Poor Troy Hebert. Like his mentor, Bobby Jindal, he just can’t seem to get any traction or notice in a crowded field of candidates.
Unlike Jindal, however, instead of sending out daily email blasts from Iowa proclaiming the glass to be half full (when in reality, the glass was just dirty and needed washing), Hebert, one of 24 candidates for the U.S. Senate, is making his case in the courts.
He should be right at home there, given the number of times he was sued by agents he fired and/or harassed during his tenure as Jindal’s Commissioner of Alcohol and Tobacco Control (ATC).
Where Jindal resigned himself to the kiddie table at the Republican debates in Iowa’s debates that more resembled a bunch of hogs trying to get to the slop trough (and we all know by now that the biggest pig of all, Trump, ultimately prevailed, causing the others to squeal pretty loudly), Hebert is suing a polling firm because he was incorrectly identified as a (gasp!) Republican!
Hebert, a former Democrat while serving as a State Representative from the parishes of Vermilion and Iberia, is a declared Independent, running without party affiliation.
He doesn’t seem to be commanding the same respect as a candidate that he did as head of ATC where employees were required to stand and chirp, “Good morning, Commissioner,” when he entered the room.
So he’s claiming in his lawsuit that a May poll (not to be confused with a maypole) conducted by Southern Media and Opinion Research and its veteran pollster Bernie Pinsonat was “flawed” because it incorrectly identified him as a Republican.
He said the polling firm is incompetent at best and committing fraud at worst by “intentionally misleading respondents,” adding in a whine reminiscent of Trump himself, that “the system is definitely rigged against independent candidates” because the survey was used to keep him from participating in two candidate forums.
Pinsonat, in something of an understatement, said identifying Hebert as an Independent would not get him better numbers.
Hebert says he was not allowed to participate in a June 29 forum sponsored by the Louisiana chapter of the National Federation of Independent Businesses and the Louisiana Restaurant Association.
He was also turned away, he said, from a July 28 event put on by the Louisiana Municipal Association because he didn’t reach the required 5 percent in the Southern Media survey.
In that poll for the period of May 19-23, State Treasurer John Kennedy and “Undecided” were neck and neck at 32 percent. The only other candidate to touch double digits was U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany with 10 percent. Hebert, with 2 percent, edged out Eric Skrmetta, who got 1 percent.
At least Hebert can take some comfort in the knowledge that he did better in that poll than his former boss did in any of the polls in Iowa.
Of course he still has an outside shot of making the runoff—if he can only persuade Jindal to endorse one of the other candidates