“Conservative” Lawmakers were Leaning Leftward

May 16, 2008

Too often, legislators will cast a vote for a bill they know is bad, in hopes that their constituents never find out. Such must have been the case for “conservative” Republican state Reps. Page Cortez and Don Trahan of

Lafayette, when they voted for House Bill 122 on May 8. 

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Under current criminal law, if juveniles commit horrible or violent crimes, they can be tried and convicted as an adult, and sentenced to life without parole. HB 122, authored by state Reps. J.P. Morrell and Walt Leger, both New Orleans Democrats, would provide for automatic eligibility for those who committed crimes as juveniles at age 31. 

No exceptions were made in this bill, meaning even those who committed horrible murders, warranting a life sentence, would become eligible for parole. 

One would think only those who align themselves with ultra-liberal Nancy Pelosi would support such a reckless bill, yet two so-called conservative Republicans in Lafayette’s delegation, Cortez and Trahan, were among the 49 representatives who voted for HB 122, which thankfully failed. 

State Reps. Joel Robideaux, I-Lafayette, and Bobby Badon, D-Carencro, voted against HB 122. They stood up for the victims, who, in the worst cases, never are able to voice their concerns. 

However, in working to get this bill defeated in its original form, my biggest disappointments came from two of the state representatives around my region. My representative, Mickey Guillory, D-Eunice, and Rep. John Guinn, R-Jennings, along with their staffs, gave me every impression they would not support HB 122. Imagine my surprise to see their names in the “yea” column for the final passage vote! 

Was I lied to, or, as many of our highly educated legislators like to tell us naïve voters, do I just not understand? Did Reps. Cortez, Trahan and Hardy cast a vote that Pelosi would be proud of, or do I not understand? 

We, the people, need to be aware of how our representatives vote on successful and unsuccessful bills, and we need to have long memories, in case these politicians forget their recklessness come re-election season.

 

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