Scorecard season for lawmakers arrives

by Jeremy Alford, LaPolitics

LABI's Stephen Waguespack

The annual legislative scorecard compiled by the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry is expected to be released in the coming days, kicking off a high-profile review season as lawmakers are asking for your vote.

It’s a big deal for some lawmakers, who rely on their scores to trigger campaign donations from LABI’s political action committees, and the PACs operated by other groups. The need for cash and support is even more noticeable this year, with elections slated for the fall.

It’s no secret that lawmakers leaned heavily on business to close a $1.6 billion budget shortfall, passing a slew of measures that amount to tax increases. Although LABI and others managed to negotiate sunsets on the measures, meaning they’ll expire in one to three years in some cases, the business lobby walked away from the session feeling many lawmakers had switched jerseys in the final session of their term.

“The scorecard will reflect that,” said LABI President Stephen Waguespack.

But LABI isn’t the only group with a scorecard that causes heartburn for tax-supporting Republicans. The Louisiana chapter of the conservative Americans For Prosperity released its tally last week.

AFP has already sunk $60,000 into radio ads promoting and may dump just as much into fall field operations like door-to-door outreach and online advertising.

“It was a disappointing session with legislators throwing tax after tax at the wall to see what would stick,” said AFP’s state director Phillip Joffrion.

The radio spot lashes out at lawmakers for passing “gimmicks, short term fixes and over $700 million in tax hikes” to balance the budget, and for adopting “a scheme to usher in Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion.”