Far Right Former Senator Faces Criticism Again, Calling on COVID Positive Rep. James to Resign

Photo courtesy of Senator Appel’s Twitter profile on the right; State Representative Ted James Facebook profile on the left.

Even in retirement, former State Senator Conrad Appel continues to find ways to put his foot in his mouth. 

Senator Appel (R-Metairie) made headlines last year for suggesting that African Americans’ “blind support” of the Democratic Party goes against their interests. According to the former Metairie Senator, voting for Democrats would ensure that “other non-white citizens have the voting power to overwhelm and displace African Americans.”

But despite his retirement from public service, Senator Appel has apparently not retired from his hobby of telling black voters what they should do. 

In early April, Louisiana State Representative Ted James (D-Baton Rouge) was infected with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Representative James saw fellow Representative Reggie Bagala (R-Cut Off) lose his battle against the virus after one month, at the age of 54. 

The virus almost took his life too. 

Representative James, who works out daily and is only 38 years old, found himself unable to breathe on his own shortly after having symptoms in late March. “I made up in my mind that I did not want to fight anymore,” James told WAFB. “When I couldn’t breathe on my own, there was a point in time I kept telling them, ‘I’m not going to make it, like, I’m not going to make it,’” he said. 

Despite these dire warnings of the severity of coronavirus, the Republican-controlled Louisiana House and Senate decided to resume normal business on May 4, before the end of Governor Edwards’ stay-at-home order. James said that this move shows a “lack of compassion” by his colleagues.

As a result of his own diagnosis, and out of concern for the health of his colleagues, Representative Ted James announced that he would not be returning to work on May 4th. “There is no safe way to practice social distancing in a body of 104,” James said on twitter


Representative Ted James (D-Baton Rouge) announces he will not be returning to the Legislature out of concerns for public safety. Courtesy of Twitter.

Representative James received praise in his replies. Dillard University President Walter Kimbrough told James to “get well soon.”

“Stay home. Stay healthy. All these things can be done remotely. Congress is actually considering a measure to allow proxy voting on certain bills,” said Antoine Pierce, who has emerged as a challenger to Senator Bill Cassidy’s seat. “Nevertheless, none of it is more important than your life.”

Now enter Conrad Appel. Despite no longer serving as either a State Representative or Senator, Appel decided to cast aspersions on a legislator who had almost lost his life to COVID-19.

“Millions of Louisianians are depending on 144 legislators to do their job. That job is not sitting home and collecting a pay check,” Appel tweeted on Wednesday, April 29. 


Former Senator Appel calling on Rep. Ted James to Resign for Practicing Social Distancing. Courtesy of Twitter.

It did not take long for Appel to receive scorn for his comments. 

GumboPAC fired back, noting that there were only 143 legislators after Rep. Bagala lost his life to COVID-19. 

GumboPAC replying to Appel on Twitter, after ignoring that a State Representative had lost his life with COVID-19. Courtesy of Twitter.

Twitter user @EliTedawg replied, “Conrad Appel is the worst of us. It’s unbelievable he even convinced enough people to support him to give his thoughts a platform. Little man is out there dog-whistling with his ‘collect a paycheck’ remark.”

Meanwhile, Representative James handled the situation with aplomb, standing his ground. “Don’t worry about my constituents, buddy, I’m #trusTED in my district and beyond,” James replied.

Between making racially insensitive remarks about black voters, voting against teacher pay raises, fighting equal pay provisions and living wage measures, and voting almost perfectly in favor of the state’s business lobby, Conrad Appel did enough damage in his tenure as a legislator.

He should try to keep his mouth shut and enjoy retirement.

Help Keep Big Easy Magazine Alive

Hey guys!

Covid-19 is challenging the way we conduct business. As small businesses suffer economic losses, they aren’t able to spend money advertising.

Please donate today to help us sustain local independent journalism and allow us to continue to offer subscription-free coverage of progressive issues.

Thank you,
Scott Ploof
Big Easy Magazine

Share this Article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *