Congressman Jim McCrery: Ralph Abraham will restore trust in government

 

Former US Congressman Jim McCrery wrote an op-ed in the Shreveport Times on why he’s supporting Ralph Abraham for governor of Louisiana.

 

As McCrery writes, “Louisiana desperately needs honest leadership. We need a leader with unquestioned integrity and the utmost character who can restore trust in our state government. We need Ralph Abraham.

 

I’ve been blessed to get to know Ralph over the years. And there is no question in my mind that he is that leader. When Ralph gives his word, you can count on it.”

 

Read the op-ed here.

 

Ralph Abraham will restore trust in government

Jim McCrery

Shreveport Times

July 26, 2019

 

In my many years in public service, I’ve learned that the most valuable commodity in politics and government is trust. Without the trust of your constituents and colleagues, it’s impossible to be successful.

 

Louisiana desperately needs honest leadership. We need a leader with unquestioned integrity and the utmost character who can restore trust in our state government. We need Ralph Abraham.

 

I’ve been blessed to get to know Ralph over the years. And there is no question in my mind that he is that leader. When Ralph gives his word, you can count on it.

 

We know that Ralph will put Louisiana families first, because that’s what he’s been doing his entire life.

 

As a doctor, Ralph has spent his career in the rural Louisiana Delta treating some of the poorest people in our state, often caring for those who couldn’t afford to pay him.

 

As a soldier, Ralph served our country honorably as a First Lieutenant in the Army National Guard. Ralph is a true patriot who loves his country.

 

As a conservative voice in Congress, Ralph has delivered results for Louisiana. In his role on the Armed Services Committee, Ralph has worked tirelessly to fund critical projects at Fort Polk and Barksdale Air Force Base. As the only member of the Louisiana congressional delegation on the Agriculture Committee, he’s been instrumental in passing the farm bill to provide stability for his fellow farmers and in securing commitments from Iraq to purchase rice from Louisiana farmers.

 

Ralph doesn’t just preach Christian values – he lives them every day.

 

He’s a family man who’s been married to his high school sweetheart Dianne for 43 years, as well as a father of three and grandfather of nine. In his spare time, Ralph volunteers to fly sick patients to medical facilities all over the country and serves as a Search & Rescue pilot for the Coast Guard Auxiliary and the Air Force Civil Air Patrol. After Haiti was hit with a devastating earthquake in 2010, Ralph was one of the first physicians on the ground doing everything he could to help.

 

He doesn’t do these things for fame or fortune – he does them because he believes it’s the right thing to do. He does it because he truly cares.

 

As governor, I have no doubt that Ralph will continue to do the right thing. I am honored to support him.

John Bel Edwards Loses More Louisiana Jobs To Texas

 

Louisiana has lost a $1.9 billion steel mill to Texas that was proposed for the “west Ascension Parish and the Lake Charles area.”

 

John Bel Edwards is blaming this on geography, but this comes down to bad policies and a failure of leadership.

 

When Ralph Abraham is governor, he won’t make excuses – he’ll just get the job done.

Ouachita Parish Sheriff Jay Russell Backs Ralph Abraham

 

Ouachita Parish Sheriff Jay Russell announced that he is endorsing Ralph Abraham for governor of Louisiana. In a new op-ed, Russell praises Abraham’s record of service in the military and Congress, as well as his strong and consistent support of law enforcement.

 

Sheriff Russell writes, “The recent changes to our criminal justice system, though well-intentioned, were rolled out with little to no input from the people who are responsible for implementing them. That would never happen with Ralph Abraham as our governor. He understands the importance of reform, but he also understands that it has to be a collaborative effort between state leaders and law enforcement, and that public safety is the number one priority.”

 

Read the op-ed here.

 

Ralph Abraham backs law enforcement
Sheriff Jay Russell
Monroe News Star
July 26, 2019

 

In just a few short months, Louisianians will elect a governor for the next four years. As the Sheriff of Ouachita Parish, I see firsthand every day how this critical decision impacts the safety of our people. That’s why it’s so important that we get this right, and that’s why I’m supporting Ralph Abraham to be our next governor. I trust Ralph to back us in our efforts to keep our people safe.

 

As a veteran, Ralph knows what it means to wear the uniform and to put his personal safety on the line for a cause greater than himself. To this day, Ralph serves as a Search & Rescue pilot for the Coast Guard Auxiliary and the Air Force Civil Air Patrol. Like so many of our law enforcement officers, he has spent his entire life putting Louisiana Families First. I have no doubt that he will do the same as governor. No one is more prepared to lead our state. As a lifelong Louisianian and a grandfather of nine, Ralph knows how to make the right decisions for Louisiana.

 

And as a member of Congress, he’s delivered results for our veterans, our military, and our farmers. He’s a proven conservative who has stood with President Trump to secure our borders and to put an end to sanctuary cities. At a time of rising anti-police extremism in some parts of Congress, he has been a strong and consistent supporter of law enforcement.

 

Perhaps most important, Ralph understands that leadership is not a one-way street and that no one has all the answers. He listens to the experts. He will partner with law enforcement to do what’s right — not dictate from Baton Rouge.

