LABI Statement on Gubernatorial Debate

Baton Rouge, La. — Tonight was the final debate between Rep. John Bel Edwards and Sen. David Vitter. It was likely the final time voters will have the opportunity to hear each of the candidates discuss the substantive issues before they head to the polls this Saturday.

Most notable from tonight’s debate was the fact the Edwards made several comments that directly contradict his legislative voting record. For instance, tonight he said that he intends to oppose tax increases, cut spending, look for efficiencies throughout government and undedicate many parts of the budget to make it easier to effectively use existing dollars.

While this would be a responsible approach, Rep. Edwards’ voting record clearly illustrates that he actually has a different political philosophy. In fact, last year he supported over $2 billion in higher taxes, including substantial increases on employer taxes for critical items such as electricity, inventory, debt, and research.

“Tonight, Rep. Edwards’ rhetoric on tax increases did not match his career voting record,” said Brian Landry, vice president of LABI Political Action. “He claimed he did not support tax increases last session, despite the fact he clearly helped raise them by at least $700 million. He also claimed he supports spending cuts and efficiencies, despite the fact he has vocally opposed them in the Legislature.”

“Campaign rhetoric can muddy up the waters, but voting records paint a clear picture of one’s true philosophy,” Landry said. “The voting records show that Sen. Vitter supports policies that rein in government spending, protect taxpayers, and create a strong and vibrant private sector economy. On the other hand, Rep. Edwards’ voting record clearly shows he favors bigger government, higher taxes and new mandates on employers.”

Last session’s tax increases are only a few of the many votes that contribute to Representative Edwards’ career LABI voting record of 29 percent. This career voting record is lower than the career voting record of Mary Landrieu, Mitch Landrieu and Kathleen Blanco. This fact, along with his 25 percent voting record for NFIB, are substantive and statistical reasons that employers across the state are concerned that he will liberally govern in the same way that he has legislated.

The voting records of both Rep. John Bel Edwards and Sen. David Vitter are attached to illustrate the clear distinction in the political philosophies of both candidates.
Sen. David Vitter

1992 100
1993 95
1994 88
1995 100
1996 89
1997 100
1998 83
Lifetime LABI Score 95%

John Bel Edwards

2008 49
2009 38
2010 75
2011 13
2012 19
2013 67
2014 27
2015 26
Lifetime LABI Score 29%
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