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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OCT 31 The National Journal posts another story from its visit to NOLA, this one about the struggling Vietnamese shrimpers in the area. The publication has been looking at how the state is recovering from Katrina, nine years later.
OCT 31 The New York Times posts this look at Louisiana politics, and how national issues are forcing out the old-time local politicking. Of course they mention EWE, aptly described as an old-time politician known for "charming one half of the state and mortifying the other."
OCT 31 Here's an AP story on the ABC site about Louisiana's chicken little response to an international medical conference planned in NOLA this weekend. Organizers (who are actual physicians, as opposed to the hand-wringing state officials who issued the edicts) say the orders are "unfortunate" given that a main focus of the meeting was Ebola.
OCT 31 Given the things Bobby Jindal has said and done since he's been governor, it's a pretty safe bet he thinks we're a bunch of dummies. Apparently, he's sure President Obama is one, too. This story on Huff Post quotes Jindal as saying the president - a graduate of Harvard Law - should sue to get his money back. (What should a Brown biology grad who doesn't believe in evolution do?)
OCT 31 Us old folks are used to a two-party system, although most of us aren't sold on its success. But what if that system wasn't in place; what if politics reflected the true level of diversity among voters? That's what an LSU student is dreaming of in this editorial. He sees the two parties' control of our politics as limiting.
OCT 31 And you thought the Senate race was dirty. This post on the Forward Now blog tells the story of a Shreveport mayoral campaign worker who was paid to "infiltrate" and "sabotage" an opponent's campaign. Karma's a beeotch, though, because turns out the guy really liked the "enemy," and now he's supporting her. For real.
OCT 30 The National Journal offers this analysis of Bobby Jindal's willingness to stump in any Senate campaign that's not in Louisiana. Why is that? The Journal asks some GOPers and finds that the answer is one we already know: he's so unpopular here, because he's been so busy running for President, that his support might be "toxic."
OCT 30 Blogger Tom Aswell is still all over the OGB mess - and all by himself, apparently. In this post, he's revealing orders from the Jindal administration to destroy records from the state employee health insurance plan. Those orders (he's heard) have angered the Secretary of State and caused an administration lawyer to quit her job. Wow!
OCT 30 A NOLA lady has alleged she was drugged and raped at a Bywater club that had a clothing-optional policy until recently, and she's now become the victim of a smear campaign, columnist Jarvis DeBerry writes in this post. She chose to reveal her story and her name, and she's being punished for that now, he says.
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