Jim Brown addresses Crowley Lions Club

Former Secretary of State Jim Brown addresses the Crowley Lions Club Tuesday at the Rice Palace in Crowley. Brown touched on several issues including the upcoming Louisiana Senate race and the current legislative session.

Discusses Senate election, legislative session

CROWLEY - Jim Brown, the former Louisiana politician who now hosts  a nationally syndicated radio show, spoke to the Crowley Lions Club during their luncheon at the Rice Palace on Tuesday.

“I’ve got the best job ever,” said Brown, who formerly served as Louisiana’s secretary of state and commissioner of insurance. “I get to talk to people all over the world about U.S. politics from a Louisiana perspective.”

Brown described Louisiana as “a place that people from other parts of the country just don’t understand.”

“It’s the food, the music and the colorful people we produce that make us so unique,” he said.

He then moved on to the Senate race between incumbent Democrat Mary Landrieu and Republican challenger Bill Cassidy.

“This race is going to be huge,” he said. “The Louisiana runoff will be the last one held in the country and it’s possible that this race will be the one that determines which party controls the House.

“Honestly, neither of the candidates impress me. It’s a Democratic ‘don’t’ versus a Republican ‘can’t.’”

According to Brown, Louisiana residents should be concerned about the money that is pouring into the election.

“Seventy to eighty million dollars may be spent on this election,” he said, “and 80 percent of this money is coming from out of state. The election is being controlled by people who don’t even live here. Imagine if the Crowley mayor’s election was decided by people from other cities.”

Brown said the with today’s political climate, Cassidy should be up by 20 points. The polls, however, show the race to be dead even.

“He’s doing the same thing as our governor,” he said. “He’s never here. This race should be about Landrieu voting with Obama 97 percent of the time.” 

Brown also discussed the ongoing legislative session stating the the legislature had “lost focus.”

“They’re concentrating on a cross section of problems such as gun control and abortion,” he said. “They need to be working on our budget. Our state currently has a $1 billion deficit. By this time next year it could be $2 billion.”

Brown was openly critical of Governor Bobby Jindal’s “absence from the state.” 

“I’d love to see a president from Louisiana,” he said, “but not Jindal. He’s never home. There’s no leadership. He’s focused on being on the national stage.”

Brown was also outspoken of Jindal’s refusal to accept Medicaid funding from the federal government. 

“We’re talking about $22 billion over the next 10 years for our state that Jindal is refusing to take because this has become an anti-Obama issue,” he said. “This mandate was originally a Republican idea. They’re saying they’re upset about having to buy it. We make people buy car insurance don’t we?”

Brown said that the next governor’s election is going to have a lot of strong candidates to choose from.

You’re going to have David Vitter, who is a little too conservative for me but is very tough,” he said. “People are still speculating as to whether John Kennedy is going to run but I don’t think there’s any question he will. John Bel Edwards is a little too liberal for me, but he is one of the few politicians in our state that has ideas.”

“It’s going to be a tight race.”

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