Heading into next week’s Louisiana state legislative session, Democrat Governor John Bel Edwards finds himself stumbling in the wake of growing criticism and controversy on issue after issue. It’s tough to keep track of the flubs, flip-flops, and failures that plague Edwards on a near-daily basis, so the RGA developed a timeline of the trouble he’s faced in just the past few weeks:
MARCH 9: Edward was criticized in a column for The Advocate for driving businesses and jobs out of the state after having “signed more than two dozen new laws or executive orders impacting taxes paid by small and large Louisiana companies,” with more than $3 billion in total new business taxes.
MARCH 18: Louisiana’s leading business advocates, including the Associated Builders and Contractors and the National Federation of Independent Business, stood shoulder to shoulder with the Republican candidates for governor to highlight Governor Edwards’ anti-business agenda and call for new leadership at a press conference in Baton Rouge.
MARCH 26: Edwards was caught red-handed touting personal income data that – like most economic indicators – showed the state is actually worse-off than when he took office. Embarrassingly, his office had to fall back on pointing to a single quarter’s numbers when their faulty math was exposed.
MARCH 28: Edwards also took flack from the media for skipping the first gubernatorial forum, hosted by the Pelican Institute. As the Republican candidates were sharing their vision for the state with Louisiana voters, Edwards’ office was on defense, parsing words about scheduling logistics.
MARCH 29: Edwards claimed, as he has repeatedly in recent weeks, that there are “flaws” with Obamacare that need to be addressed, but refused to specify what they are. Voters are left to wonder if he believes a government-run single-payer system, as national Democrats are pushing for, is the solution.
APRIL 1: Edwards flip-flopped on his promised Medicaid work requirements, with The Associated Press reporting that Edwards’ administration is “backpedaling” on pursuing them despite the fact that he claimed he was “actively working” on doing so – and even hired a consultant, presumably with taxpayer dollars – just months ago.
APRIL 2: On Equal Pay Day, The Advocate reported that Louisiana under Edwards has the worst pay disparity between women and men of any state om the country, a fact made even worse by Edwards’ own reported failure to bridge the pay gap for his own staff while he hypocritically campaigns on the issue.
APRIL 3: A sexual harassment scandal involving Edwards’ former Deputy Chief of staff accused of “asking…for sexual favors” from a subordinate resurfaced in a Times-Picayune story about proposed legislation to prevent victims from having to sign non-disclosure or non-disparagement agreements. The victim had stated that the governor was “at fault” for hiring a senior staff member who had previously faced similar allegations.
APRIL 3: Just 48 hours after he took on water for flip-flopping on Medicaid work requirements, it was revealed this week that 30,000 people were removed from the state’s Medicaid rolls after an audit showed they were ineligible, prompting state Attorney General Jeff Landry to criticize Edwards for “fraud and waste” caused by his “irresponsible actions” with regards to the program.
“As John Bel Edwards’ liabilities pile up, it becomes clearer with each passing day that Louisiana is in dire need of new leadership,” said RGA Deputy Communications Director John Burke. “Now he heads into a legislative session where his tax-hiking, budget-busting, and irresponsible actions will be front and center with just a few months to go until he faces the voters.”