Give Sonny and Nick Their Due

I’m sure they won’t take a lot of credit, but Sonny and Nick Ayers deserve some credit for Bobby Jindal’s victory in Louisiana.

This is the first time in Louisiana history that anyone has made it into the Governor’s mansion without a runoff. The primary — called a jungle primary because all people in all parties running for the same office appear on the first ballot together — had twelve people running for Governor.

In the last five days of Jindal’s campaign, his team knocked on just over 633,000 doors throughout the state. This was a stunning victory for Louisiana.

You people can’t appreciate what happened. It’s not a question of Democrat vs. Republican there. It’s a question of competent vs. incompetent.

For you Democrats, imagine Bill Clinton winning after 200 years of George Bush in office. For you Republicans, imagine Reagan after 200 years of Carter.

Sure, Jindal ran as a Republican. But he really ran as a fixer, as a thinker. In fact, Walter Boasso and Foster Campbell, Jindal’s two big rivals, ran their race not so much as Democrats, but as the cool kids making fun of the nerd, hoping to mock Jindal’s intelligence enough that the voters would do the same and keep the nerd out of power.

Well, the nerd just won. The smartest kid in Louisiana politics now runs the state. And Sonny and Nick did help. And I don’t care whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, it is a good day for this country when a non-white young guy of East Indian descent can win decisively in a state like Louisiana because all the native white guys and gals have spent the last two hundred years screwing the place up.

Not that I will move home again


  1. souldrift says:

    Funny, I agree with Erick: LSU won! Awesome!

    As for the Gov race, yes it was that type of campaign. However, as a Republican, are you sure you’re on the right side?

    “Sure, Jindal ran as a Republican. But he really ran as a fixer, as a thinker. In fact, Walter Boasso and Foster Campbell, Jindal

  2. debbie0040 says:

    I believe that most of the credit goes to Jindal. Jindal never stopped campaigning for Governor even when he lost in 2003. He kept his eyes focused on 2007 and kept his organization. Jindal was not part of the “good ole boy” network. He has a mandate to clean up the corruption in Louisiana.

    Loved his remarks after his huge victory:

    “Jindal, who takes office in January, pledged to fight corruption and rid the state of those “feeding at the public trough,” revisiting a campaign theme.

    They can either go quietly or they can go loudly, but either way, they will go,” he said, adding that he would call the Legislature into special session to address ethics reform.”

    Glad LSU beat Auburn. Very glad Alabama beat Tennessee. Roll Tide!!! The Tide plays LSU in two weeks. Will be at that game. Shocked about South Carolina getting beat.

  3. ToddH says:

    I’m confused Erick, you insinuate that Jindal is a change from 200 years of Louisianan incompetence, but looking at Jindal he seems to resemble Mike Foster quite a bit. I even read someone who stated that Jindal was Foster’s lapdog.

    And, when you state for Democrats to think of this and Republicans to think of that you do make it sound like a similar thing of Democratic incomptence against Republican competence, so what about Treen and Foster? Or, am I just off base on all this?

  4. ToddH says:


    You can really tell that the SEC is the best conference in football b/c there is such equality amongst the teams. The slightest misstep will result in a loss for any team when they play a fellow SEC team, unlike in the Big Ten or Pac 10 when you can make a host of mistakes and still pull out victories.

    Consider this: South Carolina beats UGA, UGA beats Vanderbilt, Vanderbilt beats South Carolina. Or, LSU beats Florida, Kentucky beats LSU, Florida beats Kentucky.

    SEC, the only real conference in football.

  5. dang erick, your politically focused addiction never ceases to amaze me. While cousin Sonny & his Ayers were out manipulating Louisiana Politics, the good lord done did rained down a drought on usn’s here in Georgia. Now cuz is havin to beg the Feds and Foreigners to bail us out but there is no water to bail…

  6. debbie0040 says:

    I am in complete agreement, Todd. I think the BCS rankings should add extra weight to their formula if you are in the SEC. I always cheer for the SEC teams when they play teams from other conferences.

    I spend most Saturdays during the fall watching Alabama and other SEC teams play.

