Liberal Dan Radio 9/10/2014: Ray Rice, Edwin Edwards, and Special Guest Joanna Schroeder

On the September 10, 2014 episode of Liberal Dan Radio:

I will discuss the endorsement of unrepentant convicted felon Edwin Edwards for the 6th congressional district of Louisiana by the Louisiana Democratic Party. Previously I had stated my reasons for opposing his candidacy and what might happen if the state party went ahead and supported him anyway.

I will also have on the show previous guest Joanna Schroeder from the Good Men Project. We will discuss a variety of issues from the controversial nail polish and Cee Lo greens comments to the Ray Rice firing by the NFL.

Those issue, headlines, tweet of the week and more tonight at a special time, 9pm Central, on BlogTalkRadio.

A few comments on the Louisiana Democratic Party endorsement of Edwin Edwards

The Louisiana Democratic Party has endorsed unrepentant convicted felon Edwin Edwards for Louisiana’s 6th congressional district. The seat is an open seat with no incumbent because the current office holder is Bill Cassidy, one of the Republican challengers to Democratic incumbent Senator Mary Landrieu.

First, read this post about why I oppose the Edwin Edwards candidacy.  Now that the Louisiana Democratic party has endorsed him I have been getting grief from some fellow progressives about my refusal to jump aboard the Edwin Edwards bandwagon.

Some suggest that I oppose allowing felons back into society. That is false. I supported Malik Rahim for Congress when he ran against Bill Jefferson and Joseph Cao. He was a convicted felon but unlike Edwards, Rahim spent his post prison time helping others instead of helping himself.

And let’s just ignore for a second the fact that it is just wrong to support Edwards because of his criminal background that should not be trusted. Let’s ignore that supporting his candidacy is the ultimate “the ends justifies the means” statement. Let’s look at this from a purely political standpoint. Senator Landrieu is facing a difficult reelection campaign. All of her elections have been close, but this one is going to be the closest yet. Does she really need to have the baggage of an Edwin Edwards candidacy being used against her? I can imagine the Bill Cassidy or Col. Rob Maness ads now. “Look at Mary Landrieu, she is supported by Democrats. These same Democrats support convicted felon Edwin Edwards”. Democrats nationwide are struggling to keep hold of the Senate. Even if Edwards can pull off a win in this election, is one additional seat in the house worth losing the Senate? I don’t think so.

I lived in Maryland when the Edwards/Duke election took place. And had I been living in Louisiana and had I been of voting age I would have absolutely voted for Edwards against Duke. That time voting for the crook is important. This time there is no Duke. This time rejecting the crook is important. That election embarrassed Louisiana nationwide. And it wasn’t just because we had a Klansman running. It was also because that opponent of the Klansman was using the phrase “vote for the crook” to try and win. This will be another embarrassment to both Louisiana and Democrats. I wonder how many other Republicans will be able to leverage Democratic support for Edwards into political points. Look, it may very well be the case that Edwards could win and that his win would have no negative impact on anyone else running. But in this election I fear that we cannot take that risk. And I fear that the endorsement of Edwards by the Louisiana Democratic Party could very well be the nail in the coffin of the Landrieu campaign.

But now the second is over, and we should not ignore the fact that regardless of his ability to win that we should be rejecting the Edwards candidacy. The ends do not justify the means. Edwin Edwards to this day insists that he did no wrong. He is delusional. He is greedy. He is selfish. He needs to go away. At the end of the day I have two children. I have to be able to look them in the eye and set a good example for them. I cannot do so while supporting Edwards and I cannot support a party that endorses corruption like the Louisiana Democratic Party just did.

When I first heard of the possibility of an Edwards campaign I said that if the Louisiana Democratic Party endorses Edwards that I would cut my ties with the party. I intend to follow through on that promise. I can fight for progressive causes without waiving the banner of the Democratic party. Other states have benefited with a progressive third party pushing for progressive issue. I will still likely vote for and support progressive candidates despite their party affiliation. I will vote for Cedric Richmond and Mary Landrieu. But I refuse to do so as a member of a party that holds on to past corruption instead of building to the future. If it would be possible to be a registered Democrat nationally while rejecting the state party I would do so. But there seems to be no way to do that.

