We know one thing for sure about the two candidates who will meet in Saturday’s run-off election to fill the 5th District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
That is state Sen. Neil Riser is a conservative Republican and Vance McAllister is a liberal.
Riser, of Columbia, ran first with 32 percent of the vote in the October primary election to name former Congressman Rodney Alexander’s successor. McAllister, a self-described businessman from Swartz, tallied 18 percent of the vote to finish slightly ahead of Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo, who has since endorsed McAllister.
The special election to fill the 5th District post was called in light of Alexander’s resignation from the U.S. House in late September to become secretary of the state Office of Veterans Affairs.
Though he masquerades as a Republican and has gone to great lengths throughout this fall’s campaign to convince the electorate he’s a conservative, McAllister unmasked his liberal tendencies Friday night during a debate with Riser hosted by Louisiana Public Broadcasting. It was during the debate that McAllister stated emphatically he supports a key component of ObamaCare. That would be the expansion of Medicaid, which represents nothing more than an expansion of the welfare state. It’s that simple.
It was only fitting that McAllister finally put to rest any questions the voting public might have about his position on the most controversial issue facing America today. Think about it. We’ve witnessed McAllister flip-flop like a fish on ObamaCare for weeks. Though his campaign web site says he’s opposed to ObamaCare, McAllister told a gathering of Democrats in East Feliciana Parish he supports the Obama administration’s best effort to socialize health care and strangle one-sixth of the U.S. economy along the way. The following morning, or after The (Baton Rouge) Advocate reported McAllister’s remarks at the Democratic forum, McAllister popped up on Moon Griffon’s conservative talk radio show to claim The Advocate misquoted him. According to McAllister, he didn’t say anything to the Democrats about supporting ObamaCare.
Not long thereafter, McAllister took a different approach to the Affordable Care Act, better known as ObamaCare. He told The (Alexandria) Town Talk and The (Monroe) News-Star that ObamaCare was the law of the land and he would work to improve it if he was elected to Congress. Efforts to repeal the law were a waste of time, according to McAllister.
If anyone’s counting, that’s three different positions McAllister has taken on ObamaCare.
Perhaps McAllister didn’t realize it but when he expressed his support for expanding Medicaid the other night during the debate on LPB, all of his work to convince voters that he’s opposed to ObamaCare fell by the wayside. He either didn’t realize it or he knew exactly what he was saying. And maybe he said it hoping to curry favor with liberals in the 5th District, who overwhelmingly support President Obama on just about every front, including Obama’s signature legislative achievement, or ObamaCare.
Though we would like to think McAllister’s declaration about expanding Medicaid was a calculated move to attract more Democratic voters ahead of Saturday’s election, the alternative – that McAllister just isn’t very intelligent – is downright frightening. It’s especially frightening considering the man is a candidate for Congress.
Maybe McAllister wouldn’t have embraced ObamaCare, including Medicaid expansion, if he had done a little research about the law’s impact on Louisiana. If he had done his homework, McAllister would have learned that expanding Medicaid would cost Louisiana taxpayers some $1.7 billion over the next decade. On that point alone, it would be interesting to learn which taxes McAllister would raise to gin up $1.7 billion to pay for expanding Medicaid. We also would be interested in what McAllister would say to the more than 100,000 Louisianians who are about to lose their private health insurance because their policies don’t adhere to ObamaCare’s dictates.
Wouldn’t you like to know?
Be that as it may, our decision to support Riser was an easy one to make.
Though we’ve used McAllister’s pandering on ObamaCare as an example of why he’s not fit to represent the 5th District in the U.S. House, without a doubt Riser’s conservative track record in the Senate sealed it as far as we’re concerned. We haven’t agreed with Riser on every vote he’s cast in the Senate, but our differences have been few and far between.
Certainly we are not concerned about Riser’s position on ObamaCare. After all, he has stated without equivocation that he’ll support any and all efforts to repeal it. We believe him.
As a small businessman, which Riser is, we’re certain he’s sensitive to the problems the small business community must cope with day in and day out to survive in the Obama economy. It’s not easy.
Yet, there’s one overriding factor that separates Riser from McAllister, and the voters should keep this in mind before they head to the polls this weekend.
That is Riser is a proven leader who clearly understands what’s in the best interest of the people of the 5th District.
Unfortunately, McAllister is just another liberal politician.