Welcome to Louisiana Lefty, a podcast about politics and community in Louisiana, where we make the case that the health of the state requires a strong progressive movement fueled by the critical work of organizing on the ground. Our goal is to democratize information, demystify party politics, and empower you to join the mission because victory for Louisiana requires you. I'm your host Lynda Woolard. On this episode, I speak with Dustin Granger who's running for state treasurer on the October 14 gubernatorial primary ballot with the runoff scheduled for November 18, 2023. Louisiana Lefty doesn't tend to do episodes with candidates and we don't endorse. But there's a lot of long term lessons to learn from Dustin's story. And he's the only Democrat running in this treasurer's race. In his campaign, Dustin has been making the case that Democrats need to highlight our party's record on the economy and push the progressive issues that poll so well, even in Louisiana, when focus on partisanship is removed from the message. But I'll let him tell it. Dustin Granger, thank you so much for joining me on Louisiana Lefty.
Thank you for having me, Lynda. I'm so excited to be here. I've loved what you've done with Louisiana Lefty. I've listened to most of the episodes over the last year or so. And thank you for having me.
Oh, well, I really appreciate your joining us. I appreciate those kind words also, but I know you're very busy these days because you're running a campaign, a statewide campaign, which is huge. But let's start with how you and I know each other. I think it's just through Democratic circles. But I feel like the first time we met in person was at the governor's mansion for a fundraiser, a charitable fundraiser. Is that right?
That's right. I think it was. I think we've followed each other on social for a while. But then we ran into each other and we had to get that picture. Yeah, that was exciting.
And that's the first lady's fundraiser that she does every year for her trio of great causes, which I won't try to recite here, but folks can go look up the Louisiana First Foundation. If they're interested in what the first lady's working on. But it's a great fundraiser she does every year. But let me ask you about you, Dustin, what's your political origin story? What prompted you to first become interested in politics?
Lynda, I grew up, you know, in a very conservative household. I remember growing up, my father was listening to Rush Limbaugh on the radio, he had all the Rush Limbaugh books. And, you know, in the 90s, when I was in high school and everything, politics just wasn't really talked about much. It just wasn't. And I just thought I was a Republican, I remember, just because I thought everybody was. And I remember in 1998, it was my senior year in high school, I was debating with some friends and, like, politics came up. And I was debating on the Republican side and I quickly realized that I did not agree with what I was saying. And that led me on a path, you know, through college, and a lot of the classes I had... you know, I became a Democrat in college. And you know, especially through the Bush years, and then 911 happened. And I would say I was... to the point where I was... like, what I hear a lot of people say today, people say, "Well, I'm liberal on social issues, and I'm fiscally conservative," you know, and I was kind of one of those guys because I was in business school. And even when I started my job as a financial advisor in 2004, I was still there, you know, because I, you know, believe in capitalism and stuff. And then I think the turning point for me was 2008-2009 financial crisis because here I was, you know, a young guy, a financial advisor, helping people that are 50s 60s 70s 80s with their life savings and then something happens that really nobody knew was going to happen, nobody thought could ever happen. And I remember thinking, you know, everything I thought I knew about economics says that this can't happen. So it was shocking to me because, you know, it really affected me at that age especially. And I just went on a deep dive into past, you know, depressions and recessions throughout our history. And I realized a lot of them are kind of caused by the same thing. A lot of it has to do with, you know, too much wealth accumulation at the very top and not for anybody else. And you know, that wealth accumulation kind of creates a vicious cycle of power that kind of grows without end. And that's when I became like a full-blooded Democrat. I knew I wanted to get into office then, you know, but I thought, "Hey, it must be decades away, I'm in my 20s, I can't run and you know, when you're 25, you can't do anything like that." So after 2015-2016, I realized that, you know, a lot of things are happening. I'm not happy with the people that are leading the state in this country and I need to get involved soon. So that kind of started my path in networking with local people in politics and then around the state. And then I would say, after the insurrection happened, that's when I said, "Okay, I've been waiting long enough, it's time to go." So ever since then, I feel like I've been running for three years in different ways.
