John Bel Edwards in 2015 LA Governor's race


On Abortion: Provide alternatives to Planned Parenthood before blocking

The four major candidates all oppose abortion, but they do differ on the exceptions they're willing to consider in their opposition to the procedure. All four men say they don't object to an abortion when a mother's life is in jeopardy. Angelle and Vitter don't support exceptions for rape or incest victims; Dardenne does. Edwards said he'd consider such exceptions if they were the `legislative will.`

Another difference of opinion involves term-limited Gov. Bobby Jindal's decision to block Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood, which doesn't provide abortions in Louisiana. All three Republicans say they support Jindal's decision. Edwards said there should be more investigation of claims that the organization was illegally profiting from fetal tissue sales, which Planned Parenthood denies. He also said Louisiana must make sure other health care locations are available to provide services before blocking Planned Parenthood from Medicaid.

Source: Okla. News on 2015 Louisiana Gubernatorial debate Oct 8, 2015

On Civil Rights: Supreme Court decided: issue same-sex marriage licenses

The WDSU anchor asked whether Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk of court, acted correctly in refusing to award marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Five of the six candidates said they sided with Davis, who briefly went to prison rather than issue the licenses. "I don't believe anyone is free to deny those marriage licenses once the Supreme Court has ruled," said Edwards, the lone dissenter. "Anarchy would result." Edwards added that he personally did not support same-sex marriages.
Source: Baton Rouge Advocate on 2015 Louisiana Gubernatorial debate Oct 1, 2015

On Drugs: Opposes legalizing marijuana

Asked two questions about marijuana, none of the major candidates said he had ever smoked marijuana, and all four opposed legalizing the drug, as other states have done.
Source: Baton Rouge Advocate on 2015 Louisiana Gubernatorial debate Oct 1, 2015

On Gun Control: I support gun rights, unlike national Democrats

Vitter went out of his way to tie state Rep. John Bel Edwards, the only major Democrat in the race, to President Barack Obama. Edwards responded that he differs from national Democrats on major issues, including his opposition to abortion and his support for gun rights. Edwards also confirmed to Vitter that he voted for Obama for president and then added, "but I have never voted for David Vitter." The small studio audience laughed.
Source: Baton Rouge Advocate on 2015 Louisiana Gubernatorial debate Oct 1, 2015

On Environment: Mississippi River diversion: backbone to coastal restoration

The candidates discussed what they would do as governor to repair Louisiana's eroding coast. Each one backed a $50 billion, 50-year master plan devised by Gov. Jindal's administration to slow land loss by diverting the Mississippi River's mud and water into injured estuaries. The idea is to restore the river's delta-building capacity.

Fishermen oppose river diversions because they would alter water conditions and likely make it difficult to harvest shrimp, crabs and oysters where fresh water is flushed into estuaries.

"Simply put, diversions are the backbone" to coastal restoration, Edwards said. But he said projects need to be weighed against socio-economic factors.

The four candidates did not propose large-scale new mechanisms for funding the enterprise, even as candidates predicted the cost of coastal restoration would reach $100 billion. Edwards said he would seek to get the federal government to do more to fix Louisiana's problems. "This is a national priority," he said.

Source: Associated Press on 2015 Louisiana gubernatorial debate Aug 19, 2015

On Crime: Let New Orleans police itself; remove state police soon

Three of the four Louisiana gubernatorial candidates said the extra Louisiana State Police presence in the French Quarter should probably not remain in New Orleans "indefinitely"--and will eventually have to be withdrawn.

"No great city is going to be great for long if it doesn't have the adequate ability to police itself," said state Rep. John Bel Edwards, the only Democratic candidate running for governor.

Edwards, Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle and Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne agreed the extra state troopers in the French Quarter are needed now. But New Orleans should probably provide the additional law enforcement itself eventually. Edwards was the most emphatic about establishing a timeline for state police withdrawal. Dardenne and Angelle were a bit more speculative about when the troopers should be pulled out of New Orleans.

Source: Times-Picayune on 2015 Louisiana gubernatorial debate Aug 8, 2015

On Health Care: Don't delay Medicaid expansion; that ties up LA tax dollars

After the AARP Louisiana forum, the candidates continued the lively debate on Twitter:

EDWARDS: @JayDardenne says he would delay Medicaid expansion and receipt of $16B of our tax dollars to submit waiver, delaying care.

DARDENNE: @JohnBelforLA has a ton of promises, but not the experience nor the votes to get any of his proposals through. I can get it done.

EDWARDS: Thanks for pointing out that expanding Medicaid requires no vote. So no reason to stall, hurt citizens and waste tax dollars.

DARDENNE: Placing Louisiana on the hook, under the current ACA rules, is foolish and insolvent. Try putting Louisiana before party.

EDWARDS: Waiver removes flexibility in how to spend the tax $ we won't get for the 18 months you delay.

DARDENNE: Untrue. Waiver that #PutLouisianaFirst gives us a chance to address the issue w/o breaking the backs of the taxpayers.

EDWARDS: Continuing to send our federal taxes to other states while we wait for waiver hurts taxpayers. Not the other way around.

Source: 2015 Louisiana gubernatorial debate on Twitter.com Aug 8, 2015

The above quotations are from 2015 Louisiana Gubernatorial race: debates and news coverage.
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Page last updated: Sep 05, 2016