THE DUELING JINDAL-AS-VP SPECULATION In the ongoing John McCain veepstakes, two camps have emerged as Gov. Bobby Jindal’s name continues to be bandied about as a possible running mate for Sen. McCain. Behind Door No. 1, most political observers say there’s no way it’s going to happen. Jindal is simply too young, he’s only five months into his tenure as governor, and one of McCain’s main attacks on Sen. Barack Obama — that he’s too young and inexperienced — would be nullified if McCain put the 36-year-old Jindal on his ticket. In this camp, keeping Jindal’s name in the ongoing VP dance is merely a way to raise his national profile, most likely to pave the way for him to deliver the keynote speech at the upcoming GOP convention and continue grooming him for a serious 2012 national run.
If that’s the case and McCain’s current flirtation with Jindal is nothing more than a bait-and-switch, give the national Republican Party credit. It’s doing a hell of a job of keeping Jindal’s name in the national press — and providing fuel for the folks behind Door No. 2, who believe Jindal’s the perfect pick for McCain. The Washington Times, the conservative paper owned by controversial Unification Church founder Sun Myung Moon, sums up the current conservative and religious right embrace of Jindal with an editorial endorsing Jindal for VP. Some highlights:
“There are many things John McCain needs in a vice presidential candidate. The most obvious is a running mate who must be prepared to lead should the president be unable to. Other characteristics? Conservative. Youthful. Diverse. There is one name among those Mr. McCain is interviewing this weekend that fits the bill: Bobby Jindal.
“... A staunchly pro-life Roman Catholic, Mr. Jindal has the voting record to match his socially and fiscally conservative rhetoric. ...
“During his tenure as a congressman for Louisiana’s 1st Congressional District (2004-07), Mr. Jindal voted in favor of energy reforms to address increasing gas prices, including a measure to crack down on oil company cartels engaged in price-fixing and making allowances for offshore drilling. ...
“Mr. Jindal has been an outspoken advocate (sometimes in contrast to the Bush administration) for more recovery and rebuilding funding for the Gulf Coast region after Hurricane Katrina. He has voted for legislation that would restrict independent PACs, require lobbyist disclosures of bundled donations and protect whistle blowers. His goals to reign in government spending mimic those of Mr. McCain, and Mr. Jindal supported making the Bush tax cuts permanent. Mr. Jindal also favors tough immigration reform — having voted for building a fence along the Mexican border (a position that helps to solidify Mr. McCain’s flip-flop on the issue).”
With McCain scheduled back in Louisiana this week for events on June 3 (New Orleans and Kenner) and June 4 (Baton Rouge), don’t expect the Jindal-as-VP speculation to quiet down anytime soon. In the meantime, msnbc.com is running an online contest for readers to make their pick for Republican VP — and Jindal’s starting out as the No. 5 seed in the right bracket. ...
VICTORIA REGGIE PICKING UP CAMELOT CROWN? The speculation has already begun that Victoria Reggie Kennedy, wife of U.S. Sen. Edward “Ted” Kennedy, may run for her ailing husband’s seat in Congress. Known as “Vicki,” the Crowley native is being promoted in Democrat circles as a potential contender for the seat, which her husband has held since 1962 (the seat having been vacated two years earlier by his brother John when he was elected president).
The 76-year-old Democratic senator from Massachusetts was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor but has given no indication he plans to resign his position. He underwent brain surgery Monday at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., and will now be treated with chemotherapy and radiation.
A former Washington lawyer with no political experience, Vicki is a member of the prominent Reggie family that has been close to the Kennedys for decades. Her father, former Judge Edmund Reggie, managed presidential campaigns in Louisiana for Ted Kennedy in 1980 and his brothers, John and Robert, in 1960 and 1968, respectively. ...