 

Update: I found out that you can change your voter registration online. If you do leave the party, tweet @LaDemos and make sure to use the hashtag #ILeftLADemos

EWE get what you ask for

As it had been speculated, yesterday former Louisiana Governor and convicted felon Edwin Edwards announced his candidacy for Louisiana’s 6th Congressional District. And as I had predicted, there are Democrats in Louisiana who are rallying to his cause and there are national articles putting a spotlight on this spectacle already.

When Edwin Edwards was Governor, he was credited as being a populist and as being someone who did some good for the people of Louisiana. Edwards was applauded, and rightly so, for being a staunch supporter of civil rights. He appointed minorities and women to positions more than any of his predecessors. But ultimately he will be remembered for his corruption conviction and 8 year prison term. Some might ask “as long as he helped people, who cares if he skims a little off the top for himself?”. Well, I care. You cannot tell me that there are no other qualified people who can do the right thing while not having a tarnished image of a crook. The ends do not justify the means. His conviction means that he put his own needs and desires above the needs of the people of Louisiana. And he has not changed…

Why do I suggest that he hasn’t changed? Well, his candidacy is all about him. He is someone who seems to be addicted to the public spotlight. He also doesn’t care that the spotlight is going to be an embarrassment to to the people of Louisiana and to the Democratic party whose banner he is running under. David Vitter was supposed to be the embarrassment to Louisiana running for office this time.

And he isn’t even a good banner holder for the party. One of the first things he said in his announcement was that he would not have voted for the Affordable Care Act. Seriously? The guy who is supposed to be able to bring out the minority vote in an off year election is going to be running on a platform that includes his opposition to the signature piece of legislation that President Obama was able to get passed?

And remember, it was Edwards who helped make it possible for folks like Bobby Jindal to run on his fraudulent ethics reform campaign. He put a recent face to the historical corruption that existed in Louisiana. Do we really want that rehashed? Do we really want to hand the GOP the ammunition it needs to continue the claims that the Democratic Party is about corruption in this state (while allowing the Republicans to hide their own corruption)? I do not want that.

But ultimately this is about doing the right thing. The right thing would be for Edwin Edwards to just go away. But since he seems incapable of doing so, the right thing for the rest of the Louisiana Democratic Party would be to just openly shun him and his candidacy. And let’s say he is able to pull off a miracle and win that seat. Will it be worth it? Of course not. Again, the ends do not justify the means. Selling out our values for a seat makes us no better than the GOP. And if you cannot win the seat in the right way, then perhaps it is time to pack up shop and go home.

Liberal Dan Radio 03/19/2014: CottBot and Retake Congress

On the March 19, 2014 episode of Liberal Dan Radio:

Have you ever wished you had a way to make sure that the items you purchase are not funding causes you disagree with? The old fashioned way of protesting when companies supported causes you did not agree with was to join a large group and to make a large show of it and hope others will join in. Well, I am going to talk to Austen Hoogan, creator of the idea called CottBot, and discuss his upcoming crowd-funding campagn to support this free mobile application. Instead of boycotting one business for violating one of your ideals, you can boycott all businesses who violate all your ideals.

Then I will be discussing #retakeCongress, the hashtag I will be using to discuss the upcoming 2014 elections and what needs to be done to take  Congress back. First up is Ron Dickey, candidate for Congress in the MS01 Congressional district. I will discuss with Ron how his campaign is going, what his priorities would be when he goes to Congress, and how he intends on making that a reality.

And then I will discuss the candidacy of Edwin Edwards for Congress in Louisiana’s 6th congressional district. Yup, he went ahead and did it. And I will talk about it some more becuase it is important.

Those issues, tweet of the week, headlines, words of redneck wisdom and more this Wednesday at 8PM Central on Liberal Dan Radio, Talk From The Left, That’s Right.