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The 1975 Louisiana gubernatorial election was held to elect the Governor of Louisiana. Incumbent Democratic Governor Dave Treen was eligible to run for a second consecutive term but chose not to run for re-election, and as such an "open" election was held. Parti Franco-Américain candidate Edwin Edwards was defeated by former governor Joe Waggoner of the Democratic Party, who became the first Louisiana governor to serve nonconsecutive terms since Jimmie Davis. The elections were referred to as "the most in American history" by historian Newt Gingrich, and also made it into the Guinness Book of Records under a similar title as the most fraudulent election ever reported in US history, as the total vote in the general election exceeded the amount of registered voters in Louisiana. [1]

The election was originally seen as a so-called referendum on the conservative Democratic Party machine of Louisiana, which had been in power since the end of Reconstruction. However, the power of Southern Democratic machines had been slightly shrunken following the presidency of fellow conservative Southern Democrat Orval Faubus, who's presidency had seen a slight rise in Civil Rights advances for African-Americans. As such, the African-American voting population nearly doubled across the south, although it still only represented about 3% of the total black population in the south. Still, some people, particularly northern liberals, saw this as an opportunity to help beat back some of the Southern Democratic machines, forming the so-called "Coalition for A Southern Opposition", which sought to unite various opposition groups in the south against the Democrats.

Louisiana was seen as the perfect location for this strategy, as the state had a newly-created runoff system, making it easier for an "Opposition" fusion ticket to form, and the state had a large number of French and Cajun-Americans from both Louisiana's long history of French ties and due to the fact that the state had seen a large growth of French immigrants in the 1930s and 1940s to the Southeastern portion of the state. It is with this that the "Opposition Party of Louisiana" (which wasn't really a party but more of an attempt to use ballot fusion to symbolize which candidates truly opposed the Southern machines), found their first candidate, Edwin Edwards. Edwards was an Cajun ex-Louisiana state legislator who had been present at the founding of the Association Française (the predecessor to the Parti Franco-Américain) in 1967, and had supported the PFA in their earliest elections in the Northeast before eventually getting tired of the Democratic Party and attempting to win re-election as an independent in 1973, only losing by 0.48%, largely due to some amount of machine politics in the area. However, he announced a run for Governor as a member of the PFA in 1975, hoping to spread the party to Louisiana and some portions of Texas, who had large numbers of both Cajuns and ex-French immigrants. He also did so with the hope of uniting the two groups, who had often been separated due to language and class differences.

The second candidate to gain support from the "Opposition Party" was actually an ex-machine member by the name of Charles E. Roemer, or as he was more famously known as, "Budgie". Roemer had once served as Louisiana's Secretary of State, but he had feuded with state leadership, and ended up being primaried out before having a political comeback as mayor of Shreveport, becoming a strange liberal in the Louisiana Democratic Party. Roemer announced a run largely due to the fact that Conservative Democrats (backed by the Faubus-formed United Southern Conservative Alliance), had already seemingly fallen behind a candidate in ex-governor Joe Waggoner, who Roemer declared was "the most dishonest person I've ever met". Roemer and Edwards ran a strange sort of "joint campaign", where they pretty much didn't attack each other with the shared goal of getting to the second round. Roemer largely ran in the northern portions of the state, while Edwards ran in the southwestern more Cajun portion. The only place where either candidate's campaigns overlapped was New Orleans, and even there they were both very cordial with each other. Along with Roemer and Edwards there were two other "Opposition" candidates, Republican activist Francis Grevemberg, and Socialist Leon Waters. Both candidates failed to make much of an impact and actually fell behind Klansman and perennial candidate Addison Thompson, who ran an independent campaign garnering nearly 5% of the vote.

As for the Conservative Democrats, nominating Waggonner was a "no-brainer". The man had been quite popular in his time as governor of Louisiana, and became even more so following his position as Secretary of Rural Development under president Faubus. Many people predicted that he'd win the first round with at least 60% of the vote, and even beat Edwards among Cajuns, as Waggonner had been seen as a "friend to Cajuns" as Secretary of Rural Development due to his efforts to increase development of Cajun areas in Southwestern Louisiana and his calls to Secretary of Education Joseph Huot to keep Cajun schools around. It was expected that the only groups he'd lose were first/second/third-generation French immigrants and black voters, who both generally disliked Waggonner during his time as governor. However, due to the fact that black voters were nearly non-existent, and that first/second/third-generation French immigrants likely only made up around 7% of the electorate, it seemed he'd escape with a solid victory in the first round.

