Saturday, November 13, 2010

New Orleans Representative throws State House to the Republicans

New Orleans State Representative Walker Hines announced yesterday that he is switching from the Democratic to the Republican party. The move will give the Republicans a majority in the State House.
Hines, who is known for his efforts to outlaw transfats in school lunches, raise the legal smoking age to 21, outlaw smoking in a vehicle with anyone under 16 and to outlaw riding in the back of a truck on an interstate highway, is said to be considering a run for Secretary of State next year. That would be difficult to do as a Democrat.
When he first ran for office in 2007 he sent a letter to a couple of Progressive New Orleans bloggers stating that “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.
He also said during the run that “My job is to not become part of the old school, status quo politics of our past. My job is to come up here and challenge the conventional boundaries that the Legislature and other bodies of government have pursued.”
It doesn’t really matter whether he has a “D” or an “R” behind his name, Hines’ nanny state tendencies will be welcome in either state party. However well intentioned, his efforts to control what people eat and smoke and how they ride is very simply government intrusion.  His move won't effect any change whatsoever in the way that the legislature operates.
If I truly believed that this change was inspired by a deep, soul-searching assessment of his beliefs and philosophy I would be the first to encourage him to follow his heart and intellect.  I just have a hard time believing that to be the case.  I have more respect for a principled progressive or conservative than I do for someone who will stick their finger to the wind and move to the prevailing popular ideology in order to advance their political ambitions.
From State Treasurer John Kennedy to Bossier’s own Robert Adley, Louisiana has seen a number of these miraculous transformations of Democrats into Republicans.
Change if you must in order to stand a chance at higher office, it’s easy to tweak your remarks.  "I will never sacrifice my principles for popularity. I’m a progressive Democrat conservative Republican."
H/T to CenLamar


  1. This Bozo needs toi be the poster child for why there is a need for a TEA Party, and he needs his picture printed in the dictionary entry for RINO and political opportunist. It's assholes like this asshole who sickens me when it come to political assholes.
    Now after that outburst of profanitites let me get spiritual. Did Jesus tell us to let yeses be yes and our nos be no, and he warned us about being luke warm. This guy is a political weather vane and won't be a damned bit of good for the Dems or the Rep.

  2. Exactly right. Say what you mean and mean what you say.

  3. Jim, I knew his name sounded familiar. I wrote a post about him in 2008 (dealing only with an amendment Hines offered to prohibit free meals from lobbyists).

    With Hines' switch, with his own words, and with his voting/policy record, I'd have to now agree with the cynical portion of my 2008 post.

    Both parties need true CONSERVATIVES. Whether in the Louisiana Legislature, or in local halls of government, a voting record ALWAYS speaks far louder than the label behind the name.

  4. The tea party should make it their goal to challege all these rino's and get conservatives back running things - rino robert adley is now a republican, but is the guy that led the fight for the legislative pay raise - wtf - bossier parish is conservative - where is the tea party candidate for senate - let's get going

  5. I've seen a few principled party switches. I'll always believe that Roemer's switch was on principle. Not that he's a conservative by any stretch, but his politics fall to the right side of the middle line, and I think he could see where his Dimocrap party was headed.

    And, even though I had my doubts about Rodney Alexander's switch at the time, he's pretty well proven himself to be in the conservative camp.

    I remember the day that Senator Richard Shelby (AL), and my own Senator at the time, Ben "Nighthorse" Campbell (CO) switched to the Republican party. (Hey, I've got a funny story about Ben Campbell, who was actually one of my neighbors...remind me to tell you). Both of those men looked at the Democrat Party, and where it was headed, and just had to call it quits.

    But jokers like Hines? Really?

    And, I'll tell you that I had always been a fan of John Kennedy until he ran for Senate the first time. I swear, when you can veer left of Mary...well...I lost respect for him. Then, to come back and run as a conservative? Truth is, he probably really is a conservative, so I think his massive swing is one of the oddest I've seen.

    Hines is an odd character, so I don't find anything he does surprising. But some of these other guys that "switch" seem to be making a sane, rational, principled decision.

    Hines has got to know that no matter what letter he has next to his name on any ballot, any opponent with an IQ above 75 will exploit his past statements, and proposed legislation.

    This one is a puzzle to me.

  6. why is this a big story. Adley, Montgomery and many others up here changed parties to get re-elected. No story here.

  7. I agree somewhat, he's not the first and not the last, but his move did give the Republicans a majority in the House.


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