Avoyelles Representative rebuts letter critical of Edwards

Dear Editor,
A recent letter published in some newspapers from one of our colleagues in the La. House of Representatives was a desperate, divisive, attempt to tell an untruth about the record and character of John Bel Edwards. We have all served with John Bel Edwards, and know him to be a man of honesty, integrity, and one who understands what real leadership looks like. That is why we have signed on to this letter to correct the untruths of Rep. Alan Seabaugh. Mr. Seabaugh’s untruths, put forth on behalf of David Vitter, aren’t worthy of the people of this state, and aren’t worth the ink it took to print them.
Rep. Sebaugh distorted the facts on Rep. Edwards voting record in ways that are not true. First, Rep. Edwards has been a true champion for funding for education. His opposition to last year’s “SAVE Act” did not constitute an attempt to cut funding for higher education. The “SAVE Act” gimmick was exposed for what it was - a Bobby Jindal attempt to keep his promises to out of state special interests like Grover Norquist - precisely because John Bel Edwards did what he always does; he stood up to Bobby Jindal while people like Alan Seabaugh cheered him on.
Earlier this year when LSU was on the verge of declaring bankruptcy it was because of years of dishonest budgeting that John Bel Edwards opposed. And when LSU students rallied at the Capitol to try to save their school, John Bel Edwards was the ONLY gubernatorial candidate that stood by their side.
Alan Seabaugh claims that John Bel will raise taxes. He knows this isn’t true. Rep. Edwards budget plans would include decreasing personal income tax rates from their current 2, 4 and 6% rates to 1, 3, and 5%. Alan Seabaugh and the other Jindal/Vitter puppets consistently voted to balance the budget on the backs of working families by raising tuition and fees. John Bel didn’t.
Seabaugh takes issue with those he claims are “exclusive” supporters of John Bel Edwards. But the truth is, this is just a desperate ploy, meant to distract voters from the embarrassing stories about who David Vitter has been associated with. And it won’t work. John Bel has the endorsement of law enforcement officials like the La. Sheriff’s Association and the State Police. He has the backing of small business groups like the La. Independent Pharmacies Association. And, he has the support of all the stakeholders that support public education including Superintendents, Principals and School Board members.
And in perhaps his most offensive untruth, Seabaugh tries to distort John Bel’s record on abortion. We consider this to be untrue. When John Bel’s wife was 20 weeks pregnant, doctors discovered that their first child would be born with spina bifida and advised that they seek an abortion. But, true to their christian values, Donna and John Bel worked hard to give their daughter Samantha all their love and the necessary care so she could thrive. They bravely told their family’s story in a television commercial specifically so that voters who want a pro-life governor would know their authentic, personal position. John Bel has a 100% pro life voting record with Louisiana Right to Life. So you can understand why we, as his colleagues, found this untruth to be so particularly offensive.
We refuse to sit idly by while people like Alan Seabaugh openly dispute the record of our colleague and our next governor, John Bel Edwards.

State Rep. Robert Johnson, Dist (Marksville)
State Rep. Jack Montoucet, Dist. 42 (Crowley)
State Rep. Sam Jones, Dist. 50 (Franklin)
State Rep. Vincent Pierre, Dist 44 (Lafayette)
State Rep. Stephen Ortego, Dist. 39 (Carencro)
State Rep. Bernard LeBas, Dist. 38 (Ville Platte)
State Rep. Terry Landry, Dist. 96 (New Iberia)
State Rep. Karen St. Germain, Dist 60 (Pierre Part)
State Rep. Gene Reynolds, Dist. 10 (Minden)
State Rep. James Armes, Dist. 30 (Leesville)