For Years, GOP Worked to Get Majority in House; Now They’re Told ‘Tradition’ Says Gov Picks Speaker
“Tradition?” one new Republican House member said, “I’m not here to uphold ‘tradition’! I’m here to effect conservative change and serve as a check when Gov.-elect Edwards decides to pursue his liberal impulses!”
For years, Republicans in the Louisiana House of Representatives have worked to get a majority of the 105 members of the House. The goal was to elect a Speaker, control the flow of legislation, pass conservative conservative reform legislation and defeat liberal bills that raise the cost of government, increase taxes, and regulate our lives.
Now the Louisiana House includes 61 Republicans and only 44 Democrats and independents.
But Gov.-elect John Bel Edwards has endorsed the bid of Democratic Rep. Walt Leger of New Orleans to be Speaker of the House.
“One of the reasons some Republicans felt they could support John Bel Edwards for Governor was that they knew there would be a Republican majority in the House to serve as a check on the new Democratic Governor, but if he succeeds in taking over the House, there will be no effect check on his power,” a well-known lobbyist said.
Since Gov.-elect Edwards revealed his desire to have a Democratic Speaker, the media has hammered the theme that the governor has always selected the Speaker, and Republicans shouldn’t complain now.
But the reality that governors have often had the power — in a one-party state — to name the Speaker of the House says nothing about what should happen when we have two viable parties. The long-desired goal of an independent legislature is within our grasp but not if the Republicans who were elected to bring about change buy in to the absur-
dity that change is impossible.
Republicans have had a majority in the House since 2011. For them to elect a Democratic speaker is unthinkable. Any Republican who goes along with this insanity should be horsewhipped!