How old are you now, Dustin?
I'm 43 now.
Okay. Well, I still consider you young. And I think it's young people that really do have to step up now. I've been seeing the polling on the beliefs of young people, the national polling, and both Republicans and Democrats, younger voters are just smarter. The younger generations right now, they're not focused on the culture war stuff, they're really focused on the bread and butter issues about, you know, protecting the most vulnerable. Yes, they care about that. They care about people having their rights preserved. And they care about these bread and butter issues, like making sure that we have an economy that works for everyone. And that literally is both sides of the aisle that we're hearing that from so I'm grateful that you stepped up to run. And it really takes a lot more young folks like you to do that.
Yeah, and I consider myself like an xennial, you know, I'm 1980. So some people say it's millennial, most say it's Generation X. So I kind of feel like I straddle both generations because when I was in school, things were pretty still segregated. As far as like black and white friendships. It wasn't until my later years in high school, where I feel like it became more integrated. Now I look at the younger people and everybody's so integrated and it's very inspiring. So, yeah, I feel like it's up to me to have an obligation to stand up and try to lead our younger generations because I'm so proud of them.
And let's talk about your bio a little bit. You're married and you have two kids. Is that right?
I have two little girls, age eight and five.
Okay. And so you also are doing what you're doing because you care about the Louisiana that they will inherit?
Yes. That's another thing. I think that, you know, that coincided with, you know, 2016 and that I had my first girl then and then everything that has happened since. And that just made me suit up and get going because I have two little girls to fight for. I have more skin in the game than I did before, for sure.
And you've mentioned... what's your day job been for the last several years?
For 20 years I've been a financial advisor and a certified financial planner. So I help people invest their money, save their money, plan for their future. And certified financial planners are not just investing in retirement planning, but it's also, like, insurance, taxes, how all of those things, all those pieces of the puzzle fit together for people.
So you really have some of the experience a treasurer would need.
Yes. And I've been through tough times, you know, working people through the financial crisis. And then that prepared me for COVID. And in three major hurricanes that destroyed Lake Charles and the insurance issues. So I have, like, the down and dirty experience of trying to get through crises.
And you said you've been running for three years. What were the other offices that you've run for recently?
Yeah. So after the insurrection, what Clay Higgins tweeted, like, "The end of U.S. as we know it if Biden becomes president." I said, "I want to challenge him." He had just won election reelection so it would have been a two-year-long race. So I started to run for that, started telling friends and stuff and started traveling around the third congressional district, set up a campaign finance thing with the federal side. And then a seat came open, a state senate seat locally, Senate District 27, Ronnie Johns' old seat, and some people in the party knew they needed somebody to run for that because it was about to go unopposed in that special election. And, you know, I decided... look, I was ready to go at that time. I didn't want to wait two years, I was ready to do an election. And I went for it and it was just the best experience. Even though we came up short, we had some big wins there. And I took a year off last year, but I didn't feel like I took the year off, I never felt like I fully left campaign mode because I knew I wanted to run for treasurer this year. So it really hasn't stopped for three years.
Well, I think it's, what you bring up is an important point. We have to have... and by the way, again, thank you for stepping up and running so that that person didn't go into office unopposed, we can't let that happen. So I appreciate that you did that. But every time you run for one of these seats, I don't mean you personally, but every time a candidate runs for seat, even if they lose, there's information, you get this experience, you get running. Obviously you can't just run forever and lose every election. But, I mean, it's rare for someone to run one election and win their very first election.
It was priceless what I learned and it has prepared me so much for this. I learned so much of what not to do, how politics is but we, you know, even though we came up short, you know, for a special election in a lot of the African American districts, it was the highest turnout we ever had for a special election. So we built the excitement. And I'm proud of the fact that I won Lake Charles 60%. You know, we have a pretty gerrymandered district. This should be a more competitive district. But you know, Lake Charles I won 60% so I'm happy about that.
