Special session opens 092820

The Louisiana House of Representatives

The crackpot anti-vaccine fringe in the Louisiana House of Representatives may finally have gone too far.

No, not because they put out another completely bogus statement distorting the undeniable case for vaccination against a serious health threat.

No, this is more serious. They have used the wrong stationery.

In writing to Gov. John Bel Edwards, the dissidents — 10 House members, mostly with a track record of extremism against vaccinations — appear to have defied their nominal boss, House Speaker Clay Schexnayder, R-Gonzales.

The speaker told them not to pipe down, which would have been wiser. Rather, he told them and their allies against public health to stop using the House’s letterhead for their statements that are increasingly misleading or flat-out distortions.

A majority of members of the GOP majority in the House have often been quick to criticize Edwards’ tough decisions during the pandemic. But they don’t want to see the body tied to the most extreme views against vaccinations.

The lawmakers printed their latest note on generic Louisiana House of Representatives letterhead, causing some readers to believe its contents represented the beliefs of the entire lower chamber.

It's the third time in recent months that vaccine skeptics in the House have used the generic letterhead to promote opinions that challenged the scientific consensus around COVID- 19.

After the latest letter was published, Schexnayder emailed members saying that going forward, no members would be allowed to use the Louisiana House of Representatives letterhead.

We’ll see if he can enforce that. But the stationery rule doesn’t address the profound irresponsibility of the anti-vax minority — if they are the minority — in Schexnayder’s caucus.

Our Views: GOP House members depart from our COVID-19 reality, play to extremist crowd