CONSERVATIVES AND CORE SUPPORTERS BLASTING JINDAL With his repeated pledge not to veto the pay raise that will double legislators’ salaries, Gov. Bobby Jindal continues to woefully underestimate how much his lack of action is enraging conservatives and some of his biggest supporters. Last week, syndicated conservative radio host Moon Griffon pulled from his show a commercial touting Jindal, calling it “an outright lie.” The ad, bought by Believe in Louisiana, the non-profit 527 founded by Jindal campaign treasurer and Baton Rouge Business Report Publisher Rolfe McCollister, featured a script that claimed Jindal was behind the effort to repeal the Stelly Tax. “This group is telling a whopper,” Griffon told The Advocate. “They’re saying the governor is doing something he didn’t do. Gov. Jindal led the charge to cut the income taxes? That’s an outright lie.”
Griffon isn’t the only north Louisiana conservative media outlet that’s blasting away at Jindal. The Monroe News-Star, the paper that enthusiastically endorsed Jindal for governor, had a scathing editorial last Thursday that questioned a “guest column” Jindal submitted to the newspaper. The News-Star printed Jindal’s column, which proclaims, “In the New Louisiana, we are introducing a new era of fiscal discipline by eliminating wasteful spending that does not address our state’s priorities.”
In its response, The News-Star wondered if Jindal has “lost complete touch with events around him. It’s possible; as a congressman, he spent much of his second term here seeking the governor’s job. Now, as governor, he spends much of his time in Washington in what many observers believe is an effort to seek higher office there.”
The paper implored readers to pore over Jindal’s column, noting: “It might frighten you. It frightens us, not only for its content but for what it doesn’t say.”
PAY RAISE FUELS ONLINE FURY If Jindal and Louisiana’s legislators think that simply ignoring the public outcry over the pay raise will simply fizzle out, there are citizens out there making sure that the iron remains hot. The Internet’s become ground zero for a number of recall petitions; at LegeWatch, the slogan is “Because all we get from Baton Rouge is the finger” and the logo is a middle finger imposed over the state Capitol. At RecallPayRaiseTucker.com, the site is seeking volunteers to help with a petition drive to force a recall election for House Speaker Jim Tucker. The group needs 9,000 signatures from District 86. Another blog from Slidell, “Louisiana Recall Them All!” states that “truth transcends political philosophy” and that both Republicans and Democrats should be removed from office. Lafayette Sen. Mike Michot and Gov. Jindal have also inspired recallmichot.com and recalljindal.com.
MULTIPLE ACADIANA LEGISLATORS DONATING PAY RAISE TO CHARITY Meanwhile, a number of Acadiana legislators are separating themselves from the pack by doing the right thing. Independent Rep. Joel Robideaux is leading a contingent of local lawmakers who voted against the bill and intend to donate their pay raises to a fund for the Community Foundation of Acadiana. Robideaux and Rep. Page Cortez say that Reps. Simone Champagne, Jonathan Perry, Fred Mills, Taylor Barras, Bobby Badon, Jack Montecet, Mickey Guillory, Elbert Guillory and Rickey Hardy are on board with the idea.
Republican Rep. Don Trahan and Democratic Sen. Don Cravins Jr. (who both voted against the bill) refused the raise outright.
Rep. Rickey Hardy has a few other ideas. “Charity begins at home, and I’ll be using part of those funds to sponsor a local Little League team I sponsor every year,” he says. Hardy also flashed a bit of his trademark humor. “Maybe I should set aside some of it in an escrow fund for the legal defense of some of my colleagues who voted for the pay raises and could be facing a recall petition.”
TWO RARE VETOES Gov. Bobby Jindal announced last Sunday that he actually vetoed two bills designed to allow exceptions to state ethics laws. Jindal vetoed House Bill 278, which would have created an exception to the limitation on food, drink and refreshment for public servants attending an “event related to recruitment, fund raising or philanthropic activities by or on behalf of an agency or for the benefit of an agency or its programs, activities or mission.” The bill was sponsored by Democratic state Rep. Karen St. Germain of Pierre Part.
Jindal also shot down House Bill 947 by Republican state Rep. Nita Hutter of Chalmette, which would have allowed a public servant to accept complimentary admission to a fund-raising event held for the benefit of certain educational institutions or programs, excluding professional, semi-professional or collegiate sporting events.