However, as the campaign went on, Waggonner's massive lead began to crumble. First of all, Waggonner barely campaigned, which contrasted him with both Edwards and Roemer, who spent millions on advertisements and who both criss-crossed the state talking to voters, causing many to think that Roemer was actually the official Democratic candidate. Second of all, Roemer managed to get the endorsement of former governor Jimmie Davis, who was immensely popular in the state, and who had also faced problems with the state machine due to his primary defeat to Treen in 1971, and who had been close with Roemer during his time as Secretary of State. Third of all, Edwards had been able to successfully unite Cajuns and French immigrants into a united camp, largely due to a massive outreach program and his beliefs staying much more in line with the French population while his mannerisms and background were much more in line with the Cajuns. This unification severely hurt Waggonner's push into Cajun voting populations, and as such Edwards began rocketing up into the polls.

On the day of the runoff, Waggonner disappointed early expectations and only finished with 43% of the vote while Edwards ended up pulling ahead of Roemer by about 7% to make it to the second round. Edward's "victory" was largely caused by him having a much more united and enthusiastic base, while Roemer had a much less stable base. Still, Roemer, along with Grevemberg and (very reluctantly) Waters endorsed Edwards with the hopes of breaking down the Southern Machine.

The runoff between Waggonner and Edwards would go down as one of the ugliest in political history. With Waggonner learning his lesson from the first round, he unleashed massive amounts of attack ads on Edwards, utilizing millions of dollars from the Democratic National Committee who didn't really have any other competitive races to worry about that year, and taking a much harder shift to the right. Waggonner, deciding that Southwestern Louisiana was a lost cause ran hard to the right to regain some of his losses to Roemer in the Southeast and North. While doing so he often utilized heavy amounts of racism and stereotypes towards Cajuns, and was even seen campaigning with Addison Thompson, who did quite well in the northern portion of the state. Not only that but he gained Jimmie Davis's endorsement back, as Davis stated that he feared that Edward's "Francocentric" campaign would unnecessarily divide Louisianans. While Waggonner went hard to the right, often using anti-Cajun stereotypes and racist slurs towards Edwards, Edwards joined him on the right wing, while also telling people that Waggonner wanted to divide Louisiana into two states, while he wanted to unite it. Both candidates attacked each other brutally, and it was an incredibly expensive campaign as well, arguably the most expensive in Louisiana history when adjusting for inflation. However, the campaign itself didn't matter as much, as the election was decided more by various forms of voter intimidation, voter fraud, vote-buying, destruction of ballots, and general corruption, all of which were reported by both sides. Waggonner, who had more experience in this, and with the Democrats holding the Secretary of State's office, had the natural advantage, and ended up winning off of it. However, Edwards' campaign also committed heavy amounts of illegal activities, particularly in New Orleans. This resulted in a victory in New Orleans by about ~500 votes, while Edwards lost the rest of the state in a landslide margin, albeit one where the total vote added up to about 4,000 more than the actual number of registered voters.


The open corruption of the election resulted in an attempt to overturn or challenge it by Republicans and their allies in congress, however, the ruling Democratic coalition blocked any attempt at an investigation of the election, which became a major issue in the 1976 elections. However, the long-term effect of the election is still being felt in Louisiana today. Following the election, Edwards, acknowledging that he would likely be unable to defeat the Democrats in a statewide election, began what was called the "Gentlemen's Agreement" between the Democrats and the PFA. Edwards (who returned to the Louisiana state house) and his party would stay out of the Democrats way on most issues, effectively becoming a sort of controlled opposition, in return for massive amounts of pork extended to French areas in the state. The agreement effectively killed the Opposition Party of Louisiana, however, it caused large progressive strides to be made both in Southwestern Louisiana and in the state at-large, as Southwestern Louisiana's poverty rates dropped while the French and Cajun languages were heavily promoted, and Edwards' growing activism for black voters caused Louisiana to have the highest black voting populations in the south. (which is a pretty low bar, as only about 40% of voting-eligible African-Americans are registered to vote in Louisiana) In his older age (Edwards is pushing 100 and still kicking), Edwards has become increasingly radical, both in his renewed support for a "United Opposition", and as he's begun to propose Southwestern Louisiana secession, and there's actual hope that an opposition candidate could win in 2023.