And why treasurer, Dustin? Is it just because of your background? Or were there other reasons that made you want to run for treasurer?
I think both. I knew that this was something that I'm qualified for, like the the roles of the treasurer almost match up exactly with what I do for people except on a larger degree. And I think that economics is, like, at the center of my politics, I would say because I would go as far as to say that a lot of the culture war issues are because of economic issues. I feel like politics essentially comes down to money and power and how to influence that. So I feel like, you know, you fix the economy, it fixes a lot of other things. And for Democrats, it's our biggest advantage that I don't feel like we use either. And I can talk more about that too. But I just wanted the chance to get around the state and talk economics with people because I don't feel like enough Democrats do that.
I think that's right. That's, well, I know you've been on this kick on social media, trying to let folks know what the treasurer does. So what's that? What's the story there?
Right, so the treasurer does three things essentially. Two of the things are to do with Louisiana's balance sheet. When I say balance sheet, you know, you have the assets on one side and liabilities on the other. So the treasurer manages the assets. So there's billions of dollars of funds, the appropriations and things that the treasurer does, a lot of short term stuff. Also the major pensions of the state, the state workers, their pensions, the treasurer manages that. And then on the other side of the balance sheet, they're the chair of the bond commission. So any of the loans made through the state. So a lot of municipalities need to raise money for waterworks, or, you know, downtown redevelopment or stadiums or really anything. They helped set the agenda for the bond commission. So that's kind of like the direct things that they do. But I would say one of the most important roles is they are the adviser to our state government. It says in the Constitution, that they advise the governor and the legislature on economic policy and the economic state of the state. And they work for you. They don't work for them. The treasurer works for the people of the state, watches over the finances and makes sure it's being used correctly for the people. So it's like the voice of the people advising the government. And that's something I think was underutilized in the past. I think John Kennedy kind of did that. In a way, it can be a bully pulpit to hold our government accountable. So I intend to use it that way. And it can be pretty powerful.
So John Bel Edwards famously expanded Medicaid as his first act taking office as governor. What would be the first thing you'd want to do as treasurer?
Yeah. I would say first of all, there has been some political bans that our current treasurer has instated. Bans on clean energy investment was something he did with our investments. He also, along with other members of the bond commission, banned certain banks because of their business practices. Some of them don't want to do loans with gun manufacturers. So they've kind of taken the culture war issues and inserted it in our finances. And those are basically taking money out of people's pockets. You know, whenever you take out whole industries as a choice of investing, that loses money, you know, diversification is investing 101. And on the bond commission side, most of the banks have certain business practices like that. And I think what they quickly found out with those bans we didn't have any banks to underwrite our bonds, and it gets way more expensive. There's a study that shows that in Louisiana it cost us $50-$150 million. And that goes directly to the people in the municipalities trying to raise money. So I would lift that immediately. And also, you know, we have a billion dollars in unclaimed property, the treasurer also oversees that, I didn't mention that earlier. And it's an average of $900 per person, think the treasurer needs to be more proactive with getting that money out the door. And lastly, I want to establish a small town's commission in the treasurer's office to help our small towns get access to financing. A lot of our small towns around the state have really been hurt by our brain drain. They've lost a lot of people. You can see their downtown's have shuttered up. And they lost a lot of staff too. And sometimes trying to get financing to help fix their wastewater issues or their drinking water issues can be cumbersome and tedious. And I think we need a team of people to help them with that proactively because they don't have the resources. They need to be able to rebuild their hometowns and attract and keep people.
Those are really powerful things to start a term with. I was interested that in your campaign announcement you did focus on the climate issue. You really highlighted that. What made you decide to do that?
