Opinion: Lou Gehrig Burnett – Political Pundits Perplexed

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 Political pundits perplexed?

Political pundits who are covering the Louisiana U.S. Senate race appear to be a bit perplexed over the eventual impact David Duke will have on the election.

The big question is just how much star power he still commands after being out of the limelight for nearly two decades.and being a convicted felon. Nevertheless, Duke remains to many the nation’s most notable and infamous white supremacist.

And, of course, there is his well-known background with the Ku Klux Klan where he at one time was the Grand Wizard.  When he ran for governor against Edwin Edwards in 1991, it provided the opportunity for one of Edwards’ most famous quotes: “The only thing we  have in common is we’re both wizards under the sheets.”

After getting 43% of the vote against veteran and powerful Democrat U.S. Sen. Bennett Johnston in 1990, Duke’s entrance into the governor’s race shook the state and the nation.
It was called “The Race From Hell,” and it took a statewide coalition of leaders from both parties and independents to convince voters to “Vote for the Crook.  It’s Important.”  Still, Duke wound up with 39%.

But as far as Republicans are concerned, David Duke is no laughing matter.  They are making every effort to distance themselves and have him excluded from any of the Senate forums. Duke raised the GOP’s ire when he claimed that he was the creator of the current Republican Party.

Particularly upset with Duke’s re-emergence on the political scene are the supporters of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.  Not surprising. Duke said he was inspired to run for the U.S. Senate after hearing Trump’s acceptance speech.

Duke further claims that Trump’s ideas are the same as the ones he has been putting forth for decades. “I thought, wow, here’s a man embracing the core issues I have fought for my whole life,” Duke said.

Those Trump supporters are apparently trying to emulate their nominee by intimidating the news media and denying that Duke says Trump’s ideas are the same as his.  It won’t work.  The similarities are there and need to be reported.

So, it will be interesting to see how many votes Duke will take away from the other Republican candidates in the U.S. Senate race. The consensus is he will affect the campaigns of U.S. Rep. John Fleming  and retired Colonel Rob Maness, the two most conservative of the GOP slate.

Some political analysts believe that Duke is no longer viable and will receive only a few votes.  But, obviously, the Republican Party is not taking any chances and no one should underestimate David Duke.

Louisiana Family Forum scorecard

Louisiana Family Forum (LFF), which touts itself as an organization committed to defending faith, freedom, and the traditional family, has released its scorecard for the 2016 legislative sessions.

Two area legislators are among 10 recipients of LFF’s Life and Liberty Awards, given to legislators who successfully passed legislation that promoted life. They are state Sen. John Milkovich (D-Shreveport) for a bill that allows public meetings to open with a prayer, and state Rep. Mike Johnson (R-Bossier City)  for a bill that prohibits dismemberment abortion.

Additionally, 11 senators and 40 representatives will be honored with the Family Advocate Award for scoring 90% or higher on LFF’s 2016 scorecard.  Seven area legislators made the grade. Here are the scores for area legislators:

State Senate
Sen. John Milkovich (D) – 100%.
Sen. Barrow Peacock (R) – 90%.
Sen. Ryan Gatti (R) – 67%.
Sen. Greg Tarver (D) – 67%.

State House
Rep. Dodie Horton (R) – 100%.
Rep. Mike Johnson (R) – 100%.
Rep. Larry Bagley (R) – 92%.
Rep. Jim Morris (R) – 91%.
Rep. Alan Seabaugh (R) – 90%.
Rep. Thomas Carmody(R) – 73%.
Rep. Gene Reynolds (D) – 59%.
Rep. Barbara Norton (D) – 50%.
Rep. Cedric Glover (D) – 25%.
Rep. Sam Jenkins (D) – 25%.

Lou Gehrig Burnett is a seasoned veteran of national and local politics. He publishes Fax-Net Update, a weekly political newsletter.