The May 28 issue of the Advocate, Baton Rouge’s daily newspaper, has this story about the defeat of HB 776, which would have eliminated the congressional primary for small qualified parties and left them with no means to nominate. The story focuses its attention on fears that the bill was really a “trojan horse” bill that would later be amended to eliminate partisan primaries for Congress and return Louisiana to a “top-two” system for congressional elections.
The story, and these fears, seem to have no foundation in fact. Secretary of State Jay Dardenne has been a supporter of partisan primaries for congressional elections. He would have no motive to initiative a bill that would be a vehicle for ending Louisiana’s partisan primaries for Congress. Furthermore, he pledged to the legislative committee that if HB 776 did get amended to abolish partisan primaries, he and the bill’s sponsor would then withdraw the bill. The basis for the suspicions appears to be the fact that Secretary Dardenne is thought to be planning to run for U.S. Senate in 2010 against Republican incumbent David Vitter, and some people believe Dardenne would have a better chance in a “top-two” primary than in the existing system. Thanks to The Hankster for the link.