The second of four candidate forums was held on Saturday at Pelican Point’s clubhouse with early voting for the October 12 election three weeks away . Four candidates for Ascension Parish President, six questions, and little deviation from their respective paths charted beforehand…what did we learn?
Murphy Painter, alone among four candidates, embraces his participation in politics, even claiming to have “been involved, one way or another, in every parish election since 1972.” He did confess to not having attended a Parish Council meeting, but politics and governance are not exactly the same thing. Painter also claims a Masters of Public Administration (MPA) degree, highly desirable according to A Better Ascension, the group that tried to abolish the parish presidency in favor of Parish Manager governance last year.
And he’s got “ten doctor degrees in the political world, especially in the State of Louisiana.”
Whatever that means.
That coveted MPA was the only requisite to be hired as Ascension’s first Parish Manager in the final ABA version of a revamped Home Rule Charter.
They did propose a “ceremonial” Parish President at one point but the Home Rule Charter Revision Committee canned that idea before forwarding a final product for the Parish Council to deny on July 19, 2018. ABA members are still making a little noise (one is running for the District 88 seat in Louisiana’s House of Representatives) but they are supporting Rick Webre who could only muster an MBA.
Question: Why is ABA not supporting Murphy Painter?
Painter insists he’s his own man, not beholden to any political faction. He scoffs at the notion that his presidency would be more of the same, a continuation of Kenny Matassa’s administration.
“I haven’t promised a job to anybody,” an adamant Murphy Painter said on Saturday.
He would have you believe he’s an insider…and an outsider. Nice trick if Painter can pull it off.
The only other questions we have will be answered by Painter’s Finance Reports, due on September 12.