Government & Politics

Talk one way, Walker the other

State Rep. Walker Hines seemed like he was in a hurry this morning as he grabbed a quick beverage at a coffee shop in Broadmoor and drove away in a black Cadillac Escalade. Shortly thereafter, this Times-Picayune news story broke:

State Rep. Walker Hines of New Orleans announced today that he is switching his party affiliation from Democrat [sic] to Republican, making the GOP the majority party in a legislative chamber for the first time in modern Louisiana history.

The announcement by Hines came hours after he said he is strongly mulling a run for secretary of state in 2011.

“Like most Louisianians, my discontent with the Democratic Party has grown over the past few years,” Hines said in a written statement. “This move is not about political expediency but rather my own principled philosophy.”

Three years ago, Hines courted the support of New Orleans bloggers during his first run for office. Hines wrote to bloggers Ray Shea and Ashley Morris claiming, among other things:

I will do everything in my power to prove to others that I have never overlooked where I came from and why I am where I am today. I spent a lot of time to write this e-mail and am seeking your support and endorsement. You will be pleasantly surprised by my passion, personality, background, and voting record. Unlike my opponent who tells you whatever you want to hear, I will never sacrifice my principles for popularity. I’m a progressive Democrat who believes in the Catholic values of social justice. Please work with me.

It’s good to see such unwavering principle. One can only assume that Hines feels his adamantine “progressive” values are now a better fit in the state GOP, rather than the disappointing Dems. I look forward to the spectacle of Hines campaigning for higher office as a progressive Republican.

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  • jeffrey

    Good catch. I was just searching various local bloggers’ archives for the same tidbit.

  • Ray

    He was already apparently disillusioned with the Democratic Party more more than two-and-a-half years ago (before Obama had even won the nomination) when he supported Steve Scalise over the Democratic challenger:

    BTW, despite my diplomatic tone in the blog post linked by Mr. Oyster, I never voted for the little shit.

  • Ray

    Wait…he wasn’t sipping a latte, was he? Maybe he *is* the liberal elite!

  • All part of the trend towards a single political party in the Gret Stet, I guess. This morning the local rag notes PBJ might not even face token opposition in 2011, and I’m hard pressed to think of any prominent State Democrat outside of New Orleans and not named Landrieu…

  • Make no mistake, this has a lot to do with the upcoming redistricting (or, more truthfully, gerrymandering) of districts which always follow the ten-year census. State legislators are switching to either give control to or pad the majority of GOP state legislatures in order to draw their districts and stay in office. It is one hell of a carrot.

    This is what first turned the Georgia state legislature to GOP control in the early 00’s, with enough party switches. I haven’t heard about any other switches throughout the South until now, on the even of reapportionment. If you want to see the proof in the pudding, watch what Hines’ district looks like now, and then after the redraw is complete.

  • Ed Meegle

    It’s amazing how many hits you get when you google “Walker Hines” and “douche”

  • The Snoopy

    Snowing in from the cold…

    …folks, someone should look into this.

    Me thinks there are 2 possible scenarios. Either, the question is, how much did they pay him, or he’s a “sleeper”. I’ve been thinking the latter for quite a while now. Maybe call it gut feeling…then again, so far, my guts were always right.

    And hang in there!
    The Snoopy–en route to battle global moroning.