Why a strong conservative lost in LA-05

I was going to make these points myself, but found a guy who had already done it. Pay close attention to the “Neil Deal” comments….

“As I scanned the newspaper and social media today about the Vance McAllister crushing Neil Riser in yesterday’s 5th Congressional District election, I found much with which to agree.

Yesterday’s election was as much a referendum on Bobby Jindal and dirty, rotten, politics as it was about an election to Congress. It was the first time since Jindal was re-elected governor that the voters had an opportunity to express their feelings about him and the D.C. status quo.

This is not meant to take anything away from McAllister who put his money where his mouth was and ran a superb campaign that leveraged the public anger against the status quo in Baton Rouge and D.C..

In an attempt will try not to be too redundant, my analysis is about how Riser snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

Riser’s mistakes

– Riser’s first mistake was being a willing pawn in an attempted political sneak attack (known as the “Neil Deal”) orchestrated by Timmy Teepell and his pal Bobby Jindal.

Riser could have said no to dirty, rotten, old-school, Louisiana politics. He didn’t. Riser let his blind ambition overrule his brain and any sense of morality.

Note: For those not familiar with the “Neil Deal” it involved giving then-incumbent Congressman Rodney Alexander a state job paying $130k plus a potential huge lifetime pension, in exchange for suddenly stepping down less than half-way through his term to give Riser an advantage in the election to succeed him.

– Riser’s second mistake was not being his own man. He was merely a pawn of Timmy Teepell and Rhett Davis.

– Riser’s third mistake was to speak from written “talking points” worthy of D.C. Republican operatives who regularly lose elections because of their candidates’ inability to connect with the voters. As such Riser came across as stiff, humorless, nervous and impersonal, in other words, a loser.

On the other hand, McAllister spoke from the heart and without notes. Though not always able to articulate his positions with precision, he nevertheless came across as likeable, believable and sincere.

– Riser’s fourth mistake was spending a million dollars plus without ever introducing himself to the voters. Therefore, he allowed himself to be defined by those who he willingly embraced – the national and state Republican Establishment and Bobby Jindal.

– Riser’s fifth and fatal mistake was thinking he could actually get away with the “Neil Deal.” It was an insult to the intelligence of the voters of the 5th Congressional District. The voter-induced whiplash broke Riser’s political neck.

In the end, it was Neil Riser’s hubris that beat Neil Riser. A very savvy friend of mine often says about politicians “When you get cocky, you get sloppy.”

There’s a lesson for all politicians and would-be politicians, if Timmy Teepell shows up with an offer you can’t refuse – refuse it.


Last but certainly not least, kudos to the voters of the 5th Congressional District for standing up against dirty, rotten, politics. Let’s hope the rest of the state will follow your lead.


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