Louisiana Republican Fraud Squad

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The Louisiana Republican Fraud Squad is a term applied by conservatives in Louisiana regarding the method used on January 13, 2020, to select Moderate Republican Clay Schexnayder of Ascension Parish as the state House Speaker. Schexnayder's selection to succeed the more conservative term-limited Speaker Taylor Barras of New Iberia depended upon the united support of all thirty-five Democrats in the chamber. Of the sixty-eight Republicans in the House, twenty-three defected from the conservative choice, Sherman Mack of Albany in Livingston Parish, to support Schexnayder. The two Independent legislators also backed Schexnayder, who prevailed with a 60-45 overall House vote..

The term "Fraud Squad" is coined by the statewide radio commentator, Moon Griffon, based in Lafayette, who has expressed disgust at how the majority Republicans let the Speaker's post slip into the hands of moderates and liberals. Of the sixty-eight Republican members, only forty-five remained with the nominal Republican choice, Representative Mack.

Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards, who began his second term on the same day that Schexnayder was chosen as Speaker, also worked behind-the-scenes to elect Schexnayder and thus outfox his conservative opponents though Edwards was unable to elect a fellow Democrat as Speaker.[1]

It remains to be seen if the 60-45 vote stays united in 2022, when the state's six seats in the United States House of Representatives as well as the 144 in both legislative chambers undergo redistricting.

This same approach has been used in Texas since 2009, when Moderate Republican Joe Straus of San Antonio won the first of five elections for Speaker with a similar coalition of Moderate Republicans and Democrats, thus gutting the nominal Republican majority in the Texas House. Straus unseated the conservative Speaker Tom Craddick of Midland, whose tenure as the longest-serving Republican member of the Texas House began in 1969.

Amid the acquittal of President Donald Trump on two articles of impeachment on February 5, 2020, Griffon likened the Fraud Squad members to failed presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Mitt Romney, the Moderate Republican from Utah who was the only Republican to vote to convict the president on the first article of impeachment.[2] In August 2020, Griffon urged serious conservatives who can raise campaign funds to oppose all twenty-three of the Fraud Squad members in the 2023 elections. None of the twenty-three Fraud Squad members should ever win another election, Griffon said. He noted that the Fraud Squad are nominally Republicans because they could not win as Democrats in their districts. Griffon also called out state Senate President Page Cortez of Lafayette as a Republican "who has never stood up for anything" in his legislative career. Griffon also said that he believes that some of the "Fraud Squad" members likely voted personally for Democratic nominee Joe Biden, rather than President Trump.[3]

List of Fraud Squad members

Moderate Republicans:

Two Independents

More than half of the Fraud Squad was reelected in the primary held on October 24, 2023, including Roy Daryl Adams, Larry Bagley, Beau Beaullieu, Ryan Bourriaque, R. Dewith Carrier, Les Farnum, Paula Davis, Stephanie Hilferty, Royce McMahen, Gregory Miller, Vincent St. Blanc, Joe Stagni, Chris Turner, and Jerome Zeringue. Representative Buddy Mincey, Jr., was defeated by conservative Republican Valarie Hodges in a race for the state Senate, as was Barry Ivey in his failed challenge to Representative Rick Edmonds. Outgoing Speaker Clay Schnexnayder finished fourth in the statewide race for secretary of state. John Stefanski lost in his bid for state attorney general to succeed incoming Governor Jeff Landry.

It is unclear if the Fraud Squad, reduced in its ranks, can again thwart their party's choice for House Speaker when the next sesswion begins in January 2024.


  1. Tensions high in Louisiana GOP after House speaker's vote. WBRZ.com (January 13, 2020). Retrieved on January 31, 2020.
  2. The Moon Griffon Show, February 6, 2020.
  3. The Moon Griffon Show, August 11, 2020.
  4. Moon Griffon Facebook page.