in 2018 by calling special sessions wherein taxes can be raised, in the meantime any legislature which cannot raise taxes is obviously of no use to him whatsoever. He has long since reneged on his explicit and frequently repeated campaign promises to the people of Louisiana that he would not raise their taxes but would cut wasteful government spending.

The remaining weeks of this regular session could be gainfully utilized in cutting government waste, prioritizing spending cuts to make them more palatable and effective, and revisiting the hundreds of statutory dedications currently exempt from the budget. These actions would further reduce the fiscal cliff and minimize the need for new taxes, but efficient and responsible government is not what John Bel Edwards is all about.

What certainly could be accomplished in this regular session is the passing of a budget by the Louisiana legislature, exactly as was intended by the framers of our Constitution. The legislature could then have a budget to work from and could begin to identify any specific areas which required fiscal adjustments, without revisiting the difficult and painful budgeting process all over again. We hope that our entire Republican delegation in the legislature can work towards this goal, along with the near extinct breed of fiscally responsible Democrats which may still occasionally be found within the Capitol’s environs.

Louis Gurvich, Chairman - Republican Party of Louisiana

Posted on April 23, 2018 and filed under John Bel Edwards, Louisiana, Republicans.

Rep. Nancy Landry Rips "Honor Code" on Veto of Legislation Regarding Road and Drainage Projects

Photo source: Facebook  

Photo source: Facebook  

Rep. Nancy Landry of Lafayette recently took to Facebook to rip our governor, "Honor Code" Edwards, a new one for his veto of legislation that would address road and drainage projects in areas of the state that did not support his tax and spend policies in the last session. 

Below is the text of the post: 

  Governor John Bel Edwards again vetoes projects supported by legislators who don't vote for his plans to spend more and raise taxes. He's even vetoing road and drainage projects that could help prevent flooding.

The governor has vetoed over $5 million in Capital Outlay funding for Lafayette Parish projects, including $2.2 million for a three-lane of Hwy 182 in Broussard, $245,000 to rehabilitate LA 182 from US 90 to LA 89, and $1 million for work on Verot School Road. He also vetoed $2 million for the Horse Farm. 

The odd thing is, there was no need to veto these projects. The governor decides what projects go to the Bond Commission for funding anyway. It was apparently intended to intimidate legislators who don't vote to raise spending and taxes the way he wants. I want to thank our area representatives for taking a strong conservative stand. It's time to stand up for Louisiana and against a governor who relies on bullying tactics to get his way. #StandUp

 Great job Rep. Landry. The citizens and their representatives in Baton Rouge that have had enough of this clown of a governor need to stand up and say "no more"!  

Rob Maness Announces Candidacy for District 77 House Seat in Louisiana

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Madisonville, Louisiana - This morning, St, Tammany business owner, former Fortune 500 business executive, and retired Air Force Colonel Rob Maness, announced that he is a Republican candidate for the open District 77 seat Louisiana House of Representatives recently vacated by Representative John Schroder.

Maness said, “Baton Rouge is broken; there aren’t enough experienced, successful leaders there that can fix it. I have the proven leadership to change things. That is why I am running for the Louisiana House of Representatives.

Sadly, most of those at the Capitol went there for the wrong reasons and want to preserve the status quo. I will go to Baton Rouge to stand up and work hard to actually change things. The people of Louisiana’s District 77 have my word: I will never stop fighting, I'll never back down, and I'll never give in to lobbyists or even party leadership when its time to do what's right. It's clear that sending a Republican to Baton Rouge is not enough, we must send leaders that will not give in to the special interests.

St Tammany Parish is the greatest place in the world to raise a family. That's why the Maness family lives here. However, we see our neighbors' children forced to move to other states for opportunity because the high taxes and lack of progress in Baton Rouge is killing jobs.  I am running to serve as District 77 State Representative to ensure that our son and our neighbors' children can find the opportunities and prosperity in St Tammany Parish that many are now forced to leave to find.

“I’ll stand strong and work hard with everyone to restore our economic climate so new jobs won’t pass Louisiana by. Its high time we put St Tammany families first and ensure our children’s future. The status-quo of taking money from our pockets by raising taxes to fix problems won't create the opportunities our children deserve - I will go to Baton Rouge to change that.”

For Louisiana, press inquiries contact Maness Press at 985-218-0135.

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Read more here

Posted on June 30, 2017 and filed under Rob Maness, Republicans, Louisiana.

Citizens for Louisiana Job Creators: Fake News Alert - The Daily Advertiser

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In a pathetic attempt at journalism, the editorial staff at the Daily Advertiser is the latest news organization to partake in shamelessly biased writing.

The paper recently published an article blaming Speaker Barras for the problems the state is facing. This is an outrageous accusation and calls into question the credibility of this "news organization."

At a time when Louisiana has raised the most taxes out of any state in the previous year, Barras should be applauded for taking a stand fighting back against tax increases and passing a fiscally responsible standstill budget.

The Daily Advertiser should get their facts straight and Speaker Barras should be thanked for his conservative service to the people of Louisiana.

This is precisely why people don't trust the media.

 

MIGUEZ: Louisiana Budget Problems Won't Be Solved at Taxpayer's Expense

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Several one sided and misleading articles have been printed throughout the state this week chastising House Republicans for not having a plan and not solving the budget deficit. However, the real reason these articles have continued to criticize legislators is because we refuse to adopt a plan to raise taxes and continue government growth which has doubled the private sector's growth.  We are NOT planning to solve the deficit on the backs of Louisiana middle-income families and small businesses.

