This blog is of special interest to any person who teaches public school, or has children who attend public school.
On November 8th, Louisiana citizens will have the opportunity to vote for the candidate of their choice for President, Senator, Representative, Public Service Commissioner and a few others. The people elected will be tasked with serving the best interests of not only the people who voted for them; but also, those who didn’t. That is important to understand.
I am specifically addressing the race for Congressional District 3 because it is the district in which I reside, but also because the person elected will not only have the ability to affect my job, but also the education of my children.
There are currently 12 candidates for District Three. At first, that sounds like it would make a decision about who to support very difficult, but it really isn’t. Of the twelve candidates, only Brett Geymann and Scott Angelle have name recognition because of current and/or previous elected positions. A third candidate, the “Cajun John Wayne,” has a great deal of name recognition because of his celebrity, but no record of serving in an elected position, and no apparent knowledge of the issues. By the way…he isn’t Cajun. He is an Irishman from NOLA.
In general, the consensus is that a runoff will be between Geymann and Angelle; however, the “cowboy” is a wildcard. Because people generally vote for name recognition, and rarely on qualifications or accomplishments, it is not uncommon for an unknown candidate to be elected if a special interest group provides the finances to saturate the media with “name recognition” propaganda. I hope to provide educators, parents and community members with the information needed to make the right choice. Below, you will find a few points of interest regarding each candidate.
- Career politician since the age of 25 and now seeking his 4th elected/appointed position with a full-time salary.
- Appointed as Secretary of Natural Resources by Democratic governor, Kathleen Blanco.
- Temporarily left the position of Secretary when Republican governor, Bobby Jindal, appointed him as Interim Lt. Governor.
- Changed party to Republican shortly after being appointed Lt. Governor.
- Became the de facto lobbyist for Jindal and contacted Louisiana legislators urging them to support Jindal’s education reform package which stripped away teacher tenure, expanded charter schools, established a voucher program and solidified Common Core.
- Resigned from Secretary of Natural Resources to run for Public Service Commissioner, District Two.
- Ran for governor in 2015 while serving as commissioner.
- Refused to submit answers to the questionnaire sent out by the Louisiana School Boards Association regarding education policies when running for governor in 2015.
- Just months after losing his bid for governor he entered the race for the Congressional Seat in District Three.
Angelle is an opportunist and full-time politician with aspirations to climb the ladder as high as he can. It is unfortunate that while Governor Edwards, accompanied by several other state officials, made a trip to Washington D.C. to seek financial relief for the flood victims, Angelle chose to stay home for a candidate forum despite much of his PSC district being affected by the flood. He did, however, travel to D.C a few days before the governor…to solicit financial support for his campaign from special interest groups.
- Served as State Representative for District 35 from 2004-2016.
- Maintained his obligations to his elected position while running a small business at home.
- Became the voice of the Republican “Fiscal Hawks” opposing the irresponsible use of windfall and one-time money in Jindal’s budgeting.
- Formed an impromptu alliance between the Fiscal Hawks and the House Democratic Caucus ultimately securing more transparent budgeting practices and more funding for higher education and K-12 education.
- Led the fight against Jindal’s education reforms by filing bills attempting to reverse and remove Jindal’s reforms, speaking out publicly, enduring ridicule from the media and by being shunned by his fellow republican legislators.
- Orchestrated the “Great Common Core Compromise” between republicans, democrats, reformers and anti-reformers only to have the spirit of the compromise compromised by Supt. John White.
- Continues to take a stand for public education and is committed to fighting for local control.
- Endorsed by the Louisiana Federation of Teachers.
For an elected official, Geymann has two qualities that are extremely rare.
- He always holds true to his values and never backs down from what he believes is right.
- He is equally comfortable working out an agreement with a room full of democrats as he is with a room full of republicans. He understands that right and wrong in regards to an issue is always priority over party.
Make your choice.