Take a moment. Just close your eyes and take a deep breath. Let the ads and the commercials drift away. Forget everything you’ve heard from both candidates. Now, are you ready to take and look at a few hard truths?
The Sixth Congressional district is a national battleground. Both the Democratic majority and the Republican minority are clamoring over each other to see that their party takes the seat vacated by Republican Richard Baker. The Democrats are trying to increase their current majority in the House of Representatives, while the GOP is striving to cut into the lead that the Democrats enjoy in Washington. I know that one seat out of Four hundred thirty five seems insignificant, but believe me, no vote is small. For this reason, the Congressional campaign committees of each party have been smearing each candidate left and right (no pun intended).
Louis E. “Woody” Jenkins is a known commodity in the Baton Rouge area, but Don Cazayoux is not as well known. Baton Rouge makes up the largest portion of district 6, so that’s a large number of people that are learning about Cazayoux for the first time. Cazayoux has been painting himself as a conservative Democrat. Let us for the moment take that at face value. Cazayoux has been a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives for Eight years, but Washington is a different world. Conservative or liberal, a freshman Congressman in the Democratic Party is going to find himself at the whim of the national party. Nancy Pelosi sets the agenda for the House and will make life hard for any freshman Democrat that does not toe the party line. The party line, by the way, forms to the left. Like it or not, Cazayoux would be required to support her.
Now let’s take a look at who Don Cazayoux says he is. I’m taking all of this from Don Cazayoux’s own campaign web site. Cazayoux supports an expansion of the SCHIP program. He states that the President and the Republicans blocked a bill that would have insured 80,000 Louisiana children. That’s true. It would have insured a great many children. SCHIP would have extended Medicaid benefits to every household with children and an income less than $65,000.00 a year. Medicaid is a welfare benefit. Is it really a good idea to extend welfare to include an additional 80,000 Louisiana children? Let’s be honest. If a family pulls in 65k, don’t you think that they can insure themselves?
Cazayoux supports what he calls a “new direction in Iraq”. He wants to find a responsible way to bring troops home. Responsible is a good choice of words, I think. When I was little, my parents taught me that the responsible thing to do was to see a job through to completion, especially an unpleasant job. War is by all means an unpleasant job. Responsibility dictates that we must finish the work. Sadly, he uses these words to mean he would leave the Iraqis half trained, unprepared, and wide open to attack from a salivating Iran.
Finally, Cazayoux calls himself a leader in ethics in the state of Louisiana. Let me just point out a couple of important things. When HB1, the largest part of the Governor’s ethics package, came up for adoption in the House, Don Cazayoux, the ethics leader, was absent according to the official voting records. That’s leadership. He was one of only two Representatives that skipped that vote. He also is proud of the backing that he gets from “organized labor”. Labor unions are well known for their underhanded lobbying tactics. That makes me worry a bit about his stance as an “ethical leader” who wants to “take the power out of the hands of big special interest lobbyists.”
Take another deep breath. Now, go out and pull the lever knowing exactly who Don Cazayoux is. He’s a politician that will have no choice but to support Nancy Pelosi, and is not nearly as conservative as he would have us believe.