Thursday, December 01, 2005

The usual suspects

Let’s make one thing perfectly clear: The 2006 election for the position of Louisiana’s Secretary of State will tell the world everything it needs to know about whether the 2005 hurricane season changed anything about the way the state does business. Yesterday, acting Secretary of State Al Ater announced he wouldn’t run for the position. Fair enough. If the rumor mill is correct then Mr. Ater may have bigger fish to fry. But if past performance is any predictor, then don’t expect the state media to cover the race, its candidates or the kinds of decisions the person who steps into that position will be faced with making. Exhibit A: Consider the way the media dropped the story about the tragically bizarre circumstances leading to the injury and death of Mr. Ater’s predecessor. Now come reports about the variety of people ready to throw their hats into the Secretary of State’s race next fall. Three words summarize the group ready to run: The Usual Suspects. How in the world is Louisiana going to recover from the devastation of the recent hurricane season coupled with decades of ineffective, self-promoting and occasionally corrupt government by electing more of the usual suspects to an important statewide position? Hint: Electing one of the usual suspects to a statewide position isn’t the way to do it.