UPHOLDING LOUISIANA’S FAIR SHARE OF OIL AND GAS REVENUES Louisiana officials are still giddy from Congress’ 2006 decision to give the state a greater share of its offshore oil and gas revenues. Politicians had been pushing for the increase for generations, with little movement — until hurricanes Katrina and Rita made Louisiana’s case for enhanced coastal protections. As for the most recent news attached to the cash, which should reach several billion dollars over the next decade, the Minerals Management Service finally got around to certifying a distribution plan last week. The law, known as the Domenici-Landrieu Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act, requires that Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas and Alabama receive 37.5 percent of the revenue from new oil and gas production off their shores. As expected, the Bayou State comes out on top of the formula. From 2008 to 2016, Louisiana will receive 32 percent of all of the revenues generated from 8 million acres newly opened in the Gulf of Mexico (30 percent goes to Alabama, 27 percent to Mississippi and 11 percent to Texas). U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, a New Orleans Democrat who authored the enacting legislation, says the money is confined to coastal restoration and protection projects and that Louisiana should see another increase in coming years. “After 2016, our percentage will only increase, giving us the independent revenue stream we need to protect our communities from future storms,” she says.
Contributors: Scott Jordan, Leslie Turk and Jeremy Alford
That would be Congressman John Fleming talking about Sen. David Vitter.
The alleged mastermind behind the bribery scheme that went on for four years under DA Mike Harson’s nose isn’t just schizophrenic, bipolar and recovering from mini strokes; he now says he has cancer.
Louisiana's higher education leaders are trying to work out a financing deal to keep the state's public colleges from running low on state cash to operate their campuses.
With their latest triumph, the Saints left little doubt about how tough they are to beat in the Superdome. Unfortunately, two of their remaining three games are on the road.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Tuesday, December 10, 2013:
For the first time in at least five years, retired teachers, state workers and school system employees could see an increase in their pension checks.
Lawmakers and Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration shared a collective sigh of relief with the news that Louisiana's tax amnesty program brought in the $200 million that they used to help balance this year's budget.
Drew Brees often makes the extraordinary look routine, particularly during night games in the Superdome.
The teams were extended invitations Sunday for the New Year's Day matchup played at Raymond James Stadium, home of the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
If all 44 projects are approved, about $300 million would remain in the fund set up as a down payment to help the Gulf.
Last week, the Saints gave up 429 yards to Seattle, second most in a game this season.
Since Anthony Jennings and Brooks Haack were not expected to contribute until next year at the earliest, it seemed like a sneak peek at hidden Christmas gifts.
Louisiana National Guard personnel seeking benefits for same-sex spouses will have an easier time filing the requests, despite a state refusal to let its workers process the paperwork.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera sees one potential flaw with his team's stellar defensive play so far this season. "Apparently we like to bite on the double moves," Rivera said.
Computer hackers may have gained access to the personal information of thousands of Louisiana residents who use debit cards issued by JPMorgan Chase for three state agencies, authorities said Wednesday.
Jim Purcell, who has been in the job since February 2011, notified the Board of Regents about his decision at its monthly meeting.
Hushed plans for a commercial development along the Louisiana Avenue portion of the Holy Rosary campus put the future of longtime tenant EarthShare Gardens in jeopardy.
If a recent advertisement in The Daily Advertiser is any indication, speculation the local daily will be implementing the “Butterfly Project” could be more of a reality than the Gannett-owned paper’s top execs are willing to admit.
Mettenberger injured his left knee while unloading a 32-yard completion in the fourth quarter of No. 14 LSU's 31-27 victory over Arkansas last Friday, and LSU coach Les Miles confirmed the severity of the injury on Wednesday.
An ordinance to phase out a 2 percent rebate to Lafayette merchants for collecting and remitting on time sales taxes cleared the City-Parish Council by a 6-3 vote.
Louisianans are the fourth most likely to use profanity yet also the fourth most likely to be courteous. So, please, just kiss my a** ... if it’s not too much trouble.
The state Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority voted Tuesday to authorize two lawsuits against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
A long night on the field in Seattle got even worse off of it, and now the Saints are operating on a compressed time-frame as they brace for surging Carolina with first place in the NFC South at stake.
Public school letter grades, teacher evaluations and student promotion won't be affected by Louisiana's shift to more rigorous educational standards for two years, the state's top school board decided Tuesday.
Vitter told The Associated Press that he is sending an email to supporters Wednesday and is in discussions with his family about the possibility.