This has not happened in 210 years in the embattled state of Lousianna, where Republicans had a supermajority in their state General Assembly of lawmakers, and the timing is interesting- to say the least.
The people of Louisiana have faced historic fraud and political corruption.
Before he departed his position, former FBI New Orleans’ special-agent-in-charge Jeffrey Sallet sat down with NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune on Oct. 25 to talk about Louisiana’s legacies of public corruption.
Sallet asked: How much public corruption is there in New Orleans and the rest of Louisiana compared to other cities where you’ve worked?
Sallet responded: I have had the unique opportunity of working in the area of corruption for the four New England states of Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire. I had the perspective of being the national chief of corruption and civil rights, and I would say that the corruption in this state is at an extremely unacceptable level.
The citizens of New Orleans and the State of Louisiana should expect and demand honest government. Last time I checked, government works for the citizens, the citizens do not work for the government.
And the Democrats have been in charge of LA for 210 years until this week. It is a miracle.
There happens to be a movement of God unfolding at the same time:
A four-day tent revival that start almost 5 months ago in Louisiana has never stopped and is entering its 19th week. According to CBN News, the revival event led by the Voice of Hope Ministries of D.R. Harrison started on October 16 last year. It was first held at the Old Zion Baptist Church at the Northwest of Hammond on Highway 442.
On its first night, there were only 125 people in attendance, and 34 people surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ. And on its last night, the place was full and packed, GOD TV reported.
And interestingly, a miracle happened in the state as well. Citing his Christian faith, a Democrat has switched sides and joined the Republican Party, because of the Godless leftward shift the Democrat Party has pushed him to make the historic move.
We don’t know if this lawmaker attended the Big Tent Revival, but he cited his Christianity as the reason he was leaving the Democrats in the dust after 50 years. So he was moved in the spirit, there can be no doubt.
“The push the past several years by Democratic leadership on both the national and state level to support certain issues does not align with those values and principles that are a part of my Christian life.”
Here are some details:
— Kari Baxter Donovan (@Saorsa1776) March 21, 2023
Louisiana Republicans have managed to gain historic power in the state after a now-former Democratic lawmaker switched parties, thanks to his previous party’s leftward march.
State Rep. Francis Thompson has announced that he will be switching parties and joining the GOP, citing the incompatibility of the Democratic Party’s positions with his Christian faith.
This move has given Louisiana Republicans a supermajority in the state’s House, marking the first time in the state’s 210-year history, Newsweek reported.
With the GOP holding a supermajority in the state Senate and now also in the state House, they have the power to override any veto from Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards.
“Let me clear: Nothing has changed,” Thompson said as he made his announcement. “There are values and principles that I firmly hold onto that guide my decisions. My conservative voting record over my years in the Legislature speaks for itself.
For nearly 50 years, State Rep. Francis Thompson has represented his north Louisiana House district as a conservative Democrat, earning the title of the state’s longest-serving legislator under that party’s banner.
But Thompson said on Friday that he will switch parties and join House Republicans — which would give the GOP 70 House votes if all members vote along party lines, the number needed to override a veto by Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards. Republicans already hold a supermajority in the Senate.
“Let me be clear — nothing has changed,” Thompson said at a press conference Friday at the Louisiana Republican Party headquarters in Baton Rouge. “There are values and principles that I firmly hold onto that guide my decisions. My conservative voting record over the years I have served in the Legislature speaks for itself.”
The decision comes amid a broader shift in Louisiana electoral politics, as registered Democrats have fallen off voter rolls in droves.
“This is an open invitation for all those Louisianans who don’t know where to go,” said state Sen. Heather Cloud, R-Turkey Creek. Cloud said Thompson’s move illustrates how the state Republican party is a “safe landing place” for voters who have lost faith in the Democratic party.
Thompson, 81, was first elected in 1974 and went on to serve 12 years in the Senate and 37 years in the House, and counting. He’s known for working to bring significant projects to his poor and rural district. Voters there have re-elected him 11 times.
He’s also become known for his willingness to vote with Republicans. Last year, Thompson’s party-defying vote plus votes from three independent lawmakers allowed the Legislature to override Edwards’ veto of a congressional redistricting bill.
Thompson also voted against Edwards during a special 2021 veto override session. That override effort failed; after, Edwards removed Thompson from an education board appointment.
Louisiana House Democratic Caucus Chair Rep. Sam Jenkins said in a statement that his party remains confident that voters will elect more Democrats this fall “to join the fight to increase wages, improve education, and hold insurance companies accountable.” House and Senate races are on the Oct. 14 ballot.
“While Rep. Thompson’s decision is disappointing, it is not surprising,” Jenkins added. “He already caucused with Republicans. Moreover, his decision does not change our focus. Louisiana families are our priority — not party politics.”
Thompson’s decision came after years of reflection and conversations with House Republican leadership, as well as with voters in his district, he said.