Roemer makes independent pitch

Former Louisiana governor and presidential candidate Charles E. “Buddy” Roemer III has publically announced his anticipated change from the Republican Party ballot to an Independent position, backed by the American’s Elect Party.



The confirmation was secured last Tuesday as Roemer continued his long-shot campaign for the presidency of the United States.



This is not the first time the 68-yerar-old candidate has made a change in affiliation. The former governor and four-term congressman switched from being a Democrat to a Republican when he sought a return to the governor’s mansion in 1987. The move did not endear him to either major party.

In front of 250 members of the South Central Industrial Association, Roemer offered a description of his views regarding status quo politics and positions on issues of state and national interest.



Early in his comments, Roemer told those in attendance he supports Gov. Bobby Jindal’s education reform package and called it an essential investment for the future than the petroleum industry, with which a majority of those in attendance are connected.



“Energy is critical to our economy and I honor that,” Roemer said. “But in the longer time there is no guarantee in oil or natural gas … all we need to conquer the world is for our neighbors and family to be people who can read and write and think for themselves. … It’s about our families. It’s about our children. It’s about our future.”

The candidate said he does not care if Jindal is calling for greater teacher accountability and backing school vouchers for political reasons. Roemer said his interpretation is that Jindal is doing the right thing.



The former governor said he held education as a priority during his term in office and the most important thing for Louisiana legislators to do today is enhance school quality by giving decision making powers to parents and local schools rather than politicians and bureaucrats.



Roemer then turned to his basic campaign theme of Washington not bring broke, but being bought by special interest groups and greedy career politicians.

He identified himself as being different from other office holders and candidates because he has never received Political Action Committee funds and did not take advantage of government pensions and benefits as a former office holder.



“I think America is in trouble,” Roemer said. “I think we need a woman or man that is free to lead. I think we need somebody that is not trying to build a [political] party, but is trying to build a nation. I think I am the one that could succeed because I’m the only candidate that has been both a congressman and a governor. I know what is important.”



Roemer called for product manufacturing to increase in America and for corporations to stop shipping jobs overseas to produce products sold in the United States.

Founder of the Business First Bank, who led a congressional banking committee for eight years, Roemer said he has the financial knowledge and understanding necessary to address the nation’s money woes without letting politics interfere with the bottom line.

“I know I have little chance. I managed to finish third in Puerto Rico [primaries],” Roemer said to draw applause.

The candidate explained that his campaign has made extensive use of the Internet while he was overshadowed by other Republicans on the nationally-televised campaign trail. “I beat Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul [online]. I’ve had more contributors than all the other Republican candidates.”

With his new identity as an Independent, which the candidate suggested a month prior to the SCIA meeting, Roemer said he is probably a better fit as an Independent than he ever was as a member of the two major parties.

H.L. Bourgeois High School teacher Kelly Burlette was hesitant to respond to questions following Roemer’s speech. “I think he made some very sound points and it is something to think about,” she said. Burlette confirmed this was her first exposure to Roemer and said she was not comfortable stating if she would or would not cast a vote in his direction.

South Louisiana Bank Commercial Loan Manager George Robicheaux said while, in principle, he might vote for Roemer, he is not certain that could carry over in realistic conditions.

“I thought it was a good speech,” Robicheaux said. “I just wonder if he could interact with Congress and be effective. I think he has a lot of good ideas, but I don’t know how he would be with the Democrats and Republicans.”

Bob Huth of Southern Recycling was impressed with Roemer. “I think he is very, very enlightening. I haven’t seen him on TV, but yes, I would vote for him.”

During the SCIA meeting, Roemer said following the primary election and Republican candidate selection, he will, by law, be included in national debates.

The candidate then predicted the Nov. 6 presidential ballot will carry the names of Barack Obama, Mitt Romney and Buddy Roemer.

Independent presidential candidate Buddy Roemer says Washington is bought and the American people are paying a price.

MIKE NIXON | TRI-PARISH TIMES