Is a power play worthy of the U.S. Capitol the right way to approach the Metro Council in East Baton Rouge Parish? No, and it is that lack of proportion that has led four members of the council into a boycott that makes the Democratic members look petty.
In fact, they are being petty. Over a nine-month temporary appointment.
Seven members of the council must vote to appoint a successor to Buddy Amoroso, a Republican, tragically killed in a biking accident. Four members, all Democrats, said they would abstain, meaning that the remaining six Republicans and one Democrat would have to agree on a replacement.
If not, Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, could fill the seat by appointment.
Traditionally, in the Baton Rouge council, it’s the family who nominates a new member; Martha Jane Tassin once succeeded her husband, and served two full terms later. But the widow or other family member need not run for a full term.
And in any case, the new member or another candidate will be elected in special elections, with the primary in March.
Four Democrats on Baton Rouge’s Metro Council announced Tuesday they would not vote for anyone to replace their recently deceased Republican c…
Democrat Tara Wicker called it disgraceful to set aside the council’s traditions for political party labels. Right response.
[Update, 9 p.m. Tuesday: Councilman LaMont Cole issued this statement on behalf of the four council members: "Prior to Denise Amoroso making any public comments, a number of people residing in district eight reached out to us relative to being appointed to the vacant seat. We wanted all of them to know we will not vote to appoint anyone to the seat. Now that we know Mrs. Amoroso is strongly considering filling the seat, we too look forward to having a face -to -face discussion with her about the best path forward in terms of representation for the district. We will revisit our decision after our conversation with Denise Amoroso."]
Whether the old tradition is a good thing or not is debatable; a governor’s appointment might not be a bad one.
What is unquestionable is that Edwards, ever-sensitive to his need for GOP voters’ support when he runs for reelection next year, would not be part of the maneuver of the Four D caucus.
One of the would-be string-pullers in local politics, Gary Chambers, blogged that this would be a historic opportunity for Democrats on the council. Common sense: A nine-month appointment does not history make on the Baton Rouge city council.