    I watched the LSU-Auburn game last night. Was glad LSU won, but suprised at some of Les Miles play calling. Especially when time was expiring and they were in field goal range and they went for a TD instead of a safe field goal to win the game. It worked out for LSU, but could have very easily went the other way. I would have kicked a field goal. Auburn would not have gotten the ball back and a field goal would have won it. A win is a win in the SEC. Doesn’t matter if you win by 4 less points.

  7. Erick says:

    ToddH: I was just trying to describe how it feels in terms that either a Republican or Democrat could understand, whoever is reading.

    As for the Jindal = Foster stuff, nothing could be further from the truth. Foster was the best fit at the time, but he was still not a great Governor. About the only really great thing he ever did was get Bobby in to clean up the healthcare system. And despite all the scare stories lobbed at Bobby, he really did bring better efficiency, savings, and response to the very broken healthcare system.

  8. atlantaman says:

    I’d say this kills the main defense for the Sham Reddy apologists: “An Indian can’t win in statewide in the South”

    Looks like they might have to actually look at their campaign strategy as a possible reason for the Primart loss.

  9. Adrian Doyle says:

    I don’t think the ghost of Huey Long could’ve beaten Bobby Jindal.

    He seemed like it the moment Blanco started screwing up so badly.

    Boasso was a good Democratic candidate (though I certainly felt echoes of Mark Taylor, albeit slightly Creole), but even if he had all the money in the world, he still couldn’t have been him.

    As far as Sonny getting his due, not sure this is an “upset” for the GOP. I feel like the writing was pretty much on the wall for the Democrats in this race, whether in the open primary or a runoff. It was going to be a big, big loss no matter which way you sliced it. Now, if they can manage to get Ernie Fletcher reelected in KY, then THAT will be where some credit is due.

  10. atlantaman says:

    “While cousin Sonny & his Ayers were out manipulating Louisiana Politics, the good lord done did rained down a drought on usn

  11. ToddH says:


    I don’t think it was Shyam Reddy’s campaign strategy so much as it was Georgia Dems loving lost causes and voting for the weakest candidates. Denise Majette, Mark Taylor, Cynthia McKinney…Vernon Jones…ugh.

  12. ToddH says:


    Oh, and another thing I don’t think you are considering is that Jindal had much, much higher name recognition in Louisiana than Reddy had in Georgia. That makes a huge difference. Just ask Rep. Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin (D-SD) why she keeps Herseth as her last name?

  13. atlantaman says:


    I agree with you. Name ID is something all campaigns strategize about, and perhaps Reddy didn’t have enough – although I doubt Buckner had all that much name ID.

    There was a bunch of people who said Reddy didn’t win because the southerners wouldn’t vote for an Indian. Jindal proved that to be incorrect. If Reddy and company want to go further in GA politics, then they are doing themselves a disservice to assume the last loss was based on his race – Reddy sounds more Anglo Saxon than Jindal.

    Reddy outraised everyone in that Primary, including the Republicans, so if name ID was his problem then he better go back and review his campaign strategy.

    Perhaps I’m being a little defensive of the State of GA, but I found it a little insulting when folks wanted to attribute the Reddy loss to all the ignorant rednecks.

    Of course Reddy lost in a Dem primary and Jindal won as a Republican, so perhaps the Dems are more racist than the Repubs? πŸ™‚

  14. ToddH says:


    I understand about you being defensive about GA and I also feel insulted when others talk down about GA, or the South in general, always accusing us of racism and calling us backwards rednecks.

    I wonder if the main problem with Reddy, aside from name ID, is the fact that in Dem politics it seems as though what Atlanta wants is what Atlanta gets. Those candidates that are beloved in Atlanta or popular in Atlanta or what have you, are typically the candidates that represent the Democratic Party to the rest of the state. I think we’ll see this play out again in Election ’08 when Dems screw up again and go with Vernon Jones as their candidate. Maybe I’m wrong about this, but as a voter who votes Dem more times than not I find it insulting and bothersome that Atlanta politics seems to trump the rest of the state. There is more to Georgia than just Atlanta and sometimes I wish the Democratic Party would realize that.