2021-02-24-00-51-en.wikipedia.org.png

[1] Mostly taken from the wikipedia pages of the 1983 Louisiana gubernatorial election and the 1927 Liberan Presidential Election.​
 

rosa

Well-known member
The 1975 Louisiana gubernatorial election was held to elect the Governor of Louisiana. Incumbent Democratic Governor Dave Treen was eligible to run for a second consecutive term but chose not to run for re-election, and as such an "open" election was held. Parti Franco-Américain candidate Edwin Edwards was defeated by former governor Joe Waggoner of the Democratic Party, who became the first Louisiana governor to serve nonconsecutive terms since Jimmie Davis. The elections were referred to as "the most in American history" by historian Newt Gingrich, and also made it into the Guinness Book of Records under a similar title as the most fraudulent election ever reported in US history, as the total vote in the general election exceeded the amount of registered voters in Louisiana. [1]

The election was originally seen as a so-called referendum on the conservative Democratic Party machine of Louisiana, which had been in power since the end of Reconstruction. However, the power of Southern Democratic machines had been slightly shrunken following the presidency of fellow conservative Southern Democrat Orval Faubus, who's presidency had seen a slight rise in Civil Rights advances for African-Americans. As such, the African-American voting population nearly doubled across the south, although it still only represented about 3% of the total black population in the south. Still, some people, particularly northern liberals, saw this as an opportunity to help beat back some of the Southern Democratic machines, forming the so-called "Coalition for A Southern Opposition", which sought to unite various opposition groups in the south against the Democrats.

Louisiana was seen as the perfect location for this strategy, as the state had a newly-created runoff system, making it easier for an "Opposition" fusion ticket to form, and the state had a large number of French and Cajun-Americans from both Louisiana's long history of French ties and due to the fact that the state had seen a large growth of French immigrants in the 1930s and 1940s to the Southeastern portion of the state. It is with this that the "Opposition Party of Louisiana" (which wasn't really a party but more of an attempt to use ballot fusion to symbolize which candidates truly opposed the Southern machines), found their first candidate, Edwin Edwards. Edwards was an Cajun ex-Louisiana state legislator who had been present at the founding of the Association Française (the predecessor to the Parti Franco-Américain) in 1967, and had supported the PFA in their earliest elections in the Northeast before eventually getting tired of the Democratic Party and attempting to win re-election as an independent in 1973, only losing by 0.48%, largely due to some amount of machine politics in the area. However, he announced a run for Governor as a member of the PFA in 1975, hoping to spread the party to Louisiana and some portions of Texas, who had large numbers of both Cajuns and ex-French immigrants. He also did so with the hope of uniting the two groups, who had often been separated due to language and class differences.

The second candidate to gain support from the "Opposition Party" was actually an ex-machine member by the name of Charles E. Roemer, or as he was more famously known as, "Budgie". Roemer had once served as Louisiana's Secretary of State, but he had feuded with state leadership, and ended up being primaried out before having a political comeback as mayor of Shreveport, becoming a strange liberal in the Louisiana Democratic Party. Roemer announced a run largely due to the fact that Conservative Democrats (backed by the Faubus-formed United Southern Conservative Alliance), had already seemingly fallen behind a candidate in ex-governor Joe Waggoner, who Roemer declared was "the most dishonest person I've ever met". Roemer and Edwards ran a strange sort of "joint campaign", where they pretty much didn't attack each other with the shared goal of getting to the second round. Roemer largely ran in the northern portions of the state, while Edwards ran in the southwestern more Cajun portion. The only place where either candidate's campaigns overlapped was New Orleans, and even there they were both very cordial with each other. Along with Roemer and Edwards there were two other "Opposition" candidates, Republican activist Francis Grevemberg, and Socialist Leon Waters. Both candidates failed to make much of an impact and actually fell behind Klansman and perennial candidate Addison Thompson, who ran an independent campaign garnering nearly 5% of the vote.

