Doctors in the House

Im not sure if any other state can match this percentage, but at this moment in Louisiana politics, half of its members in the U.S. House of Representatives are doctors. That’s three out of six. Lawyers have always been the dominant profession in politics, but medical people are showing strength.

        Among the current medical men in Congress are Charley Boustany, a cardiovascular surgeon, who represents the Third District Lafayette/Lake Charles area; Bill Cassidy, a physician from the Baton Rouge area 6th district (whos currently in the runoff for the U.S. Senate) and upstate 4th district representative Charles Fleming, a family practitioner. Keeping an eye on all this is Ophthalmologist John Cooksy, who represented the mid-state 5th district from 1997-2003.

    Because Cassidy ran for the Senate, his congressional seat was up for re-election. The runoff there is between Edwin Edwards and Garrett Graves, neither of whom are physicians, however in the upstate 5th congressional district Republican Ralph Abraham, a physician, is in a runoff against Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo to fill the seat vacated by the amorous incumbent Vance McAllister. The district usually votes Republican. If that follows form there will still be three doctors going to Washington.

         All of the above are Republicans, which is the overwhelming party of most doctors nationwide. (Only one Louisiana congressman, New Orleans area’s Cedric Richmond, is a Democrat.)

         Why doctors have done so well in congressional politics is due to several reasons:

         • By nature of their profession, doctors need to have an interest in politics. There’s a continuous flow of proposed laws and regulations in which they’ll want to have a voice. For better, or worse, medicine and politics go together.

         • Most doctors are independent business people, so they have the flexibility to set their hours and define their practice as they want to. Moreso than many professionals, they can make a congressional career fit their life.

         • Most doctors are affluent and can afford to get involved with politics.

         • Overall, the medical profession has a positive image among voters, who at least regard doctors as being smart. Voters might not trust all doctors, but they thrust theirs.

         • Louisiana is a very conservative state (at least outside of the New Orleans area). It is a good place to be a doctor and a politician.

        Then theres Cassidy who, if he defeats Mary Landrieu, will make the state’s Senate delegation, like its representatives in the House, half doctors. For Louisiana at least the phrase “the doctor is in” could be an answer to a quorum call.

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BOOK ANNOUNCEMENT: Errol’s Laborde’s new book, “Mardi Gras: Chronicles of the New Orleans Carnival” (Pelican Publishing Company, 2013), has been released. It is now available at local bookstores and at book web sites.

       
WATCH INFORMED SOURCES, FRIDAYS  AT 7PM, REPEATED AT 11:30 PM.WYES-TV, CH. 12.

 

     

–30–

      

                                                                                    

 BOOK ANNOUNCEMENT: Errol’s Laborde’s new book, “Mardi Gras: Chronicles of the New Orleans Carnival” (Pelican Publishing Company, 2013), has been released. It is now available at local bookstores and at book web sites.

       
WATCH INFORMED SOURCES, FRIDAYS  AT 7PM, REPEATED AT 11:30 PM.WYES-TV, CH. 12.

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