  15. Bobby Kahn says:


    Amazing what you can find on the internets, especially when you use the Google. Below is an article from 2002. There were others before then. And, Gov. Barnes discussed with Gov-elect Perdue during the transition. Of course, they also discussed problems with Medicaid, and how important it was to get a handle on prescription drug costs. Sonny didn’t listen to that either.

    State can have ‘plenty of water,’ Barnes says

    DATE: October 19, 2002
    PUBLICATION: Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The (GA)
    EDITION: Home; The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
    SECTION: Metro News
    PAGE: E4

    Gov. Roy Barnes declared 2003 as “the year of water” in the General Assembly at a speech Friday in Gwinnett and outlined a slate of bills he expects to see if he wins a second term next month.

    At his third annual State of the Environment address, Barnes swatted the nagging question of whether Georgia has enough water to sustain its continued growth.

    “I believe we’re going to find there’s plenty of water,” Barnes told about 600 people. “We’re a state with 45 to 50 inches [of rain] a year. . . . There are large, modern cities and even nations that exist on a few drops — a few inches of rain — a year.”

    But Barnes added two big “ifs”: “We have enough water if we conserve it well and better, and if we allocate and use it better.”

    Earlier this year, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which operates Buford Dam at Lake Lanier and other dams that provide water, offered data that suggested the region may max out its water supply well before 2030.

    The list of expected legislation includes recommendations to use recycled water on golf courses and lawns; regional efforts to clean polluted storm water that drains off parking lots, roads and farms; increased standards for water and sewage treatment plants; and a series of reservoirs to sustain North Georgia, Barnes said.

    Barnes talked about his popular green space program. But he said the $90 million the state has spent in three years to buy green space in fast-growing counties is “nowhere near adequate or sufficient.” He didn’t suggest a new tax or fee to buy land, which environmental groups want.

    Sonny Perdue, Barnes’ Republican opponent for governor, co-sponsored a bill when he was a Democrat that would have doubled the real estate transfer tax to pay for environmentally sensitive land. Voters rejected the proposal in a 1998 referendum.

    Dan McLagan, Perdue’s spokesman, said his candidate would use tax cuts and incentives to encourage builders to recycle water in buildings for landscaping and other non-drinking uses. Perdue “won’t go the Democratic big government route to tell people what kind of toilets they can use,” McLagan said.

    Photo: People at a Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful lunch in Duluth, including Gov. Roy Barnes’ wife, Marie, applaud Friday after he spoke to business leaders about environmental issues. / CHARLOTTE B. TEAGLE / Staff

  16. atlantaman says:


    I stand corrected, but it looks like lots of discussing, but not a whole lot of doing. I suppose any politician can go around the state and talk about his “plans” on a wide range of issues and pull an “I told you so” later on.

    If we had elected Mark Taylor everyone would have had free health insurance, taxes would be lower, salaries would be higher, and world hunger would have been eliminated – and oh ya there would have been unlimited water.

    Although I’m not going to say the current group of leaders are off the hook on this one, I just don’t like to hear a sore loser whine about all the great things he would have done – but just never had the time to get to it.

  17. GodHatesTrash says:

    Yes, Katrina and the incompetence of the Bush administration have turned Loseriana into a solid red state. The population of New Orleans is still down 40%, some 200,000 people, dispersed to the winds – mostly black, naturally. Louisiana’s population is down 200,000 from the 2000 census.

    Erick, the Katrina natural disaster worked to disenfranchise black voters and ensure a GOP majority even better than your silly voter ID bill – food for thought.

  18. GodHatesTrash says:

    You could say that Jindal’s election is the result of the unholy confluence of a natural disaster (Katrina) and an unnatural disaster (Dumbya)….

  19. atlantaman says:

    Another thing to keep in mind that while I’m all for using grey water on golf courses, etc.. it’s literally a drop in the bucket compared to what the Corps is sending down to Floriday every day.

    What we really need is some supply / reservoirs. So let’s just say the Ol’ Roy was reelected and made 2003 the year of water. Do you really think we would have cut the ribbon on Lake Robert (Bobby) Kahn by 2007?

