Louisiana protest: ‘AG Landry, you’re a crook! Kids deserve to read gay books!’

Protesters against Jeff Landry gather in the rain outside gubernatorial debate in Lafayette. Photo: Real Name Campaign

Sept. 15, Lafayette, Louisiana – This writer joined over 30 protesters against corrupt far-right gubernatorial candidate Jeff Landry. We gathered outside KLFY studios where the second gubernatorial debate was happening; Landry skipped the first one, claiming that debate hosts would not treat him fairly, and has generally skirted other interactions with his rival candidates.

The action was led by both cis and trans women. Participating organizations included Real Name Campaign NOLA, Reproductive Freedom Acadiana, Louisianahbrah, DSA Southwest Louisiana, and Socialist Unity Party.

Amanda Anderson, an organizer with Reproductive Freedom Acadiana, told the crowd, “Although we have these fascist, bigoted, corrupt politicians imposing restrictions on us, our state is in fact composed of diverse people, like the people that showed up here today. … We have the people, power, and persistence to protect and restore fundamental rights back to the people.”

Quest Riggs of Real Name Campaign said, “Do the majority of Louisianians want to oppress their neighbors? Hell no! Does Jeff Landry want to oppress the people of this state? Absolutely.”

We chanted, “AG Landry, you’re a crook! Kids deserve to read gay books!” When Landry came out, we got as close as we could, pummeling him with noise as he rushed to his vehicle and sped off. So long, janky Jeff! (Another popular slogan from the night.)

Anderson’s words about our diverse community ring true. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know activists of many ages and backgrounds from across the state. We even had dinner together after the action, strengthening the feeling of solidarity. We are prepared to fight against the far-right, capitalist onslaught.

Who is Jeff Landry?

Landry is cut from the same cloth as Ron DeSantis of Florida and Greg Abbot of Texas, basing his campaign on targeting trans youth and other vulnerable groups. This is his only appeal since he has nothing to offer the state’s working class. He opposes raising Louisiana’s $7.25 minimum wage and even says there shouldn’t be a minimum wage.

This is the same man who sued to kick 700,000 Louisianaians off Medicaid. Apparently, he doesn’t care whether we live or die. Considering the following from The Gambit, we can sum up Landry’s attitude as “I got mine, screw you!”

“As Attorney General, Landry makes $104,942.72 a year — nearly four times the average income for Louisianans. He also has significant sources of outside income. According to Landry’s financial disclosure forms — which only require ranges of income, rather than specific amounts — in 2022 he made between $160,000 and $414,000 from outside sources. Landry also reported investment holdings — all of which are held in his wife’s name — worth as much as $2.4 million.”

As the state’s attorney general, he pushed for strict abortion bans. His office has come under fire – including in this debate – for attempting to track women seeking abortions out of state.

In close collaboration with the St. Tammany Parish Library Accountability Project, a de facto anti-LGBTQ+ group similar to the misnamed Moms for Liberty, Landry has gone after library books. The group’s founder and Landry associate, Connie Nichols Phillips, cost taxpayers in her parish $72,000 processing the 150 book challenges she submitted. 

The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Department has issued a misdemeanor summons to Phillips, who appeared in a viral video assaulting a library supporter outside a parish council meeting.

Last year, it came to light that Landry spent more than $420,000 from campaign donors on his own staffing company. The above are only a few of his ongoing scandals.

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