Report from Louisiana: Senate 2020

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – Early voting is underway in Louisiana and in Shreveport the lines are blocks long waiting to get in. As large a city as Shreveport is, there is only one place to early vote.  What these long lines mean is anyone’s guess.

Last month I wrote in this space about the senatorial race in Louisiana between incumbent Bill Cassidy and newcomer Adrian Perkins; Perkins is currently the mayor of Shreveport, elected in 2018.

Word on the street, and in the polls, is that Perkins doesn’t stand a chance in this election, but what is clear is that his eye is on a bigger prize and Shreveport was never anything but a stepping stone to the next rung on the political ladder.

In my post last month, I outline some of the missteps by Adrian Perkins as mayor of Shreveport; this weekend, Baton Rouge Advocate reporter Tyler Bridges covers much the same ground, outlining his background and political rise. Bridges compares Perkins quick rise to that of former Governor Bobby Jindal. This is not necessarily a good thing. Once full of great promise, Jindal left Louisiana in a fiscal mess.

The Advocate article is interesting to me in who it cites as advocates for Perkins; Mary Landrieu, for one. That’s enough to shut me down right there. His personal narrative is compelling:

As a boy, Perkins said, his mother often worked three jobs to put food on the table for her three sons. Perkins’ father left when he was three but returned when his son was in high school. Perkins said the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks inspired him to join the military. West Point recruited him, Perkins said, because he had top grades, had served as class president every year and was an all-state athlete in the 800 meters. At the military academy, Perkins said he was president of his class all four years, was a conference champion 10 times in track and field races and majored in economics. About 18 months after graduation, he was deployed to Iraq, where he was a platoon leader. During two tours of Afghanistan, he was a company commander with over 200 soldiers. After seven years in the military, Perkins, a captain, left at 28 to enter Harvard Law School. “I had already jumped out of planes and rappelled out of helicopters,” he said. “I wanted to do something intellectually stimulating.”

All well and good but his success in Shreveport during his brief tenure as mayor has been nonexistent. Bridges touches on some of the same scandals I mentioned last month but also points out that Perkins has lost a lot of support. Republican leaders who were willing to work with him have turned their backs on him:

A group of Republican businessmen who helped elect him in 2018 turned against Perkins after he awarded an insurance contract to the first cousin of his campaign manager. The man had no experience in that area of insurance. The businessmen said Perkins had broken his promise not to engage in politics as usual. A city internal audit said the new contract appeared to provide less coverage for more money. Perkins said it was a good deal for the city and added, “We introduced minorities into insurance coverage for the first time in the city’s history. Minorities should have an opportunity, outside of the well connected class.”

From my personal perspective, as a resident of Shreveport, I could in no way support Perkins for any higher office because I don’t believe he has fulfilled his promise for this office. He ran for mayor as someone who wanted to do new, fresh things to better this city, and he has failed miserably. Shreveport is not a large city by many standards – in 2018 we had a population of about 188,000. We are demographically 57% black, 38% white. We have shootings every single day and our murder rate is way up. There is no manufacturing in Shreveport and jobs are primarily service industry jobs. The largest employer in Shreveport is the school system, followed by Willis Knighten hospital system. There is little for families to do here unless you like going to casinos or bars.

All that negativity to say that Perkins has a lot of room in which to improve this city, but has not done so. Given that, I don’t think he will do much better for the state, should he somehow be elected senator. I truly believe this is only an exercise in building name recognition and that Perkins wants to take that same meteoric rise as Barack Obama. Presidential aspirations? Maybe. Higher office than mayor of a dying city? Certainly.

Even after Perkins loses this election, it won’t be the last you hear of him.

Mark my words.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport and is the author of Cane River Bohemia: Cammie Henry and her Circle at Melrose Plantation. Follow her on Instagram @patbecker25 and Twitter @paustin110.

The Single Biggest Issue Bar None in Election 2020 or What a Difference Three Years Makes for Leftist Violence

When I saw this story about a woman holding a Trump flag beaten yesterday at the woman’s march.

“The first woman was a white older woman – she had glasses on, a glittery bedazzled Black Lives Matter shirt,” Deluca told National File. “She looked like she could’ve been my grandma, honestly.”

Black Lives Matter protestors grabbed DeLuca’s Trump flag, and was punched in the face when attempting to retrieve it. This caused other members of the Women’s March to join in hitting, pushing and punching DeLuca.

DeLuca was hospitalized and given a cervical collar due to the extent of the injuries. According to the National File, she had “extensive head and neck injuries, had her lips bloodied, and is also enduring blurry vision and dizziness.”

I was struck by the contrast between what I saw three years ago when I covered an event in Boston.

Two men one wearing a Trump, Make America Great Again and another wearing an Israeli flag being greeted by cries of “fascist go home” and quickly surrounded. At least of the organizers recognizing that the potential of something that would shatter the image they wanted portrayed to the press and to some of the more innocent people there who had no idea what company they were keeping so one of the folks who had been coaching some of the masked folks on one side and two members of the highly radical “veterans for peace” did their best to make sure nobody threw a punch but it didn’t stop people from getting in their faces and surrounding them.

I was completely beside myself over this first of all Donald Trump won the majority of voters in 29 states. If a man can’t safely walk through Boston Common with that banner no matter who is there that’s an incredible escalation as it the dubbing of any person supporting Trump a fascist or a Nazi.

But what set me off even more was the vitriol against they guy wearing the Israeli flag and the crowd joining in on the chants against him. The irony of people carrying anti-nazi signs and lowly proclaiming their opposition to hate driving out a person wearing the Star of David flag seems to have been completely lost on the people there and frankly I was outraged.

But that was 2017. We have now reached the point where there is no restraint on these guys. Apparently the leaders figure either

  1. The same press that censored the NY Post stories and ignored Seattle for a month would not bother reporting it.
  2. Violence by the left is so normalized that nobody will care.
  3. The advantage of violently intimidating a Trump voter before the election outweighs any negatives
  4. They fear reprisal if they try to hold them back.

Whatever the decision one thing is clear. That the left, even two weeks before an election has no qualms about using violence against their political foes and/or no fear that it will hurt them.

This leads to the obvious question which I asked before the last election:

If the left is willing to violently beat supporters of Donald Trump in a public setting when they don’t have power, how emboldened do you think they will be with the knowledge that the executive power to enforce the laws is in the hands of their allies?

If there is a bigger issue in Election 2020 I’m not aware of it.

Update: Instalanche thanks Ed: Welcome folks take a peek around. Find out find out why a 500 ship navy is a bit of a pipe dream, Learn how Twitter and Facebook have Crossed the Rubicon but don’t seem to realize it, See the Bear Trap on court packing that the Democrats are stepping in and check out my weekly livestream No frills podcast DatechGuy OFF DaRadio Fridays at 3 PM EST (11 AM on days when I get overtime). The latest one is here.

Update 2: I’ll be on Fault Lines Radio tomorrow morning at 8:15 AM EST to talk about the NY Post story