  20. Bobby Kahn says:

    Actually, the bonds had been issued for one of the reservoirs, and the North GA Water Planning District was in place. Water had always been a priority of Gov Barnes. He discussed water more in the 1998 campaign than he did traffic, but because the state was on the verge of losing federal highway funds, traffic made headlines. Even as GRTA was being implemented (keeping federal funds flowing), there was a great deal of focus on water. But very few Barnes initiatives, including water, GRTA or Medicaid/drug cost controls, made it on the Sonny-do list.

    As for naming a lake after me, doubt that would have happened, or will happen. Maybe Bill Simon can identify a sewage treatement plant worthy of my name.

  21. dingleberry says:

    I’m surprised Nick Ayers took time away from driving drunk and endangering the lives of innocent children to work on a political campaign…

  22. juliesme says:

    Bobby won this easily because he never stopped running. I agree he’s a thinker but to give one ounze of credit to Nick or Sonny is a joke

  23. ugavi says:

    So Bobby, if you and Gov. Barnes were so great and had everything going so well, why did you LOSE?

    Then remind us how under your leadership the democratic party in Georgia ends up in tatters.

  24. GodHatesTrash says:

    Sonny won because he’s a goober. He relates well to the average redneck.

    Georgia’s in tatters – not just the Democratic Party.

  25. TPSoCal says:

    And as a Miami Dolphin fan, I hope and pray Bama loses all their games. Go whoever is playing ‘Bama, Beat Saban!!!

  26. debbie0040 says:

    I love it that Alabama has a Coach other teams hate!!! Love it, love it!!!! The days of Florida’s dominance in the SEC is over. I do cheer for Florida when they play teams from other leagues.

    I am a Dolphins fan, too. Remember the glory days of Csonka, Kick, Griese, etc. Saban was not cut out to coach in the Pros and I am very glad Bama got him. The Dolphins have sucked the past ten years. The fans were very critical of Saban while he was there. Now look at the Dolphins record….

    Can’t wait to see South Carolina and Florida play. I think Spurrier will win that one.

  27. debbie0040 says:

    Nick and Sonny deserve some credit for running the positive ads but most of the credit belongs to Jindal. He never gave up and kept running with his eyes on the Governor’s mansion. He never lost focus…

  28. Clint Austin says:

    As for Bobby’s wonderful “we woulda done this” list:

    1. Georgia gets more rain every year than London – do we really have a water problem, or an enviro Democrat leftist problem that prevents us from storing the water?

    2. Prescription drugs are barely over 10% of total Medicaid expenditures – pray tell how you were going to fix Medicaid’s cost problems without touching the other 90%.

    As for Sonny and Nick not getting credit – people like to bash the successful, so they bash the governor and his right hand guy. All those two have done is win pretty much every election they’ve touched, so probably time to give some credit where it’s due, especially since everyone in DC said Nick was too young to do the job. Root for the hometown boy.

  29. Bobby Kahn says:

    Gee, if there were 3 reservoirs that the state controlled, maybe that rain would have been collected. As for Medicaid, check the rate of increase on prescription drug expenditures. Chronic care was also discussed. Both failed to make the Sonny-do list.

  30. Icarus says:

    Gee, maybe we would be building those 3 reservoirs now if it hadn’t been discovered, late in the process, that they were being built on land owned by elected democrats. Funny how that the land also didn’t appear on their financial disclosures.

  31. Bobby Kahn says:

    The plan was — no recreation, no lots, so the value would stay the same or go down. Of course, Sonny would’ve changed that, so he could hand out lots like he was Georgia Power.

  32. GeorgiaValues says:

    Bobby Kahn is just trying to change the subject off of praise for the guys who beat him every single time they matched up against him. Bobby blew the Barnes race even with his 8:1 Fundraising advantage, lost the majorities in the State Senate and State House, blew the Taylor race (attacking Mrs. Mary over her work on restoring the mansion…brilliant!), and is a has-been in Georgia politics. Now he has plenty of time to blog away and criticize because no one in their right mind would hire him.

    The guys who beat him so many times (Sonny with Nick & Paul’s help), have gone on to run a very successful RGA – setting fundraising records, and helping a great guy in Louisiana win the Governor’s race. They deserve a lot of credit for their hard work and impressive results.

