The editorial board of The Times-Picayune endorsed Sen. David Vitter (R).
The editorial board: “Sen. Vitter has a detailed plan to bring stability to the budget. He promises to call a special session of the Legislature to start the new year. He wants to remove protections on most spending categories in the budget, which would allow more flexibility in making cuts and take pressure off higher education and health care. He also plans to do a cost-benefit analysis of tax credits, exemptions and deductions and weed out those that don’t make financial sense. He wants to put a sunset provision on all tax credits to require an automatic review and require a two-thirds vote of the Legislature for new tax credits and other spending measures.” (New Orleans Times-Picayune)
NEW ADS. Vitter released an ad featuring his son, Jack, saying “whether or not you vote for him, we love our Dad because he is a great Dad. And he’ll be an awesome governor.” (release)
The Louisiana Federation for Children PAC also released an ad that criticizes Edwards for wanting to end the School Choice Program. (The Hayride)
AN EARLY LEAD? A higher turnout in early voters when compared to the October primary is likely good news for state Rep. John Bel Edwards (D).
Ed Chervenak, University of New Orleans Survey Research Center director: “If we dare make any assumptions from the early voting numbers, it would be that this trend in the numbers is more favorable to … Edwards. … The fact that African-Americans and registered Democrats have boosted their numbers to a greater extent than whites and registered Republicans benefits Edwards.”
“Analysts said the early voting report shows a higher participation among voters registered in the Democratic Party, particularly among African-Americans, as well as heavier voting in larger, more urbanized parishes.” (Baton Rouge Advocate)
SOME OUTSIDE HELP. Vitter’s campaign got a boost from presidential candidates Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) in the form of two pre-recorded robocalls.
The calls are an attempt to galvanize Louisiana’s conservative voters to go out and vote.
Santorum’s call: “I must admit I am appalled. Just last week, a group of Christian churches, the Family Forum, hosted a gubernatorial forum and invited both candidates. Only David Vitter attended. Democrat John Bel Edwards cancelled an appearance at the state’s pro-life debate in favor of attending a voter drive held at a risqué adult hip-hop nightclub in New Orleans. You just can’t make this stuff up.”
Vitter’s spokesman said he believes that a call from Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) could also be in the works. (National Journal)
BIG SPENDING. Spending for the governor’s race have reached nearly $31 million as of Nov. 1, according to disclosures filed with the state. The total includes spending from the candidates’ campaigns and the super PACs that support them.
“The most expensive gubernatorial race on record was the 2007 election, in which the four major candidates spent about $32 million.” (Baton Rouge Advocate)
There has also been a record number of PACs registered in Louisiana this year. There’s been a total of 281 PACs registered and 58 newly registered ones, up from 233 and 33 respectively a decade ago. (Greater Baton Rouge Business Report)
NO REFUGEES. Vitter issued a statement calling for an immediate stop to flow of Syrian refugees into Louisiana.
Vitter: “Obama wants to let 10,000 Syrian refugees into the U.S., and a lot of them are already coming into Louisiana. I want to make sure that the people entering our country are exactly who they say they are – not ISIS terrorists.” (The Hayride)
Edwards also called for a “pause [in] the influx of refugees flowing into our state without more information on the security measures in place.” (WBRZ)
HEARING VOTERS’ STRUGGLES. Both candidates heard about the struggles Louisiana voters face in a forum held by the group Together Louisiana, which is a coalition of various religious and civic organizations.
“They outlined struggles with quality education and healthcare, as well as poor access to good roads and healthful foods.” (WWL)
DEBATE ME. Vitter criticized Edwards for only agreeing to take part in two televised debates.
“Vitter now is accusing Edwards of canceling on a televised debate that had been planned next week. The organizer, Raycom Media, says Edwards rejected an invitation to be there. Edwards said he has only ever agreed to two that he knew about before the Oct. 24 primary.” Vitter and Edwards have appeared together at multiple forums across the state.
Vitter also faced criticism during the Republican primary for not appearing in enough debates. (Baton Rouge Advocate)
BUSINESS BACKERS. “The powerful Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, which rarely endorses candidates for governor, has lined up behind Vitter, along with a long list of PACs representing business interests.”
“The groups point to tax, education and civil litigation issues as driving them to choose Vitter over Edwards.” (Baton Rouge Advocate)