You know, to run as a Democrat statewide in Louisiana, when people think that you don't have a chance, you need to take bold steps and talk about some of the things that you're not allowed to talk about, you know, "We don't talk about Bruno," you know, never talk about Bruno, like in the song in the Disney movie... Yeah, there's just some things that you're just not supposed to say. And I realized that, you know, if we're going to really tackle the issues and problems in Louisiana, you know, we need to acknowledge the elephant in the room. Louisiana is the most affected and will continue to be the most effective state from climate change. We're also a state that has the identity or the political identity that people feel we are a fossil fuel state. Not that it's true, but a lot of people just feel that way and they're scared to get past that. And I think a lot of that leads to corporate lobby control that we have in the state, that feeds that lobby control in a lot of the other issues. I feel like most of our elected leaders don't even say the word climate change. And so I wanted to lead with that. I wanted to, you know, rip the bandaid off. And look, before I ran for this I've studied polls going back for a long time, even watched some old LPB videos from the early 2000s, where they had roundtables on the same thing about climate change and the role of the fossil fuel industry and renewables 20 years ago! And they had some environmentalists, they had some representatives from the oil and gas industry, but they also had a lot of, like, regular people from towns around Louisiana, all in this like 12 person roundtable. And they had a small audience that was asking questions. And this was on people's minds back then, people were worried about losing out on something if we just stay tied to just one industry. And I feel like, you know, I've never been a big environmentalist kind of guy. But I feel like it's something that we have to acknowledge and get past as a state and diversify our economy.
And does the treasurer impact the climate issue in more ways than just lifting bans on investing?
Yes! Actually, I noticed that some climate organizations focus on state treasurer's because, again, it's the power of the balance sheet, you know. A lot of our climate action and protection from climate, you know, flood protection, coastline protection, a lot of things like that cost a lot of money and need financing that can only happen on a government level because it's so vast. And just the adviser role of the treasurer to work for the people because it's costing us a lot of money. Our climate change is costing us money, not adapting our energy economy is costing us money and the insurance crisis is costing us money. And all of these things relate to climate change and money.
You mentioned that Democrats don't take advantage of the economic message. I think you're 100% right. We're better on the economy. You've also been talking a lot about trickle-down economics on your social media. Tell me more.
Okay, yeah. So you're 100% Right, Lynda. We have ceded the economic lead, or that perception, to the Republicans. We've just given it to them. You know, Democrats for the last 100 years have been the jobs party, we have been the party of economic growth. And we have cleaned up messes that Republican leadership has made decade after decade. And the fact that, somehow, many people in Louisiana think that the Republican leadership is the best with money is completely backwards. And we need to put it into it. Some people think that the word "conservative" means being good with money, you know, being thrifty with money. And I think that that's just kind of an accident in the words. And they kind of take advantage of that because nobody wants to be liberal with money. You know what I mean? So I think those words right there, even though they relate to social issues, get put on economic issues. And it hurts us. And we need to stand up again. I mean, all of the economic growth and changes that have happened over the last 100 years have been because of Democrats. And I think that's the way out of this state, you know, they keep us on the defense, saying that we're against jobs and everything, when really they are. And it comes down to trickle-down economics. You know, that's the same story I've been seeing in my studies over the last couple decades and past depressions and recessions. You know, it all comes down to trickle-down economics. And that is the only, if you want to call it economic policy, that is the only policy that Republicans have ever stuck to for a long time. And for people that don't know what that is, it's essentially two things. One, cut taxes on the wealthy and big corporations at the top with the thought that, "Hey, if they have more money, all those benefits will eventually trickle-down to the rest of us. They will create the jobs and everything and then we'll grow that way." But what it really leads to is budget cuts to public investment for people. In America as a whole, public investment declined for, I would say, 60-70 years. And we're starting to reverse that. And it's the same thing in Louisiana, we've had just constant budget cuts in investments in people. And that means health, education access, infrastructure and opportunities have been steadily cut. And that's exactly what the Republicans want because they just label it, "Well, government is the problem, you know, so let's cut that." But what it really means is cutting you. When they say "cutting