 

This type of leadership is exactly what Louisiana is missing right now. The recent changes to our criminal justice system, though well-intentioned, were rolled out with little to no input from the people who are responsible for implementing them. That would never happen with Ralph Abraham as our governor. He understands the importance of reform, but he also understands that it has to be a collaborative effort between state leaders and law enforcement, and that public safety is the number one priority.

 

With Ralph Abraham leading our state, law enforcement in our state will never have to wonder whether their governor supports them. He has our backs, so I have his. I proudly endorse his candidacy.

Ralph Abraham: I Will End John Bel’s War On Our Oil & Gas Industry

 

This past Sunday, Advocate reporter Tyler Bridges published an article focused on the Louisiana economy and how it is performing under my opponent, Governor John Bel Edwards. Bridges rightly concluded that when you look at current job data, “the numbers are not favorable to the governor.” Like Mr. Bridges, I agree the numbers paint a clear picture of an economy that is in decline. While employment nationally has grown by 6.4% over the past 4 years thanks in large part to President Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, private sector employment in Louisiana has declined. We are also one of a handful states that has lost population over the last 4 years.

 

Despite this crystal clear evidence that our economy is struggling when almost every other state is booming, Bridges and retired state economist Jim Richardson try to make excuses for Edwards by blaming the numbers on a downturn in the oil and gas industry. Noting that Louisiana’s oil and gas industry has lost tens of thousands of jobs since 2015, Richardson goes so far as to say the industry “took a beating” under Edwards.

 

Let’s be clear, our oil and gas industry hasn’t taken a beating from the economy. It’s taken a beating from John Bel Edwards and his trial attorney donors.

 

Immediately after taking office, Edwards sent a letter to parish leaders threatening that if they didn’t sue oil and gas companies, he would. Nevermind that Louisiana oil and gas companies support more than 260,000 jobs and contribute more than $2 billion in annual state taxes. Nevermind that those same companies also invest heavily in our coast, including by helping fund critical restoration projects and hurricane protection efforts. Edwards picked his team early on, and he picked trial lawyers over our economy.

 

Today, there are over 400 “legacy” lawsuits and 42 active coastal lawsuits against over 200 oil and gas companies. They have all been brought by a handful of trial lawyers looking to line their pockets from lucrative contingency contracts, all of whom are John Bel’s biggest campaign donors.

 

How can we expect our energy and job producers to keep investing in Louisiana and the coastal waters that surround us if our governor and chief executive officer of the State has declared all-out war on the industry? We can’t. We also shouldn’t be surprised that our largest economic competitor, Texas, is reaping the rewards of Edwards’ energy assault. Texas welcomes energy growth with open arms, and the economy in Texas is booming as a result of it.

 

I agree with Bridges that voters need to understand how Louisiana is faring when they decide whether it is time for a change in leadership. But let’s not pretend that our economy is better off today than four years ago when far fewer people are working and our state continues to lag behind the rest of the nation. Louisiana is blessed with vast resources and some of the best workers in the world—our economic growth should be off the charts. Unfortunately, Edwards and his trial lawyer friends have gone out of their way to kill jobs and stall our economy by waging war on Louisiana oil and gas companies. It’s time for new leadership that will bring that war to an end.

 

NOTE: The Advocate refused to publish this response to their report.

Memo: State of the Louisiana Governor’s Race

 

Ralph Abraham remains, essentially, a shoo-in to be the Republican that will face off against Governor John Bel Edwards in the November Runoff Election for Governor in Louisiana.

 

With more than a 20-point lead over both of the lower-tier candidates – Gary Landrieu and Eddie Rispone – Ralph has strengthened his position and still holds more than 30% of the vote in every single public poll (and all of our internal polling) headed into the October jungle primary election.

 

The challenge we will ultimately face, however, is the difficulty that exists in defeating an incumbent officeholder – especially in the unique circumstances of the Louisiana jungle primary and immediate runoff. Specifically, within 48 hours of winning in the primary, Ralph Abraham must have a funded campaign and be back on television to face off one-on-one with Governor Edwards, who will be sitting on a fully-loaded war chest.

 

Making this battle winnable is the fact that our internal polling now has Ralph Abraham with a 1-point lead over the Governor in a head-to-head matchup and external polling exists that shows that lead as large as 5 points.

 

More opportunity exists in the fact that we continue to have huge room for growth among undecided voters. While we are currently sitting in the driver’s seat to take on the Governor head-to-head in the runoff, we still have only 10% name ID among undecided voters.

 

What’s key, though, is that these undecided voters WILL break Republican, they are just waiting to meet and hear from the candidates. Of the undecideds:

 

– 51% will support a Republican for Governor compared to 10% wanting a generic Democrat.
– 69% of these voters approve of the job President Trump is doing compared to only 19% who disapprove.
– 46% disapprove of the way JBE is handling his job as Governor compared to only 21% who approve.
– 68% believe it’s time to give “someone new a chance” compared to only 10% who believe the Governor deserves re-election.

