The Louisiana Family Forum — the political organization that has the power to turn Baton Rouge lawmakers' knees to jelly and bowels to water — has issued its annual scorecard ranking legislators on their "family-friendliness" (as defined, of course, by the LFF's standards). State senators were ranked according to their votes on eight bills, while representatives were judged by their opinions on 11 bills (including "Limits Cell Phone Use in Vehicles" — who knew that was a family values issue?). #2 on the House side was "So-Called Anti-Bullying Bill," the ultimately-failed legislation introduced by Rep. Austin Badon, D-New Orleans. (On the LFF scorecard, it was defined as creating "a special category of 'sexual orientation' in effort to introduce homosexual policies in La. public schools.")
The LFF scorecard is broken down into a five-tier color code: green ("outstanding family advocate"), blue ("family advocate"), yellow ("average"), orange ("needs improvement") and red (hostile). Of 14 "hostile" House members, six of them were from New Orleans (Reps. Walt Leger, Austin Badon, Jared Brossett, Charmaine Stiaes, Wesley Bishop and Juan LaFonta). On the Senate side, two of the "hostiles" were New Orleanians (Karen Carter Peterson and Cynthia Willard-Lewis, along with Destrehan's Joel Chaisson).
No New Orleans state senators or representatives made the "outstanding family advocate" grade (though Metairie Reps. Anthony Ligi and John LaBruzzo, both Republicans, did). Only three New Orleans representatives earned a "family advocate" label: Rep. Nick Lorusso, R-New Orleans; Rep. Cameron Henry, R-New Orleans; and Rep. Walker Hines, who switched his affiliation from Democrat to Republican earlier this year and just yesterday announced he would not be running for Secretary of State, but instead leaving public life.
Hines scored a formidable 82% on the LFF report card. In 2007, while running for the District 95 seat against former New Orleans School Board member Una Anderson, Hines courted the New Orleans progressive blogosphere with a personal note to several bloggers, promising them:
You will be pleasantly surprised by my passion, personality, background, and voting record. Unlike my opponent who tells you whatever you want to hear, I will never sacrifice my principles for popularity. I'm a progressive Democrat who believes in the Catholic values of social justice. Please work with me.
To find out which state lawmakers are Godless heathens out to destroy your family and which ones earned the smooch of the Louisiana Family Forum, download the report card here.
EDITED TO ADD: An earlier version of this story said that Hines' 2011 record was a "switcheroo" from his past votes. While Hines' LFF score in 2008 was 56% -- "average," or one vote away from "needs improvement," his 2009 and 2010 scores were 89%, putting him then, as now, in the category of "family advocate." Gambit regrets the error.
Hines also adds:
Moreover, the blogger comment you quote me on from four years ago, explicitly states "Catholic values." I have an outstanding voting record on issues relating to Catholic Social Justice, including authoring the most comprehensive legislation to help assist the homeless population (passed the Legislature unanimously, vetoed by Gov. Jindal but the entire bill was implemented through DSS without legislative action), vocally opposing and voting against xenophobic legislation to penalize Churches and faith-based groups from housing and transporting immigrants and personally authoring a bill to study the use of capital punishment. Moreover, I have a perfect 100% Pro-Life voting record, consistent with my Catholic Faith. I've learned that labels are often misused, misunderstood, and manipulated for political gain so I've stopped using them. I'll let my record speak for itself.