  33. Clint Austin says:

    Bobby – GA has had the lowest cost increase on drugs in the SE – since Perdue became governor. And I am not sure how you missed the two major chronic care initiatives the governor has done as well (three depending on how you define it).

    Typical liberal playbook – demonize drug companies, etc. etc. Moving right along…

  34. debbie0040 says:

    If memory serves me right, New Orleans Mayor Nagin endorsed Jindal over Blanco in 2003. Nagin caught a great deal of flack for that and there were hard feelings between Nagin and Blanco. and those feelings were evident in the Katrina aftermath…

  35. Bobby Kahn says:


    Didn’t miss the chronic care initiative. Perdue “studied” it for three years before doing anything about it. Meanwhile, costs went up, the hole got bigger, though hidden from the public. Hmm…studying a problem — just like he did with water. Look where that got us.

    As for drug costs, imagine how much could’ve been saved if he had tried. Maybe he could have avoided raising taxes.

  36. Clint Austin says:


    Apparently I was not clear. Since Perdue became governor, drug costs in Medicaid have increased less than anywhere else in the SE. Increase has been single digits while national Medicaid inflation rate has been well into double digits.

    Just so the facts are straight.


  37. Bobby Kahn says:

    Clint, are you speaking for yourself or your drug company clients? When Gov Barnes took a look at Medicaid costs, he determined that savings could be achieved through better negotiation of prescription drug prices, as well as addressing utilization issues. Given your impressive client list, I wouldn’t expect you to agree that drug prices and utilization is a problem. So in that regard, you were not clear.

    Gov. Barnes went over this issue with Gov-elect Perdue during the transition, along with chronic care and water, among other things. Unfortunately, Sonny didn’t follow up on drug cost containment at all, chronic care until 3-4 years later, and he is just getting around to water.

    Welcome to the New Georgia.

  38. dingleberry says:

    I didn’t realize that Nick had awoken from his drunken stupor where he endangered the lives of innocent women and children.

    That’s the Republican way, I guess.

    Drive drunk and put innocent lives in Jeopardy today, go run a campaign tomorrow…

    I love how Republicans look up to a drunken fool as the next big thing in the Georgia politics.

  39. debbie0040 says:

    Cut out the Nick and DUI crap!! Nick is one of the brightest political minds out there. You guys sound like a pathetic broken record!

    Spend your energy trying to help elect Hillary Clinton as President. She will be your banner carrier in 2008. Man, I bet with the Hildebeast at the top of the Democratic ticket you are really going to do well in Georgia and the South.

    Nick made a mistake, he admitted it and paid for it . Get over it! At least he did not get in a wreck while drunk and kill a friend riding in the car with him as a certain Democratic Gubernatorial candidate’s son did.

    He who is without sin cast the first stone. How many of use have done the same thing but did not get caught?

    Criticize Nick all you want, but he and Paul were smart enough to guide Perdue to defeating Roy Barnes and Mark Taylor.

    Why did Gov. Barnes not act on the water crisis if he saw it coming? Was it because he too busy making back room deals?

    I have co -workers that work in our San Diego office that had time enough to grab pets and enough clothing and essentials to last a few days before they were evacuated around 3 am this morning Pacific time. In fact in that area over 300,000 people had to leave their homes. I would imagine every one would trade places with us in Georgia and our water shortage.

    Speaking of drunken fools, when is Ted Kennedy coming to Georgia?

  40. Clint Austin says:

    My day is made! Bobby gave me a compliment about my client list… πŸ™‚

    p.s. You still haven’t explained how GA did “nothing” about drug costs under Perdue even though they have gone up less in GA than anywhere else in the South in the last 4 years. Don’t worry about it though, still enjoy the compliment… πŸ™‚

  41. rugby_fan says:

    Erm, Clint, we may get as much rain as London does every year but, unlike London, we lack a natural water source that can supply us with all the H2O we need.

  42. Clint Austin says:


    The only thing we lack is reservoirs, but they are very difficult to build because of the piles of red tape you have to cut through because of enviro opposition to them.

