Two Races That Really Matter This Saturday

Two Races That Really Matter This Saturday

BY WOODY JENKINS, Editor, Capital City News

BATON ROUGE — Two races that could be very close in the election on Saturday, Nov. 21 are Louisiana’s Attorney General and here in the Florida Parishes, the Louisiana Board of Elementary or Secondary Education, or BESE.

Because the races could be close, your vote is particularly important.

Here’s our take on the two races:

Attorney General — Incumbent Atty. Gen. Buddy Caldwell is in the runoff with former Congressman Jeff Landry. We have thoroughly researched Caldwell’s record and believe he has done a good, honest, job for the people of Louisiana.  He has taken a strong conservative stand where that is appropriate.  Over the past eight years, he has done everything that conservative Louisianians would want him to do:

•Filed suit to block Obamacare

•Defended Louisiana law against same sex marriage all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court

•Filed suit to enjoin Obama from implementing his executive order granting amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants.  The 5th Circuit Court of Appeal upheld Caldwell’s suit Tuesday, and Obama’s amnesty plan has not gone into effect.

•Filed suit against a series of illegal EPA regulations, and the EPA backed down and withdrew them.

•Intervened to block Obama’s moratorium on drilling in the Gulf, and succeeded in having Obama withdraw them.

•Filed suit to block ACORN, the far left community activist group, and had them shut down permanently.

•Fought ATF’s proposed ban on ammunition and succeeded in having the ban withdrawn.

Buddy Caldwell is an attorney with a sterling record of accomplishment — 29 years as a District Attorney and President of the District Attorneys Association and eight years as Attorney General.

Caldwell is the only candidate endorsed by NRA.

He is the only candidate endorsed by the Louisiana Sheriffs Association and by many District Attorneys across the state.  Law enforcement is solidly on his side.

He is endorsed by the Republican Party of East Baton Rouge Parish and the Alliance for Good Government in New Orleans and St. Tammany.

You would think his reelection would be automatic.

However, he has been subjected to one of the most egregious campaigns of personal attacks that we have seen in this state.  His opponent, Jeff Landry, has used his personal fortune and a couple of million from big corporations, many from out of state to smear Mr. Caldwell’s reputation with one dishonest personal attack after another.  It is truly disturbing to witness Mr. Landry’s campaign of lies and distortions every night on television.

Landry has paid for thousands of TV spots saying that Mr. Caldwell operates a dishonest Buddy System that costs taxpayers millions, that he operates on cronyism and nepotism.  After having viewed all of Mr. Landry’s television spots, we can say with a high degree of certainty that his allegations are completely false.  What is true is that Mr. Landry has conducted a reckless campaign of character assassination that many people believe.  It is a sad commentary, and a grave injustice to a dedicated and, we believe, honest and hardworking public official, Buddy Caldwell.

To see Caldwell’s answer to Landry’s false charges, we recommend you go to, and you will know the truth.

In addition, we have to say a word about the office of Attorney General and Mr. Landry’s qualifications.  The Attorney General’s office is like a large law firm — with 180 attorneys and 250 non attorneys.  They handle at any given time more than 5,000 civil and criminal cases involving the State of Louisiana, often involving millions and sometimes billions of dollars.

Mr. Caldwell is well qualified for this task, having handled more than 200 civil cases, more than 750 major criminal cases, 200 jury trials, and more than 200 grand juries.  His conviction rate is 99 percent.

On the other hand, although Mr. Landry has had a law degree since 2005, he has

•Never tried a civil case

•Never tried a criminal case

•Never tried a jury case

•Never tried a case on appeal

It is, quite frankly, amazing that anyone so singularly unqualified for the office of Attorney General would not only run but make it to the runoff.

Just ask yourself: If you needed an attorney to try a very important civil case for you and your family, would you hire a lawyer who has never tried a civil case?  Or if you or your family were arrested and accused of a serious crime, would you hire a lawyer who has never tried a criminal case?

The answer to that question is obvious.  You would never do that, because it would be downright stupid!  Yet, we are being asked to hire someone to be the top lawyer for the State of Louisiana who is just so singularly unqualified.

Here’s the bottom line:

• Buddy Caldwell has done a fine job as Attorney General.

•He is a good conservative.

•His opponent has run a campaign of falsehoods and character assassination.

•His opponent is unqualified to serve as Attorney General.

For all of these reasons, we urge you to support Buddy Caldwell for Attorney General.


Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.  Two candidates are seeking a seat on BESE from the 6th District, which includes most of Baton Rouge, all of Central, and much of the Florida Parishes.  They are Kathy Edmonston and Jason Engen.

Both are conservative Republicans and, we believe, of good character. Mr. Engen is relatively new to the Baton Rouge area and has recently gotten involved in politics.  We believe he could have potential for service in the years head.

But this race is for a seat on the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, and we have a candidate who is a lifelong educator, who thoroughly understands the issues facing BESE, and is prepared to do battle on the key issues facing education including Common Core, which she strongly opposes.

This candidate is Kathy Edmonston.  She is a conservative Christian educator who has worked hard and traveled the length of the Florida Parishes with a message of returning our public schools to their traditional role.

In the primary, she received nearly 50 percent of the vote and just missed being elected outright.

Across the state, big business, mostly from out of state, spent over $1 million to defeat every candidate for BESE who strongly opposed Common Core.

Kathy Edmonston is one of the only surviving candidates for BESE who is a longtime, committed opponent of Common Core.  We believe she will forcefully carry that message to BESE.

Because of her long experience in education, her strong stand on the issues, and her character and hard work, we urge you to support Kathy Edmonston for BESE.


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