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Dem Wins Long-Held Louisiana Republican Congressional Seat

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Both a test and a Harbinger of the way things will go in November, Don Cazayoux, a state legislator, defeated Republican Woody Jenkins, a small-newspaper publisher, in the race for a house seat in a Baton Rouge district that was historically a safe red, conservative slot. 

This is bad news for the Republicans and good and bad news for the Democrats.  

The New York Times reports,

The two parties saw the Louisiana race as an important test for the fall, given how safe the district has been for Republicans for more than three decades. Democrats viewed a potential victory as a measure of Republican vulnerability; Republicans saw it as an indication of how difficult it might be to defend more than two dozen open seats in play in November.

Mr. Cazayoux, a low-key member of the State House and a former prosecutor, fit the conservative model Democrats deployed successfully in the 2006 elections when they took seats from Republicans. He was close to Mr. Jenkins on social issues like abortion and guns; he spoke approvingly of Senator John McCain; he rarely if ever mentioned the Democratic presidential candidates; and he suggested he would buck his party if the district’s interests seemed to call for it.

Mr. Jenkins and the Republicans, on the other hand, sought to tie Mr. Cazayoux to his party’s national standard-bearers at every opportunity, especially Ms. Pelosi. Television advertisements paired Mr. Cazayoux with Mr. Obama, and called him a “liberal” — a description that fit uneasily with Mr. Cazayoux’s voting record in the State House of Representatives. He raised nearly twice as much money as his Republican rival, his fund-raising bolstered by Congressional Democrats eager to take the seat.

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For two decades, Mr. Jenkins has been one of the state’s best-known — and most polarizing — political figures. He led an effort in the Louisiana Legislature 18 years ago to enact the nation’s toughest anti-abortion laws, which tore the state’s politics apart. He was the Legislature’s most outspoken across-the-board opponent of taxes and government spending.

 It's clear why this is bad news for the Republicans. The Dems have come up with a way to beat republicans. The bad news is the Dems are doing it by recruiting republican-lite candidates who wil almost certainly become bluedog democrats-- the kinds who buck the party's attempts to stop the war or impeach. These are fearful democrats who are not team players, who oppose women's rights to control their bodies. It's easy to imagine them becoming Zell Miller or Joe Lieberman types. 

Still, it's better than having a raw meat eating right wing extremist like Woody Jenkins. And it's great to see that the message and policies Jenkins espoused and the attack ads supported were rejected by the people of the district.

The good news is that it seems that people don't want the failed right wing  conservative values that Jenkins and his party espoused. That's good for America, good for the world.

But we have to consider a lot of what's happening now to be a step in the right direction. We're far from there yet. We're going to need to put a lot of pressure on legislators like Cazayoux to move further left. Either that or make a major change in our approach to supporting incumbent Democrats-- sort of like what happened with Donna Edwards-- throwing out the ones who don't act enough like Democrats. 

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Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 

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Over 200 podcasts are archived for downloading here, or can be accessed from iTunes. Rob is also (more...)

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Ashley Casey, a Repub-turned independent candidate... by The Hankster on Sunday, May 4, 2008 at 9:42:00 AM
This happening more and more as Republicans move a... by Gallaher on Sunday, May 4, 2008 at 9:17:40 PM
I've heard the same thing is happening in the ... by Michael Shaw on Monday, May 5, 2008 at 10:28:36 AM
While in Washington back in 2003 I got to hear Bob... by Michael Shaw on Monday, May 5, 2008 at 8:41:43 PM
Here is the essence of politics in the American So... by Stewart Nusbaumer on Sunday, May 4, 2008 at 10:04:51 AM
You're joking arent you? Do you actually belie... by arlen custer on Sunday, May 4, 2008 at 3:13:17 PM
Arlen,You've hit the nail on the head. It may ... by Darren Wolfe on Sunday, May 4, 2008 at 4:08:39 PM
More blue dog Democraps. That's no help as you... by shirley reese on Sunday, May 4, 2008 at 10:13:29 AM
He got into power despite the DLC and he has to de... by Rob Kall on Sunday, May 4, 2008 at 10:36:56 AM
"This is bad news for the Republicans and goo... by Karl Moore on Sunday, May 4, 2008 at 11:00:32 AM
the alternative, a rabid, extreme right winger wou... by Rob Kall on Sunday, May 4, 2008 at 11:39:27 AM
I hate to say it, but any Democrat, even Lord Zell... by Guitar Chris on Sunday, May 4, 2008 at 12:38:18 PM
Eight years ago there were people who said Gore wa... by Stewart Nusbaumer on Sunday, May 4, 2008 at 12:25:34 PM
What good is a congressional vote if it consistent... by Michael Shaw on Sunday, May 4, 2008 at 1:52:39 PM
By the way, I was one of those who eight years ago... by Stewart Nusbaumer on Sunday, May 4, 2008 at 12:32:50 PM
The problem it seems for the democrats stems in th... by Michael Shaw on Sunday, May 4, 2008 at 1:27:56 PM
You're all delusional so I don't want to h... by arlen custer on Sunday, May 4, 2008 at 3:21:24 PM
would you kindly elaborate as to why I am delusion... by Michael Shaw on Monday, May 5, 2008 at 10:24:59 AM
Well Michael I believe you are delusional because ... by arlen custer on Tuesday, May 6, 2008 at 11:50:01 AM
who has any real enthusiasm for November after wha... by Jim Freeman on Sunday, May 4, 2008 at 5:09:57 PM
Congress has an approval rating of 22%, even less ... by TheSeeker on Sunday, May 4, 2008 at 6:56:51 PM
The obvious independent strategy is to throw all t... by Kevin Anthony Stoda on Monday, May 5, 2008 at 3:24:58 PM
for me it's more like a prayer than enthusiasm... by Michael Shaw on Monday, May 5, 2008 at 8:35:39 PM