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
Gov. Bobby Jindal offered a budget proposal that suggests new education and health care spending, pay raises for state workers and an incentive fund to encourage colleges to enhance their science, engineering and technology training.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Tuesday, March 11, 2014:
Hopefully he’ll be better prepared today than he was in that Feb. 20 deposition.
They came by the hundreds, arriving from all regions of the state to gather on the steps of our Capitol in protest of the Legislature’s long tradition of giving industry the go-ahead to abuse our air, our water and our coastline, all in the name of good economics.
Gov. Bobby Jindal’s recent rhetoric against President Barack Obama has failed to boost his standing among the conservative base.
Louisiana's annual legislative session begins.
The state has hired marksmen to shoot feral hogs from helicopters at two wildlife management areas in south Louisiana.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has stalled action on a $3.5 billion annual school funding formula due to state lawmakers by March 15.
The New Orleans Saints have yet to make it official as of this writing, but popular wide receiver Lance Moore has reportedly been cut by the team to free up salary-cap space on the roster.
While two medical marijuana bills are slated for the upcoming legislative session, what some Louisianans might not know is that the plant was approved for therapeutic use by state lawmakers in 1991.
The agenda is shaping up to be lighter than in previous years. But Jindal is term-limited, with fewer than two years remaining in office, and he saw his last big initiative — a proposed rewrite of Louisiana tax law — collapse without getting a vote in 2013.
Sharper has been held without bail because of an arrest warrant issued by Louisiana authorities accusing him and another man of raping two women.
Two Lafayette men have been revealed by police as the infamous duo behind a caper that shook our fair city to its core.
The Lafayette Parish School Board has received a second letter of demand related to last year’s insurance debacle, this time from Key Benefit Administrators claiming it’s owed $93,000 from the school system.
The Louisiana coastline is vanishing faster than mappers can keep track.
A bill that would have overridden local ordinances prohibiting public and private employers from discriminating against lesbian, gay and transgender people has been pulled within less than a week of being filed.
The panel that selects nominees for a controversial New Orleans area flood control board — a board that is suing more than 90 oil, gas and pipeline companies — is set to discuss legislation affecting its independence.
State prison officials cannot keep secret the seller and manufacturer of the two drugs purchased for executions at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
State lawmakers will not appeal a judge's ruling that it was improper to use $3.7 million from a probation and parole officers' retirement fund to balance the state's operating budget.
Conservatives have been losing their minds over this satirical bit on the Colbert Report.
The Lafayette Parish School Board leaves a lot to be desired, but is scrapping the election process in favor of an appointed board the answer?
The House approved legislation Tuesday night to roll back a recently enacted overhaul of the federal flood insurance program, after homeowners in flood-prone areas complained about sharp premium increases.
The NFL has formally designated New Orleans' Jimmy Graham as a tight end for the purposes of his franchise tag value, which is now set at $7.05 million next season unless Graham and the Saints subsequently agree on a long-term deal.
A federal appeals panel ruled Monday that businesses don't have to prove that they were directly harmed by BP's 2010 Gulf Of Mexico oil spill to collect settlement payments.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development has closed Interstate 10 from I-49 in Lafayette to Seigen Lane in Baton Rouge.