government" that means cutting you and investments in you and your children. And trickle-down economics leads to constant budget crunches. And then when it's time to raise revenue, when we do face a budget crunch, it leads to tax increases on the working class, you know, sales tax increases. The last budget crunch we had a couple years ago led to a half cent increase in sales taxes to fix the budget. And so you see what's happening, it means cutting at the top and then raising on everybody else and cutting investments in people. And you know, those two things are unpopular, Lynda. Everywhere in the nation, you poll, "Do people want tax cuts at the top and cuts to education and health." Nobody wants that. But the Republicans get away with it by using the tools of divisive politics, by using race dog whistles, pitting white and black working class people against each other, distracting them. And this strategy goes back hundreds of years. It's tried and true. It always works. And that's the way they keep going with it. So that's what I meant earlier when I said these things are related. So that leads to more problems. It leads to a vicious cycle. Because when we have brain drain because of trickle-down economics, what you see is the Republican leadership, like, I won't name some of the governor candidates, saying well, "We got to cut more taxes. We got to get rid of the income tax. That'll be that'll fix everything. We have to cut more taxes at the top to get people here." And as you see, it leads to more and more... you do that and it leads to more budget cuts, to more brain drain, it's a never ending downward spiral. And we basically have to start reversing that. And what is tried and true is public investment in people, ending the giveaways at the top, making our tax code fair, you know, ending like ITEP and other things that just give away billions and start investing in people. And when you invest in people, the communities do better, kids are able to go to college, even though they have tuition paid for, they're actually able to leave their house because their family isn't in poverty. You know, a lot of people can't go to college because they have to stay home and take care of their parents and work. You know, at a minimum wage job and, you know, when you invest in people, they'll go to college, they'll stay there, they'll innovate and start businesses and rebuild their communities. And it blooms upwards, the value blooms upwards. And that attracts more outside business than anything. So we create our own business and that is what attracts outside businesses to Louisiana because they see thriving communities and people that are taken care of. I love talking about this, Lynda. And that's what we need to scream from the rooftops around the state, like, "This is what's wrong. Their policy is taking money out of your pockets, we are the party of putting money in your pockets!"
Well, they've gotten away with branding Democrats as tax and spend liberals. And the problem is... who they're talking about taxing when they say that is corporations and billionaires. Right? So they scare people into thinking that, you know, their personal taxes are gonna go up. But for the vast majority of us, that is not the case.
Yeah because I believe that we should have less taxes on working people, you know, we're regressive. You know, most of the people in the state pay more as compared to their income and their wealth than the people at the top two, we need to change that, we need to cut taxes on regular people and make them actually pay tax. And investment isn't spending, they love to label it as spending, okay... But public investment isn't spending, it doesn't go into a black hole, it actually creates more value because an economy is people. Your economy is not from, you know, what's underground, or you know, oil and things like that. Economies are always built on people. So if you don't invest in people and you don't put the money where it needs to go, you're not gonna get any money back from it and you're gonna have a slumping economy.
That's a really good point. And the other thing they like to say about this as tha it's punishing success. That like, if you do well enough to make money, they're punishing you by taxing you. But first of all, they're really not talking about over-taxing people, they're just talking about reasonable people paying their fair share, right? Your fair share to make sure that this state works for all the residents of the state.
Right. Because there comes a point when, you know, when you build up so much wealth it almost accelerates so fast to where you don't do any work to make it accelerate, you know. So there's a certain point where wealth gets... where success has nothing to do with it because there's so many tax loopholes, with capital and everything, that wealth can just accelerate into oblivion with no hard-earned work. So I'm not talking about raising taxes on small businesses. I'm talking about, you know, allowing us to have those, you know, just complete giveaways on the people at the top and the corporations at the top. Investing in communities where our small businesses can thrive too because when people have more money in their pocket, they will spend more in the small businesses. It never comes down from the top. All that money, all those giveaways we give to these multinational corporations usually just either stays in a bank account or it gets shipped out of the state to shareholders.
Right, right. Dustin, how's the campaign going?
