Litigation looms over Louisiana party switch


Stephen W. Stromberg
August 12, 2004 2:17AM (UTC)

Rep. Rodney Alexander, the Louisiana Democrat who became a Republican last week, will face a lawsuit claiming his last-minute switch to the right side of the aisle was illegal under Louisiana electoral law. Alexander changed parties after he filed his papers for re-election and less than an hour before he filed those papers a second time. The lawsuit alleges Alexander violated a state law that prohibits candidates from changing their ballot qualifications after an initial filing.

Alexander's new legal troubles come on top of the resignation of his entire Washington staff. On Wednesday, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee statements from some of his former consultants:

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"I'm disappointed in Rodney's lack of loyalty to the people that worked day and night for him to help him win and get re-elected. But, the voters are the ones that get cheated in the end," Trey Ourso said.

"We helped Rodney craft a message that asked voters to trust him," Allan Crow said. "Now, he has betrayed that trust and denied voters a real chance to have their votes count. That is not only dishonest, but an affront to the democratic process. Louisiana voters deserve better."

"After just two years in Washington, Rodney already believes that what's best for him is what's best for the people. His craven decision betrays a profound disrespect for democracy." said Jeff Liszt.

The Baton Rouge Advocate says that Alexander intends to return campaign contributions from the DCCC, his Democratic colleagues and any other donor who wants a refund.


Stephen W. Stromberg

Stephen W. Stromberg is a former editorial fellow at Salon.

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