“I do not see the need to create this exception,” Jindal said in announcing each veto.
Now if we could just determine what he thinks about all of the other legislation that has been piling up on his desk. As of last week, 90 pieces had become law without his signature — more than any other governors, combined, dating back to at least 1990. His closest competitor is his mentor, former GOP Gov. Mike Foster, who was a spectator on 47 bills during his eight years. The Advocate reported that former Govs. Buddy Roemer, Kathleen Blanco and Edwin Edwards took action on nearly every piece of legislation that hit their desks — signing or vetoing all but a handful of bills into law. Since 1990, The Advocate reports, Edwards and Blanco let one bill each become law and Roemer three without signatures. That’s 52 bills for the four former governors combined.
Once a bill reaches the governor’s desk it becomes law, unless vetoed, after 10 days during a legislative session. After the session adjourns, the time limit is extended to 20 days.
Contributors: Scott Jordan, R. Reese Fulle and Leslie Turk
State Rep. Joel Robideaux, R-Lafayette, surprised few in the Hub City Wednesday afternoon when he made (semi) official what most of us have known for months: He is running to replace Joey Durel as city-parish president.
Louisiana's first black Republican state senator since Reconstruction — who was a Republican before he was a Democrat before he was a Republican again — is accusing Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu of using the black community for votes and providing nothing in return.
LSU's governing board has backed new hospital privatization contracts that give hospital managers greater ease to leave the deal and fewer restrictions about must-have services.
U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu is courting young voters in several appearances across Louisiana this week, talking about her support for legislation that could lower students' college costs.
Coton de tulear joins Westminster; Paypal splitting from Ebay; first US Ebola diagnosis and more national and international news for Wednesday, October 1, 2014.
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Stage 4 vet takes on cancer and reminds us all what it really means to get involved.
Is Mary fading as Vitter solidifies his lock on the fourth floor?
Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration has renegotiated contracts for six LSU hospital privatization deals, hoping to reach a compromise with federal health officials that will keep Medicaid dollars flowing to the privatized patient services.
Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu is defending her record on gun rights, seeking to rebut sharp criticism from the NRA in a state where the right to bear arms is given special constitutional protection.
Citizens, you have less than a week to register to vote in the Nov. 4 election. Remember, if you don’t vote you can’t complain about the outcome. Well, you can but it’s kind of hypocritical.
After being forced out by its former landlords last year, the community garden has a new location and a 10-year lease.
The party says it has hit a milestone, reaching 10,000 registered voters in the state.
Defensive captain Junior Galette is disgusted by the Saints' sluggish start.
The use of $60 million in Louisiana's public school financing formula to pay for nearly three dozen charter schools violates the state constitution, a statewide teachers' union claimed Monday in a lawsuit.
February trial date indicates parties were unable to negotiate a settlement.
There was a time when United Ballot had a political stranglehold so tight on Lafayette’s black community it was nearly unbreakable, but that grip might be loosening.
The race for Lafayette city marshal may not be the most exciting of this year’s local political contests, but it could prove the most historic.
With the DA’s race too close to call and negative media coverage of Mike Harson on the ebb, will challenger Keith Stutes take the gloves off?
Gov. Bobby Jindal has been viewed as a health care policy wonk, and he's tried to build on that image ahead of a likely 2016 presidential campaign, positioning himself as the candidate with substantive ideas.
Jerry Jones watched what he called the best effort he's seen in 25 years as owner of the Dallas Cowboys in the first half, and that was before Tony Romo had the longest scramble of his career and DeMarco Murray finished off yet another 100-yard game.
Two of the most recognizable women in Republican politics, Sarah Palin and Mary Matalin, have been heavily involved in Louisiana’s current election cycle.
Even though the Louisiana Democratic Party has thrown its support behind former Gov. Edwin Edwards’ congressional bid, national Democrats are not expected to follow suit.
“[Mike] is no longer the energetic ADA that his recent ad is trying to portray. I just think Mike needs to get the hell out.” — Kermit Harson, DA Mike Harson’s brother
The New Orleans Saints have listed Jonathan Goodwin as questionable for Sunday night's game in Dallas, raising the prospect that second-year pro Tim Lelito will start at center for the first time.