It's going great. We, you know, it's tough. You know, I'm just happy that qualifying has started and it's off to the races because, you know, the hardest part is just the call time and raising money. And that's been a struggle this year. I feel like Democrats have lost a lot of our fundraising base. I'm out there on the campaign trail... If you look at campaign finance reports, most of Republicans are full of max out contributions from all kinds of LLCs and corporations and wealthy people. You know, there's not much of that that I have so it's hard to keep up, but we've been sustaining on small donations. I think we have like a $200 average or something. And so we're doing well and we're building the excitement, that's one thing that we have to our advantage, we get people excited. So I'm finally able to kind of get out in front of people who are paying attention, get out, meet people and speak and try to build the energy to win this campaign. And I think we've got a great shot. I'm the only Democrat on the ballot up against two Republicans. I would say that they're not really qualified for the job. And I think I have a real chance to get to a runoff and beat one of my challengers. I think this is a very flippable seat. And hopefully, we'll get some more fundraising dollars here in the homestretch. I'm confident in that.
And what I'll say about donations... one of the things I repeat often is that those donations matter because you've got the better message, you've got the greater experience. But unless you can get that information to voters, unless you have the money to let voters know those two points, it's very difficult for you to win an election. So that makes the point that folks should invest in these.
Yeah, even $20-$50 is important. You know, if you like this message and you like other messages of Louisiana Democrats, please give what you can because we can get enough if we have a lot of people giving. You know, the Republicans don't really need any people giving because they get the money from the corporations in large amounts, but we need you, we need your investments. Because just like Lynda said, you know, we have a great message, but we need people to hear it. And it's not cheap to get that message out into people's phones and on their TVs and mailers and stuff like that, it can be very expensive to do. So yeah, that's one thing. I hope we can get in there, win this thing and hopefully we can turn that fundraising around, have people say, "Oh, Democrats can actually still win in Louisiana. Look, Dustin won treasurer's office." And hopefully that'll make people wake up a little bit and start investing in campaigns more.
Well, the other piece about that is that if candidates see that they can get an investment of finances, they're more likely to run for these. Potential candidates, I should say.
Yes, absolutely. And that's the thing. It's hard to do statewide, it's very hard to do. And I would encourage everybody... it doesn't cost as much to run for local school board and city councils so if you're interested in politics, you know, most of the important stuff happens at those levels, get out there and try it. You'd be surprised who will invest in you, you know, because there's people like us all over the state that will help you on races and, you know, knock doors for you, a lot of that stuff that money can't buy on those races. Yeah. And I think Lynda, that's one of the biggest problems that we have in America and politics is the way that campaigns are run with money and stuff. Hopefully, that'll change in the near future. But that's what we're stuck with.
For now. Yeah. Where have you been in the state? Who have you been talking to?
Oh, man. I feel like every time I talk to somebody, you know, I get even more numbers. So I've been all over and, you know, being a Democrat, you know, of course, I'm hitting the biggest areas the most, you know, in New Orleans once or twice a week, Baton Rouge a lot, Lafayette sometimes, been going to Shreveport more lately, and have a lot more on the calendar. And we hit a lot of different parishes. St. Mary Parish, we went down to Tibideaux, Bogalusa... well, that was a while back, got another going there... going up north again, you know. Up north, they don't get a lot of exposure up north to candidates. We have a lot of dates coming up, where we're going, you know, to Monroe, and a lot of the small communities up north. Avoyelles Parish is coming up. And man, I've just been meeting everybody. That's one good thing to be optimistic about in Louisiana, we have so many great grassroots organizations that have really blossomed and gotten stronger in the last number of years. So just meeting with those organizers around the state, you know, saying that, you know, "We got your back." You know, spreading that word of mouth, boots on the ground, I think gives us an advantage. So... too many people to name!.
Yeah, so I think you mentioned this earlier, but just to underscore, you're coming from Lake Charles, right?
I'm from Lake Charles. Yes. So being on this corner of the state it doesn't make it easy. You know, I'm on the road a lot.
Well, I'll get information from you or your campaign for our Episode Notes so people will have a way to plug into what you're doing and connect with you in case they're interested in getting more involved or getting more information on the campaign. And I do know you're very busy so I don't want to keep you too long. So let's pivot to those last three questions I ask at the end of every episode. What's the biggest hurdle right now for Democrats in Louisiana?
