Should Coach O Have Spoken at John Bel Fundraiser?
A number of Louisiana politicians, led by United States Senator John Kennedy and Republican candidate for governor Ralph Abraham, are criticizing John Bel Edwards and an appearance at a recent JBE rally by LSU football coach Ed Orgeron.
At an Edwards rally last week the highly popular Orgeron introduced the governor at a re-election campaign fundraiser, calling the Democrat incumbent “a man of great character, great integrity.”
Details of the criticism from nola.com:
"Kennedy mentioned his disgust with the situation during several media interviews Friday. He said he would never allow Orgeron — or any other university football coach in Louisiana — to endorse Kennedy publicly."
And Abraham added fuel to the fire. Again, from nola.com:
“Let’s be real here - John Bel is his boss. It’s beyond inappropriate. It’s selfish and shows poor leadership for the governor to co-opt LSU football for personal political gains,” Abraham said in a written statement. “He just threw our flagship university into another PR nightmare and isolated half the fanbase.”
"Meanwhile, the coach wouldn't respond to questions about whether the rally appearance constituted a political endorsement. From thenewsstar.com:
"LSU head football coach Ed Orgeron on Saturday dodged a question about his endorsement of Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards with the skill of a running back dodging a tackle
"I'll tell you something," Orgeron said following LSU's spring football game. 'I love Louisiana. See you guys.'"
He then walked off without further comment
Responding to the criticism, the Edwards campaign pushed back, saying that Orgeron had a right to participate in the political process.