    There hasn’t been a major reservoir built in the US in decades because of it.


  43. dingleberry says:


    I do agree with you assesment about lumping drunk Nick into the same category as Ted Kennedy…they’re both drunken fools whose time has passed.

    As far as calling Nick “one of the brightest political minds in Georgia”, thanks for proving my point. Thats the Republican way. Drive drunk and risk the lives of women and children today, run a campaign tomorrow.

    It’s sad that Republicans really believe a drunken fool like Nick Ayers is one of the “greatest political minds in the state”.


  44. Bill Simon says:


    It’s amazing how you libbies can only judge people by the screw-ups in life they are caught at.

    No doubt we would find out a lot about your past if you had the balls to disclose your real name. πŸ™‚

  45. Holly says:

    I thought Dingle told us once upon a time that his purpose in life was just to tick everyone off. . . right?

  46. dingleberry says:




    Do you think the drunk-driving, life-endangering, Nick Ayers is the next big thing in Georgia politics?



  47. debbie0040 says:

    Dingle, I never lumped Nick and Ted together.

    Getting one DUI does not make one a drunken fool and Nick is neither a drunk nor fool.

    Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy, however, is the poster child for drunken fools and is one of the darlings of the Democratic party..other Democratic Party darlings are Hillary Clinton, Michael Moore, Barabra Streisand, Howard Dean, Al Bore, Jimmy Carter, etc… Bet you Dems can’t wait to campaign for Hillary next year….

  48. rugby_fan says:

    Well I stand corrected.

    I seemed to recall you saying you were a libertarian before. I was, dare I say it, hanging by a thread waiting for your answer.

  49. dingleberry says:


    I never said you were wrong. I never said you were right, either. I don’t like the superficial lables that are automatically placed on people because they believe this or that.


    I appreciate your honest assessment of the Nick Ayers situation.

    But, I do have to argue one point with you. The part where you said that Nick is neither “Drunk” nor is he a “Fool” is not completely accurate.

    In fact, Nick is both “Drunk” and “Foolish”. And he is often “Drunk” and “Foolish” at the same time.

    Oh, and one other thing…what makes you think I’m a Democrat? I have done nothing but advocate fiscal and personal responsiblity on this and other blogs, I stand for low taxes and small government?

    Oh, I get it. You’re mad because unlike you, I am ideologically consistent. You don’t like when I apply the same rules of personal responsibility to drunk little brats like Nick Ayers.

    Thanks for the clarification!

  50. Clint Austin says:

    Bill – in Virginia for a while longer, had some down time the last couple days to catch up on GA politics. I get back full-time just before The-Holiday-Formerly-Known-As-Christmas πŸ™‚

    Rugby – we must be talking past each other. Atlanta gets as much rain as almost any major city in the world, even in dry years. We just need reservoirs to catch that water. Got plenty of rivers (big and small) to allow us to do that if the leftist “touch-not-the-earth” crowd would let us do it.

  51. Clint Austin says:

    Rugby – not sure what you mean about scoring political points, because I’m not. I studied this problem fairly extensively a few years back, and Atlanta does not have a water supply problem – Atlanta has a water storage problem.

    The idea that you need a Mississippi River running through your backyard to have water is simply not true. The Chattahoochee alone creates more than one very large reservoir, and yet you must not consider it a “major” river.

    Phoenix – LA – Dallas – etc. etc. Many are the cities that are as large (or larger) than Atlanta that thrive in areas with much less rain and with no major rivers nearby. Even NY City (which technically sits on a couple of rivers) does not get its water from nearby rivers – it is piped in from upstate NY, and there are 3 or 4 times more people in NY City than Atlanta.

    Water shortage in Atlanta is a myth. It is poor planning, exacerbated by burdensome red tape, that causes our problems. We have far more than enough water to go around.

  52. debbie0040 says:

    Dingle, my sincerest apologies in calling you a Democrat. Please forgive me.

    You have advocated fiscal and personal responsiblity and you believe in low taxes and less government and that is something the Democratic Party does not believe in.

    Look at the way a disaster has been handled in California. Contrast that with Katrina and the evacuees in the Super Dome.

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