Three government watchdog groups have launched an organization calling for election-year candidates – particularly those running for governor – to focus on education, state finances, criminal justice/public safety and transportation/infrastructure.
One of the organizations involved in "RESET Louisiana's Future" is the Louisiana Public Affairs Research Council. Its president, Robert Travis Scott, told the Louisiana Record, “If everybody’s debating about these particular areas, then that’s a success, because these are the things we should be debating. Whether they agree or not, let’s make it about these issues.”
He added that while there’s a reality of how politicians behave during heated campaigns, he’s hopeful that they will focus on policy over rhetoric.
“We’re not expecting politicians to stop being politicians." Scott said. "But what we are hoping is that ... they’re going to have a strong appetite for wanting to comprehend good policy. And we found that to be true. … We hope that that will play out for them both in the election cycle and more importantly when they finally take office.”
Scott indicated candidates have responded positively.
“I think it’s been going very well," he said. "The candidates we’ve talked to have been very engaged. They have gotten a much better level of education about a lot of these issues that we cover. I think it’s been very positive. That doesn’t mean every single candidate we’ve talked to agrees with every single thing, and they all have their individual constituencies that they have to reflect on when they’re looking at these issues.”
Scott said while RESET Louisiana’s Future provides information for other positions such as secretary of state and treasurer, the focus is on the governor’s race.
“The main statewide office we’d be interested in is the governor, and elections are coming up this fall," he said. "We’re going to elect all of our legislative seats and a governor. We have a huge amount of turnover in the legislature because of term limits and fatigue. We see this as a really critical time to reach out to those people who are new coming in and to help give a firm foundation on what kind of issues they should be focused on and how they should be focused on them.”