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Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2023

Government is the problem, not the solution


When politics takes priority over people

You’ve heard the phrase, “If you lie down with dogs, you’ll get fleas.” Some might say this means you will acquire their faults if you associate with bad people. It’s kind of like, “What did you expect?”

Wouldn’t the same happen to our city council or state legislature in government, depending on whom our government becomes associated with? Candidates with integrity and a “can-do” spirit would necessarily produce a transparent and effective government. But if you look at the candidates we’ve been electing into public office, is there really any surprise that government isn’t the solution to our problems, but is our problem in the first place?

Take, for example, the Orleans Parish Democratic Party’s endorsement of a state House candidate who pleaded guilty to a domestic violence charge a decade ago. So, the Orleans Parish Democratic Executive Committee members voted this month to endorse Steven Kennedy, one of six candidates vying to represent state House of Representatives District 93 in a Feb. 18 special election to replace Royce Duplessis.

While the party has yet to publicize an endorsement in the race, Kennedy’s campaign manager and multiple other committee members confirmed the endorsement. But, as one member of the Orleans Parish Democratic Committee put it, “We send a very distressing message to women that we’re willing to overlook violence against women when we allow someone like this to be endorsed.”

Yet Democrats in Orleans overlooked Kennedy’s six convictions in Orleans Parish Criminal District and Magistrate Court, including his plea of guilty as charged for domestic abuse involving strangulation in April 2013. Kennedy declined an interview request. But in a brief phone conversation, he said, “My past is my past. My past don’t have nothing to do with my future.”

Still, the idea of supporting a candidate with a conviction for domestic violence “would cross the Rubicon for a lot of people,” said Ed Chervenak, a political scientist at the University of New Orleans.

One committee member agreed, saying, “This endorsement must be rescinded with a strong statement that OPDEC understands its duty, as a political organization, to endorse the most reputable and qualified candidates for the offices they are seeking,” said Kim Sport, the past chair of the state Commission to Prevent Domestic Violence.

So, there you go. Yet the New Orleans Parish Democratic party is bending over backward attempting to persuade you that they really “believe all women” and the “#MeToo” legacy that they’ve embraced while simultaneously seeking to carve out an exception for their six-time convict who was also convicted of domestic abuse involving strangulation in April 2013. To stress: This isn’t judging someone based on an accusation as the “#MeToo” crowd did to so many men in the last decade: This is about a man who had his days in court and came back convicted (time and time again) of domestic violence.

This is what happens when pushing politics is more important than protecting the people. And if you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.

Voting the same types of people into office who caused so many failures in our cities and states in the first place is merely a vote for more failure.

And – for more fleas.

Louis R. Avallone is a Shreveport businessman, attorney and author of “Bright Spots, Big Country, What Makes America Great.” He is also a former aide to U.S. Representative Jim McCrery and editor of The Caddo Republican. His columns have appeared regularly in 318 Forum since 2007. Follow him on Facebook, on Twitter @louisravallone or by e-mail at louisavallone@mac.com, and on American Ground Radio at 101.7FM and 710 AM, weeknights from 6 - 7 p.m., and streaming live on keelnews.com.


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