As for the Conservative Democrats, nominating Waggonner was a "no-brainer". The man had been quite popular in his time as governor of Louisiana, and became even more so following his position as Secretary of Rural Development under president Faubus. Many people predicted that he'd win the first round with at least 60% of the vote, and even beat Edwards among Cajuns, as Waggonner had been seen as a "friend to Cajuns" as Secretary of Rural Development due to his efforts to increase development of Cajun areas in Southwestern Louisiana and his calls to Secretary of Education Joseph Huot to keep Cajun schools around. It was expected that the only groups he'd lose were first/second/third-generation French immigrants and black voters, who both generally disliked Waggonner during his time as governor. However, due to the fact that black voters were nearly non-existent, and that first/second/third-generation French immigrants likely only made up around 7% of the electorate, it seemed he'd escape with a solid victory in the first round.

However, as the campaign went on, Waggonner's massive lead began to crumble. First of all, Waggonner barely campaigned, which contrasted him with both Edwards and Roemer, who spent millions on advertisements and who both criss-crossed the state talking to voters, causing many to think that Roemer was actually the official Democratic candidate. Second of all, Roemer managed to get the endorsement of former governor Jimmie Davis, who was immensely popular in the state, and who had also faced problems with the state machine due to his primary defeat to Treen in 1971, and who had been close with Roemer during his time as Secretary of State. Third of all, Edwards had been able to successfully unite Cajuns and French immigrants into a united camp, largely due to a massive outreach program and his beliefs staying much more in line with the French population while his mannerisms and background were much more in line with the Cajuns. This unification severely hurt Waggonner's push into Cajun voting populations, and as such Edwards began rocketing up into the polls.

On the day of the runoff, Waggonner disappointed early expectations and only finished with 43% of the vote while Edwards ended up pulling ahead of Roemer by about 7% to make it to the second round. Edward's "victory" was largely caused by him having a much more united and enthusiastic base, while Roemer had a much less stable base. Still, Roemer, along with Grevemberg and (very reluctantly) Waters endorsed Edwards with the hopes of breaking down the Southern Machine.

The runoff between Waggonner and Edwards would go down as one of the ugliest in political history. With Waggonner learning his lesson from the first round, he unleashed massive amounts of attack ads on Edwards, utilizing millions of dollars from the Democratic National Committee who didn't really have any other competitive races to worry about that year, and taking a much harder shift to the right. Waggonner, deciding that Southwestern Louisiana was a lost cause ran hard to the right to regain some of his losses to Roemer in the Southeast and North. While doing so he often utilized heavy amounts of racism and stereotypes towards Cajuns, and was even seen campaigning with Addison Thompson, who did quite well in the northern portion of the state. Not only that but he gained Jimmie Davis's endorsement back, as Davis stated that he feared that Edward's "Francocentric" campaign would unnecessarily divide Louisianans. While Waggonner went hard to the right, often using anti-Cajun stereotypes and racist slurs towards Edwards, Edwards joined him on the right wing, while also telling people that Waggonner wanted to divide Louisiana into two states, while he wanted to unite it. Both candidates attacked each other brutally, and it was an incredibly expensive campaign as well, arguably the most expensive in Louisiana history when adjusting for inflation. However, the campaign itself didn't matter as much, as the election was decided more by various forms of voter intimidation, voter fraud, vote-buying, destruction of ballots, and general corruption, all of which were reported by both sides. Waggonner, who had more experience in this, and with the Democrats holding the Secretary of State's office, had the natural advantage, and ended up winning off of it. However, Edwards' campaign also committed heavy amounts of illegal activities, particularly in New Orleans. This resulted in a victory in New Orleans by about ~500 votes, while Edwards lost the rest of the state in a landslide margin, albeit one where the total vote added up to about 4,000 more than the actual number of registered voters.


The open corruption of the election resulted in an attempt to overturn or challenge it by Republicans and their allies in congress, however, the ruling Democratic coalition blocked any attempt at an investigation of the election, which became a major issue in the 1976 elections. However, the long-term effect of the election is still being felt in Louisiana today. Following the election, Edwards, acknowledging that he would likely be unable to defeat the Democrats in a statewide election, began what was called the "Gentlemen's Agreement" between the Democrats and the PFA. Edwards (who returned to the Louisiana state house) and his party would stay out of the Democrats way on most issues, effectively becoming a sort of controlled opposition, in return for massive amounts of pork extended to French areas in the state. The agreement effectively killed the Opposition Party of Louisiana, however, it caused large progressive strides to be made both in Southwestern Louisiana and in the state at-large, as Southwestern Louisiana's poverty rates dropped while the French and Cajun languages were heavily promoted, and Edwards' growing activism for black voters caused Louisiana to have the highest black voting populations in the south. (which is a pretty low bar, as only about 40% of voting-eligible African-Americans are registered to vote in Louisiana) In his older age (Edwards is pushing 100 and still kicking), Edwards has become increasingly radical, both in his renewed support for a "United Opposition", and as he's begun to propose Southwestern Louisiana secession, and there's actual hope that an opposition candidate could win in 2023.



