President Obama’s bus tour will be trailing two Republican surrogates as he stumps for votes in Ohio today: Gov. Bobby Jindal and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, both of whom are considered possible running mates.
Ohio, which has 18 electoral votes, is a key battleground in this year's election. Obama carried the state in 2008, and no Republican has ever assumed the presidency without winning Ohio.
Jindal and Pawlenty will be in Pittsburgh Friday. Also just emerging as a possible running mate is Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire. Ann Romney was on CBS News on Thursday and said her husband could end up choosing a woman, a comment that immediately fueled speculation about Ayotte.
Here’s what Shreveport demographer Elliott Stonecipher, who is no fan of the guv, had to say Tuesday about a potential Jindal selection in an email titled “JINDAL FOR VEEP NOMINEE? TWO LOUISIANA NEWSPAPER REPORTS REMIND EVERYONE: “GOOD LORD! ... NO!”:
Mitt Romney, America is being told, is in the process of vetting our very own Governor Bobby Jindal to be his vice presidential running mate. For those of us who have experienced and studied the tactics - and, thus, the beliefs - of our governor, nothing could be more preposterous.
To tune-up for this subject, let’s take a few minutes to read a couple of newspaper articles: just two Louisiana newspaper reports, and just from the last two days. If we believe, as we say we do, that good government depends mightily on transparency, and on government officials keeping faith with those who elect or otherwise hire them, our governor is unqualified as Louisiana’s #1, much less America’s #2.
First, here is yesterday’s Monroe News-Star report detailing how John White, Jindal’s new hot-shot public education guru via New York, “created a plan to ‘muddy up a narrative’ and to ‘take some air out of the room’” after an earlier News-Star report revealed a serious and immediate failure in Jindal’s highly touted public school voucher program.
Second, here is today’s Baton Rouge Morning Advocate report about which attorney we taxpayers are shelling out our hard-earned money to represent “us” - that would be Gov. Jindal and John White, in fact - in legal arguments supporting their signature voucher program. That program diverts our locally assessed and paid public education taxes away from their funding mechanism, the MFP, Minimum Foundation Program, and sends the money instead to private/charter schools.
The two articles, taken together, are excellent shorthand for what Gov. Jindal and his cronies think of openness and transparency, which is to say, how they hate shooting straight with the citizenry.
What the News-Star has so definitively shown in its articles is not only that our MFP money is going to private schools which have no business educating our children, but also that wunderkind White is all about not telling the truth when such facts are proven. In other words, whatever Jindal’s education program really is, it isn’t what he and his guru say it is.
Mark Ballard’s Advocate piece is a reminder to readers that Jimmy Faircloth, the go-to Jindalista in our guv’s gutting of ethics enforcement is now is “our” lawyer in protecting the voucher program scam from legal challenges. As you have (or will hopefully) read, Faircloth can’t quite explain how Attorney General Buddy Caldwell was ordered by Jindal to hire him for this doubling-down on scammery, but nonetheless makes clear that Caldwell was, in fact, ordered by Jindal to do so.
For those of us who suffered through the specifics of how Jindal killed at least three decades of work on our governmental ethics system, the hiring of Faircloth is powerfully telling. The ways Faircloth found to ruin ethics enforcement were equally creative and fundamentally dishonest: while El Jefe Jindal was selling his “ethics gold standard” poppycock in his crusade to be veep nominee for John McCain, Faircloth was - quite literally - jamming the precise opposite through the legislative process. Yes, such a shakedown required a really ethically compromised bunch of legislative leaders, many of whom had ethics complaints in the pipeline at that very time, but the brains of the operation were Jindal, his then Chief-of-Staff Timmy Teepell, and Faircloth.
Now, this crew is back at it with their newest and most potentially damaging shakedown, “education reform.” We should not be surprised that John White has now been caught being as instinctively underhanded as the others on the Jindal team. Now we the proof, at least, that he, too, is a card-carrying grifter.
As Louisiana’s governor, Bobby Jindal has consistently and emphatically demonstrated his bona fides as a devout believer in closed, self-protecting government. He ruined ethics enforcement by putting an unclassified employee beholden to the governor for their paycheck in charge of the enforcement system. He rented/leased legislative votes necessary to install in law the worst “deliberative process” ruse in any state, making possible the hiding of anything - anything - his staff and others in the executive branch want to hide, including any breaking of laws. Now, too, he has imposed a diversion of constitutionally protected - we have long been told - local public education tax money to private schools.
Perhaps worst of all, Jindal mows down opponents in a way that banana republic dictators can fully appreciate.
Mitt Romney should note as he considers Jindal for his running mate that the most damning proof and evidence of the damage Jindal has done to Louisiana is well hidden by his specific acts in furtherance of that key personal objective.
Yes, it takes a lot of smarts to pull that off.
And, yes, it takes a pretty dark heart, too. Lord help us if that heart ends up a beat away from the Presidency.
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NOV 26 Zach Kopplin, who we came to know and love when he was a Louisiana high school student lobbying for the continued inclusion of science stuff in science class, pens this post in The Atlantic about a "textbook" available for social studies instruction in Texas that discusses how Moses contributed to the Constitution. (Oy! Texas rednecks love Jews. Who knew?)
NOV 26 Finally, mad people on the interwebz is a good thing! World wide webby outrage has caused the village of Moreauville to reverse its plan to confiscate pit bulls and Rottweillers and euthanize them simply because of their breed, WAFB reports here. The plan? They're going to enforce the leash law. Well, that would have been a good place to start.
NOV 26 Jim Brown, like many of us Louisiana voters, seems fed up with out of town know-it-alls trying to tell us what to do. Bill Cassidy can't make it through the day without flying someone in to "tell us political retards" how to vote, he says.
NOV 26 Blogger Tom Aswell is writing about the behavior of the two finalists in the 6th Congressional District race: Edwin Edwards and Garret Graves. Edwards has come out swinging, but Graves' campaign seems bent on snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, Tom says.
NOV 26 Unless you're in Virigina, you shouldn't count on seeing our Governor on Election Day. Mark Ballard writes in the Advocate's political blog that Bobby will be appearing at a GOP love fest of some kind there, instead of spending the day here.
NOV 26 This post on The Lens takes a look at the ongoing dispute in New Orleans over the banners about the upcoming tax election for the school system. The banners are hanging on schools, and some feel they are promotional, which is not allowed, instead of educational - which is allowed.
NOV 26 Not all college students are focused on football games and parties at this time of year. This post on DIG Baton Rouge recounts an LSU student group that tries to make sure that those who are hungry and homeless are not forgotten by those of us who aren't.
NOV 25 Edwin Edwards took off the gloves on Monday, this post on WAFB tells us. At a Press Club appearance, he wondered how his 6th Congressional District opponent, Garret Graves, could be an expert in all the areas in which he claims to be - when he has no college degree in anything. (Five years - FIVE YEARS - in college, but no degree. Huh?)
NOV 25 Blogger Mike Deshotels offers this primer on predatory charter schools and how they operate, specifically in Louisiana. They're not just profiting from our tax dollars, they're using children and shortchanging them to do so, Deshotels says.
NOV 25 Here's a link to the petition that has been created to save Zeus, a family dog who is targeted for death by the learned fathers of the Avoyelles Parish village of Moreauville. They passed an ordinance based on nothing that outlaws pit bulls and Rotweillers. As of Tuesday morning, the petition had more than 230,000 signatures - a number that's a wee bit higher than the village population of 929.
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