 

As we continue to build our support among the undecideds, our message is correct. Again, among undecideds:

 

– 69% are more likely to support Doc when learning he is a “proven fighter who will stand up for Louisiana family values”
– 67% are more likely to support Doc when learning he is “a conservative member of Congress who fights to support President Trump”

 

Eddie, on the other hand, doesn’t appear to have a winning or compelling message being developed. Of undecideds:

 

– Only 50% feel more likely to support when they learn he is a “businessman and not a politician,” and
– Only 51% feel more likely when that message is changed to “a conservative outsider – not a career politician”

 

Considering that he cannot seem to break out of single digits despite having spent well over a million dollars to date – it’s hard to imagine the undecided voters will break 91-9 in his favor, even as he launches his media buy this week.

 

We are in the winning position in this race – I’d take our message, our candidate, and our numbers over Eddie’s any day of the week.

 

Louisiana is ready to make a change and win again.

 

***

 

UPDATE: August 8, 2019

 

***

 

Over the past two weeks – despite almost $2 million in advertising from our closest Republican opponent – things remain largely unchanged.

 

Our internal tracking has Mr. Rispone moving ONE SINGLE POINT despite picking up almost 20-point in name ID statewide – largely because that new identification has come in the form of unfavorable opinions where he is now 22-20 and barely above water.

 

Doc remains positioned for the runoff and as our ads begin airing will only further solidify that position.

Ralph Abraham Op-ed: It’s Time to Be Honest About Medicaid Expansion

 

It’s Time to Be Honest About Medicaid Expansion

Ralph Abraham

 

As a practicing physician in a poor, rural area of our State, I know first-hand how important it is to make sure all Louisiana residents have access to affordable, quality health care.  But the growth trajectory of John Bel’s Medicaid expansion plan is going to hurt those it is intended to help by reducing access and bankrupting our State.  

 

While running for governor, John Bel Edwards promised Louisianians that he wouldn’t raise taxes. But just months after taking office, he imposed the largest tax hike in state history. 

 

Four years later, Edwards is once again campaigning on a lie that will have devastating consequences for our state. 

 

This time, Governor Edwards tells us that we don’t need to worry about the soaring cost of Medicaid expansion in our state. 

 

But unlike Edwards, the numbers don’t lie. And they show that his Medicaid expansion costs will bankrupt our state if we don’t get a handle on it. 

 

State spending on Medicaid is growing at a faster rate in Louisiana than any other state in the country. LDH’s budget has grown by an average of 10.5% every year since Governor Edwards took office. That equates to an additional $1 billion of spending every year for the last four years.  One. Billion. Each. Year.

 

The Louisiana Department of Health’s budget now takes up over 50% of our total state budget. That means there’s limited resources to invest in other critical areas like infrastructure, education, help for the physically and mentally disabled and natural disaster recovery. 

 

And it’s only getting worse. Starting in 2020, the percentage of state matching dollars that Louisiana will have to provide for Medicaid expansion will increase from 7% to 10%.  In a multi-billion dollar program, 3% is a big number. Governor Edwards has no plan to pay for this. LDH has admitted that we are going to have to start tapping into limited state general fund dollars to fund Medicaid expansion, but they’ve never mentioned how much, and they haven’t budgeted for it.  

 

According to the Edwards administration’s initial estimates, roughly 300,000 were eligible for Medicaid expansion. Now, over 500,000 have signed up for the program, and the numbers are expected to continue growing.  Roughly 4 out of every 10 Louisiana residents are on government funded healthcare right now. It won’t be long before that number passes 50%.  Either his administration flat out lied about the cost of the program, or they didn’t know. I don’t know which one is worse.  

 

What I do know is that the legislative auditor has already uncovered that the Louisiana Department of Health wasted at least $85 million on people who weren’t eligible for Medicaid, including nearly 2,000 recipients who make more than $100,000. That doesn’t include working individuals with good private insurance who have dropped their coverage for free government health care. 

 

The soaring cost of Medicaid expansion alone is alarming. But the lack of transparency may be the worst part. Earlier this year, LDH admitted to underestimating expansion costs by more than $400 million. They slipped that in at a legislative Medicaid subcommittee hearing.  Just last month, Governor Edwards’ administration admitted that they have no ability to track another $420 million they are handing over to Medicaid Managed Care Organizations through an “incentive” program that pays the MCOs to deliver good healthcare outcomes.  Not only are we already paying the MCOs more than $8 billion to achieve quality outcomes, but even worse, LDH admitted that they have absolutely no clue how the MCOs are actually spending the money. That’s unacceptable. 

 

I believe it’s our responsibility to take care of those who cannot take care of themselves and give a hand up to those who need it. That is not what this Governor has done. Despite Edwards’ claims of balancing the state budget, he’s driving the state right over another fiscal cliff. That doesn’t help anyone.

John Bel Edwards Attacks President Trump As A Racist

 

According to John Bel Edwards, President Trump is a racist because he stood up to people who consistently bash America and use incendiary anti-Semitic language, and who compare our federal law enforcement officers to Nazis.

 

John Bel stands with Nancy Pelosi and the “squad” – Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley. Good to know.