View attachment 33410

[1] Mostly taken from the wikipedia pages of the 1983 Louisiana gubernatorial election and the 1927 Liberan Presidential Election.​
You speak my language

Well, except for Edwards being defeated
 

Anarcho-Occultist

Well-known member
Jim Jones was a preacher and politician best known for leading the People’s Temple and serving as Mayor of San Francisco from 1976 to 1982. Jones was ordained in the 1950’s and had a reputation as a leading advocate for racial integration and civil rights prior to moving to San Francisco, where he set up the People’s Temple. Jones, while in San Francisco, helped turn the People’s Temple into a powerful political machine thanks to his efforts on behalf of public welfare and staunchly left-wing politics earning him the friendship of many members of the New Left. Jones also was rather well-aligned with Governor Jerry Brown after his victory in 1974. Jones was not without his critics, however, as some claimed the People’s Temple had been involved in emotional, physical and even sexual abuse. Jones, however, was able to largely keep these claims under wraps and managed to, in a shocking upset, triumph in the 1975 mayoral election as a member of the Democratic Party.

Jones on taking office proved to be quite a controversial mayor. On the one hand, he cultivated a committed following owing to his advocacy for public housing programs, limits on evictions, free school lunches and other anti-poverty measures in the city. On the other hand, his tactics to implement these were decidedly corrupt. Jones used the People’s Temple as a cudgel against political rivals, who often were former allies of his. It is believed that the harassment that drove Board of Supervisors member Diane Feinstein to resign her position was carried out by members of the People’s Temple on the orders of Jones. While this remains unconfirmed, it is known Jones was not above threatening, blackmailing or physically intimidating members of the city government to get his way. Jones also was known to take city funds and put it in the hands of the People’s Temple, which had grown drastically to a congregation of nearly 20,000 confirmed members under his leadership.

However, Jones’ triumph would not prove immutable. Federal investigation of Jones began in 1980 and in 1982, Jones would be indicted on corruption charges. The mayor and preacher claimed that he was being falsely accused and that the Reagan administration was targeting him as part of a step to purge all left-wing voices from America. In March of 1982, Jones and a number of his loyalists barricaded themselves within the People’s Temple proper as federal agents arrived to arrest him. What followed was a nearly monthlong siege in which Jones (still nominally the mayor) continued to resist federal authorities, to the condemnation of other Democratic politicians. On April 21st, police forces finally decided to storm the compound, where they met stiff resistance from Jones’ supporters (including a mix of members of the People’s Temple and non-members who nonetheless sympathized with Jones). Nearly 4 dozen were killed when the Temple was stormed. Jones himself committed suicide in the back room of the People’s Temple along with his wife rather than surrender.

The aftermath of Jones’ death was highly polarizing. Nearly a full week of riots ensued over the failure to charge the police involved in killing members of the Temple and even those who had distanced themselves from Jones like his successor Harvey Milk demanded that the response to his actions be investigated. It is speculated that the fallout of the raid on the People’s Temple may have played a role in Reagan’s defeat in the 1984 election at the hands of Walter Mondale, though others have pointed to the anemic economic recovery and Reagan’s mental lapses during the debates as bigger contributing factors. Jones’ legacy is viewed somewhat complexly. On one hand, Jones undeniably was paranoid and the People’s Temple under his leadership seems to have been a de facto cult of personality. On the other hand,, Jones’ mayorship did leave behind a number of successful programs to combat poverty within the city and provided a model several other cities (most notably Denver, Detroit and Boston) have chosen to implement as well. For all that right-wingers deprecate these policies, labeling cities adopting them ‘Jonestowns’, they do for all intents and purposes seem to work quite well.
Mayor Jim Jones.png
 

Comrade TruthTeller

Is it Time for Real Change? Ehhhh, apparently not
Location
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Pronouns
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A list of presidents in Willing the Delano.
Also, by a wide country mile, the longest wikibox I've ever done.


(This wikibox is so big I physically can't get it to load)
 
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