I would say the biggest hurdle is... what I've noticed is... I feel like Democrats get in the trap from Republicans in playing defense too much. We don't step up and be proud of a lot of our policies. And what we'll find is that they're very popular, even in Louisiana, you know. You look at almost all of our individual policies and they're very popular. But Republicans are really good at attacking us on it and making us kind of stay in a shell and play the defense. And I think what we need to do is... and I think what we're seeing... we're seeing a change in the Democratic Party in the South, we're starting to embrace a lot of our ideals and policies, especially with the younger generations. And I think our state needs to adapt to that quicker than, you know. John Bel Edwards' election, eight years ago could really be like 20 years ago because politics have changed so much in that time. And people are still stuck in the mindset that only a Democrat like that can win. And I think that time has passed, and we have some of big advantages. And, you know, we need to get past that. And I think, with our party structure, too, I feel like we need to build our infrastructure and our organizing infrastructure and take real chances. Instead of playing defense, we need to go at the other party and play offense because they know we can win, they know our positions are popular, they like it how it is.
And what's our biggest opportunity?
Biggest opportunity is the same thing. Like, we have young people energized, more people are invested or care about politics under the age of 45, or 40, than I've ever seen in my lifetime. And most of them are Democrats, they embrace our ideals. So I think we need to build on that, we need our younger people to start running for more campaigns with offense... Inspire people, you know, we in Louisiana, we have a progressive history, you know, with Huey Long and Edwin Edwards, despite some of their, you know, the corruption that was involved, a lot of things were corrupt back then, but the progressive ideals are kind of in our blood and history here. And people remember that, there's people that I talked to in their 80s and they remember those days, you know, they grew up in those days. And a lot of our older, I call them the silent generation, are very democratic too. Let's not look past them because they remember the days before the union busting of the 80s and Reaganomics and the shipping out of our manufacturing that a lot of Republicans have done. They have parents that lived through the Depression, they remember those days and they will never vote for a Republican because of it. So I think we need to connect with the oldest and the youngest generations to rebuild and focus on organizing our people and lead with economics. Let's take that mantle back. And that's why this is the strategic seat for Democrats because when I get in there, I'm going to call out the bad economic policy of Republicans at every moment I can.
Fabulous. Dustin, who's your favorite superhero?
You know... always heard this question. I was huge into comic books whenever I was, you know, in junior high and stuff, I had a huge collection. And I couldn't think of, like, who I still like, who I most aligned myself with back then because I love the variety of them. But now as an adult, you know, I'm not real big into action movies, although I've watched some of the Marvel movies, but the one that I relate to the most and I would say is, and I don't know if he's really considered a superhero, is Loki. There's a series on Disney now in the Marvel series. And I like him because he's somebody who was that arrogant kind of anti-hero, kind of a villain guy, and in this series, he's kind of put in his place, you know, he had his power stripped from him temporarily. And you know, he's forced to face, like, humility. And it's funny because then his attitude changes and he becomes a superhero throughout and he's just funny and, you know, he's got a big ego, but is put in his place and he becomes very empathetic and wants to help people and be a superhero. And I'd have to say that that one is what really touches my heart, really inspires me.
I love that too. I love that story arc where, you know, you can start off in one place and end up in a totally different place, where you do care about people and you're working for the greater good. And that sort of is what he's doing. Dustin, thank you so much for taking some time off. I know you're so busy right now, but taking some time off on the campaign trail to speak to Louisiana Lefty.
I'm excited. I hope everybody listens to this. And hey, if you hear it, get out and support your local Democratic campaigns, you know, sign up on my website to volunteer. We need you and we can win.
Thank you for listening to Louisiana Lefty. Please follow us on your favorite podcast platform. Thank you to Ben Collinsworth for producing Louisiana Lefty, Jen Pack of Black Cat Studios for our Super Lefty artwork, and Thousand $ Car for allowing us to use their swamp pop classic "Security Guard" as our Louisiana Lefty theme song.