LA Dem Leader Skipped Voting on Pivotal Issues; Now Receives GOP Support

Louisiana Democratic Chair Katie Bernhardt with Vice-Chair C. Travis Johnson. Photo Courtesy of Louisiana DSCC

Louisiana Democratic Party Vice-Chair C. Travis Johson has been notably silent on issues important to Louisiana Democrats in the past several months. Johnson, who was hand-picked by Democratic Chair Katie Bernhardt has skipped several pivotal and important votes important such as:

  • SB 29, Authorizing the Legislature to Void a State of Emergency Declaration after 30 Days
  • HCR 9, Limiting Certain Powers of the Governor for the Declaration of an Emergency
  • HCR 23, Memorializing the US Senate to Confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the US Supreme Court
  • HB 29, Establishing a Severance Tax Exemption for Oil Wells (Johson was a co-sponsor)
  • SB 20, Amending the Election Laws Due to the Declared Disaster Emergency
  • HB 51, Prohibiting Using Private Funds for Campaign Election Expenses
Graphic courtesy Vote Smart

Overwhelmingly, these issues are supported by Louisiana Republicans and deeply opposed by Louisiana Democrats. In light of Johnson’s abstention on these important issues, a fundraiser hosted by prominent Louisiana Republicans, including the Louisiana GOP Caucus Chair in honor of Johnson is raising eyebrows across the Democratic party.

Louisiana House Republican Caucus Chair Rep. Blake Miguez (R-49) is known for his ardent support of former President Donald Trump, including signing a letter asking Louisiana congressional leaders to vote to overturn the 2020 election. Many have stated that it is the rhetoric from both local and congressional leaders that led to the deadly insurrection that killed five people on Jan 6, 2021, including two Capitol police officers. In addition, Miguez has been very vocal in his support of attempts to curtail Gov. John Bel Edwards’ powers to place and enforce COVID-19 mitigation measures.

Joining the fundraiser are:

  • Republican Rep. Mike Johnson (District 4)
  • Republican Sen. Glen Womack (District 32)
  • Democratic Rep. Francis C. Thompson (District 19)
  • Former Democratic Rep. Bryan Hammett

However, to those aware of Democratic Chair Katie Bernhardt’s past support of conservative policy and pro-life Republicans, this support of her hand-picked Vice-Chair won’t come as a surprise. Bernhardt has a record of contributing to conservative Republican candidates. Some view this as further proof that the Lousiana Democratic Party has been overtaken by moderate Republicans masquerading as liberals.

“The leadership of our state party has been taken over by people who do not represent the values of the Democratic Party. When the 1st Vice-Chair of the state party has the GOP caucus chair and other far-right Republicans hosting his fundraiser, it’s very clear that Democrats are not being represented by this Leadership,” said Katherine Hurst, Democratic State Central Committee Representative, District 43A.” Johnson was hand-picked By Katie Bernhardt (chair of the party) to run for 1st Vice-Chair.  Katie has a history of donating to Republicans. As a member of the DSCC, I emailed Katie about this fundraiser and expressed how unacceptable this is since he is in party leadership. I have received no response. I urge all LA Democrats to contact your DSCC member and demand accountability.”

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