Remember Royal Alexander?
For a short time, he was Chief of Staff to Congressman Rodney Alexander (no relation), and in 2007, he ran as the Republican candidate for Louisiana Attorney General, a race he lost handily to Buddy Caldwell, the Democratic candidate.
Not surprisingly, Mr. Alexander is still engaged in politics, and it appears that he is attempting to assert himself as a leader of the Tea Party in Louisiana. Yesterday, Rachel Maddow reported that Senator David Vitter signed a pledge from the North Central Louisiana Tea Party that he would, among other things, conduct himself “personally and professionally in a moral and socially appropriate manner,” a commitment that draws obvious attention to Mr. Vitter’s admission of a “serious sin.”
Interestingly, the North Central Louisiana Tea Party is not registered to conduct business in the State of Louisiana.
They’re just an informal, grassroots organization of like-minded folks who want to take back the government, right?
Royal Alexander’s name and e-mail address are plastered all over the website for the North Central Louisiana Tea Party.
Clearly, Mr. Alexander, who was embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal in 2006 involving another Congressional staffer, is a founder of this informal organization, and as the former Chief of Staff to a Republican United States Congressman, it probably wasn’t too difficult to get Senator Vitter to endorse his “Tea Party” pledge, particularly if the whole thing could be framed as grassroots.
Royal and company haven’t yet taken the time to register the organization with the Louisiana Secretary of State, but they don’t seem to mind asking for donations and contributions.
Either way, Royal has, in fact, registered an organization called the Red River Tea Party, LLC, which, on Thursday, hosted what may have been the most boring and lackluster political forum in Louisiana history (though, to be fair, it did feature a bizarre attack on the alleged true “religion” of Louisiana’s Secretary of State and candidate for Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne).
Considering the North Central Louisiana Tea Party is now asserting itself as a political organization seeking donations and pledges from candidates, I believe they have an absolute obligation to be as transparent and open as possible. Louisianans need to be aware of the connections between the North Central Louisiana Tea Party and the Red River Tea Party. Are they both merely front groups for Republican Royal Alexander?
Like most folks in Louisiana, I don’t really care about what David Vitter promised Royal Alexander he would do or how he would behave during his second term; both men have been plagued by scandal. It’s kind of funny that they’re able to generate national attention by signing pledges about personal and professional behavior. TPM and Rachel Maddow missed the real story: This has nothing to do with the Tea Party; this is primarily about establishment, scandal-plagued Republicans attempting to manufacture a movement.
Honestly, I’m most disappointed in Butch Gautreaux and his campaign, as a Democrat, for Lt. Governor. Apparently, he signed off on Mr. Alexander’s so-called Tea Party pledge. With all due respect to Mr. Gautreaux, I hope he’ll take his name off of Royal Alexander’s list. Royal’s not grassroots; he doesn’t represent the Tea Party; and there is absolutely no reason a Democratic candidate for any statewide office should feel compelled to pay lip service to Royal Alexander. Mr. Gautreaux’s decision to publicly align himself with a blatantly astro-turf Tea Party organization d0es absolutely nothing for his candidacy; if anything, it emboldens Caroline Fayard, who appears to be, by far, the most qualified and informed candidate for the job.