ThinkProgress: Lousiana Lawmaker Faults Media For Focusing Attention On His Eugenics Proposal»

ThinkProgress (9/25/08)

Lousiana Lawmaker Faults Media For Focusing Attention On His Eugenics Proposal

Louisiana State Rep. John LaBruzzo (R) recently stirred controversy by advocating a form of eugenics to decrease the number of poor. “I realized that all these people were in Louisiana’s care and what a massive financial responsibility that is to the state,” he said. “I said, ‘I wonder if it might be a good idea to pay some of these people to get sterilized.’” His plan would also give tax incentives to the rich to encourage procreation.

Appearing on CNN today, LaBruzzo defended his proposal by arguing that “the taxpayers of America are kind of getting fed up” with supporting welfare programs. He cited the “totally reliant” residents who relied on government evacuations during Hurricane Katrina. When CNN’s Kyra Phillips asked why he couldn’t invest in education and poverty-reduction programs, LaBruzzo faulted the media for focusing too much attention on his eugenics program:

Every one of the ideas you brought up were talked about in the brainstorming session. Obviously the media thought this was the one they could get some ratings out of. We talked about getting involved in the community. … We talked about a lot of those issues. This is one that the media grabbed hold of because it gets ratings.

He also blamed the “tremendous influx of illegal aliens” for “bringing down the economy even more.” Watch it:

ThinkProgress: Lousiana lawmaker advocates eugenics: Sterilize poor women, encourage rich to procreate.

ThinkProgress (9/24/08)

Lousiana lawmaker advocates eugenics: Sterilize poor women, encourage rich to procreate.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that state Rep. John LaBruzzo (R) said yesterday that “he is studying a plan to pay poor women $1,000 to have their Fallopian tubes tied.” LaBruzzo worries that people receiving food and housing assistance “are reproducing at a faster rate than more affluent, better-educated residents”:

He said he is gathering statistics now. … “What I’m really studying is any and all possibilities that we can reduce the number of people that are going from generational welfare to generational welfare,” he said.

He said his program would be voluntary. It could involve tubal ligation, encouraging other forms of birth control or, to avoid charges of gender discrimination, vasectomies for men. It also could include tax incentives for college-educated, higher-income people to have more children, he said.

UpdateLaBruzzo’s district is the same one that sent white supremacist and former leader of the KKK David Duke to the state legislature in 1989.

USA Today: Election hinges on identity, life experience in Jena, La.

USA Today (9/19/08)

Election hinges on identity, life experience in Jena, La.

Main Street buzz has turned from racial politics to presidential politics in the year since the “Jena Six” legal battles and civil rights protests.

Residents gathered outside the La Salle Parish courthouse in Jena, La., on Sept. 11 to reflect on community values and how the presidential election might play here, a parish of about 14,000 residents, heavily invested in oil, timber and conservative values.

Cleveland Riser Jr., a retired educator who invested 29 years in the local school system, said he sees identity as a pressure point this year. The parish is 85.6% white and 12% black.

“Can they overcome the fact that when they see him they are going to see a darker face?” asked Riser, a black man with Native American and white heritage.

Riser, who supports Obama, said he believes race will factor into voters’ decisions but that it was not the most important issue to him.

Age made more of a difference. Riser, a veteran, admires McCain’s military service but thinks a 72-year-old candidate lacks the energy for the job. Instead, he was inspired by the vivacity and enthusiasm of Obama, 47.