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
Mike Harson's coffers show the advantage of incumbency.
The Lafayette City-Parish Council will vote on an ordinance for final adoption Tuesday that, if approved, would give the city the green light to take over a stretch of Verot School Road from the state Department of Transportation and Development.
The Louisiana Association of Educators filed a lawsuit challenging the $60 million in spending through Louisiana's public school financing formula.
He's been out of office for nearly a decade, but former U.S. Sen. John Breaux is back on the campaign trail, urging voters to support his one-time colleague, Democrat Mary Landrieu.
The unresolved fate of the ashes left behind after Ebola waste was destroyed in Texas highlights the problem U.S. hospitals and communities could face in disposing of their own waste.
While much of the talk was about whether New Orleans could win a big game — or any game, for that matter — on the road, the conversation in the Saints' locker room was about something completely different.
State health officials told thousands of doctors planning to attend a tropical diseases meeting this weekend in New Orleans to stay away if they have been to certain African countries or have had contact with an Ebola patient in the last 21 days.
Republicans are calling on Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu to apologize after she suggested Thursday that President Barack Obama's deep unpopularity in the South is partly tied to race.
Compared to the rest of the country, Lafayette has it pretty good when it comes to the cost and speed of our Internet.
Hello Kitty turns 40; police ambush suspect caught; Knicks surprise Cavs and more national and international news for Friday, October 31, 2014.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
The Lafayette City-Parish Council will consider on Tuesday a revised plan to the transform a block in Downtown Lafayette into a mixed-use residential-retail-commercial development that doesn’t include giving title to the property to the Lafayette Public Trust Finance Authority, an arrangement the council rejected earlier this month.
Trying to combat the national undertones of Louisiana's U.S. Senate race, Democratic incumbent Mary Landrieu is traveling the state this week on a sort of pork celebration tour, telling voters about the projects and aid she's delivered to Louisiana.
Ever thought that big, pink Gulf coast shrimp you ordered at the restaurant or bought from the store didn't taste juicy or salty enough? Maybe it wasn't from the Gulf.
The state treasurer won't sign financial documents needed for $200 million in borrowing or for a refinancing of existing debt until he believes they accurately explain the surplus disagreement.
Bill Cassidy voted for 97 percent of the bills signed by Barack Obama.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is joining South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley on her campaign bus tour.
A New Iberia man has been sentenced to life in prison for killing a 4-year-old girl and scalding her 3-year-old brother.
A district judge decided Wednesday against sanctioning attorney/school board candidate Dawn Morris for her behind-the-scenes role in a lawsuit against Mark Cockerham.
Secretary of State Tom Schedler says Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration may have improperly destroyed records in the state employee health insurance program, in the middle of a heavily-criticized rewrite of benefit plans.
Paper cites the former ADA's "experience as a prosecutor, his demonstrated integrity, and his ideas for reshaping the [DA's] office" in urging voters to support Keith Stutes Nov. 4.
Louisiana officials have sent a letter to the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene un-inviting members of the group who have recently been to ebola-affected West African countries from attending the group’s annual conference in New Orleans next week.
Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints have to find a way to win on the road if they plan to take over first place in the NFC South.
"It is obvious that Louisiana economic performance has not outperformed the South or the United States as a whole and, in fact, has substantially underperformed..."
A state district judge said he will rule Friday on a preliminary injunction to keep some charter schools from receiving $60 million through Louisiana's public school financing formula.