 

The House has proposed and enacted a better way of dealing with this year’s deficit, which will also help solve the ‘fiscal cliff’ and will help prevent future mid-year deficits. It starts by enacting a standstill budget. The concept behind this standstill budget is simple: 1) we shouldn’t spend more than we expect to receive and 2) government agencies are going to have to learn how to live with the same amount of money that they received last year.  Each time the legislature has spent 100% of the state’s expected revenue forecast, the forecast have been wrong requiring mid-year cuts to agencies which have little time (eliminate: amongst a handful of months) to absorb the cuts and plan their year-end budgets.  As a result, higher education and healthcare are forced to bear the brunt of those cuts.

 

This year, we decided to end the bad habit of over-appropriating and only budget spending at 97.5% of our expected revenue.  The concept is simple, don't spend "invisible money" that you are unlikely to ever receive. This is exactly what your family and our local businesses do when they suffer a budget crunch — halt the spending and budget less money. This is fiscally prudent budgeting.

 

Along with the standstill budget, the House fully funded TOPS.  TOPS is an important program promised to high-achieving students and we are honoring our commitment to fully fund TOPS.  Years ago the TOPS program afforded me the opportunity to attain a college degree. I want to ensure that our state's best and brightest have that same great opportunity.

 

So, the next time you read an article saying the legislature is doing nothing to solve the deficit, remember they are right in one aspect. When it comes to raising your taxes, some of us plan on doing nothing. When it comes to enacting reforms that will prevent government from out-of-control spending growth, we are fighting for you.

 

Blake Miguez

State Representative District 49

LAGOP MEMO: KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM SATURDAY’S VICTORIES

Photo source: LAGOP

Photo source: LAGOP

As the voters overwhelmingly confirmed on November 8th – and reaffirmed on Saturday, Louisiana is a solidly Republican state. The overwhelming success enjoyed by Republicans in the runoff – spearheaded by John Kennedy’s election to the United States Senate, affirmatively shows that President-Elect Donald J. Trump’s twenty-point victory over Hillary Clinton in Louisiana was no fluke. The last month has proved that John Bel Edwards’ victory in 2015 was the fluke. The people of Louisiana have entrusted Republicans with their most important offices in almost every single major election since 2007. Here are some key takeaways from our overwhelming victories on Saturday:

 

A UNITED LAGOP/NRSC/RNC EFFORT MADE MORE THAN 600,000 VOTER CONTACTS

 

The LAGOP’s policies and our efforts to get out the vote are both winning. The LAGOP proudly worked hand-in-hand with the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the Republican National Committee to build an unprecedented ground game and field operation.

 

During the runoff election alone:

 

·Republicans made more than 600,000 voter contacts by reaching voters through live phone calls and at their door;

·Republicans mailed nearly 1 million pieces of mail.

 

As the NRSC, RNC and LAGOP were busy setting up ten field offices across our state and assembling nearly 100 field staffers, the Democrats were busy dodging questions on the Louisiana Senate race. While the NRSC and RNC were eager to ensure that the Republicans won a 52nd Senate seat, the national Democrats were already on holiday vacation.

 

The National Democrats’ disregard for Louisiana would be embarrassing if it were not so emblematic of the Louisiana Democrat Party’s prospects for the future. The way national Democrats abandoned Foster Campbell is in stark contrast to the devotion and the commitment of national Republicans. As such, John Bel Edwards and the Louisiana Democrats now face a stark and devastating question: if their national counterparts won’t even buy into their agenda and leadership, why will Louisiana voters, now that they have seen the effects of just one year of John Bel Edwards?

 

PRESIDENT-ELECT TRUMP AND VICE PRESIDENT-ELECT PENCE GOT OUT THE VOTE

 

President-Elect Donald Trump and Vice President-Elect Mike Pence – who headlined two rallies for our candidates in as many weeks, had a tremendous impact on our success in the runoff because the voters of this state want conservative warriors to join them in Making America Great Again.

 

The same experts who predicted the demise of the Republican Party and the Republican brand this year now have a responsibility to acknowledge that the American people are clearly ready—and have voted—for conservative, Republican leadership.

 

LOUSIANA DEMOCRATS HAVE NO BENCH

 

According to Google, "In sports, having a deep bench means having a large number of very talented players." At first glance, it's hard to even see a bench for Louisiana Democrats except for the one at the bus stop near their "Government Street" headquarters. "Rising stars" such as Caroline Fayard and Stephen Ortego have been rejected by Louisiana voters. The national Democrat Party has the same problem: Their early 2020 presidential bench consists of Joe Biden, Tim Kaine and some guy named "Castro."

 

 

EDWARDS’ ENDORSEMENTS ARE TOXIC

 

Democrats like Foster Campbell didn’t just lose Saturday because of the D beside their name – they lost because of their toxic ties to John Bel Edwards’ failed liberal policies. John Bel Edwards could not have been more effusive in his endorsement of his friend Foster Campbell, and loaned his entire campaign team to the losing effort. Campbell’s lopsided loss and anemic showing is even more evidence that John Bel Edwards’ election was the fluke—a mere blip on the radar of Republican dominance in Louisiana.

 

In November and on Saturday, Louisiana voters could not have made it more clear that they resoundingly reject John Bel Edwards’ reckless fiscal policies, tax hikes and incessant desire to raid the pockets of hardworking Louisianans instead of addressing the real problems. In November, his candidate for public service commissioner failed to even force a runoff. On Saturday, his endorsed federal candidates failed to crack 40 percent of the vote. As Edwards went 0 for 4 in multi-parish races this fall, it is evident that his endorsement will only further motivate voters to vote against his failed agenda. John Bel Edwards’ days are numbered in the Governor’s office, and state Democrats will soon be running from Edwards’ coattails, not riding on them.

 

The Republican Party of Louisiana, therefore, strongly encourages the Governor to make even more endorsements in 2017, and beyond.

Jason Doré  - LAGOP

Posted on December 12, 2016 and filed under Republicans, John Bel Edwards, Louisiana.